Redistricting Overview

Every ten years following the decennial census, a special County Board committee for redistricting reviews and where necessary adjusts the lines of the 17 Cook County Board of Commissioner legislative districts to conform to U.S. and Illinois statutes on voting and fair representation. 

In accordance with Section 2-109 of the Cook County Code of Ordinances, a special committee of the Board of Commissioners was established by Resolution on January 28, 2021 to review the 2020 U.S. Census data upon receipt and to make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners for new County Board legislative district boundaries. The special committee is known as the “2020 Census Redistricting Committee” and is comprised of all 17 members of the County Board. The 2020 Census Redistricting Committee is chaired by Cook County Board Commissioner Deborah Sims, 5th District; Chairperson Sims previously chaired the 2012 redistricting committee following the 2010 U.S. Census.  Commissioner Peter Silvestri, 9th District, and Commissioner Luis Arroyo, Jr, 8th District, serve as Vice-Chairs of the 2020 Census Redistricting Committee.

 

Redistricting Process

Though the 2020 U.S. Census results are not scheduled to be released until August 2021, in order to ensure timely completion of redistricting for the County Board, on January 28, 2021, the Redistricting Committee pursuant to Resolution 21-1196 is conducting with the assistance of the public a review of the County Board legislative district boundaries. 

The Redistricting Committee is charged with considering plans of 17 single-member districts and to recommend one plan for adoption by the County Board. The plan recommended to the County Board shall comply with all applicable federal and state constitutional and statutory requirements.

Chairperson Sims, following consultation with Vice-Chairs Silvestri and Arroyo, shall establish and post guidelines for public access of redistricting services and ensure the guidelines provide opportunities for all individuals and groups who wish to convey their ideas on redistricting to the Redistricting Committee but who otherwise do not have the technical resources to support their efforts. The guidelines will include the process for the public to access computer hardware, software and technical staff. Accommodations will be made for remote participation by the public in lieu of on-site public access. Those accommodations will be posted on this website.

The Redistricting Committee will conduct at least three hearings to gather public testimony on re-districting matters. These hearings will occur in advance of the Redistricting Committee assembling a full plan for consideration. Those wishing to participate are urged to address among other matters issues of communities of interest. A schedule of these public hearings will be announced and published by the Chair on this page as well as at https://cook-county.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx. These meetings may be conducted remotely.

 

Population Data

Pending the release of official Census data used in redistricting, the Redistricting Committee and the public accessing the County’s redistricting hardware and software will use data from the American Community Survey 2019 5-year data release and from ESRI’s 2020 estimates to inform redistricting activities. The map introduced to the Redistricting Committee for final action will be based on official Census data.

Demographic Data

Updated population and demographic information based on the 2020 Census. Click on the following link: https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:9b44d688-165d-4948-b82f-cdcd08349442

Information on demographic data, including County and District Demographics can be viewed here: https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:f57f7300-d83c-4890-8987-4b58d87b2b30

Map Submissions and Drawing

Members of the public are encouraged to participate in the redistricting process via the public hearings as well as submit redistricting maps for Redistricting Committee review. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, appointments to visit the map room must be made by appointment. Members of the public may schedule an appointment via email with Cook County’s redistricting team at Cookredistricting2020@cookcountyil.gov to draw a map or review the drawing process in the County’s map room at 118 N. Clark Street, 4th Floor, Room 4A, Chicago, IL60602. 

The public may also design their own maps at app.MyDistricting.com/legdistricting/cook_county. This website is owned and operated by Citygate GIS and is a service offered by and paid for by Cook County. Members of the public may draw a single district, a combination of districts or a complete map. When drawing a partial or complete map, you may elect to start with the existing map of Cook County Commissioner districts or with a blank slate. You will use the same basic data that the Cook County Redistricting Committee is using. These are a combination of data from the American Community Survey (ACS – 2015-2019) and ESRI, a commercial vendor. Please read the Terms of Use here.

You will be required to register to use the MyDistricting site at MyDistricting.com. You will need a valid email address. The Redistricting Committee staff is available to help during normal business hours. They can be reached at 312-603-2838 or at CookRedistricting2020@CookCountyIl.gov. We encourage you to view this generic help video before starting. Draft maps by the Redistricting staff will be posted on MyDistricting.com. You will be able to offer your thoughts and comments about these maps.

All original plans produced by the public will be due as noted in the Schedule provided here and approved by the Redistricting Committee on May 19, 2021. A plan may describe a single district or a combination of districts. The public is encouraged to propose plans that incorporate all 17 districts. Any plan submitted to the Redistricting Committee shall include 19 copies of the following information (one copy will remain in the Redistricting Committee file, one copy will be submitted to the Secretary of the Board for public inspection, and one copy will be provided to each member of the Redistricting Committee):

  • The plan must be drawn as a map, showing the boundaries of the proposed district or districts, township boundaries, the limits of the City of Chicago, the names of major streets, roads, highways or physical features defining the boundaries of the proposed district or districts.
  • A statistical summary for each existing or proposed district providing:
    • Total population and voting age population;
    • The number of African-American and African-American voting age population;
    • The number of Hispanic and Hispanic voting age population;
    • The number of Asian and Asian voting age population.
    • A written explanation as to how communities of interest are addressed.
    • A list of townships and municipalities (or portions thereof) in each proposed district.
    • A written description of each proposed district by census tract and block.
    • A districting impact statement explaining how the proposed plan satisfies the requirements of the United States and Illinois Constitutions and relevant federal and state statutes (and, specifically, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended).

 

Comments and Questions

Comments and questions regarding the redistricting process, map drawing or map submissions may be directed to Cookredistricting2020@cookcountyil.gov.