EVA supports ward remap proposal

EVA members review the Rules Committee map May 2 at Roots Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago Ave.

EVA members discussed Chicago's ward boundaries May 2 after board members drafted a letter to support a ward consolidating much of West Town within the 1st Ward.

Presiding officer Bob Zwolinski asked for member comment before sending the final draft to Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward), who chairs the City Council Rules Committee. Here is the approved letter:

May 5, 2022

Alderman Michelle Harris
8th Ward

Re: Support of Rules Committee Ward Map

Dear Alderman Harris,

The East Village Association, Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association, Chicago Grand Neighbors Association, and Wicker Park Committee have come together to express our support for the ward map as proposed by the Rules Committee.

For the first time in many years, the map as proposed brings our neighborhoods together. We appreciate that you have taken our input and drawn boundaries for the 1st Ward that will significantly aid our neighborhoods in planning, public safety, and responsible development for the next ten years.

We also ask that aldermen come together to support this map, instead of wasting potentially millions of dollars on campaigning and legal battles. For future remaps, we hope the city adopts a neutral, objective process to avoid these distractions.

Thank you,

John Gantner
President, East Village Association

Kimberly Shannon
President, Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association

Andy Perdue
President, Chicago Grand Neighbors Association

Connor Young
President, Wicker Park Committee

Cc: Jason Ervin, Daniel La Spata, Brian Hopkins

The Chicago Grand Neighbors Association and Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association previously approved the draft letter. In November, the four groups signed onto a statement opposing a divided West Town.

The council's Latino caucus has proposed a competing map that moves the 1st Ward farther north and west. East Village is largely in the 34th Ward but slices of West Town get peeled off to the west and south. Both plans drive the 2nd Ward out of West Town and into more of Lincoln Park. Checking boxes on Google map allows users to compare early versions of the proposals.

At the May 2 meeting, members discussed the maps and a "none of the above" choice: the "people's map" proposal that the council took off the table. EVA board members argued that the Rules Committee map keeps commercial streets in the same ward, giving community groups more leverage over public safety and other citywide issues.

Members can comment on the draft letter below. If alderman don't approve a map May 19, both proposals go to a referendum in the June 28 primary election.

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