HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
The Chicago Ward Map Redrawing Game seeks to engage young people in understanding the relationship of the decennial census and redistricting process to political representation.
The Chicago Ward Map Redrawing Game is different from other redistricting games on the web in that the user can play with real political geographies and real demographic data. The game asks the user to redraw municipal Ward boundaries for the City of Chicago using real 2010 block-level PL-94 census data while referencing the actual 2000 Chicago Ward boundaries. There are 5490 census tabulation blocks (in 2010) in the six ward area. Although the real redistricting "game" would assign these 5490 blocks, this number is far too unwieldy for the purposes of this project. These blocks were assigned creating 149 project block groups.
There are four redistricting games to play, which increase in difficulty as you move from Game #1 to Game #4. Each game has a specific goal, but there are rules that apply to all the games.
The Rules of the Game
- Rule #1:
- You must establish population equity, meaning that each Ward must have the same number of constituents. For Chicago, each Ward must have between 51,000 and 57,000 people.
- Rule #2:
- You must maintain contiguity, meaning that each Ward has to contain blocks that touch one another.
- Rule #3:
- You must draw districts that are as compact as possible; strange shapes with long “tails” suggest gerrymandering. It is only acceptable gerrymander if the game asks you to do so.
- Game #1:
- Establish Population Equity. Redraw the six wards so that each ward contains between 51,000 and 57,000 people.
- Game #2:
- Ensure Minority Representation. Redraw the six wards, ensuring that one of the wards has a Black majority and one of the wards has a Hispanic/Latino majority (assume that 55% of a particular racial/ethnic group is enough to elect that group’s candidate). Remember to establish population equity. As a bonus, see if you can redraw the six wards ensuring that two wards have a Black majority and two wards have a Hispanic/Latino majority.
- Game #3:
- Maintain Aldermanic Residency. Redraw the six wards, ensuring that the aldermen will continue to live in their respective wards. Remember to establish population equity. As a bonus, see if you can also ensure minority representation as in Game #2.
- Game #4:
- Gerrymander. Redraw the six wards, gerrymandering one with an Asian majority. Remember to establish population equity.
For more information on how you can play the Chicago Ward Map Redrawing Game in your classroom or for Teacher Facilitation Tips, please contact:
Max Dieber, Director
Urban Data Visualization Lab
College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs
University of Illinois at Chicago
412 S. Peoria, Suite B15
Chicago, IL 60607