Dear 25th Ward Neighbors,
I write today to inform you that the Chicago City Council will vote on a new map for the 50 wards that make up the city. As you may have heard, this has been a long process that involved much negotiation and many compromises from many of my colleagues and me. You will notice a change in the boundaries that have defined the 25th Ward for the past 10 years. You may see that soon, you will be a member of a different ward moving forward - while others will soon wake up as members of the new 25th Ward. Together with my colleagues, we will present a new map that will dictate the next 10 years and we are very optimistic for the future.
It’s not lost on me that many will not be happy with this new map. In fact, there are a lot of things that can be critiqued about the process in which these lines are drawn. That said, we will always fight to represent our neighbors and do what is best for the residents in our ward. In that sense, we are happy to report that the new 25th Ward map consolidates the Pilsen community and unites with our neighbors to the west in Little Village. Our ward will have among the highest Latino representation in the city, with over 72% of the population.
Similarly, we are very happy to announce the creation of the first Asian-majority ward in the history of Chicago. Our neighbors in the 11th Ward will have ample opportunity to unify the growing Asian and Pacific Islander community in the South Side, and we are excited to see the further development of the only growing Chinatown in the United State. This was an important promise I made before I came into office and I am very proud to stand with our neighbors on this momentous occasion.
Although we look forward to the bright possibilities of the future, we cannot ignore the lessons we learned from the arduous path that led to this new map. At the root of it, democratic representation is our guiding principle and we will look to our leadership to deliver on their promises for the next time around. Through hard work of folks like the 25th Ward Independent Re-mapping Commission we saw how community participation can inform the process. We encourage our colleagues to take on the work of developing an independent commission that will take on this task and make sure that every Chicagoan’s voice is heard. Shedding light on this is essential – and the path of least resistance is often the most direct.
We find ourselves in a unique position to effect democratic change into our processes and one way that we get there is through direct democratic participation from the electorate. Soon, our office will be presenting a pathway for a more independent remapping process by proposing an ordinance that will facilitate direct ballot introductions by everyday people. Chicago stands as the only city in the top twenty in population that does not allow for direct ballot introductions by voters.
An alderman is only one of 50. But every alderman represents the voices of over 50,000 constituents. Our support for this map helps us re-solidify and consolidate our boundaries to keep neighborhoods together. It holds us accountable to our residents and gives us an opportunity to recommit ourselves to the residents—both existing and new. The new map gives us a chance to hope for the future, but learn from our past. We commit to the hard work of redefining this process and guarantee that the VOICE of the people is heard – in the 25th Ward and echoed across ALL of the City of Chicago.
Alderman, 25th Ward