Hyde Park is largely divided between the 4th and 5th Wards. The line runs along 55th Street, Lake Park Avenue, and 53rd Street. The redistricting may, or may not, put all or more of Hyde Park in the 4th Ward (Ald. Will Burns), the 20th (Ald. Willie Cochran), the 7th (Ald. Sandi Jackson), or 3rd (Ald. Pat Dowell). Any of these four Aldermen hold promise be an improvement, if for no other reasons than that they seem inclined to get things done, and confront buffeting winds when necessary.
The remap process, of course, is a contest of self-interest among the 50 Aldermen. Beyond the legal requirements of contiguity within wards and substantially equal populations among wards, the boundary lines are allowed to wiggle and twist, so that wards can acquire all manner of bizarre arms and tentacles. Take a look at the current Chicago ward map at www.cityofchicago.org and click on Chicago Government.
The new boundaries won’t take effect immediately, but it’s likely the incumbents will run again. It’s not too hard to believe that future Aldermen representing Hyde Park will have drawn the short straw. Hyde Park is known to exhibit all manner of silliness, obstructionism, hysteria and outright craziness over all matters big and small. Among the Aldermen themselves, the question may be: do they want us?