mid-decade, demographic trends in Chicago, as
revealed by the 2000 census, have accelerated. By
2010 the city's population will consist of more
whites, many more Hispanics, and fewer blacks.
the city's white population is exploding in the
South Loop, Dearborn Park and Chinatown, as well
as westward from the University of
Illinois-Chicago/medical center complex along the
Eisenhower Expressway, all the way Garfield Park,
at Pulaski and Madison. Like squeezing a tube of
toothpaste, blacks are being pushed out of those
the city's Hispanic population, exploding along
the Grand Avenue corridor on the northwest and in
the southwest corridor between Ogden and Archer
avenues, is pushing blacks out of those areas. New
Hispanic-majority wards will surely be created on
both the Northwest Side, around Belmont-Central
and Cragin, and on the Southwest Side.
the wards around Midway Airport on the Southwest
Side controlled by former U.S. representative Bill
Lipinski and Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan,
the 23rd and 13th wards, respectively, have
growing Hispanic populations. The east end of
Madigan's ward, west of Central Park, between 55th
and 83rd, is now heavily Hispanic, as is the north
part of Lipinski's ward, north of 51st around
Laramie. Within a decade, a Hispanic ward will
have to be carved out of those two wards, now
represented by white aldermen Mike Zalewski (23rd)
and Frank Olivo (13th).
fourth, the gentrification of Rogers Park, replete
with upscale condominiums, usually from
conversions of apartment buildings, is pushing
minorities out of the area north of Devon and east
of Damen and into Evanston and Skokie. The black
population north of has been almost totally
Chicago's 50 aldermen, that's both bad news and
good news. The bad new is that some will be
running in demographically changing wards in 2007
and 2011, facing difficult re-election races. The
good news is that they'll be running within the
same boundaries in both 2007 and 2011, and they
won't face the prospect of a reconfigured ward
until 2015, because the results of the 2010 census
won't be available until mid-2011, the filing
deadline for the 2011 city election is December
2010, and the 2011 election will be in February.
present, the city has 19 black aldermen with 20
black-majority wards, eight Hispanic aldermen with
10 Hispanic-majority wards, and 23 white aldermen
with 20 white-majority wards. That will change.
black-majority wards are undergoing major
demographic upheaval: The Near South Side 2nd Ward
and the West Side 24th Ward have growing white
populations, and the Far West Side 37th Ward and
29th Ward have growing Hispanic populations. So,
too, are some white areas. On the Northwest Side,
the wards of white Aldermen Tom Allen (38th), Bill
Banks (36th) and Dick Mell (33rd) also have
growing Hispanic populations.
Chicago's wards are redrawn after the 2010 census,
the city likely will have two fewer black
aldermen, four more Hispanic aldermen and two
fewer white aldermen. One possible casualty is
Allen, since the east end of his 38th Ward, north
of Belmont between Narragansett and Cicero, is
increasingly Hispanic, as is the northeast corner
of Banks' ward, north of Fullerton and east of
Harlem. That area will constitute part of a new
Hispanic-majority ward, which will result in the
white areas of Banks' and Allen's wards being
consolidated into a new white-majority ward.
Should that occur, Banks, the City Council Zoning
Committee chairman, would be favored to beat
in jeopardy is Alderman Emma Mitts (37th). Her
black-majority ward, in east Austin and West
Garfield Park, which extends from Central to
Pulaski, between Chicago and Fullerton, but south
of Grand, has a growing Hispanic population,
particularly along the Grand Avenue corridor. In
2003, against four opponents, Mitts won with 73
percent of the vote.
same trend is occurring in the predominantly black
29th Ward, represented by Alderman Ike Carothers.
The ward, in west Austin, extends from Roosevelt
to Belmont, between roughly Austin and Laramie,
but jogs west to Narragansett north of North
Avenue. The north part of the ward, north of
Fullerton, is now Hispanic. In 2003, against two
foes, one being white, Carothers got 75 percent of
from the 38th, 36th, 37th and 29th wards will be
more than enough to populate a new
Hispanic-majority ward. That would mean putting
Mitts and Carothers in a new black-majority ward,
with Carothers favored to win.
black wards that are trending toward a white
majority are the 2nd, represented by Alderman
Madeline Haithcock, and the 24th, represented by
Alderman Mike Chandler, both of whom are black.
The 2nd Ward includes the South Loop, encompassing
Dearborn Park, Chinatown, Soldier Field and
McCormick Place, and extends from Pershing north
to Balbo, and hooks west to Sacramento, running
along the Eisenhower Expressway.
2nd and 24th wards take in the entire Eisenhower
Expressway corridor, all the way west from
Michigan Avenue to Laramie. That corridor, from
the Loop and the UIC/medical center complex
westward, stretching as far north as Madison and
as far south as Roosevelt, has been gentrified,
with minority housing being demolished and
replaced. New $400,000-plus homes, usually
two-story cinderblock fortresses, have been built,
and they are inhabited mainly by whites. From the
United Center, at Damen and Madison, to Garfield
Park, between Kedzie at Pulaski along Madison, the
white population is growing.
24th Ward's North Lawndale area, extending from
California to the city limits, between Cermak and
Jackson, was nearly all black as recently as the
early 1990s. Now the white population is growing
in the north end and the Hispanic population is
growing in the south end, with Hispanics expanding
north of Cermak and west from Douglas Park.
2nd Ward, taking in the Near South Side and parts
of Armour Square and Douglas, is now more than 30
percent white. A decade ago upscale condominiums
and townhomes were being built as far south as
11th and State; now they're as far south as 18th
Street, and soon they will be encroaching on
Bronzeville, at 26th Street. The ward's
committeeman since 1984 is U.S. Representative
Bobby Rush (D-1), who engineered Haithcock's
appointment to succeed him as alderman in 1993.
They have since become estranged, and Rush refused
to endorse her in both 1999 and 2003. Haithcock
won with 64 percent of the vote in 1999, with
Rush's sister-in-law getting just 18 percent, and
Haithcock got 55 percent of the vote in 2003, with
a white candidate getting 20 percent. A black
candidate who appeals to white voters could win
this seat in 2007.
the post-2010 remap, the Hispanic majority in the
south portion of the 24th Ward will surely be
added to the adjacent 22nd Ward (Cermak to
Pershing, west of Kedzie), in South Lawndale.
Chandler won with just 53 percent of the vote in
2003, way down from his 77 percent in 1999. As in
the 2nd Ward, a black candidate who appeals to
Hispanic and white voters or a white or Hispanic
who appeals to blacks could upset Chandler in
keep a black majority in the 24th Ward, it would
have to move east to take in some of the west part
of the 2nd Ward, which is the area between 16th
and Harrison, between Racine and Western. And if
that occurs, the 2nd Ward would become even less
black. In fact, a white-majority ward could be
created from the north part of the 2nd Ward,
extending west along the Eisenhower to Garfield
Park. That, however, is politically impractical.
So what will occur is the creation of two black
wards with large white minorities, in which a
white candidate could win, if not in 2015, then
Ed Burke's South Side 14th Ward, around Brighton
Park, Gage Park and Archer Heights, is already
overwhelmingly Hispanic. Burke's political and
monetary clout have kept him insulated from a
Hispanic challenger, but that may not persist into
the next decade. In the Far South Side 10th Ward,
encompassing Hegewisch and South Deering, south of
83rd Street and east of the Calumet Expressway,
Alderman John Pope also is secure, even though the
ward is more than 60 percent Hispanic.
the same can't be said of the 13th and 23rd wards.
In any post-2010 remap, the territory in those two
wards would be divided, with one being a
Hispanic-majority ward and with Olivo and Zalewski
put in the white-majority ward.
bottom line: The 2000 census put Chicago's
population at 2.9 million, breaking down as 42
percent white, 37 percent black and 21 percent
Hispanic. Hispanic population growth will lift the
city's population to more than 3 million by 2010.
Because of central city development, white
population will increase slightly, and because of
Hispanic expansion into heretofore black areas,
the city's black population will decline.