Mayor Rahm Emanuel has called a special City Council meeting Thursday to consider a new map of the city’s 50 wards, but the aldermen leading the effort to reach a political compromise said the final vote may not come until early next week.
A parliamentary maneuver to put off an immediate vote can be invoked by just two aldermen, Ald. Richard Mell, 33rd, noted Tuesday. If that happened, another meeting would be called for early next week, he said.
Mell spoke after the third of four public hearings on competing proposals put forward by the Black and Latino caucuses and their respective allies. No mention was made of the special meeting, and no details about the compromise taking shape were presented.
After the meeting, Mell went upstairs to meet with other council leaders to discuss final tweaks to the compromise, which would have 18 wards with African American majorities and 13 with Hispanic majorities.
That’s a decrease of one for African Americans, who saw their population numbers drop dramatically during the past decade, and an increase of three for Latinos, who have seen their numbers rise slightly as the city’s black and white populations declined.
Aldermen who face potential political defeat include freshman Nicholas Sposato, 36th, and veterans Michael Zalewski, 23rd, and Toni Foulkes, 15th. All of their wards would become Hispanic majority wards.
Ald. Robert Fioretti, 2nd, would perhaps take the toughest hit, because his ward would be moved from an area South and West of downtown to the mid-North Side. The 11th Ward, ancestral home to the Daley family, also would be dramatically altered.
Mell’s goal is to get at least 41 votes, which would prevent any group of 10 aldermen from proposing an alternate remap plan. If an alternate were proposed, competing maps would be put before voters in a binding referendum.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun