A first-of-its-kind candidate survey on Chicago ward remapping

Following its work to model a better way to draw ward boundaries with its Chicago Advisory Redistricting Commission, CHANGE Illinois joined forces with 12 other community organizations to sponsor a first-of-its-kind ward remapping survey of Chicago mayoral and aldermanic candidates so residents could know where candidates stand before casting ballots.

The organizations sponsoring the survey want to see future ward mapping focused on the needs of people in communities across Chicago. Those organizations are: Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Chicago Urban League, CHANGE Illinois, the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community, Common Cause Illinois, Hispanic Federation, the Illinois Alliance for Reentry and Justice, Independent Voters of Illinois – Independent Precinct Organization, the Latino Policy Forum, the Muslim Civic Coalition, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Resident Association of Greater Englewood, and the Union League Club of Chicago. 

In 2021 and 2022, Chicagoans witnessed, for the first time, hope for a new path forward in drawing ward boundaries. The People’s Map, the independent ward map created by the diverse, resident-centered Chicago Advisory Redistricting Commission, proved that an open-sourced, transparent, and equitable option is possible to offer Chicagoans a better choice for future ward remaps. This effort demonstrated that the old “Chicago Way” is not the only way.

Our city has the opportunity to be a national leader by instituting a more democratic redistricting process that centers the needs of Chicagoans and their communities over the needs of incumbents. Voters should be the ones electing their leaders; elected officials should not be selecting their voters by drawing their own ward boundaries.

For the 2023 municipal election, we asked candidates where they stand on an independent resident-led Chicago ward mapping process. A majority of candidates agreed to participate and most also agreed that the process needs reform to empower residents and prioritize their needs and concerns. 

Take a look at what the mayoral and aldermanic candidates had to say about ward mapping and related concerns here.

Ward maps changed significantly last year, so make sure you double check which ward you will be voting in during the February 28, 2023 primary election and the April 4, 2023 runoff, should there be a need for one. Candidates elected will begin serving in early May.