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Back Of The Yards Residents Want One Alderman, Not Five

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roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Community activists in the Back of the Yards neighborhood says they’re not asking for much. They want one alderman.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, several hundred community residents rallied in a neighborhood park on Saturday, calling for a single Hispanic-majority ward to represent their community, which has been carved for the past 10 years into corners of five wards — the 3rd, 11th, 12th, 16th and 20th.

While some might see that as a plus, but activist Marco Lopez said it has meant that no aldermen really knows neighborhood issues.

“To whom can residents turn when questions arise that involve city services when there is no clear definition of who is to represent our community at the municipal level,” he said.

Chicago Police Officer Rafal Yanez complained that to get something done, he has to go to the five aldermanic offices, three legislative offices and three congressional offices.

Committee for a Unified Back of the Yards organizer Jose Alfonso said that the City Council’s Hispanic caucus is expected in the coming week to submit proposed ward remap. Alfonso wants the map to push the neighborhood into one ward.

“It’s our hope,” he said.

Community residents fanned out from a community park after meeting with reporters and painted over graffiti.

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