Aldermen Decide on Final “Magic Eye” Ward Map

May 18, 2022

CHICAGO — This Monday, the Chicago City Council voted to ratify the new ward map, a once in a decade redrawing of the political landscape of the city. After rounds of last minute edits, the approved map now functions not only as a map of Chicago’s wards, but also as a “Magic Eye” picture.

“Our goal here was to redraw the Chicago’s wards to address the most recent census data,” said Ald. Michelle Harris, who spearheaded the map redrawing process. “If in addressing those changes we made it so that if you unfocus your eyes you can see a dolphin jumping over the moon, so be it.”

The new map, approved 43-7 at the meeting on Monday, features several large changes to the previous wards, including a controversial change to the 36th ward that redrew the west side district as a seven mile stretch of Grand Ave that in some places is no more than a block wide.

“We understand Ald. [Gilbert] Villegas is upset with how this redrawing process went,” said Ald. Harris, “but if we didn’t have 36 like that it wouldn’t look like the dolphin had a shadow and the ‘jumping over the moon’ aspect of the map would have been less clear.”

“All I am saying,” said Ald. Villegas, who has voiced disapproval of the changes to the 36th ward and views the redrawing as a political attack, “if we’d gone with my idea of making the secret picture a cute puppy-dog, my ward could have been spared.”

Chicago Ward Map 2022 Final

Villegas's map suggestion with puppy dog riding a skateboard.

“Do you think the people living along Grand want to think of themselves as living in a dolphin’s shadow? I can assure you they do not.”

The new map features 16 majority black wards, 14 latino majority wards and chicago’s first asian majority ward, and also includes a trail of stars coming off the dolphin’s tail, accomplished by redrawing the 2nd ward to include seemingly random parts of Gold Coast, Near North Side, and Lincoln Park.

“If there wasn’t a trail of stars coming off the dolphin’s tail it wouldn’t seem like she was jumping into space,” said Harris. “And that was unacceptable to the United Working Families coalition.”

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