illinois Digital News

Town halls planned as Evanston tackles ward remapping


Evanston officials say they’ve seen smaller-than-expected turnouts at recent town hall meetings over the past few months, including a recent one where residents were invited to weigh in on the City’s next police chief.

Members of the city’s newly-constituted Redistricting Committee are hoping to reverse that trend in a pair of meetings coming up seeking comment on the remapping of the city’s ward boundaries.

Nicholas Cummings, the city’s corporation counsel, reviews some of the criteria that could come into play in the city’s first large-scale ward remapping since 2003. Credit: Photo by Bob Seidenberg

The City is inviting residents to participate online in virtual town hall sessions tentatively planned for July 13 in English and July 20 in Spanish, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

As with the police chief search, the remapping of the city’s ward boundaries is not an everyday thing — the last real remapping took place in 2003.

But the exercise promises to be a challenging one, with officials trying to balance population across Evanston’s nine wards with the city seeing a population increase of 3,624 residents, according to the 2020 Census.

Furthermore, citizen feedback could be key, with even small shifts in ward boundaries having the potential to affect long-term constituencies and their influence on City decisions.

Criteria for remapping

Currently, the wards are showing a 20.4% difference between the largest ward, the 3rd, and smallest, the 9th, according to 2020 census figures.

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