Chicago ward remap hearing draws thin crowd

January 19, 2012

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(WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)
The up-to-date version of that map isn’t public, but residents try to make do.
(WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)
Aldermen hear complaints about a map backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
(WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)
Adriana Oropeza speaks up for her neighborhood, Back of the Yards.

Most of the North-Grand High School auditorium was empty Wednesday night as Chicago aldermen held what could be their final hearing in an effort to redraw the city’s ward map.

The 150 people who showed up did include 15 aldermen who heard complaints for almost three hours about a map backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

One of the complaints came from Robert Davidson, a tenant leader of the Chicago Housing Authority's Lathrop Homes. “Why would you cut through a public housing development and have people separated when we are a family in this development?” he asked.

Most of the hearing focused on the Northwest Side’s Logan Square, the South Side’s Back of the Yards, and Ald. Nick Sposato’s 36th Ward.

Some residents asked why aldermen held the hearing after their leaders said they had united behind a map. “Why do you do the work and then come to us when it’s done?” Davidson asked.

The up-to-date version of that map hasn’t been made public. But the council could vote on it as early as Thursday.