PRESS RELEASE: The People’s Coalition Map Formally Launches Referendum Campaign

For Immediate Release:
February 23, 2022

Rebecca Evans | (312) 888-1983

The People’s Coalition Map Formally Launches Referendum Campaign
*Media interviews available upon request*

CHICAGO – City Council members from throughout the city joined activists and advocates from the CHANGE Illinois Action Fund and The People’s Map commission today to launch a citywide referendum campaign aimed at putting power in the hands of the people to determine what the city’s ward map will look like for the next 10 years.

The People’s Coalition Map, a partnership born out of the Coalition Map and The People’s Map, is a ward map that reflects the population of the city and works to keep more communities whole so the people of Chicago can have representation that works for them, from those who understand their communities best.

“The People’s Coalition Map aligns with the Voting Rights Act and responds to robust community input,” Chaundra Van Dyk of the CHANGE Illinois Action Fund said. “This map keeps wards compact, helping voters to hold their alderpeople accountable, and that’s what the vast majority of residents told us they want.”

The People’s Coalition Map is the only map that follows U.S. Census data and accurately reflects the city’s changing population, creating 16 Black majority wards, 15 Latino majority wards, 3 majority-minority wards, and for the first time a 51 percent Asian majority ward.

“As of today, both the City map and The People’s Coalition Map have 16 majority Black wards,” Ald. Susan Sadlowski-Garza (10th) said. “The issue at stake here is keeping communities whole—not splintering communities into multiple wards— and following the data to accurately represent all of Chicago’s minority communities including Latinos and Asians.”

The People’s Coalition Map includes the first Asian-majority ward to reflect the City’s Asian-American population.

“There has never been an Asian City Council member from the Chinatown community,” community member Phan Le said. “Part of the reason for this lack of representation is because Chinatown has been sliced and diced, reducing our voice, but now we have a real opportunity to change that.”

The People’s Coalition Map will launch a full-scale referendum campaign leading up to the Illinois Primary Election on June 28, when the question about the remap will be presented to voters.

“We’re proud to expand our coalition and bring this fight to the people because, at the end of the day, the people should choose their City Council Alderpeople — Alderpeople shouldn’t choose their voters,” said Ald. Gil Villegas (36th), chairman of the Chicago City Council Latino Caucus. “The time is now to stop a pattern of backroom deals and put the power back in the hands of the people.”

The People’s Coalition Map includes the following, based on community input:

  • Strengthens Englewood’s representation by configuring it into two wards, instead of the
    current six, splitting it by the boundaries of the Englewood and West Englewood
    community areas
  • Keeps an Asian-majority in Chinatown, thus creating the first ever Asian-majority ward.
  • Retains Austin’s Chicago Avenue corridor in the same ward as South Austin
  • Reconfigures the Woodlawn ward to reflect The People’s Map’s respective boundaries
    and to keep the Woodlawn neighborhood and Washington Park in the same ward.
  • Changes the 16th, 20th, 5th, 37th, 29th, and 28th wards to align with the ward
    boundaries in The People’s Map.

The updated map is linked here. The People’s Coalition Map is endorsed by:

CHANGE Illinois, The CHANGE Illinois Action Fund and The People’s Map Commission
Ald. Daniel LaSpata (1st)
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd)
Ald. Anthony Beale (9th)
Ald. Susan Sadlowski-Garza (10th)
Ald. George Cardenas (12th)
Ald. Ray Lopez (15th)
Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22nd)
Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd)
Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th)
Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th)
Ald. Felix Cardona (31st)
Ald. Rossana Rodriguez (33rd)
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th)
Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th)
Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th)