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Monday, Jan 30, 2012

* Crain’s

Anyone hoping that Mayor Rahm Emanuel would follow through on campaign promises of openness and transparency in Chicago government has to be disappointed in the ward remap fiasco that unfolded earlier this month. We certainly are.

The city’s ward map is legally mandated to be redrawn and rebalanced every 10 years, an event that is always a juicy opportunity for wheeling and dealing—the kind that usually takes place behind closed doors. Politicians know how to count, after all, and the maps they draw tend to be the kind that can best ensure each incumbent’s re-election. But even by Chicago’s considerable historic standards of backroom back-scratching, this latest effort is an embarrassment.

After a now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t public comment period that lasted just under two hours, the City Council, with the mayor’s acquiescence, rammed through new boundaries that ignore neighborhood history, sever residents’ and small-business owners’ long-standing relationships with City Hall representatives and effectively disenfranchise large swaths of voters by overweighting certain wards at the expense of others.

The result is a twisted mess. The 2nd Ward alone—as noted by Greg Hinz in a delightfully acerbic blog post—is a profile in absurdity, snaking as it does from the Gold Coast to the Clybourn Corridor, hopscotching over the Kennedy Expressway and curling around to encompass much of Ukrainian Village on the West Side.

And here’s the 2nd Ward map…

Have fun.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

68 Comments
  1. - The Captain - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 3:42 am:

    It’s the thing you used to hide behind in Space Invaders, the old Atari game.


  2. - Randolph - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 4:45 am:

    I thought non-gerrymandered districts that suppressed minority representation were illegal?

    Isn’t this just the wave of the future when it comes to demographic mobility in order to get mandated, balanced and proportional representation?


  3. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:26 am:

    “In a world where an ameba and a blob are afraid of their owns shadows, the 2012 Ward Re-Map brings you something so long … and more wandering… than an open microphone for Pat Quinn.

    It’s something so disorganized, the the House HGOP thought it made sense. Yet, it’s something so clever and so ruthless, Speaker Madigan said ‘Not Bad’ when he first saw it.

    It’s called the ‘2nd Ward’, but its’ best known as … ‘The Ward That Wouldn’t Die!’… In election coming near you!”


  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:27 am:

    Sorry, the last one was mine …


  5. - Newsclown - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:27 am:

    “The Rorschach Ward”


  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:43 am:

    “When I turned finger-painted that very same thing in Kindergarden, I had to have a ‘parent-teacher conference’ …”


  7. - Tommydanger - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:43 am:

    I have drawn hundreds of these; but then again I was 9 years old and I was using my Etch a Sketch.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:44 am:

    “When I turned in a finger-painting that looked like thate very same thing in Kindergarden, I had to have a ‘parent-teacher conference’ …”

    sorry …


  9. - muon - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:45 am:

    The new 2nd ward, it’s everywhere you want to be.


  10. - Anon - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:47 am:

    If the top is left, and the bottom right, it looks sort of like Santa pointing his finger. Merry Christmas everybody!


  11. - TimB - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:52 am:

    “If the top is left, and the bottom right, it looks sort of like Santa pointing his finger. Merry Christmas everybody!”

    It looks like a finger alright, but I don’t think that’s Santa!!!


  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:56 am:

    “I see a dog, chasing a ball on a beach, near a hot dog cart with an umbrella, and a goat …”

    “How many of these do I have to guess to get the car?”

    “Now, make it go left … add that great pizza joint … now go down that way … add my dry cleaner … than a sharp left again for my cousin’s house …now turn softly right to add my Parish … and then … Ooh! Ooh! Don’t forget the bakery with the cupcakes …just circle back … now you got it …”

    “In the ‘Never Seen’ journals of Jason Plummer, written during the last general election, we see a candidate who needs to doodle to concentrate… or can’t concentrate, so he doodled.

    On the next page, we see a list of ‘Jason’s Favor-rite Supper Heroes’, listing Mermaid Man and Barnicle Boy first. This ‘Supper Heroes’ list continues for 4 pages, and ends with the words ‘LUNCH - YUMMY!’ and a picture of a Sundae.”


  13. - Wensicia - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:57 am:

    Hey, where are the rest of the pieces to this jigsaw puzzle?


  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:59 am:

    John Madden, “…then Walter Payton went this way, Boom!, then Walter circled back, got a block, Bam!, then went across the field, picked up another block, Doink!, and finally came back to the near side for no gain.”


  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 8:11 am:

    Sorry Rahm, that does NOT look like Maryland …


  16. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 8:22 am:

    Even though many pixels had died on the old Commodore 64 monitor, it could still draw a ward map…


  17. - soccermom - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 8:24 am:

    Does anybody else see the Rock as the Scorpion King?


  18. - Boone Logan Square - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 8:33 am:

    Rebel forces shoot an imperial walker down on Tatooine.


  19. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 8:40 am:

    I thought it looked like the outline of a man riding a Zamboni!

    Illinois Democrats! Keeping secret Gerrymandering alive and raising it to new heights!


  20. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 8:52 am:

    Looks like a salamander to me.


  21. - Dooley Dudright - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:04 am:

    Anon 8:52, you’re right.

    In honor of Massachusetts Governor/U.S. Vice President Elbridge Gerry — call the new Second Ward a “salamander.”

    Take a look at a two hundred year old caricature of the original gerrymander: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Gerry-Mander_Edit.png

    Things never change. Ever.


  22. - jeff - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:08 am:

    How we do Street & San in the city reveals what a joke this ward remap is. Each ward does it seperately. What kind of efficiency of garbage trucks can you have doing pickup in this ward? Adds a lot of cost to taxpayers for political benefit.


  23. - Dirty Red - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:10 am:

    So you’re saying I should expect my shrink to show me the ward map instead of those inkblots from now o0n?


  24. - Jeremiah Jones - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:26 am:

    Say what you want about gerrymandering but no where else in the country do legislators go block by block, almost house by house, deciding who they will represent. This is why Chicagoans are the most civicly engaged people in the nation.

    Rahm doesn’t care about the remap because he’s going to cut the number of alderman in half anyway


  25. - Highland, IL - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:27 am:

    Looks like a lobster.


  26. - Obamas Puppy - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:34 am:

    It’s a spider


  27. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:39 am:

    The venn diagram of the Tin Man’s hat and Elvis’ sideburns.


  28. - zatoichi - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:43 am:

    The little engine that could chugging along.


  29. - xxtofer - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:46 am:

    It’s the Attacking Scorpion!


  30. - train111 - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:51 am:

    I could save you $200 on your car insurance!!

    train111


  31. - I don't want to live in Teabagistan - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:53 am:

    I never got to that level in Space Invaders


  32. - I don't want to live in Teabagistan - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:53 am:

    D’oh. Missed The Captain’s post. Brilliant!


  33. - dupage dan - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:55 am:

    I’m sorry, sir, but this scan shows that your brain tumor is inoperable. I’m afraid it’s terminal. There’s nothing more we can do for you.


  34. - mokenavince - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 9:55 am:

    My physiotherapist has me look at ink blots in a book like this. It looks like Batman.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 10:04 am:

    Gerald Mander, a prominent election law lawyer from the firm Dewey, Cheetum and Howe, testified to the Chicago remap committee about his 2nd Ward he drew, “Let ‘em challenge this district. If I can’t figure out all of it, how the heck are they going to challenge it?”


  36. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 10:06 am:

    This is to keep people from voting because they can’t figure out what Ward they are in.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 10:09 am:

    “Hello Neighbor,

    I am your new 2nd Ward Alderman. If you need anything, please feel free to stop into any of my 7 Ward Satellite Office, throughout the Ward, and let’s be honest, throught the city.”


  38. - MrJM - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 10:27 am:

    Worst. Tetris. EVAR.

    – MrJM


  39. - Ivory-billed Woodpecker - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 10:27 am:

    Looks like a lame duck.


  40. - Former WRMNpolitics - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 10:33 am:

    It used to be -Constituents, Who would you like your Alderman to be?, now it’s Alderman, Who do you want your constituents to be?


  41. - Fed up - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 10:46 am:

    The old second ward was a majority African American ward that was represented that included the south loop and was represented by a white alderman. So in order to ensure aldermanic peace the whole ward was moved North and the south loop was split between two African American wards. In order to pass the map Ald. Fioretti was sacrificed ( no loss in my opinion). But a map like this is what happens when Chicago Dems sit in a back room and play racial politics.


  42. - amalia - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 10:46 am:

    Rahm: No more ward numbers, I want creativity, what are we calling this one?

    Fioretti: Rahm’s middle finger.


  43. - WhyMe - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 10:56 am:

    The negative space just happens to be the image of the “Cat in the Hat”; Coincidence, I think not.


  44. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 11:00 am:

    News You Can Use …

    “Facts of the New 2nd Ward:

    The new 2nd Ward in the city of Chicago touches 39 different IL House Seates, and 13 different IL Senate seats, making it the “kingmaker” of the General Assembly.

    The New 2nd Ward will form the “2nd Ward Caucus”.

    There must be legal counsel present during their caucus, because some believe a Quarum may exist during those meetings, thus the caucus could be breaking the Open Meetings Act.”

    That’s News You Can Use …


  45. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 11:09 am:

    Motion in the ocean (Ooh ah)
    His air hose broke (Hoo ah)
    Lots of trouble (Ooh ah)
    Lots of bubble (Hoo ah)
    He was in a jam (Ooh ah)
    He’s in a giant clam! (Hoo ah)

    Rock, rock
    Rock lobster! (Aaaaaaaaah)
    Down, down! (Aaaaaaah)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UqKRGW6_rw


  46. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 11:15 am:

    Rich … goin’ Mus-Eye-Cal. Very Nice!


  47. - Jake From Elwood - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 11:27 am:

    Is someone giving Ald. Fioretti the bird?
    or perhaps its a QR Code in green ink…


  48. - Small Town Liberal - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    Mayor Emanuel demonstrates how to take the “throw enough mud” approach literally…


  49. - Plutocrat03 - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 11:41 am:

    Looks like what’s left of the skyline after the May summit in Chicago…..


  50. - Ace Matson - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    It’s a robot T-Rex, a monstrous killing machine ready and able to devour all that dare cross its path!!!!!


  51. - Way Way Down Here - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    Love at First Sting?


  52. - GMatts - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 12:13 pm:

    The perfect depiction of the old truth:
    All Politics Is Crooked


  53. - dizzy cow - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 12:38 pm:

    Dude it’s totally transparent look at all the holes you can see right through to other wards.


  54. - Judgment Day - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 12:53 pm:

    We’ve located the Decepticons. They are concealing themselves as the new Aldermanic ward maps.


  55. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 1:00 pm:

    Kinda looks like Eddie Murphy playing the “legless” con man in Trading Places.


  56. - Judgment Day - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 1:00 pm:

    If we can only make this thing three dimensional, we’ve done it! The perfect optical illusion!


  57. - Left Leaner - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 2:05 pm:

    It’s so absurd it’s funny…except to future residents of the 2nd ward that is…there voice in City Hall will effectively become -0.000001


  58. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 2:46 pm:

    This new reptile, the “Fioretti-sacrificus- eliminatus” is a hybred of a Salamander and a cockroach, green, slippery, and is impossible to kill.


  59. - Brady Campaign - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 2:51 pm:

    It looks like some new assault map we need to ban.


  60. - Kerfuffle - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 3:23 pm:

    Looks like something I could scan to get a free ride on the L.


  61. - reggie - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 3:33 pm:

    Geometry 101—”the is a diagram of a perfect square,as drawn the Chicago Way”.


  62. - JBilla - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 6:37 pm:

    All of your bases are belonging to us


  63. - One to the Dome - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:05 pm:

    looks like a game of asteroids


  64. - JBilla - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 7:09 pm:

    Hold on, if you rotate it 90 degrees counter clockwise it is obviously half of Von Kaiser from Mike Tyson Punchout


  65. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 8:02 pm:

    JBilla, you just rotated the image and not your entire monitor, right? Just checking. It is cocktail hour, after all.


  66. - GP3 - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 8:22 pm:

    Seriously Rich…. “This one is for you republicans, you guys are number 1!!”


  67. - Marie - Monday, Jan 30, 12 @ 10:22 pm:

    In the immortal words of the late, great Art Fern, map expert, “go to the Slaussen cut-off and cut off your slaussen.” Or something like.


  68. - TDPurcell - Tuesday, Jan 31, 12 @ 7:53 am:

    The new 2d Ward was patterned after Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s high score on Dig Dug.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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