The likelihood that the June 28 primary election ballot will ask voters to decide what Chicago ward map should look like for the first time in 30 years increased this past week as the acrimony between the Black and Latino caucuses over the map escalated.
The City Council met briefly Wednesday afternoon, allowing Rules Committee Chair Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward) an opportunity to unveil the map drawn behind closed doors and supported by the City Council’s Black Caucus.
Negotiations over a new ward map that will shape Chicago politics for the next decade remained deadlocked Tuesday, with no sign of a possible compromise less than a day before the deadline set by state law.
The leaders of the Chicago City Council’s Black and Latino caucuses said Tuesday that they could endorse a new Chicago ward map with 18 wards with a majority of Black voters and 15 wards with a majority of Latino voters.
Key components include a universal basic income pilot program, $6.3 million to hire employees at the city’s public mental health clinics, $5 million to expand efforts to renovate single-room occupancy hotels to help prevent homelessness and investments in affordable housing, violence prevention and job programs.
Chief Financial Officer Jennie Huang Bennett defended the mayor’s spending plan as a thoughtful plan to “build a bridge toward financial stability while the economy continues to recover.”
Plus: 4 Chicago alderpeople react to the proposal
As Chicago emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Lori Lightfoot told WTTW News on Monday that city officials must be “bold and transformative” to address not only the immediate damage caused by the pandemic but also the city’s longstanding woes.
Black Caucus Chair Ald. Jason Ervin (28th Ward) said the City Council should act quickly and loosen the rules because the legal sale of cannabis is “raining hundred-dollar bills” and those hurt by the war on drugs should be able to take advantage of the gold rush.
It took more than four years to negotiate a new deal with the police union, as Mayor Lori Lightfoot demanded changes to the way officers are investigated after a 2017 probe by the U.S. Department of Justice found police officers routinely violated the civil rights of Black and Latino Chicagoans.
It won’t be smoke-filled, but members of the Chicago City Council will head to a backroom at City Hall later this month to start crafting new ward boundaries that could shape Chicago politics for the next decade.
City Council members are expected to vote on a proposal to rename Lake Shore Drive after Chicago's first non-Indigenous settler, Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, after a parliamentary maneuver delayed the vote last month. We discussion that plan and other city business with four alderpeople.
Celia Meza has served as the city’s top attorney since December, replacing former Corporation Counsel Mark Flessner, who resigned amid a furor over the mayor’s handling of the revelation that Chicago police officers handcuffed a naked woman during a mistaken raid in February 2019.
Opponents of a plan to rename 17 miles of Lake Shore Drive for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, Chicago’s first permanent non-Indigenous settler, blocked a vote on the measure Wednesday, enraging supporters of the plan, who called the move racist.
Concerned that a surge in violence that begin in 2020 will turn into a bloody summer, aldermen urged city officials to spend the city’s $1.9 billion share of the latest federal COVID-19 relief package on efforts to stop shootings and murders by funding mental health services and job programs.
Plans to expand a medical marijuana dispensary on Chicago’s Far Northwest Side are on hold after members of the City Council’s Black Caucus blocked them from advancing over concerns that none of its owners are Black or Latino.
As Chicago reeled — again — from the police killing of a teenager recorded on video, Inspector General Joseph Ferguson offered aldermen a way to reverse what he called the city’s “long history” of covering up police misconduct. “We are out of runway with respect to the public’s patience and beliefs that we care to reform,” he said.