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The remapping saga finale that wasn’t

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


Four public hearings and a special Sunday session later, the City Council’s Black and Latino Caucus still haven’t reached an agreement on a new map.

Why? The Latino Caucus maintains it won’t accept a map with fewer than 15 Latinx–majority wards. The Black Caucus is proposing a map with 14.

A lot of the disagreement stems from how to count population.

The Black Caucus’ map counts Chicago citizens instead of residents, a move Latino Caucus Chair Ald. Gilbert Villegas, 36th Ward, criticized. The alder said that goes against Chicago’s stance as a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants who call Chicago home, according to WTTW

Realistically, the Latino Caucus should have 15 or even 16 wards based on what’s proportional to the city’s population, A.D. Quig, a reporter at Crain’s, told City Cast. (The city’s Latinx population is up 5% while the city’s Black population is down 10%, according to the 2020 Census.)

The ward fight can also be attributed in part to how the city is segregated, with Black and Latino neighborhoods primarily sharing the South and West Sides. 

“Because so many of these communities are right next to each other, that’s how these battles break out,” Quig said.

Sunday’s session ended with both sides declaring they weren’t afraid of a referendum, aka letting voters decide.

If 41 alders can’t can’t reach an agreement by May 19, constituents will decide on a new map in the June 28 primary. 

And that possibility is looking more likely with each passing day.


In Chicago, the city is supposed to clear the streets after it snows. But, the sidewalks? That falls on property owners, who aren’t always great about shoveling a clear path for pedestrians. 

Michael Podgers, organizer with advocacy group Better Streets Chicago, tells us rather than relying on neighbors, the city should shovel the sidewalks like it does (most) streets. Plus, listeners and readers weigh in on dibs, the controversial Chi practice of clearing and saving parking spots. Here’s a taste: 

Christopher: “To me, [dibs] is inherently anti-communitarian.” 

Jonathan: “I’ve never done it, but I respect it. … I got a much bigger problem with the person moving somebody else’s dibs. That’s just bad juju, and you’re really asking for your car to get keyed or even worse.”

Chris: “I just decide to take public transit.”


▪️ Caleb Westbrook, 15, was fatally shot near Rauner College Prep in West Town earlier this month. His family is asking people to come forward with any information. [Block Club Chicago]

▪️ Rev. Jesse Jackson’s son Jonathan is running for Illinois’ 1st Congressional District. He joins an increasingly crowded race of candidates vying for U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush’s seat. [ABC7]

▪️ Today is the last day to apply for rent aid from the city. [City of Chicago]

▪️ As the city’s omicron surge is on its way down, public health experts share what the next COVID-19 phase could entail. [WBEZ]

▪️ PSA: Chi isn’t a city of neighborhoods, we’re a city of community areas 🤯 [WTTW]


City Cast is up for the Chicago Reader’s best local newsletter and podcast thanks to our wonderful readers and listeners who nominated us. Now, it’s time to vote. Whether you’ve enjoyed City Cast since we launched in March or recently discovered us, it’d mean a lot if you could give us a vote under the “City Life” category. Thanks, friend!


Happy (almost) Chinese New Year! The holiday isn’t officially until Tuesday, but it’s never too early to start planning how you’ll celebrate. 

🍸 Nine Bar in Chinatown will have drinks and a DJ Tuesday at 7 p.m.
🎞️ Asian Pop-Up Cinema is streaming Chinese films starting Tuesday. 
🧧 Lao Sze Chuan downtown will host a “Wish You Rich” community dinner Thursday at 6 p.m.

Plus, order all types of dumplings — Chinese, Korean, and Japanese 🥟

Not subscribed yet? Fix that 👇

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