Neighborhood groups responded with concern at the creation of a new North Side ward in two proposed City Council remaps that comprised of South Lakeview, Roscoe Village, parts of Logan Square and alternately parts of West Lakeview or Northcenter, depending on the map.
“When the census came out and Chicago had lost 10% of the population, it became plain that we were going to be on the chopping block with the 32nd Ward,” said South Lakeview Neighbors president David Duggan. “I am not one that favors identity group politics, but they’re not listening to me. I guess from a purely demographic perspective, uniting us with Logan Boulevard it creates a white ghetto, I guess.”
Jill Peters, president of the Southport Neighbors Association, is concerned that the new maps will affect long-term community planning, since the Southport Ave. area is heavily influenced by Wrigley Field activity. “[They have] basically cut up the Southport Neighbors Association in half,” said Peters. “I think that is no mistake. The western end of the ward is the most vocal and makes the most demands on Wrigley Field and the bar community.”
“How can you as a community organizer organize when it is geographically different?” said Northcenter Neighborhood Association board member Julie Hobart. “So as a community organizer as I looked at that [change], that I worked really hard to get an alderman I like elected, and then…,” she ended with a frustrated sigh.
Will DeMille, president of the West Lakeview Neighbors was less perturbed, despite his neighborhood being split in two by both proposed maps. “I think it’s unfortunate that going through the process the neighborhood groups develop good relationships with the alderman and then in the redistricting process you get changes in the mapping that have changes that have little to do with the communities affected,” said DeMille. “Our expectation is going to be whoever we get, we’re going to have to build those relationships to further improve the community as well.”
A statement emailed Sunday night by the Roscoe Village Neighbors‘ board to members said, “RVN looks forward to working closely with our new alderman – whomever he or she might be – to protect the quality of life and pedestrian scale of our very special ‘Village Within the City.’” RVN says they had submitted a letter to the City Council committee in charge of the remap requesting that whatever map was proposed, “the whole of Roscoe Village be included in a single ward.”
That letter seems to have met some success, since both proposed maps fit all of Roscoe Village in one map.