Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



Cook County seeks map suggestions

Monday, April 30, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by RONNIE WACHTER

Not many Cook County residents spend time studying the boundaries of the Board of Commissioners’ districts; of those who have, some may deduce the misshapen outlines are the scribblings of a second-grader.

They are, in fact, the labor of a professional map-drawing consultant, whom the county has brought back to the drawing board. This time, he would like some help from the public.

“Rather screwy,” was how Peter Creticos described the appearance of a few of the districts he designed in the current Cook County district map.

“The first order of business is to address issues of the Voting Rights Act,” which he told an audience last week forced some odd-looking layouts.

The county held meetings in a variety of locations around Chicago and the suburbs in April and this week, seeking public input for a new district map before Creticos draws a new one. Just as the 2010 U.S. Census data mandated boundary changes for state and federal elected officials’ districts, the county is redrawing its representatives’ lines — a task complicated by the fact that Chicago is, in terms of race and nation of origin, possibly the most diverse, yet segregated, city in the nation.

“It looks like you dropped spaghetti on Cook County,” said Creticos, a policy consultant and the man who took credit for dropping the spaghetti in the current model. “It’s not something that everybody’s going to feel very happy about at the end.”

What the next map will be is undefined. Creticos did not present any drafts, and press releases from the county in April asked residents to create suggestions that included all 17 districts and the entire county. The existing map went into effect on Sept. 6, 2001.

The new census reports that Cook County’s population dropped slightly in the ‘00s, shrinking from 5.38 million to 5.19 million people. Urban Districts 1, 4 and 8 were the hardest-hit, losing a combined 102,632 people, while most suburban regions showed small gains.

Cook’s racial divisions remained in 2010. Chicago is a patchwork of neighborhoods, where more than 50 percent of the area’s population is a single ethnicity, either African-American, Hispanic or Asian — and in some cases, more than 65 percent. In the suburbs, most sections are more than 65 percent white, with the exceptions mainly being the forest preserve areas and a few Asian and Hispanic enclaves.

Such hard divisions create headaches for district-definers, Creticos said. The Voting Rights Act and other laws mandate that racially-defined communities be kept together in ward maps. When he drew the current map more than a decade ago, Creticos began by placing District 1 in the inner city, and worked his way out.

Those constraints, he said, are why he had to turn the South and West sides’ Districts 6 and 16 into Tetris-on-steroids shapes, and how the west suburbs’ District 17 became …whatever it is.

Maine Township Democratic Committeewoman Laura Murphy attended one of last week’s meetings, and said it was wrong for the suburbs to receive last consideration and, thus, bizarre districts that link unrelated municipalities. She noted Maine Township is split into three wards, grouping some of her neighbors with Buffalo Grove and others with Hinsdale.

“You have to redesign the 17th District,” Murphy said. “I’m trying to get one person to cover my township.”

The county had set a deadline for public map submissions of May 1, but last week pushed that back to an undetermined date. Regardless of how much advice he gets, Creticos said the laws remain the same, and spaghetti may fall on the suburbs again.

“The growth is in the north, and so you see this sort of squeezing effect,” he said. “Seventeen, with apologies to everybody, is what happens.”



Recent Headlines

System News
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ News

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

Women Jail Guards Say Sheriff’s Department Tolerated Sexual Harassment By Cook County Inmates
Monday, May 06, 2019
WBEZ Chicago public Radio

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP