Members of the City Council's Latino Caucus today say they will submit their own plan to redraw Chicago's wards Thursday if last-ditch negotiations fail to achieve a compromise agreeable to them and groups of white and African-American aldermen.
After weeks of marathon closed-door sessions to realign Chicago's 50 wards in light of 2010 census data that shows Hispanic population gains and white and African-American losses, Latino City Council members and their allies said the time has come to push the effort toward a vote.
Several aldermen emerged from a meeting this afternoon to say they had agreed to give Ald. Richard Mell, 33rd -- who is heading up the remap effort -- until 10:30 a.m. Thursday to try to broker a deal. After that, they said they will submit a map to the City Clerk's Office that creates 13 wards with majority Hispanic populations and three other wards with substantial "Latino influence" populations.
There are currently 10 Chicago wards with majority Latino populations.
Latino caucus Chairman Ald. Daniel Solis, 25th, said his allies are getting frustrated with the slow pace of the negotiations, which feature African-American aldermen fighting to keep most of their 19 seats despite numbers that show 181,000 fewer African-Americans in the city while Latino population increased.
"We would like them to move a little bit faster, and get a clearer presentation of the wards, and what the percentages would be in each ward," Solis said.