For Immediate Release
Grace Pai, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
Justin Sia, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
City Council’s new ward map gives stronger voice to Asian American communities in Chinatown and Albany Park.
CHICAGO, IL — May 10, 2022 — Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago applauds Chicago City Council for producing a citywide ward map that creates Chicago’s first Asian American majority ward and unifies Albany Park’s Asian American and immigrant community into one ward.
“Asian American representation in City Hall has been long-overdue,” said Justin Sia, Democracy, Voting Rights, and Redistricting Counsel at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. “Our historic redistricting achievements will allow Asian American voters to have greater influence in local elections and will help elevate the unique issues that impact our community.”
Formerly splintered into multiple wards, Greater Chinatown residents will now be represented by one Alderperson in Chicago’s first Asian American majority ward. “We are thrilled that City Council has created Chicago’s first Asian American majority ward following months of advocacy by community leaders,” said Grace Pai, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. “With Asian Americans making up a majority of Ward 11, the Greater Chinatown community will finally have a unified voice and be able to elect a leader that is accountable to the entire community.” We are especially thankful for Ald. Byron Sigcho Lopez for advocating for the Asian American majority ward. Our redistricting partner organizations included the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community, Pui Tak Center, and Chinese American Service League.
On the north side, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, alongside our redistricting partner organizations, notched another win by successfully advocating for the consolidation of the Asian American and immigrant community in Albany Park into one ward, previously split into three wards. The new Ward 33 boundaries will bolster our community’s influence in City Council by allowing one Alderperson to focus on addressing the unique issues directly affecting Asians and immigrants. We are grateful for Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez for helping lead the effort to consolidate and empower this community. Advancing Justice | Chicago’s redistricting partner organizations included the HANA Center, Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment, and the Cambodian Association of Illinois.
However, City Council failed to unify the vibrant South Asian community in West Ridge into one ward. “We are deeply disappointed that the South Asian community in West Ridge continues to be split across two wards,” said Pai. “Given the fast-growing South Asian population in this area, we are hopeful that Ward 50 could become Chicago’s next Asian American majority ward in 2031.” Advancing Justice | Chicago’s redistricting partner organizations included the South Asian American Policy & Research Institute, the Indo-American Center, and the Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition.
As the Asian American community continues to build political power through this decade and beyond, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago will continue to hold City Council accountable and uplift issues that are important to Asian American communities across Chicago.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity. Learn more at www.advancingjustice-chicago.org.