Evanston’s Redistricting Committee voted Tuesday night to recommend a proposed new ward map for adoption by the City Council.

The committee Tuesday discussed, but rejected several last-minute adjustments to the map it had come to consensus on at its April meeting.

The proposed new map

The Redistricting Committee’s final recommended map, with a population deviation of 2.57%. Colors and black lines show proposed new ward boundaries. Grey lines show changes from existing ward boundaries. Thin lines indicate precinct boundaries. Single-digit numbers indicate wards. Other numbers indicate precinct populations.

At that meeting the panel did respond to angry complaints from residents of the Sherman Plaza condominium tower by keeping them in the 1st Ward rather than moving them to the 4th as the committee had previously proposed.

One of several goals the committee set for the redistricting process was to maintain the existing pattern of having three wards in town with a majority of minority residents.

The new map achieves that, showing only minimal shifts in the share of minority residents in the 2nd, 5th and 8th wards.

WardMinority % current mapMinority % new map

However committee members noted that the composition of the minority population of the city as a whole has shifted since the last map was adopted after the 2000 census — with fewer Black residents and more Hispanic and Asian residents.

The new map dramatically reduces the population variation among wards from 20.41% in the current map to just 2.57%.

Committee members said that once the City Council adopts a new map the city will need to undertake extensive publicity efforts to inform voters of the changes.

Committee Chair Jonathan Nieuwsma noted the new ward boundaries won’t be effective until the April 2025 aldermanic election so that until then all residents will still be represented by the same council member that they are now.

The Redistricting Committee wrapped up its meeting by voting to adjourn “sine die” — with no time set to meet again.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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