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BARNETT v. CITY OF CHICAGO

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION


June 9, 1997

RICHARD BARNETT, et. al., Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, et. al., Defendants, and CAROLE BIALCZAK, et. al., Defendant-Intervenors. MARY BONILLA, et. al., Plaintiffs, v. CITY OF CHICAGO, et. al., Defendants, and CAROLE BIALCZAK, et. al., Defendant-Intervenors.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: DUFF

[EDITOR'S Note: PART 1 OF 2. THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN SPLIT INTO MULTIPLE PARTS ON LEXIS TO ACCOMMODATE ITS LARGE SIZE.]

 MEMORANDUM OPINION

 INTRODUCTION

 A. The Trial Proceedings

 1. The trial of this case lasted for 48 trial days commencing on February 28, 1996 and concluding on August 1, 1996. *fn1" There was a lengthy hiatus in the trial between April 4, 1996 and June 25, 1996 necessitated by a serious injury suffered by the lead trial counsel for the Barnett plaintiffs. The transcript of this trial spanned 8731 pages. The record of this trial also included several hundred exhibits and approximately one thousand pages of deposition designations and counter-designations offered by the parties. *fn2"

 2. The monumental length of this bench trial was necessitated by the complex and tightly fought nature of this case. This case raised numerous difficult and knotty legal and factual issues, the complexity of which was compounded by the issuance of several Supreme Court decisions during the course of trial, which defendants argued altered significantly the scope of § 2 of the Voting Rights Act (the "VRA"). The complexity of this trial was further compounded by this Court's obligation to consider the "totality of the circumstances" in connection with plaintiffs' claim that they have been afforded "less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice." See 42 U.S.C. § 1973. This Court endeavored, to the extent that time permitted, to give the parties extensive leeway in their examinations of witnesses and the admission of evidence in an effort to permit a thorough analysis of the totality of the circumstances. *fn3"

 3. Together the plaintiffs presented 20 witnesses. Plaintiffs' witnesses included six expert witnesses: 1) Prof. Paul Kleppner who testified on behalf of the Bonilla plaintiffs concerning the historical background of the redistricting process; 2) Dr. James Lewis who testified on behalf of the Barnett plaintiffs concerning racial cleavages in City Council voting and the access of minority candidates to campaign funds; 3) Dr. D. Garth Taylor who testified on behalf of the Barnett plaintiffs concerning the diverse communities of interest in the white and African-American communities; 4) Dr. Leobardo Estrada who testified on behalf of the Bonilla plaintiffs concerning the illustrative alternative ward maps prepared in connection with the Bonilla case, the socio-economic characteristics of Chicago's Latino population, the "fragmentation" of the Latino community by Chicago's ward map, and the Latino citizenship rates in Chicago; 5) Professor Alan Lichtman who testified on behalf of the Bonilla plaintiffs concerning racial bloc voting and the cohesiveness of Latino voters, Professor Lichtman also investigated Latino voter turnout and voter registration patterns; 6) Professor Richard Engstrom who testified on behalf of the Barnett plaintiffs concerning racial bloc voting, voter cohesiveness and polarization as they affect African-American voters, the fracturing and packing of African-American communities in the present ward map, and the Barnett illustrative alternative ward maps. In addition to this extensive expert testimony, plaintiffs also presented testimony from many, with some key exceptions, of the persons who played pivotal roles in the remap process. *fn4" The plaintiffs also submitted by designation the deposition testimony of ten witnesses including Aldermen Virginia Rugai, John Buchanan, Burton Natarus, Lorraine Dixon, Michael Wojick, former aldermen Medrano, Fary, Mazzola and Bialczak and Joseph Pindell, an employee of EDS who was responsible for maintaining the computers used by the City in connection with the ward remap process. *fn5"

  4. The defendants presented the testimony of sixteen witnesses. The defendants called two expert witnesses: 1) Professor Norfleet Rives who testified concerning demographic patterns in the City of Chicago, "race-neutral" benchmark maps, fracturing under the current ward map and plaintiffs' illustrative alternative maps, and an estimate of citizenship rates and their effect on minority voting strength; and 2) Professor Ronald E. Weber who testified concerning minority participation in the political process, minority voting cohesion, and whether bloc voting by majority voters usually results in the inability of minority voters to elect their candidates of choice. The defendants called Aldermen Burke, Murphy, Rugai, Mary Ann Smith, and Banks; former Finance Committee staff-members Judge Ruble-Murphy and Kathy Tuite; David Ortiz, a former aldermanic candidate in the 10th Ward; George Atkins, the campaign manager for Alderwoman Helen Schiller of the 46th Ward; Robert Bartell, the President of the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization; Joseph Pindell, a computer technician then employed by EDS; Dr. Solomon Chu, the President of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce; Michael Norkewicz, the chief demographer of the Latino Institute a not-for-profit organization which was involved in developing proposed ward maps for Latino majority wards during the redistricting process. The defendants also called Whitman Soule, a computer technician who assisted the African-American aldermen during the remap process and who assisted in preparing the Barnett illustrative alternative ward maps, and whose testimony was of little or no relevance, as an adverse witness.

 5. The defendants also submitted deposition designations for 23 Barnett plaintiffs or former plaintiffs including the present and former aldermanic plaintiffs and the lay plaintiffs. The defendants also submitted deposition designations for the 4 lay Bonilla plaintiffs and for Juan Andrade, the President of the Midwest/Northeast Voter Registration and Education Project.

 B. The Parties *fn6" and their Claims

 6. This litigation was initially brought by three separate classes of plaintiffs: the Barnett class consisting of several African-American residents and voters in the City of Chicago (92 C 1683); the Smith class consisting of 16 African-American alderman for the City of Chicago (92 C 2104); and the Bonilla class consisting of several Latino residents and voters in the City of Chicago (92 C 2666)(the "Bonilla " plaintiffs). The Barnett and Smith classes have been consolidated and will be referred to collectively as the Barnett class. The Barnett and Bonilla classes have been consolidated for the purposes of discovery, trial, and the possible consideration of a remedial ward map.

 7. Both the Barnett and Bonilla plaintiffs are challenging the boundaries of Chicago's aldermanic districts which were approved by a majority of the voters in the City of Chicago by referendum on March 17, 1992. Both sets of plaintiffs have challenged Chicago's present ward boundaries under § 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1973 et seq., (the "VRA") and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. In capsule summary, both classes of plaintiffs allege that the present ward boundaries were purposefully drawn to, and/or result in, the dilution of African-American and Latino voting strength.

 8. Both the Barnett and Bonilla classes have been certified to include those African-Americans and Latinos "who have been, will be, and/or continue to experience a dilution of their right to vote due to the discriminatory actions, policies, and practices of the defendants as alleged in the plaintiffs' third amended complaint."

 9. The defendants in both consolidated cases are the City of Chicago and the Board of Election Commissioners of Chicago. Additionally, 30 current or former alderman for the City of Chicago have intervened as defendants in both consolidated cases. The majority of the intervening alderman were among the co-sponsors of the current ward map when it went before the voters of the City of Chicago at referendum. The defendants and intervening defendants will hereinafter be referred to collectively as "the defendants."

 10. Having considered the testimony and exhibits presented during the course of the trial, the pleadings, the designated discovery materials, and the parties' written submissions following trial, this Court concludes that plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate either a violation of the VRA, or of their constitutional rights.

 I. FINDINGS OF FACT7

 A. The 1990 Census and the Chicago City Council

 11. The Chicago City Council is composed of 50 alderman each of whom is elected from one of 50 single-member districts. Chicago's aldermen are elected in non-partisan elections every four years. If no aldermanic candidate receives a majority of the votes in the initial round of voting, then a runoff election is held between the top two vote-getters. 65 ILCS 20/21-36.

 12. The most recent aldermanic elections, using the present ward map, were held in February, 1995, with runoff elections held in April, 1995. As a result of these elections, there are presently 24 white, 19 African-American, and 7 Latino aldermen in the City of Chicago.

 13. Pursuant to Illinois law, ward boundaries for Chicago's City Council must be redrawn every ten years, on the basis of the national census within the year after the decennial census. The Illinois Statute requires that the ward remap performed subsequent to the 1990 census be completed on or before December 1st of the year following the decennial census. 65 ILCS 20/21-38.

 14. The statute of the State of Illinois also requires that each ward must be contiguous and compact and the population in each ward must be "as nearly equal as practicable." 65 ILCS 20/21-36. Given the total population of Chicago, as tabulated by the 1990 Census, the target ward population, if each ward is equally populated, is 55,675 persons.

 15. Census data for the City of Chicago was released on February 11, 1991. The data released on that date constitutes the official tabulation of the population of the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago pursuant to Public Law 94-171. The P.L. 94-171 data constituted the files used in the redistricting process and are produced by the Census Bureau pursuant to its statutory obligations. The P.L. 94-171 files contain data at the block level recorded by race and Latino origin for total and voting-age population. The initial release by the Census Bureau does not contain citizenship data. The Census Bureau's estimates of citizen population were not released until early 1992, after the ward remapping process was complete.

 16. According to the 1990 census, Chicago's population changed significantly between 1980 and 1990. The total population of Chicago fell by 221,286 from 3,005,072 in 1980 to 2,783,726 in 1990. (SX 1,3). The makeup of Chicago's population underwent significant changes as well. The breakdown of Chicago's white, African-American and Latino populations *fn8" were: Whites African-Americans Latinos Total Population 1,056,048 1,074,471 545,852 (TP) in 1990 Increase or (243,509) (122,529) 123,789 (Decrease) in TP from 1980 % of TP in 1990 37.9 38.6 19.6 Change in % of TP -5.3 -.8 5.6 from 1980 Voting Age 897,405 736,560 345,307 Population (VAP) in 1990 VAP in 1980 901,574 764,260 252,077 % of VAP in 1990 43.5 35.7 16.8 % of VAP in 1980 49.8 35.5 11.7

 17. The 1990 census figures also revealed additional information concerning the population patterns in the City of Chicago which information was highly important to the redistricting process. The 1990 census showed that Chicago's then-existing wards were not evenly populated -- wards ranged from as much as 13,100 above the target ward population to 13,400 below the target ward population of 55,675. (SX 2). All the wards in which African-Americans were a majority were underpopulated -- wards 2,3,4, and 20, all of which are on the South Side of Chicago, were each more than 10,000 people below the ideal ward population and wards 5,7,8,16, and 17 all of which are also on the city's South Side were at least 3,500 people short of the target population. The five African-American majority wards on the west side of the city had collectively lost over 73,000 people. Meanwhile, most of the wards with white or Latino majorities or pluralities were populated in excess of the target ward population -- wards 12, 13, 14, 22, 23, 25, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 38,39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, and 50 were all overpopulated. Since Chicago's wards were not evenly populated, the City was required to redraw the ward boundaries.

 18. The census data also revealed that the City of Chicago remains highly segregated. 90% of the City's African-American population lived in census blocks that were at least 50% African-American, chiefly on the City's south and west sides, while 83% of the City's white population lived in census blocks that were at least 50% white, chiefly on the City's north and northwest sides. While the City remained highly segregated, the census data revealed that there was some migration of African-Americans from traditional African-American neighborhoods to white majority and plurality areas. (compare SX 1, SX 3) The white majority areas of the City, correspondingly, were less densely white populated than in the past. The Latino community was not quite as densely concentrated, nonetheless approximately 61% of the Latino community lived in majority Latino census blocks, chiefly on the near-northwest, near-southwest and southeast sides of the city.

 19. Subsequent to the release of the P.L. 94-171 data, and subsequent to the drawing of the ward maps which were submitted to referendum, the Census Bureau released its estimates of the citizen voting age population ("CVAP") of the City of Chicago. The CVAP estimate is not arrived at by means of a canvas of every household in the City, rather it is derived from sample census forms which are mailed to one in every eight households. Based upon the sample data, CVAP estimates are derived at the census block group, rather than the smaller census block level. Based upon the census bureau's estimates, Chicago's CVAP is approximately 45% white, 40% African-American, and 11% Latino. (DX 509).

 20. Plaintiffs ask this Court to adjust the census figures for the alleged undercount of minority members, chiefly African-Americans. This Court, however, has already ruled and this Circuit has already rejected claims seeking to force an adjustment of the census data to reflect the minority undercount. Tucker v. United States Dept. of Commerce, 958 F.2d 1411 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 953, 113 S. Ct. 407, 121 L. Ed. 2d 332 (1992). Even accepting the likelihood that there was an undercount of minorities, the official census count nonetheless constituted the statutory basis for drawing the Chicago ward map. Furthermore, this Court has been presented with no basis for a statistical adjustment for the undercount which would necessarily improve the accuracy of the census count. This Court, therefore, will not adjust the official census count. This Court recognizes, however, that within the constraints of Illinois' statutory requirements that ward populations be "as nearly equal as practicable" the drawers of the ward map can adjust for a perceived undercount by "underpopulating" areas where an undercount occurred and "overpopulating" other areas *fn9" or by a skillful drawing of boundary lines so as to include majority populations in majority-minority wards.

 B. The Ketchum Litigation

 21. Defendants ask this Court to make detailed findings and conclusions relating to the litigation and eventual settlement arrived at as a result of the 1981 ward redistricting. See Ketchum v. Byrne, 740 F.2d 1398 (7th Cir. 1984); on remand, Ketchum v. City Council, 630 F. Supp. 551 (N.D. Ill. 1985). This Court rejects defendants' invitation to find that the current ward map is presumptively legal because of what happened during the course of the Ketchum litigation. First and foremost, Ketchum was decided on the basis of the 1980 census and the manner in which the population of the City was distributed at that time -- the population of Chicago is simply not distributed in the same manner as it was in 1980 and this Court must make its findings based upon the factual situation in Chicago as it existed in 1990, following the legal standards as set forth in the relevant authority including Ketchum. *fn10"

 22. Furthermore, several of the findings made in Ketchum which might well bear revisiting based upon the facts presented before this Court. First, while the District Court approved the map of the 18th ward as agreed upon in the Ketchum settlement, the boundaries of the 18th ward must be reviewed by this Court in the light of the population shifts in that area and the record of election results and minority access to the political process presented at trial. The 18th ward did not have to be reconfigured in order to correct retrogression. Ketchum, 630 F. Supp. at 562. Second, the Ketchum era 18th ward was drawn as a "horse race" ward and this Court must review the record to determine whether the race has proved to be unequal. Id. Third, whether minority voters are packed or fractured is an extremely fact specific analysis dependent upon the present population patterns and minority access to the political process, not upon the factual record of the prior litigation. Fourth, Ketchum posited a 65% rule of thumb as the population percentage necessary to constitute an effective minority ward, an estimate which was necessitated by the unreliability of the data then available. Ketchum, 740 F.2d at 1416. Additionally, the map approved in the final District Court order in Ketchum was a compromise map -- it was not necessarily a complete vindication of plaintiffs' rights. It is, of course, beyond dispute that the final Ketchum map is relevant insofar as it was the map that was in place, and thus acted as a template, when the redistricting process began in 1991.

 23. Under the Ketchum ward boundaries, based upon the 1990 census total-population figures, there were 16 wards with white majorities, 20 with African-American majorities, 6 wards with Latino majorities, and 8 wards with no racial or ethnic group constituting a majority. Using voting-age population as a measure, there were 20 white majority wards, 20 African-American majority wards, 4 Latino majority wards, and 6 wards with no racial or ethnic group constituting a majority. (SX 3). In the elections taking place in February and April 1991, which utilized the Ketchum ward map, 28 white, 18 African-American, and 4 Latino alderman were elected to the City Council. The alderman elected in the 1991 elections bore the statutory duty to redistrict Chicago's ward boundaries.

 C. The 1991 Redistricting Process

 1. General Overview

 24. This Court heard extensive testimony concerning the process of redrawing Chicago's ward map in 1991, including testimony concerning the negotiations, political alliances, and cleavages, which affected the remap process. This testimony, which frequently touched upon purely political questions concerning the leadership style and personality of various leaders of the Chicago City Council, invited this Court to inspect processes which courts are properly loathe to consider. It would be improper for this Court, or any other, to attempt to take politics out of legislative redistricting, even if it is the most common politics of rewarding one's allies and punishing one's adversaries. The redistricting process is intrinsically political and it is impossible to separate the considerations motivating the parties involved in the process from partisan political concerns. While keeping in mind the political nature of the redistricting process, this Court must not lose sight of the purpose of VRA § 2 to ensure that minority members have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.

 25. Despite its reluctance to venture into the political thicket, this Court has considered the history of the 1991 remap process insofar as it is relevant to plaintiffs' intent claims. Additionally, while the process by which the present ward map was drawn is largely irrelevant to the Gingles analysis of plaintiffs' VRA § 2 claims, the process is relevant to this Court's consideration of the totality of the circumstances. The testimony concerning the redistricting process shed much light on the practical concerns motivating the City Council leadership, and the Latino and African-American communities. These practical considerations, such as the low citizenship and registration rates in some segments of the Latino community, guided some of the City's redistricting decisions. In order to have an accurate view of the full extent to which the present ward map might limit minority participation in the political process it is necessary to take into account the prudential, political compromises which were a part of the map-drawing process.

 2. Initial Preparations for the Redistricting

 26. The 1990 census figures were released in February of 1991. At about the same time, Alderman Edward Burke, representing the 14th Ward on the City's southwest side, and chairman of the City Council's Finance Committee, instructed his staff to begin preparing for the redistricting of Chicago's ward map.

 27. Alderman Burke has long been one of the acknowledged leaders of the Chicago City Council and much of this power derives from the traditional importance of his position as Chairman of the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee has the largest budget and professional staff of any committee of the City Council and has jurisdiction over the City's budget. As such, by virtue of his position as chairman of the Finance Committee, Alderman Burke is among the leaders, if not the single most influential figure, in the City Council.

 28. One area where the Finance Committee does not formally exercise jurisdiction is over the decennial redrawing of the Chicago ward map. Redistricting is formally under the jurisdiction of the Rules Committee of the Chicago City Council. The Rules Committee was, and remains, chaired by Alderman Richard Mell of the 33rd Ward.

 29. That the Finance Committee assumed the rule of leading the initial stages of preparation for the remap of the ward map is not indicative of any discriminatory intent. At the time of the redistricting, the Rules Committee had only several people on its full-time staff while the Finance Committee had the largest staff of any City Council committee. The Finance Committee staff also had extensive experience conducting legal research and administering and coordinating sizable citywide projects. The Finance Committee also had the largest budget of any City Council committee, permitting the committee to retain outside consultants and obtain computer equipment using council funds. More than any other agency, the staff members of the Finance Committee were experienced in coordinating and obtaining consultants' and other services. It was not unusual for Finance Committee staffers to assist other committees on projects outside the formal jurisdiction of the Committee. Given these circumstances, it is not surprising that Finance Committee staff members assumed the leading staff responsibilities for the 1991 redistricting. The use of Finance Committee staff members in connection with the redistricting was simply a practical expedient insofar as the staff members of the Finance Committee had the expertise, manpower and budget necessary to coordinate a project as time-consuming and complex as redistricting the Chicago ward map.

 30. Among the Finance Committee staff people assigned to the redistricting was Lisa Ruble Murphy, now a Cook County Circuit Court Judge, who was a long-time employee of the Committee. Judge Ruble-Murphy was given the lead role in connection with the work related to redistricting. Judge Ruble-Murphy quickly assumed the role of the principal map-drawer. In fact, the final ward map was largely Judge Ruble-Murphy's handiwork. She was the only city employee trained to operate the computers used to assist in the map drawing process as well as the only city employee with complete access to the redistricting computer. She was given the task of canvassing and coordinating the desires of the 50 alderman and the relevant community interest groups. Having observed Judge Ruble Murphy on the witness stand for over four days of testimony, this Court found her to be an honest and credible witness who performed the difficult task of coordinating the various competing aldermanic and community interests to the best of her ability while sincerely attempting to draw a ward map that would comply with law and would account for community concerns as fully as possible. Not surprisingly, many parties, including plaintiffs and some of the defendants, were dissatisfied with the map that was finally produced. Also not surprisingly, several alderman testified that they were dissatisfied with their access to the redistricting computer or with Judge Ruble-Murphy's attentiveness to their desires. (Tr. 5153-Preckwinkle; Tr. 5205-Steele; Tillman 9/20/95 Dep. Des. 80). These complaints concerning access to the computers in City Hall were indicative of neither intentional discrimination nor a § 2 violation but were a function of the heavy demands for computer time.

 31. Given the prior history of efforts to draw ward maps for the City and the serious and intensely felt interests at issue in the ward remap process, Alderman Burke and Judge Ruble-Murphy expected at an early date that the map which was eventually approved would likely be the subject of litigation. Accordingly, among Judge Ruble-Murphy's stated objectives as she undertook her responsibilities of coordinating the redistricting was to draw a map that could withstand legal challenge. (Tr. 191-92-Burke). In furtherance of this objective, Judge Ruble-Murphy and her staff conducted an extensive review of the City's previous redistricting efforts and of the relevant legal standards. In the summer of 1991, Judge Ruble-Murphy enlisted several student interns to prepare a number of memoranda summarizing Chicago's demographic and electoral situation, including the changes in the racial and ethnic makeup of Chicago, the minority undercount, and racial differences in voting turnout, participation, and registration. (PJX 24-30). That a redistricter would request reports summarizing these conditions is neither surprising nor indicative of racially-based intent but is simply indicative of the fact that Judge Ruble-Murphy attempted to familiarize herself with the many issues and factors which were relevant to this redistricting process.

 32. One of the first tasks performed by Judge Ruble-Murphy and her staff was to locate and recommend a redistricting consultant to assist the City Council. (Tr. 198,391- Ruble- Murphy). It was anticipated that the consulting firm would provide computers, software to assist with the redistricting, and consulting services. Eventually, two leading consulting firms, were identified, Logistic Systems, Inc. ("LogisSys") and Election Data Services ("EDS"). LogisSys and EDS both submitted bids to provide redistricting support to the City Council.

 33. After comparing the competing bids, Judge Ruble Murphy recommended EDS. (Tr. 407, PJX 6). The reason for this recommendation is a subject of some dispute and plaintiffs have asked this Court to infer that EDS's selection is indicative of defendants' discriminatory intent. This Court declines that invitation. That EDS had previously been involved as a consultant to the City in the 1980 redistricting that culminated in the Ketchum litigation and had also served as a consultant in the state redistricting that culminated in the Rybicki litigation, does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that EDS would prepare a discriminatory ward map. Nor is there anything on the record to suggest that EDS did anything discriminatory during the process or ever acted in a manner other than as a neutral redistricting consultant assisting the City with the application of sophisticated computer technology. Given the City's own history of redistricting litigation and the likelihood that the final ward map would wind up being the subject of litigation, it was reasonable to hire a firm that was experienced and was familiar with Chicago. The record unambiguously establishes that EDS is one of the most prominent and experienced firms presently providing redistricting consulting. While the firms competing with EDS were also extremely well-qualified and included the services of preeminent experts, there is no basis for concluding that EDS was somehow less qualified or independent than any of the competing consulting firms.

 34. Nor can any discriminatory intent be inferred from comparing EDS's bid with competing bids, it is not this Court's role to determine whether EDS was, in fact, the most cost-effective bidder. In any event, Judge Ruble-Murphy's testimony indicates that EDS's more comprehensive bid was ultimately cost-competitive with the ostensibly lower, but less-inclusive, bid submitted by LogisSys. (Tr. 6887-88). Although the initial decision to hire EDS was made in March 1991, a formal contract was not entered into until May, 1991. In any event, the circumstances surrounding EDS retention are of only minimal relevance to plaintiffs' intent claims, since the testimony establishes that EDS provided chiefly technical support to the City during the redistricting process and played no other role in drawing the map eventually approved at referendum.

 35. Defendants attempt to explain their initial preparation for redistricting by referring to the preparation for redistricting and the retention of consultants by various groups of minority alderman and citizen groups. That communities with significant interests at stake during redistricting began preparing for the redistricting process is indicative of nothing save the good sense to recognize that the final contours of the ward map would have significant consequences for the next decade and beyond.

 36. For the purposes of the 1991 redistricting, the Rules Committee of the Chicago City Council was reorganized as a committee-of-the-whole shortly after the April 1991 run-off elections which in essence placed the powers of the entire Council in the Committee. Alderman Richard Mell, of the 33rd Ward, remained chairman of the reconstituted Rules Committee. Aldermen Burke, Lemuel Austin of the 34th Ward, and Luis Gutierrez of the 26th ward were named vice-chairmen of the Committee. Aldermen Mell and Burke are white, Alderman Austin (who is now deceased) was African-American, and Alderman (now Congressman) Gutierrez is Latino. Both Aldermen Austin and Gutierrez were considered to be members of the voting bloc that was viewed as being "allied" with the mayoral administration and the City Council leadership.

 3. Summer and Early Autumn of 1991

 37. The redistricting process began in earnest in the summer of 1991. The events taking place during the summer of 1991 which the parties all contend were relevant include: 1) Alderman Burke's trip to visit EDS's offices in Washington in July; 2) the approval of guidelines governing the redistricting process by the City Council; 3) initial meetings between Aldermen Burke and Patrick Huels, of the 11th Ward, generally considered to be Mayor Daley's spokesman in the City Council, and the other aldermen; 4) meetings among the freshman alderman; 5) the formation of the "Latino Committee for Fair Redistricting (the "Latino Committee"); 6) the formation of the "Fair Map" coalition; 7) issues surrounding aldermanic access to the redistricting computers; 8) the initial maps prepared by Judge Ruble-Murphy; and 9) the extent to which Judge Ruble-Murphy relied upon the initial public hearings. This Court will discuss, in turn, each of these topics, which the parties claim are relevant.

 38. On July 25, 1991, Alderman Burke visited EDS's offices in Washington, D.C. Defendants assert that the purpose of this trip was for Alderman Burke to meet with Kimball Brace, the president of EDS, in order to familiarize himself with the computer equipment and software which EDS was to install in the City in order to assist with the redistricting process. In order to display the features of the redistricting computer, Brace focused on an area with which Alderman Burke was intimately familiar, namely Burke's own 14th ward. (Tr. 224,226-Burke). Nor is it surprising that when Alderman Burke and Brace looked at citywide population figures, they concentrated on Latino population concentrations since even at this early stage of the process, Alderman Burke was aware, given the growth of the Latino community and the declines in the African-American and white populations, that the Latino community was underrepresented and additional Latino-majority wards would have to be drawn. (Tr. 225). At the earliest stages of the process it was evident that additional Latino-majority wards would have to be drawn which, given the limited total pool of 50 wards and the racial calculus intrinsic to the redistricting process in a large city, meant that some other ethnic or racial groups would have to surrender control of several wards The testimony does not indicate that Burke's visit to the EDS offices was an attempt to mastermind the redistricting process. The maps drawn by Alderman Burke at EDS's office are simply an expression of Alderman Burke's general concerns as of late-July 1991.

 39. Also in July, 1991, three Latino Alderman (Gutierrez, Garcia and Suarez) proposed an ordinance for "fair and open redistricting." (PJX 34). The ordinance, as originally introduced, set forth a procedure for conducting the redistricting and contained criteria for re-drawing the ward boundaries. The criteria listed in the proposed ordinance included: 1) population deviations of no more than 10%, 2) compliance with the Voting Rights Act; 3) drawing ward lines so as not to interfere with neighborhoods or communities of common interest except where the community was not significantly large enough to form a voting majority and the boundaries otherwise complied with the Voting Rights Act; 4) drawing the wards as compactly as possible except where it was necessary to draw wards to comply with the Voting Rights Act; 5) prohibiting the drawing of wards intended to separate or pack racial or ethnic groups; 6) drawing the wards in a manner minimizing the sum of the length of the boundaries of all the wards in the City (a rough synonym for compactness); and 7) drawing the wards so that they were contiguous. (PJX 34).

 40. The redistricting ordinance that was eventually adopted did not contain the above-listed criteria. Judge Ruble-Murphy testified that she concurred with the creation of the appearance of an open, unbiased process, and that she supported holding public hearings and making redistricting computer terminals open to the public. (Tr. 471). Judge Ruble-Murphy, however, also advised Alderman Burke against the inclusion of specific criteria for drawing the ward boundaries. Judge Ruble-Murphy was concerned that the appropriate criteria could differ from ward to ward and that the inclusion of specific redistricting criteria would limit the City's flexibility. Judge Ruble-Murphy was also concerned that incorporating specific VRA § 2 requirements in the redistricting ordinance could pose legal redistricting problems for the city in the future. (PJX 32,38).

 41. Judge Ruble-Murphy drafted an alternative redistricting ordinance which was eventually adopted by the City Council. The substitute ordinance provided for public access computer terminals and public hearings. At least one public hearing was to be held after the Rules Committee publicly released its final ward map. The revised redistricting ordinance also contained a more general statement of the appropriate map drawing criteria than the original proposed ordinance, providing that the final ward map "ensure fair and effective representation" of the persons protected by the Voting Rights Act and that "as nearly practicable, each ward shall be of equal population, compact, and contiguous." (PJX 40). The substitute ordinance also provided that should no map be approved by the City Council, thus necessitating that the proposed maps be submitted to a referendum, any ten aldermen could submit a map to referendum. The ordinance drafted by Judge Ruble-Murphy was enacted, with a vote of 43 yeas and 2 nays, by the City Council. (PJX 40).

 42. The criteria set forth in the redistricting ordinance as finally approved, while not as specific as those contained in the original proposed ordinance, do not evidence any discriminatory intent nor do they facilitate the preparation of a ward map that would violate the Voting Rights Act. Rather, the requirements of the Voting Rights Act, along with a brief recapitulation of traditional districting criteria, are adequately encapsulated in the redistricting ordinance in a manner that also prudently permits the City flexibility in drawing the final ward map.

 43. Eventually there were 15 public hearings held at locations throughout the City. There were, however, no public hearings held after the preparation of the maps submitted to referendum since there was no ward map ever approved by the entire Council.

 44. Beginning in August, 1991, each alderman was given the opportunity to meet with the chairman and/or vice-chairmen of the Rules Committee to discuss his or her ward, their expectations for their ward, and the possibility that changes would be made in the ward boundaries. Alderman Huels, who according to testimony, is widely viewed as Mayor Daley's spokesman in the City Council, and Judge Ruble-Murphy also occasionally sat in on these meetings. One of the purposes of these meetings was to build consensus on the contours of a map, because ten dissenting alderman could force a public referendum. (Tr. 240-41, 6854-56 - Burke; Tr. 686-Huels). As several of the more junior aldermen testified, the meetings amounted to being told that they should expect significant changes in their wards and that since the outcome of how the wards would finally be drawn was beyond their control, they should simply go along. (Tr. 3432-Murphy; Tr. 5200-02 - Steele; Wojcik Dep. Des. 86-89; Bialczak Dep. Des. 83).

 45. That some of the white junior aldermen such as Bialczak, Wojcik and Murphy were told at an early stage of the process that their wards would likely be drawn in a manner making their reelection impossible does not indicate that the contours of the final ward map had already been decided nor does it indicate that the leaders of the City Council harbored any discriminatory intent. Even at a very early stage of the remap process, it was reasonably clear that junior members of the City Council would be most likely to have their wards changed significantly in order to respond to the changes in Chicago's demographic patterns. Nor should it be surprising that at an early stage of the process the senior leaders of the City Council would begin exerting pressure on some of the more junior members of the Council to go along with the leadership plan.

 46. In these early meetings, the leadership of the City Council also began gathering information from the aldermen concerning their wards, including the location of ward offices, aldermanic preferences for ward boundaries, aldermanic views as to the core neighborhoods in the wards, important or integral portions of the community such as schools, businesses, community groups, and parish boundaries.

 47. At this stage of the process, when the City Council leadership met with African-American aldermen, Aldermen Burke and Judge Ruble-Murphy took the position that it would likely not be possible to draw additional African-American majority wards. During these initial meetings, Alderman Burke indicated, however, that the Council leadership intended to maintain the same number of African-American majority wards as then existed. (Tr. 6892). While some of Judge Ruble-Murphy's initial attempts at drawing wards with the redistricting computers included additional African-American majority wards, all of these maps contained significant population deviations and were only partial and incomplete maps.

 48. Alderman Burke and the other members of the Council leadership also met with the Latino aldermen. In these meetings, the initial contours of the final plan which included seven Latino supermajority wards and an "influence" district on the southeast side began to take shape.

 49. This Court heard extensive testimony concerning an August 13, 1991 meeting between Alderman Burke and then-Alderman, now State-Senator, Garcia and a memorandum prepared by Senator Garcia in connection with that meeting. (DX 112). Whether this memorandum was Sen. Garcia's agenda for the meeting or the summary of the substance of the meeting or a combination of both is of little relevance. Even if the negotiating position of a prominent member of the Latino community, at a very early stage of the process, was to seek only seven supermajority wards, that would not be of any particular relevance to this Court's VRA § 2 analysis if it finds that the present ward map limits the ability of the Latino community to participate in the political process and elect candidates of their choice. Whether an agenda or a report, the memorandum merely states what would reasonably be the most likely topic of conversation at such a meeting between Aldermen Burke and Garcia at this stage of the process: 1) the likely shape of the 22nd ward, Senator Garcia's ward, under the final ward map; 2) the number of additional Latino wards that would be drawn; 3) how the sizeable Latino community on the southeast side (the southeast side Latino community was not large enough to constitute an effective majority in a single ward, but as of 1991 it was splintered into several wards further diminishing its electoral influence) would be treated; 4) the proper method for passing redistricting legislation; and 5) the possible impact of the redistricting on the African-American community. Even at this nascent stage of the negotiations it was entirely clear that Latino aldermanic representation would increase. Given the finite number of aldermanic seats in the council, Latino representation could be increased only at the expense of white or African-American majority districts.

 50. Even if this memorandum represents Alderman Burke's comments as recorded by Senator Garcia, this memorandum shows that the council leadership at this early date was aware of Latino community concerns and recognized that Latino representation would increase by three supermajority districts at the expense of white majority wards, that the sizeable Latino community on the southeast side of the City should be brought into a single ward, and that African-American representation would remain constant.

 51. In response to the pressure he felt as a first-term Alderman, Alderman Murphy, of the 18th Ward, attempted to organize a coalition of the 10 freshman Alderman crossing racial lines to protect the common interests. After only several meetings, however, the group stopped meeting as coalitions began forming along racial and ethnic lines. (Tr. 3436).

 52. Attempts at forming aldermanic coalitions continued throughout the early phases of the redistricting process. Eventually, the Aldermen coalesced into three chief coalitions formed more or less along racial and ethnic lines.

 53. Recognizing the marked growth of the Latino community in Chicago, the community's concomitant desire for additional representation to reflect that growth, and the value of actively advocating the community's interests in increased representation in the Council and state and federal legislatures, a coalition of Latino public service and community organizations formed the Illinois Latino Committee for Fair Redistricting. ("Latino Committee"). The Latino Committee was composed of broad coalition of educational, legal, and neighborhood organizations including the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund ("MALDEF"), the Latino Institute, and the Midwest/Northeast Voter Registration and Education Project. The Latino Committee was formed in order to advocate the interests of the Latino community in connection with the redistrictings of the City Council, the state legislature, and the Illinois congressional delegation.

 54. For the purposes of the ward redistricting, the Latino Committee and the four Latino alderman agreed to work together to negotiate the number of wards in which Latino voters would be able to elect their candidates of choice. The Latino negotiating strategy was to push for a number of Latino-majority wards which could realistically be achieved through negotiations and would be secure as Latino seats. The Latino Committee also sought the unification of the southeast side Latino community into a single ward.

 55. The Latino aldermen agreed to relinquish their individual views in order to represent and advocate the agreed upon positions of the Latino Committee. (Tr. 1223-Gutierrez; Tr. 1622-Garcia). This Court was impressed by the sincerity and truthfulness of the former aldermen, Congressman Gutierrez and State Senator Garcia, who testified at trial. Although three of the four Latino aldermen were generally considered to be members of the leadership of the City Council, Senator Garcia was not generally considered to be allied with the leadership, the testimony suggests that they, particularly Congressman Gutierrez, worked very hard to put aside their allegiances to their Council allies in order to represent the independent interests of the Latino community. This Court can find no occasion where the allegiance of the Latino aldermen to their majority political allies caused them to disregard the interests of the Latino community. Even though Congressman Gutierrez was then actively seeking higher political office, his ambitions and his search for support in the political establishment did not cause him to contradict the agenda of the Latino Committee.

 56. While the testimony is undisputed that the Latino Committee was extremely energetic and vocal in its representation of the Latino community, and pooled the resources of the various community organizations, the Latino Committee, nonetheless lacked the resources available to the Council leadership. In fact, the Latino Committee was able to make free use of the mapping capabilities of EDS's computers when preparing their proposals for Latino majority wards.

 57. Although defendants attempt to make an issue of the manner in which Latino organizations coalesced around the redistricting drive, this is largely irrelevant to this case. Plaintiffs should not be penalized for their efforts to have a role in the redistricting process. The relevant issue is whether the present ward map limits Latino opportunities to participate in the political process. That the Latino Committee actively pursued the interests of the community is not at issue except to the extent that it is somewhat indicative of the ability of Latino voters to participate in the political process. Of relevance to this Court's consideration of the totality of the circumstances, however, are the practical considerations taken into account during the negotiating process such as the balancing of the desire to maximize Latino wards against the desire to craft wards which would be secure enough to cement Latino political victories.

 58. While the Latino Committee played an influential role in the negotiation process and was courted by the other groups seeking to put together the 41 votes necessary to pass a new ward map in the City Council, the Latino aldermen never constituted a "swing" vote during the redistricting process. Congressman Gutierrez testified that the Latino aldermen exerted a pivotal role in the negotiation process but that they never became a swing vote (Tr. 1977). The simple arithmetic of the City Council made it impossible to characterize the Latino aldermen as a "swing" vote -- 41 votes were needed to avoid submitting a proposed ward map to a referendum, adding the 4 Latino aldermanic votes to any of the other coalitions that had coalesced around the redistricting process would not add up to the 41 votes necessary to ensure victory. Thus, while the 4 Latino aldermen would have been necessary to the formation of a successful coalition and would have played a pivotal role in the redistricting process, they were not, of themselves, sufficient to form a 41 vote coalition with any single identifiable group.

 59. This Court rejects defendants' suggestion that it draw a negative inference based upon plaintiffs' decision not to call additional witnesses who were members of the Latino Committee. Additional testimony would simply have been redundant with that presented before this Court. This Court is satisfied that the members of the Latino Committee who were called to testify, including Congressman Gutierrez and Senator Garcia, were entirely forthright.

 60. As was the case of the formation of the Latino Committee, that most of the African-American aldermen, along with several independent white aldermen, formed a coalition advocating their own interests for the redrawing of Chicago's ward map, is only tangentially relevant to the defense of this case. That the African-American community began its initial preparations for the ward remap process in March or April of 1991 simply indicates that the community was, given the history of past ward remaps, concerned about its role in the process and was eager to defend its rights. That all the plaintiff aldermen were diligent in protecting the rights of their communities under the Voting Rights Act and the equal protection clause in no way excuses any violation of the Voting Rights act or any intentional discrimination which might have been committed by defendants.

 61. One of the keystones to defendants' contention that the 1991 redistricting process was the most open one in the history of Chicago is the computer system installed by EDS which was accessible to the public and the City's aldermen. *fn11"

 62. As part of the City's redistricting guidelines two redistricting computers were made available at City Hall. The computers were provided by EDS. One of the computers was placed in the "map room," Room 3M at City Hall in August, 1991. This computer was intended for the use of aldermen and their staffs. The second computer, which was placed in an easily accessible hallway in the second floor of City Hall was intended to be available to the public (and, of course, the press) and was installed in late September, 1991. The two computers contained identical data and software. EDS provided a full-time technical adviser, Joseph Pindell, who according to testimony, was nearly always available to provide assistance no matter what the hour and, according to all accounts, was extremely courteous and helpful. The computer's database included the City's total and voting-age population data as taken from the census data as well as election results. The database also contained electronic versions of the geography of the City, complete with street names, that permitted users to assign a census block or a group of blocks to a ward. The computer could then immediately calculate demographic statistics based on the assignment of geography. This information could be displayed on the computer's display screen as a user was assigning geography.

 63. Beginning in late August until September, 1991, Mr. Pindell began holding computer orientation sessions for the aldermen and their staffs. These meetings were attended only by Mr. Pindell, the alderman, and his/her staff and were not attended by any other aldermen or by Judge Ruble Murphy. According to Mr. Pindell's testimony, these sessions began by comparing the alderman's then ward boundary with the 1990 census information. (Tr. 7327-Pindell). Nearly all the aldermen, or their staffs, attended these orientation meetings. (DX 24A).

 64. Aldermen were permitted unlimited access, depending on availability, to the aldermanic computer. Initially, aldermen were asked to make appointments to use the computer but that process eventually broke down and aldermen began using the computers without appointments. As time went on, use of the computer became subject to availability. (Tr. 7315-16 - Pindell). Not surprisingly, there were some aldermanic complaints about access to the computers and some aldermen testified that they were unable to use the computers when they wanted. (9/20/95 Tillman Dep. Des. 80). This Court, however, credits the testimony of Mr. Pindell and Judge Ruble-Murphy that accessibility to the computer was based entirely upon availability and was not the result of an effort to deny access to the computers to minority aldermen.

 65. Nor were limits placed on the aldermanic use of the computers. (Tr. 6899 - Ruble-Murphy; Tr. 7316-Pindell). Aldermen were given free access to the computers and could attempt to draw maps for any part of the City they wished. Aldermen were not, however, allowed to view draft ward maps prepared by any of their compatriots, nor were they given free access to the draft ward maps prepared by Judge Ruble-Murphy. Draft maps stored on the computer were treated as the work-product of the persons who prepared them.

 66. Judge Ruble-Murphy attempted to listen to and incorporate the comments of the aldermen, but discussion and negotiations could not continue indefinitely. In the end, it was necessary to bring the process to a close and Judge Ruble-Murphy attempted to draw a ward map incorporating as much of the aldermanic input as possible. As with any project in which multiple participants are involved, many aldermen were unhappy with the contours of their wards under the various draft maps and felt that their desires had been ignored.

 67. There is, however, no basis on the record for plaintiffs' contention that defendants permitted access to the redistricting computers in order to analyze the proposals prepared by plaintiffs which were stored on the redistricting computer.

 68. Plaintiffs attempt to make an issue of Judge Ruble-Murphy's unlimited access to the redistricting computer and the many maps prepared by her during the early phases of redistricting. (SX 24-27,30,31,53). In August 1991, Judge Ruble-Murphy prepared numerous draft maps, which is neither surprising nor troubling, since she was the person charged with coordinating the redistricting efforts and attempting to synthesize the proposals offered by the aldermen and the public into a ward map for the entire City.

 69. Many of Judge Ruble-Murphy's earliest maps focused on areas with heavy concentrations of Latino population, namely the near northwest, the southwest, and the southeast sides of the City. During this early period in August, 1991, Kimball Brace also prepared studies and maps identifying Latino population concentrations in the City. It was natural that Judge Ruble-Murphy was, at an early stage, concentrating on these areas since from the outset, it was clear that the new ward map would need to account for the significant growth in the Latino population in the City. The most extensive changes in the pre-existing ward map would need to take place in areas with significant Latino population growth and would of necessity result in moving or combining the wards represented by incumbent aldermen. Even at the earliest stages of the redistricting process, it was clear that additional Latino-majority wards would have to be drawn, so it is not surprising that as she was becoming proficient on the computers Judge Ruble-Murphy would concentrate on the areas that were likely to pose particularly thorny problems during the remap process.

 70. These early draft ward maps are of limited relevance, since none of them were intended to be final ward maps for the City but were at most very incomplete, preliminary studies of areas that were going to prove to be important in the redistricting process. (Tr. 6904-07 - Ruble-Murphy). In some cases, Judge Ruble-Murphy's early maps have extremely large population deviations leading this Court to conclude that these early maps are indicative of little more than Judge Ruble-Murphy's attempts to familiarize herself with the workings of the redistricting computer. (SX. 24, 26-27, 30-31).

 71. As part of the effort to make the 1991 redistricting process the most open one in Chicago's history, the City held several rounds of public hearings. The first round of public hearings was held in October 28, 1991, shortly before the leadership released its first draft map for review by the City Council. The second round of hearings was held shortly after the Rules committee met on October 28, 1991 in order to give the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed maps.

 72. The public hearings were held at a variety of locations throughout the City including: at Roberto Clemente High School on the near northwest side on September 11, 1991; at Julian High School on the south side on September 11, 1991; at Pressman's Hall on the southwest side on September 11, 1991; at Garfield Park on the west side on September 24, 1991; at IIT on the south side on September 26, 1991; at Kennedy-King College on the south side on September 30, 1991; at John Spry Elementary School on the near southwest side October 1, 1991; at the United Steel Workers Union Hall on the south side on October 2, 1991; at the Greater Canaan Missionary Baptist Church on the south side on October 3, 1991; at Ebinger School on the northwest side on October 7, 1991; at the Scottsdale Park Fieldhouse on the southwest side on October 8, 1991; at North Central Park on the west side on November 12, 1991; at the North Park Village on the north side on November 12, 1991; at Kennedy-King College on the south side on November 13, 1991; at 2150 South Laflin on the southwest side on November 14, 1991. The public hearings were generally attended by the aldermen from the relevant communities and either Alderman Mell, the chairman of the Rules Committee or one of the committee's co-chairs. The public hearings were also recorded by a court reporter and were available to the public. (SX 5-19).

 73. The public hearings were also attended by members of the finance committee staff. Because of the birth of her child, Judge Ruble-Murphy was unable to attend all the hearings, but a staff member attended in her place and Ruble-Murphy reviewed the hearing transcripts.

 74. As with any open public hearing, in which any interested member of the community was given an opportunity to state his or her mind, the speakers at the public hearings expressed a wide diversity of opinions. It is not possible in many instances to identify the speakers or the particular expertise or perspectives they may have brought to the hearings. The first round of hearings was particularly unfocused and resulted in diverse testimony since at the time of the hearings, no proposed maps had yet been released to the public. In general, there were two chief opinions stated at the hearings: minority witnesses expressed their desire to see more minority wards, and witnesses frequently stated their desire to retain their current aldermen.

 75. Given the importance of the redistricting process, some of the aldermen bussed in constituents who stated that they did not want their ward boundaries redrawn. (Tr. 6055-Tuite). Alderman Murphy, in particular, took advantage of the public hearings at Scottsdale Park to mobilize community support. Conduct of this nature is instructive since it an indication of a competently and efficiently run ward organization which is able to mobilize community support and is led by a responsive and energetic alderman. Alderman Murphy of the 18th ward should not be condemned because he was successfully able to galvanize his constituents behind him.

 76. When assessing the importance of the public hearings it is necessary to take into account the context in which the hearings were held. The first round of hearings were held at an early stage of the redistricting process when there had been no complete maps released to the public. The hearings were more important for the purpose of encouraging an opportunity for community involvement and input and thereby raising the attention of the community to the redistricting process, than for eliciting concrete plans for proposed ward maps. The hearings, therefore, were more relevant as a gauge of general community concerns for the relevant policymakers than as an platform for proposing actual redistricting policies.

 77. This Court is satisfied that Judge Ruble-Murphy reviewed the transcripts of the public hearings and attempted to take the portions she felt were relevant into heed as she prepared war maps. This Court, however, gives little substantive weight to the public hearings as an indicator that the City either did or did not heed community concerns with respect to the redistricting. The public hearings are relevant to this Court's consideration only insofar as they are indicative of the fact that the 1991 redistricting process was relatively more open and allowed more community expressions of interest than any past redistricting in the history of the City.

 78. It would be impossible for the redistricting process to transcend the realm of politically bargained and brokered deals negotiated by the relevant legislative bodies, but at the very least there was an effort during this process to elicit public opinion.

 4. October 1991--the Preparation of Draft Maps and the Rules Committee Meeting of October 28th, 1991

  79. According to the redistricting ordinance, a proposed map was to be submitted to and voted on by the Rules Committee by October 28, 1991. (PJX 40). While there was extensive testimony concerning the maps that were prepared in anticipation of the October 28th, 1991 Rules Committee meetings, the fact of the matter is that the maps that were submitted to the Rules Committee in October 1991 were only proposed maps which were neither approved by the City Council nor submitted to referendum. The process leading to this first round of proposed citywide draft maps is relevant only to the extent that it might be indicative of some discriminatory intent or is indicative of the totality of the circumstances surrounding minority participation in the process by which the final ward map was finally produced.

  80. Beginning in September and continuing through October, Judge Ruble-Murphy, assisted and advised by Kimball Brace, began working on a citywide map. During September and October, 1991 Brace was very active in providing guidance to Judge Ruble-Murphy, billing approximately 140 hours to the Chicago remap process including "drawing plan ideas." (PJX 17,19). Throughout September and October, Judge Ruble Murphy met with every alderman at least once and with most twice. In these meetings, Judge Ruble-Murphy discussed the contours of their wards with the individual aldermen.

  81. Judge Ruble-Murphy's staff also sent questionnaires to each alderman's staff asking them to identify the core areas of the ward, the areas of the community that the alderman most wanted to retain, the neighborhoods contained in the ward, and the important community institutions contained within the ward. Judge Ruble-Murphy attempted to utilize the information contained in these questionnaires as she was preparing the draft ward maps.

  82. Some of the aldermen expressed frustration with Judge Ruble-Murphy in these meetings because the meetings generally concerned only the boundaries of the alderman's individual wards. (Tr. 5153-Preckwinkle, Tr. 5204-Steele). Based upon the testimony presented at trial, however, this Court is convinced that Judge Ruble-Murphy was entirely professional and courteous in her conduct towards the aldermen throughout the redistricting process. As was clear from her testimony, and that of others, Judge Ruble-Murphy made every effort to be accommodating to every alderman during the process and made an effort to comply with every reasonable request. (Tr. 5167-Preckwinkle; Tr. 5284-85-Steele; Tr. 1914-Gutierrez).

  83. This Court is satisfied that Judge Ruble-Murphy was willing to show a citywide map to any alderman who asked. Given the difficulties of coordinating 50 aldermen with very different interests and agendas it would have been entirely understandable if Judge Ruble-Murphy had attempted to limit the discussions to the aldermen's own wards as opposed to encouraging discussions that went too far afield. If every individual alderman had been permitted to propound citywide redistricting strategies to Judge Ruble-Murphy, at this stage, the remap process could well have never come to an end.

  84. In October, 1991, after returning from a very brief maternity leave, Judge Ruble-Murphy began meeting with groups of aldermen in order to discuss the boundaries of adjoining wards in an effort to discuss and resolve any disputes concerning boundary areas between wards.

  85. During October, 1991 Judge Ruble-Murphy met with the Latino aldermen and members of the Latino Committee as well as, in some instances, Aldermen Burke and Mell. At the meetings with representatives of the Latino Committee in October, 1991, the participants discussed drawing seven Latino supermajority wards and a ward with a substantial Latino minority in the southeast side of the City. During this phase of the redistricting process the representatives of the Latino community advocated drawing wards with as sizeable a majority as possible. Although they had beer active in discussions with Judge Ruble-Murphy, the Latino aldermen did not see the final shape of the wards proposed in the map on October 28, 1991 until the map was finally released. (Tr. 1221-Gutierrez; Tr. 1668-Garcia).

  86. Plaintiffs place much importance on the existence of some incomplete draft maps which included additional African-American wards. (SX 46,58). These maps, however, all had unassigned populations, wards with unacceptably large population deviations, and wards that were extremely elongated, or irregularly shaped.

  87. Similarly, this Court credits Judge Ruble-Murphy's testimony that during September and October she did not believe that additional African-American wards could be drawn in a manner consistent with the legal requirements. (Tr. 6893-94). The draft maps prepared by Judge Ruble-Murphy and Brace do not disprove Judge Ruble-Murphy's stated opinion given the incompleteness and other flaws of those maps. Nor does Alderman Ed Smith's statement to Judge Ruble-Murphy that he had seen drafts with additional African-American wards prepared by the African-American aldermen's counsel (Tr. 6894) indicate that Judge Ruble-Murphy had any discriminatory intent or knew that additional minority wards could be drawn but chose not to do so. It is hardly surprising that, at an early stage of the process, different participants in the process held widely divergent opinions as to the acceptability of various proposed maps. The redistricting process is, of course, a highly politicized one in which there is much give and take and therefore it is not surprising that as of October, 1991 there were wide differences of opinion between the relevant players concerning the most equitable manner of providing for Chicago's demographic shifts between 1980 and 1990.

  88. Based upon the factual record, it is clear that the only way in which it was possible, due to the population patterns in the City of Chicago, to draw additional African-American majority wards was consistently to underpopulate African-American wards and to overpopulate white majority wards. Judge Ruble-Murphy's reluctance to deviate from equal population is not necessarily indicative of discriminatory intent given the equal population mandates of the Illinois statute and the Chicago remap ordinance. Judge Ruble-Murphy's reluctance to deviate from an equal population standard is not necessarily indicative of a discriminatory intent.

  89. Nor is the fact that some of the early draft maps prepared by Judge Ruble-Murphy contained an 18th Ward with significantly altered boundaries indicative of discriminatory intent on the part of Council leadership. The redistricting process is long and arduous and it would be patently unrealistic to suppose that early draft maps and proposals are binding upon the map drawers. Plaintiffs' suggestion that the changes in the contours of the 18th ward during the map drawing process lead to an inference of discriminatory intent does not account for the skillful manner in which Alderman Murphy of the 18th Ward protected his ward boundaries and energized his constituency despite the early indications that his ward would be drawn out of existence.

  90. In mid-October a group of 16 African-American and three independent white alderman (Schiller, Moore and Bloom) stopped working with Judge Ruble-Murphy and formed the "Fair Map" coalition working exclusively with their counsel. (Tr. 6913-14 - Ruble-Murphy). While this fact does not alter the simple fact that plaintiffs' draft maps are not at issue, it does highlight the extent to which the redistricting process was highly politicized and perhaps suggest that the parties were also anticipating of the inevitability of litigation. Additionally, the lack of cooperation is of some relevance insofar as it sheds light on the circumstances under which Judge Ruble-Murphy was laboring as she endeavored to prepare the new Chicago ward map.

  91. In drawing the African-American majority wards for the map that was required to be completed by October 28, 1991, Judge Ruble-Murphy testified that she relied upon her meetings with those African-American alderman who had continued to work with her, namely Aldermen Dixon and Austin, who were generally considered to be aligned with the administration and who had not joined the Fair coalition, and Aldermen Beavers and Hendon. (Tr. 6914). Judge Ruble-Murphy also testified that she relied upon her understanding from her previous conversations that the African-American aldermen would accept a map with no fewer than 21 African-American majority wards and that so long as the map contained 21 African-American majority wards the individual aldermen would be willing to sacrifice their individual ward boundaries. (Tr. 6935, 7016). This Court is satisfied that Judge Ruble-Murphy reasonably understood that 21 African-American majority wards was the prime objective of the African-American political community.

  92. The manner in which the 18th and 19th wards were drawn is of particular importance to the Barnett plaintiffs' case, since these wards are pivotal to the vote dilution claim of the African-American plaintiffs. The 18th and 19th Wards are both located on the far Southwest side of Chicago. Both wards were very close to the ideal total population; the 18th Ward had only 534 residents more than its ideal total population, while the 19th ward had only 1,336 residents more than 55,675 target. The boundaries of the 18th ward had been arrived at as part of the settlement of the Ketchum litigation, and had been crafted as a ward which would hopefully result in a "horse race" between white and African-American candidates.

  93. As of the 1990 census, the 18th Ward had a total population that was 41.34% white and 55.63% African-American, however white candidates had prevailed in all the previous aldermanic elections with the then-current ward boundaries. As of the 1990 census, the 19th Ward had a total population that was 77.03% white and 20.57% black. (SX 2). Both wards had a somewhat similar population pattern, in which the eastern ends of the wards contained census blocks that had predominantly African-American population majorities, while the western ends of the wards contained census blocks that were predominantly white.

  94. In the map that was produced on the 28th of October, the boundaries of these wards were changed only insignificantly, so that the racial makeup of the wards was virtually identical to what it had been previously: the 18th Ward as it was redrawn had a total population that was 41.34% white and was 55.63% African-American while the 19th ward has a total population that was 78.03% white and was 19.27% African-American. (PJX 49a).

  95. While this Court is unconvinced that the Ketchum settlement map provided an adequate justification at this time for retaining the boundaries of the 18th and 19th Wards, this Court finds that there were other legitimate reasons justifying the map drawn by Judge Ruble-Murphy. It is worth noting, however, that the 18th and 19th wards constituted two of only nine wards that were considered "white" wards yet also possessed as much as 20% African-American total population (the 1st, 42nd, 10th, 14th, 46th, 48th and 49th Wards were the only other wards there were as much as a 20% African-American population coexisting with a white population of at least 20%). (SX 2). As corner wards, wards whose shape was determined on at least two sides by the perimeter of the City, with nearly ideal populations, the 18th and 19th wards could easily retain their pre-existing boundaries. While other wards with nearly ideal boundaries were often significantly redrawn, that was often a function of the wards' location because it was necessary to transfer populations in order to respond to other redistricting concerns such as the drawing of additional Latino-majority wards. Because of their locations in a corner of the City, the shape of the 18th and 19th wards could be readily retained with little spillover effect. Also of no small consequence in the retention of the basic contours of the 18th Ward was Alderman Murphy's effective lobbying on his own behalf both to the political leadership and through his mobilization of his constituency at the public hearings. (Tr. 6918- Ruble-Murphy; Tr. 3494-Murphy).

  96. Similarly, the shape of the 7th and 10th wards, on the City's far southeast sides was the result of a difficult political compromise. In the 7th and 10th wards, the interests of the African-American, the Latino, and the white communities were very different. As of 1991, the 7th and 10th wards combined contained a total of 29,088 Latino residents -- not enough to create an effective Latino majority ward but approximately 27% of the total population of the two wards. The 7th Ward which had a majority African-American population of 68.62% was significantly underpopulated (8.63%), while the 10th Ward, which had a white plurality of 42.31% (and an African-American total population of 28.29%) was slightly underpopulated (1.11%). (SX 1).

  97. The Latino Committee sought to consolidate as much of the Latino community on the Southeast Side into a single ward as possible in order to create an "influence district." On October 28, 1991, the Latino Committee produced a partial map (for its proposed 10th Ward only) proposing a 10th Ward with a total Latino population of 51.3%. (BOPX 5). The Latino Committee map, however, made no effort to replace the population taken from the 7th ward in order to consolidate the Latino community into the 10th Ward. (Tr. 626. 725-27 - Ruble-Murphy). Alderman Beavers of the 7th Ward, on the other hand, sought to keep much of the Latino population in the 7th Ward. (Beavers Dep. Des. 20-21). Alderman Buchanan of the 10th Ward, meanwhile, sought to retain the "core" areas of his ward--namely Hegewisch and East Side, which were predominantly white, within a single ward. (Buchanan Dep. Des. 235-36). The three requests could not all be accommodated.

  98. In an effort at compromise which likely satisfied no one, Judge Ruble-Murphy consolidated significant portions of the Latino community into the 10th Ward and took a major portion of the African-American population out of the 10th Ward and placed it into the 7th Ward, the effect of these population transfers was to create a 10th Ward with a total population that was 45.33% Latino, 11.28% African-American, and 42.39% white and a 7th Ward that had a total population that was approximately 8.1% Latino, 86.27% African-American and 5.16% white. (PJX 49a). A consequence of these transfers was to roughly equalize the population deviations of these two wards so that the 7th ward now had a population that was only 2.61% below the ideal and the 10th ward was up to 2.10% below the ideal. The affect of these changes was to draw 7th and 10th wards which met no one's desires.

  99. This map was the result of a hurried effort to reach a compromise map and was not completed until the morning of the October 28, 1991 Rules Committee meeting. (Tr. 6931 - Ruble-Murphy).

  100. Given this tangled history of discussions, on October 28, 1991 at a meeting of the Rules Committee of the City Council, Alderman Mell, as chairman of the Rules Committee, unveiled what came to be called the "Equity" Map (the group of aldermen who supported the Equity map will be referred to hereinafter as either the Equity Coalition or the leadership group). Alderman Mell, of the 33rd Ward -- a ward that as of the 1990 census had a total population that was 52.49% Latino, announced that the Equity Map created 21 African-American wards and 7 Latino wards, resulting in the potential to increase the representation of both minority groups in the City Council.

  101. Ostensibly, the Equity Map created an additional African-American ward on the west side and three additional Latino wards with two on the north side and one on the south side.

  102. There were significant differences of opinion as to the character of the Equity Map -- while Judge Ruble Murphy characterized the Map as a starting point for discussion ( Tr. 6933), some African-American aldermen characterized the map as a "cruel joke" (Tr. 6931- Ruble-Murphy). Even as a point of departure for negotiations the Equity Map left much to be desired. Included in the list of 21 putatively African-American wards was the 18th Ward which, while it had a majority total and voting-age African-American population, had never elected an African-American alderman. In addition, three of the west-side African-American majority wards came to be known as "smokestack" or "chimney" wards because of their bizarre, narrow shapes which extended from approximately Roosevelt Road, or 1000 South, on the south side to approximately Irving Park Road, or 3800 North. The west side "smokestack" wards bore almost no resemblance to the African-American wards that had previously existed on the west side. The Equity Map also contained wards with extremely contorted, irregular wards on the north and west sides.

  103. Upon its completion, the Equity Map was sent to EDS for review. Dr. Lisa Handley, an employee of EDS and a respected expert in the redistricting field, conducted a cursory, pen and pencil, analysis of the "effectiveness" of the wards -- that is an analysis of the likelihood that minority candidates would prevail in wards that were putatively minority-majority wards. According to Dr. Handley, a ward would be effective if minority candidates won more than half the elections in the ward. This analysis took account of voter registration and turnout in an effort to determine the minority population necessary to create a ward where minority candidates were likely to elect a minority candidate. Under Dr. Handley's analysis, the 18th Ward was not an effective African-American ward. (Tr. 1123, 1320-25).

  104. At the Rules Committee meeting of October 28, 1991, the Equity Map received 26 votes -- those of 24 of the 28 white alderman and two African-American aldermen, Dixon and Austin. The leadership of the City Council determined that the Equity map would not be able to garner the 41 votes necessary for approval by the City Council. (Tr. 2569-Mell; Tr. 298-Burke).

  105. Several additional maps were also introduced at the October 28, 1991 City Council meeting. The Latino aldermen submitted a partial map, focusing only on areas with heavy concentrations of Latino population, providing for 7 Latino supermajority (total population) wards and 2 Latino majority wards. (DX 152). The Fair Map coalition introduced two complete ward maps -- both maps provided for 21 African-American wards, with one map providing for 7 Latino majority wards and the second map providing for 8 Latino majority wards. (SX 96,99).

  106. Once again, this Court notes that the process by which the Fair Map group developed its maps is of no relevance. As was made clear from the trial testimony, the negotiations during the redistricting process were intense and heated and the participants were at times intractable, but the simple fact of the matter is that the Fair Map is not the issue of this trial, nor are the passions and temperaments of the participants in the process at issue. Even if the minority aldermen had adopted a completely unrealistic bargaining position and had negotiated in bad faith throughout the process, which was not the case, that would not have excused a retaliatory adoption of a ward map which had the effect of diluting minority voting strength by limiting the opportunity for minority voters to elect candidates of their choice. The negotiation process, however, is of some relevance in this Court's comprehensive consideration of facts bearing upon the ability of minority voters to participate in the political process.

  107. Both of the Fair Maps introduced on October 28th, contained 21 African-American supermajority wards, without resorting to the "chimneys" of the Equity Map. (compare PJX 49, SX 96,99) Like the Equity Map, however, the Fair Maps contained several irregularly shaped wards. Both of the Fair Maps contained population that was not assigned to any ward. Both Fair Maps also split the Latino population on the southeast side between several wards rather than bringing it within a single ward. The Fair Maps also consistently overpopulated white majority wards and underpopulated African-American wards.

  108. The Latino Committee also released several proposed maps, all of which were only partial, or incomplete, ward maps. The first partial map was released at a press conference on October 21, 1991. It contained eight wards with a Latino total population majority of at least 65%, and a southeast side ward with a Latino total population of 50.08%. The map was released as a preliminary map (DX 135). The October 21st map contained Latino population majorities that were lower than those being pursued in negotiations. In the testimony of its drafter, the October 21st map did not take account of any political considerations, such as incumbency (Tr. 7228 - Norkewicz), a consideration which is unavoidable and necessary during the redistricting process. This Court concludes that the October 21st Latino Committee map was indeed drawn as a preliminary map subject to extensive redrawing during the negotiation process. This conclusion follows from the fact that the map was only a partial map focusing solely on Latino communities and was drawn without any attention to neighboring incumbencies or drawing existing incumbents into the same wards, all of which are legitimate concerns during the redistricting process. That is not to say that this map was released solely as a public relations tool, or that the Latino Committee had already conceded that drawing 7 Latino supermajority wards would per se satisfy the Voting Rights Act. At this stage of the process, evidently there were differences of opinion within the Latino Committee and between the Latino Committee and the administration as to the number of Latino supermajority wards that could be drawn and the exact fashion in which these wards could be drawn.

  109. On October 28, 1991, the Latino Committee released a second partial map which was introduced by the four Latino aldermen at the Rules Committee meeting. (DX 152). This partial map contained 7 wards with a Latino total population majority of at least 68%, and one ward with a Latino total population majority of 61.9% and a southeast side ward with a Latino total population majority of 51.3%. The press release accompanying this proposed map called for the creation of no less than seven Latino supermajority wards. Once again, this was only a partial map, which did not account for the impact of the proposed wards on surrounding populations.

  110. Both the October 21st and 28th maps created four Latino supermajority wards on the northwest side. Both maps also drew the Ukrainian Village neighborhood out of the surrounding Latino supermajority wards. Both of these characteristics are features of the present ward map.

  111. Following the October 28th Committee hearing, 4 additional public hearings were held. The testimony at the four public hearings was nearly universally in opposition to the proposed Equity map. The Equity Map was, therefore, unpopular with every segment of the population.

  5. November 1991 -- Attempts to Compromise

  112. After the October 28 Rules Committee meeting, Alderman Huels and Judge Ruble-Murphy spearheaded an effort to develop a compromise map with the Latino and African-American aldermen which would be acceptable to 41 aldermen.

  113. After October 28, Brace and Alderman Burke became less involved in the process. At this time, Brace was also heavily involved in the Illinois state legislative and congressional redistrictings. Alderman Burke testified that he did not have the patience to deal with some of the interested parties, and their advisors and withdrew from the process because he did not desire to risk frustrating the negotiations due to personality clashes. (Tr. 6856). At this point of the process Aldermen Huels of the 11th Ward led the attempt to reach a compromise map, and became viewed as the broker for any potential agreement. Alderman Huels assumed this role because of his reputation as an effective floor leader and conciliator in the Council, and because he was frequently viewed as the mayor's spokesman in the City Council.

  114. Of particular importance to this Court's consideration, is the aborted agreement reached between the City and the Latino Committee concerning the number and general shape of the Latino majority wards.

  115. Congressman Gutierrez played the lead role in negotiating Latino representation on behalf of the Latino Committee at this juncture. Congressman Gutierrez was selected as the chief negotiator, in part because of his working relationship with the administration. Despite plaintiffs' occasional attempts to portray Congressmen Gutierrez as a less than zealous member of the Latino Committee, who was willing to sacrifice Latino community interests in his effort to seek support from the administration for his eventual campaign for Congress, this Court finds Congressmen Gutierrez to have been an entirely credible witness who was sincere in his efforts to increase Latino political representation and who would not have knowingly acceded to any proposal which did not significantly improve Latino opportunities for political participation.

  116. A major complaint in the Latino community with the Equity Map had been that the Latino population percentages were too low in the Latino majority wards. Therefore, the enhancement of Latino majorities in the Latino majority wards was one of the chief topics of negotiations. (Tr. 1920- Gutierrez; 6936- Ruble-Murphy).

  117. Throughout late October and early November, Judge Ruble-Murphy worked extensively with members of the Latino Committee in an effort to draft a ward map including seven Latino majority wards with high percentages which were generally in the range of 65% Latino total population majorities in the northwest Side, 70% in the near west and north side, and 70 to 75% Latino total population majorities in the south and southwest side wards. The parties sought to draw Latino majority wards with high Latino supermajorities for several reasons which included the young age of the Latino population (approximately 3 out of 8 Latinos were under the age of 18) and the relatively low registration and turnout rates in the Latino community. There was also some awareness of the recent residential trends in the City, such as the declining Latino population in some portions of the near northwest side due to gentrification, which, therefore, necessitated that the Latino majority wards be drawn with higher supermajorities in these areas. Additionally, there was an attempt to account for some of the areas of Latino population growth on the northwest side by including these areas in Latino majority wards. By the same token, however, a significant area of Latino population growth on the southwest side in the Back of the Yard and Gage Park and Marquette Park neighborhoods was eventually split between several wards as will be discussed at length below. (See PP 182-184, 226,227, xxx).

  118. Latino concerns about citizenship rates were also a consideration for the drive for Latino wards with very high supermajorities. At the time of the redistricting, the Census Bureau had not yet released its estimated citizenship data, which are based upon block group data, so that Judge Ruble-Murphy, the members of the Latino Committee and the other parties involved in the redistricting process were forced to rely upon rough estimates of the citizenship rates among Latinos in Chicago. The conventional wisdom as of November 1991, dictated that the Latino community in the north side was more heavily Puerto Rican, and thus had more members who were born citizens, and that the Latino communities on the near north and west sides and the south and southwest sides were composed primarily of persons of Mexican origin, and thus were thought to have lower citizenship rates. Because of these circumstances, the Latino Committee, adopted high estimates of the Latino population necessary to constitute an effective ward ranging from 65 to 70% depending on the area of the City in its negotiations.

  119. The Bonilla plaintiffs now seek to separate themselves from the estimates which were used by the Latino Committee in 1991 of the population necessary to constitute an effective Latino ward. The Bonilla plaintiffs argue that they should not be held to the "mistaken" views of the Latino Committee in 1991, when subsequently released data established that lower Latino total population majorities would have sufficed to create effective Latino wards. The Bonilla plaintiffs' experts now estimate that, based upon census data released in 1992, on the north side wards with as little as 60-61% total Latino population can be effective, while on the south and southwest side an effective Latino ward could be created with as little as a 57.33% total population majority (51.16% VAP Latino majority). (BOPX 21, 74).

  120. This Court is seriously troubled by this sort of double guessing and litigation based on hindsight. All the evidence suggests that given the best data and estimates then available, the parties involved in the negotiations reasonably believed that very high Latino population majorities were necessary in order to craft effective Latino wards. Second guessing the redistricting decisions based upon estimates which were not available when Judge Ruble-Murphy and the Latino Committee were attempting to hammer out the contours of the Latino majority districts would subject any large city to endless litigation should the parties' good-faith estimates of the population necessary to forge an effective ward, later prove to be less than entirely accurate.

  121. It was a prudent bargaining strategy to push for a rough proportionality of representation, accepting perhaps one less ward than is absolutely possible, in order to ensure victory in a number of wards which is roughly proportional to the Latino community's share of the population of the City of Chicago. This is particularly the case when the community is relatively younger, is experiencing marked population growth, is nearly doubling its share of representation in the City Council and therefore has to establish new ward organizations, and is seeking to cement its share of representation in the community. It would have been a pyrrhic victory to negotiate for the highest possible number of Latino majority wards only to discover that some of those wards were ineffective. Discretion, it has been said, is often, particularly in political negotiations, the better part of valor. Litigation should not be a continuation of the political negotiation process.

  122. As a necessary component of any coalition composed of the 41 out of 50 aldermen necessary to approve a ward map, the 4 Latino aldermen were heavily courted by the competing coalitions seeking to draft a successful map and exercised an influence beyond their quantifiable share of the City Council. It would be inaccurate, however, to characterize the Latino aldermen as a "swing" vote since their addition to either of the recognized competing coalitions would not add up to the 41 votes necessary to pass a ward map out of the City Council.

  123. During early November, 1991, the Latino Committee met repeatedly with the representatives of both the Equity and Fair Map coalitions.

  124. The Latino Committee's discussions with the Fair Map coalition proved fruitless because the groups were unable to reach a compromise on the contours of the wards on the southeast side -- the Latino committee advocated the consolidation of the Latino community into single ward while the Fair coalition advocated the creation of an additional African-American ward. These two objectives proved to be mutually contradictory and, accordingly, the groups were unable to reach an agreement.

  125. The negotiations between the Latino Committee and the Equity Coalition progressed much further and culminated in an agreement reached on November 13, 1991 after a marathon meeting attended by, among others, Alderman Huels and Judge Ruble-Murphy and members of the Latino Committee. Although the parties disagree about the precise terms of the agreement and whether the agreement was soon broken by one or both of the parties, it is undisputed that late in the evening of November 13th, there was, at least for a fleeting moment, what appeared to be an agreement between the Equity Coalition and the Latino Committee concerning the boundaries of the Latino majority wards in the City of Chicago.

   126. The November 13, 1991 meeting involved Alderman Huels as the chief negotiator on behalf of the Equity coalition. Judge Ruble-Murphy also was active in the negotiations. Aldermen Mell and Burke were also present for part of the meeting. All four Latino aldermen attended the meeting as did other members of the Latino Committee, including representatives of MALDEF who also acted as negotiators on behalf of the Latino Committee.

  127. This Court heard extensive testimony concerning the November 13th meeting. While the existence of an agreement between the Latino Committee and the administration would never excuse the creation of a map that violated Latino voting rights, the negotiations and the content of those negotiations are relevant to this Court's consideration of the totality of the circumstances particularly insofar as the negotiations highlighted the Latino Committee's position that it was important to ensure Latino access to the political process by crafting wards with high Latino population majorities rather than risk an absence of political representation by creating wards in which Latino electoral success would not be as likely. The negotiations of November 13, 1991 highlight the extent to which the give and take of the redistricting process resulted in numerous compromises which nonetheless resulted in significantly expanded opportunities for Latino participation in the political process as well as in roughly proportional representation of the Latino population.

  128. The participants at the November 13th meeting discussed and agreed upon the importance of creating wards with high Latino population concentrations because of, among other factors, citizenship rates in some Latino areas. One of the methods the parties agreed upon in order to increase the effectiveness of Latino wards, was to split some Latino communities between several wards, all of which would have Latino majorities. For this reason, the Humboldt Park community, with a large Puerto Rican population was split between the 26th ward, where it had previously been concentrated and the new 1st ward which had a sizeable Mexican community. (Tr. 1949-50-Gutierrez). Similarly portions of the 22nd ward were included in the new 12th ward. The new 12th ward was given an extremely high Latino majority population because it had an incumbent white alderman and committeeman. (Tr. 1939-Gutierrez). In order to be drawn with adequate population, the 12th Ward was drawn in a rather elongated, snake-like, and irregular manner bringing together portions of the Back of the Yards community as well as portions of South Lawndale and cutting through what had historically been portions of the 11th Ward (which included Bridgeport and was represented by Alderman Huels) and the 14th Ward (which was represented by Alderman Burke).

  129. At the time, there was extensive discussion of how to draw the ward map in relation to the Back of the Yards neighborhood which had a sizeable concentration of Latino population but which was somewhat isolated from the traditional south side Latino population centers in the 22nd and 25th Wards in Pilsen, Little Village and South Lawndale. The Latino Committee and the Equity Coalition were also aware that as of 1991 there was a burgeoning, but not yet very dense, concentration of Latino population in the Gage Park and Marquette Park neighborhoods to the southwest of the Back of the Yards -- these neighborhoods were predominantly in the 14th and 15th wards. The Gage Park and Marquette Park neighborhoods are considered to be middle-class areas, with a housing stock composed largely of brick bungalows and two-flats. The Back of the Yards neighborhood is significantly less advantaged with a much older and somewhat deteriorated housing stock.

  130. During the November, 1991 negotiations, the parties were reasonably concerned that it would not be feasible to draw an effective Latino ward on the Southwest side encompassing all of the Back of the Yards and the Gage Park and Marquette Park areas. Given the then current thinking, that a very high Latino population concentration was necessary to create an effective ward, it was not realistically possible to create a new southwest side Latino ward without borrowing population from the 22nd or 25th Wards to the North. Additionally, while crafting a new southwest side Latino majority population ward, the parties were no doubt aware of the fact that much of the Back of the Yards and the southwest side growth area was in the 14th ward, a ward with a long-serving, for more than two decades, Alderman who had run unopposed and had prevailed in the ward in the 1991 elections even though the ward then had a plurality Latino population. Given these considerations it was a prudent compromise, even if it was not the first choice of the Latino Committee, to forego drawing what then appeared would likely be an ineffective Latino ward comprised of the Back of the Yards and Gage Park and Marquette Park in order to include a portion of the Back of the Yards neighborhood into the new 12th Ward which would also include portions of the old 22nd and 25th wards and the Latino areas of the old 12th Ward.

  131. Another concern that contributed to the splitting of a portion of the Back of the Yards neighborhood into several wards was the severe underpopulation of the neighboring 16th and 3rd wards (the 3rd ward had a total population 21.54% below the ideal population while the 16th ward had a total population 14% below the ideal).

  132. This is not to say that the Latino Committee did not collectively view the inclusion of the Back of the Yards community into a single ward as important; but rather that within the context of accounting for: 1) political realities, 2) the likely effectiveness of any such ward, and 3) the process of reaching political compromises, this particular priority was sacrificed in order to effect other interests of the Latino community. Making difficult choices and compromises is what leadership in politics is all about.

  133. The precise particulars of the November 13th agreement were in dispute between the parties. Certain details of the November 13th agreement, however, are not in dispute: 1) there would be four wards with Latino supermajority populations of at least 65% on the northwest side; 2) there would be three wards with Latino supermajorities of at least 72% on the southwest side; 3) there would be a Latino "influence" district on the southeast side that was approximately 45% Latino which would unite most, but not all, of the predominantly Latino neighborhoods in the area into the 10th Ward. Within the contours of the agreement, significant portions of the Latino population in the Back of the Yards were placed in the 3rd, 11th, 14th and 16th Wards. (DX 167). The agreement covered ward population percentages as opposed to specific boundary lines. (Tr. 7044- Ruble-Murphy). There were also discussions, although the testimony does not indicate that any ward boundaries were ever discussed, that the number of African-American wards might be increased by one. (Tr. 1232-33-Gutierrez).

  134. The Bonilla plaintiffs contend that the November 13th agreement also included a commitment to hold special elections in the "new" Latino wards. Defendants contend that special elections were not a part of the agreement. It is undisputed that the parties at least discussed special elections during their negotiations.

  135. Senator Garcia's testimony concerning special elections was somewhat equivocal and indicates that, at the end of the November 13th meeting, there was not a conclusive agreement to hold special elections but that the participants felt that there was a likelihood that an agreement to hold some sort of special elections might eventually be achieved. (Tr. 1673-74, 1700, 1779). Senator Garcia's testimony is incomplete as to whether there was ever an actual deal in place to hold special elections, and if so whether those elections were to be held City-wide or in the "new" wards. On the other hand, the testimony of Alderman Huels and Congressman Gutierrez is more complete, is credible, and can be reconciled readily with Sen. Garcia's testimony. Both testified that the question of special elections was raised at the meeting, that no definitive agreement was reached, but that there was still an agreement in place as to the seven Latino supermajority wards and the one influence district. (Tr. 1936-Gutierrez; Tr. 925-28-Huels). Alderman Huels testified that he was asked whether the City would object to special elections in the "new" Latino wards and that he made a counter-offer of elections in all the wards. (Tr. 926). The meeting ended with the participants deciding that they needed to confer amongst themselves and the groups they represented before they could come to some agreement as to special elections. Nonetheless, as Congressman Gutierrez testified, the outcome of the discussions concerning special elections did not hinder the general agreement as to ward boundaries. (Tr. 1937-38).

  136. That the discussions concerning special elections played out in this manner makes sense. It would have been problematic from a representational perspective to hold special elections only in those wards which were "new" insofar as residents who were transferred into preexisting wards in order to make way for the new wards would have wound up being, in essence, unrepresented. It would have been a logistical nightmare to determine precisely which wards were new and which were old--for example significant changes were made in the 14th, the 22nd and the 11th wards in order to make way for the "new" 12th ward; the 27th, the 42nd, 32nd and 26th wards were all transformed to make a space for the "new" 1st ward. It is not surprising that the offer to hold elections throughout the City quickly died on the vine given the significant expense and logistical difficulty of holding City-wide elections in the middle of an election year cycle. The fact there was no definitive agreement reached as to special elections comports with Sen. Garcia's inconclusive testimony which could lead one to conclude that his lukewarm support for the compromise map was dependent upon eventually agreeing to special elections.

  137. Given these circumstances, this Court concludes that an agreement between the Equity Coalition and the Latino Committee was indeed reached calling for seven Latino supermajority wards and an influence district, incorporating most but not all of the Latino community on the southeast side. The question of special elections remained to be worked out between the parties.

  138. The November 13th agreement, however, did not survive. Congressman Gutierrez testified that the agreement did not last. (Tr. 1674, 1879).

  139. In the final ward map, however, the Latino majority wards had lower Latino population majorities than the Equity Coalition and the Latino Committee had originally agreed upon on November 13th. The population percentages for the Latino majority wards in the final ward map prepared by Judge Ruble-Murphy, while slightly different from those originally agreed upon were still within the general range of the agreement -- the north side Latino majority wards all had Latino total population majorities of at least 65%, and the 1st ward had a Latino total population majority of 68.89%, the southwest side wards had Latino majorities of at least 72%, and the 10th ward had a Latino total population plurality of 43.13%. Thus, while there were changes in the makeup of the seven Latino wards, the reason for which was never explained, those changes did not significantly vary from the population figures agreed upon on November 13th. Even if the agreement had been for specific ward boundaries, the boundaries of the final ward map are in the same general location as those that had been agreed upon on November 13th. (Tr. 7282).

  140. During November, 1991, the Equity Coalition was also conducting negotiations with the Fair Coalition in an effort to craft a ward map acceptable to 41 aldermen in order to avoid a referendum. Unfortunately, the negotiations proved to be fruitless.

  141. Not surprisingly, the parties have presented radically different interpretations of the history of these negotiations. While this Court finds the factual account presented by the defendants more compelling, this Court notes its disagreement with the conclusions drawn from those facts by the defendants. It is neither surprising, nor relevant, that the members of the Fair Map group: 1) sought a map that would have been most advantageous to their interests; 2) insisted upon maximizing the number of African-American wards; 3) were opposed to drawing a Latino influence ward on the southeast side because it would have made it impossible to create an additional African-American ward in this area of the City; 4) and proposed maps that would have jeopardized the African-American aldermen who were allied with the Equity Coalition. That the members of the Fair Map coalition pursued a compromise that would have been very advantageous to their interests and that they were intransigent in their negotiations, would not excuse a map limiting minority opportunities to participate in the political process, nor would it provide an excuse for intentionally drawing a discriminatory map in retaliation for the perceived intransigence of the members of the Fair Map coalition.

  142. The negotiations with the Fair Map group began promisingly enough with an initial offer by Alderman Huels and Judge Ruble-Murphy to prepare a map that would provide for 21 effective African-American wards with the caveat that the 34th ward represented by Alderman Austin and the 8th ward represented by Alderman Dixon would not be adversely affected. (Tr. 5207-08-Steele). Given their previous agreement with the Latino Committee the representatives of the Equity coalition also demanded that the Fair Map group and the Latino Committee work out an agreement with respect to the proposed southeast side Latino influence ward. Initially, the Fair Map coalition, demanded that at least 22 wards be effective African-American majority wards. (Tr. 5207-08-Steele), but it eventually agreed to 21 wards. (Tr. 5207-Steele, Smith Dep. Des. 250).

  143. While several draft compromise maps were prepared between Judge Ruble-Murphy and the Fair Map coalition and its representatives, none of them proved to be mutually satisfactory. (SX 106, 107; Tr. 761-63- Ruble-Murphy). In order to craft 21 effective African-American wards, the draft compromise maps made extensive use of population deviations, consistently underpopulating African-American majority wards and overpopulating wards on the north side of the City. (SX 106, 107). The draft compromise maps also contained ward boundaries that were consistently more irregular than those found in the ward map that was eventually approved at referendum.

  144. There were numerous reasons why the attempt at compromise failed, among the reasons were; 1) the rather heated personal animus between some of the leaders of the relevant coalitions which probably precluded an effective compromise; 2) the difficulty of reaching an agreement with respect to the 8th and 34th wards; 3) the difficulty of reaching an agreement with respect to the 18th ward; 4) the inability of agreeing upon ward lines that would satisfy the 41 aldermen necessary to avoid a referendum.

  6. December 1991--Preparation of the Referendum Maps

  145. After it became clear that negotiations between the competing aldermanic coalitions would not result in a consensus map, each group privately began drafting its own proposed map for submission to a referendum.

  146. Judge Ruble-Murphy assumed the duty of drawing a map for referendum on behalf of the council leadership (referred to hereinafter as the "Referendum Map" or the "present ward map"). The template for the Referendum Map was the preexisting ward map taken in the light of the 1990 census figures. (Tr. 569, 6965, 7054- Ruble-Murphy). From this template, the first wards drawn were the Latino majority wards, including the wards that were essentially new configurations wards such as the 12th and 1st wards. (Tr. 865, 6970- Ruble-Murphy). The most significant changes and largest population allocations from the pre-existing wards were made in order to reflect the substantial growth of the Latino community. It logically follows that the first wards to be drawn would be those that required the most significant changes in the existing ward maps. The creation of the new Latino wards in the near southwest side and the near northwest side set off a domino-like effect in the surrounding wards requiring that those wards be drawn so as to fill in any remaining space. The surrounding wards were drawn filling up the areas that were carved out from the remaining areas -- for example, portions of the old 22nd, 25th, 11th, 12th and 14th wards were taken to create the new Latino super-majority 12th ward. As a result, since the new 12th ward assumed the northeast portion of the 14th ward, the 14th ward had to pick up additional population which it did by absorbing the portions of the old 12th ward that were not included in the new 12th ward.

   147. Given the unfortunate breakdown in discussions between the competing council factions and their attorneys, the Fair and Equity groups drafted their respective ward maps without consulting their counterparts. Thus, both the Fair and Equity groups drafted their respective maps for the referendum without any additional input as to the wishes of the opposing aldermanic group or the public. When the parties ceased communicating the die was cast.

  148. As a general overview, the Referendum Map, contains 19 wards which are majority white wards, 19 effective African-American wards, and 7 effective Latino supermajority wards. The Referendum Map also contains several wards which can not be so readily characterized namely the 18th, 10th, 46th, 48th and 49th wards. No racial or ethnic group possesses clear cut, unchecked electoral control in these wards.

  149. The 18th ward has an African-American total population majority of 55.382% and an African-American voting age population majority of 53.632%. This ward, however, has never elected an African-American alderman. In the 1995 aldermanic election, however, the white candidate for alderman received a plurality of the African-American votes, as estimated by extreme case analysis, indicating that he may have been the African-American candidate of choice. (DX 506, BAPX 13).

  150. The 10th ward has a slim white plurality. According to the 1990 figures the current 10th ward has a total population that is 43.148% white, 43.133% Latino, and 13.216% African-American, and a voting age population that is 50.344% white, 37.522% Latino, and 11.628% African-American. (SX 1). The current 10th ward contains most, but not all of the Latino population concentrated in the Southeast side. The Bonilla plaintiffs contend that the ward should have included the balance of the Latino population presently in the 7th ward while the Barnett plaintiffs contend that an additional African-American ward could have been drawn in the area.

  151. The 46th, 48th and 49th wards, all have white pluralities with sizeable Latino, African-American and Asian populations. (SX 1). In all three wards, the minority candidate of choice in aldermanic elections has frequently been a white candidate reflecting the extent it is necessary to build multi-ethnic and racial coalitions in order to succeed. In these wards, minority members are able to wield considerable influence in the political process by virtue of the fact that without their support electoral victory would not be possible.

  152. Judge Ruble-Murphy testified that she was guided by five chief criteria when drawing the ward maps. These criteria were:

  

1) Guided by Ketchum, the City was not to engage in any "retrogression" when drawing the 1991 ward map;

  

2) Also guided by Ketchum, any minority districts would be "effective." Judge Ruble-Murphy did not use a particular benchmark for effectiveness but relied upon the estimates of the aldermen and community groups to recommend a level of minority population that would be effective. Judge Ruble-Murphy was aware, however, of Ketchum's estimate of 65% total minority population or 60% voting age population as a rough rule of thumb for effectiveness;

  

3) Wards should be as nearly equal in population as possible;

  

4) Wards should be as compact as possible;

  

5) New ward boundaries should adhere as closely as possible to existing ward boundaries.

  (Tr. 568ff).

  153. There was no testimony suggesting that the present ward map was retrogressive, the number of Latino and African-American majority wards did not decrease under the present ward map.

  154. Judge Ruble-Murphy testified that she attempted to draw the wards for the referendum map with populations as equal as possible. (Tr. 572,581-82). In the final map, the largest population deviation was 59 persons, or a deviation from the ideal ward population of 55,675 of approximately .01%. Judge Ruble-Murphy testified credibly that she based her fidelity to a zero population deviation standard on her understanding of one person one vote principles. (Tr. 6971). Judge Ruble-Murphy also relied upon the requests of the north-side aldermen, who were predominantly white, in attempting to achieve minimal population deviations. The Latino Committee also generally favored minimal population deviations.

  155. This Court notes that in her early partial draft maps, Judge Ruble-Murphy utilized population deviations and that she also used population deviations with a total swing of approximately 7% in the Equity Map. The practical effect of the switch to a zero population deviation strategy was to make it nearly impossible to create an additional African-American majority ward on the west side of the City. Adopting a zero deviation strategy did not, however, result in the creation of an additional white majority or plurality ward. Nor did the adoption of a zero population deviation strategy necessarily result in the diminution of the number of minority wards. White population from the overpopulated north side wards was used both to re-populate the west side African-American majority wards and as filler in the new Latino majority wards. White and African-American population from the old 42nd and 1st wards was used to re-populate the 27th and 2nd wards. Additionally, white population from the 36th and 30th wards was used to repopulate the 29th ward. Excess white population was also inserted into the 31st and 26th wards in order to equalize population in those wards and to permit the creation of the additional Latino majority 35th and 1st wards. The concrete effect of these population transfers was to triple the number of whites living in African-American or Latino majority wards on the west or near northwest sides. (Compare SX 1,3). Either utilizing population deviations or including excess white population in minority-majority wards tends to have the same effect -- namely permitting the preservation or the drawing of additional minority-majority wards. That Judge Ruble-Murphy utilized one permissible map drawing method rather than another is not necessarily discriminatory nor does it necessarily result in a dilution of minority voting strength.

  156. During the redistricting process, Judge Ruble-Murphy did not strictly apply the 65% total population/60% voting age population rule of thumb from Ketchum. Nor did Judge Ruble-Murphy ever perform an independent analysis of the effectiveness of the wards. Rather, Judge Ruble-Murphy attempted to accommodate requests by minority aldermen and community representatives as to what they "needed" for their respective wards (Tr. 649- Ruble-Murphy). The Latino Committee advocated that Latino majority wards be drawn with minimum majorities of 70% Latino total population on the Southwest side, 65% total population on the North side, and 70% total population in the 1st ward. (Tr. 649- Ruble-Murphy). The Fair Map coalition and its representatives similarly advocated that the African-American majority wards be drawn with high total age population majorities of approximately 70% or voting-age population majorities of 65%. (Tr. 649-50). In general, Judge Ruble-Murphy attempted to adhere to these requests whenever possible.

  157. Judge Ruble-Murphy's awareness of the Ketchum 65% rule of thumb for effectiveness, however, belies the contention that there are indeed 20 effective African-American maps contained in the Referendum Map, since the 18th Ward does not meet this benchmark. The 18th ward contained in the referendum map has an African-American total population majority of 55.382% and a voting-age population majority of 53.632%. This Court will address the proffered reasons for drawing the 18th Ward as it was included in the Referendum Map at PP 185-194.

  158. Judge Ruble-Murphy also testified, and this Court credits that testimony, that she attempted to draw the wards as compactly as possible. (Tr. 574). Compactness is a statutory requirement in Illinois. 65 ILCS 20/21-36. Compactness was also important to many of the alderman in order to allow them to service their wards effectively. (Tr. 6848-49-Burke). In general, except for some of the relatively irregular wards in the north and southwest sides necessitated by the drawing of 7 Latino supermajority wards, and the subsequent irregularities in the surrounding wards, the ward boundaries in the Referendum Map are generally more compact than those contained in either the Fair or Equity Maps.

  159. Judge Ruble-Murphy also testified that she attempted to adhere as closely as possible to existing ward boundaries. In order to facilitate this process in September, 1991 each alderman was asked to answer a questionnaire in which he/she was asked to identify the "core" neighborhoods of his/her ward, important community and/or religious institutions in the wards, and important business centers of the wards. Judge Ruble-Murphy attempted to accommodate these interests. (Tr. 575-76- Ruble-Murphy).

  160. It was not always possible to adhere to the "least-change" strategy when preparing the new ward boundaries. Several considerations made it impossible to adhere strictly to a "least change" policy. The entirely new Latino wards, particularly the 1st and 12th wards, bore almost no resemblance to any traditional ward boundaries. Only small fractions of the old 12th and 1st wards are contained in the new 12th and 1st wards. The significant changes in these two wards set off a chain reaction of new boundaries and necessitated allocations of large portions of population in the surrounding wards. Second, it was necessary to account for the population shifts in the City which, as of 1990, had left the north side wards largely overpopulated and the south side wards, generally with African-American majorities, largely underpopulated. (Tr. 719-20 - Ruble-Murphy). This phenomenon occurred even though the overall white population decreased by approximately 240,000 between 1980 and 1990 and the African-American population decreased by approximately 120,000 between 1980 and 1990. On the north side the decreased white population was offset, relatively speaking, by increased Latino, Asian, and African-American population in these portions of the City, which left the north and northwest side with white majorities which were slightly less dense than had previously been the case. For example, almost 23,000 African-Americans moved into the north side lakefront wards, the 46th, 48th and 49th wards, between 1980 and 1990 -- this area, however, remained plurality white. Meanwhile in the African-American majority wards on the south side there was no offsetting influx of population to ameliorate the outflow of African-American population.

  161. Given Judge Ruble-Murphy's efforts to hold population deviations to a minimum, it was necessary to alter ward boundaries in order to account for these changes in the City's population patterns. These two considerations -- the new wards and population equalization -- combined to result in significant changes in traditional ward boundaries. For example, the 2nd ward, which was traditionally a near south side ward became a ward that stretches from its traditional near south side heartland to the Printer's Row neighborhood in Downtown and then extends west in a narrow band between Roosevelt Road and 16th Street to Western Avenue until it juts north to pick up some African-American majority census blocks on the west side. The significant changes in the 2nd ward were necessitated by the serious underpopulation of the ward, as of the 1990 census the ward was more than 18% beneath the ideal population, and the eradication of the traditional Downtown 1st ward. In essence, the 2nd ward gained the necessary population by acquiring the southern territory of the old 1st ward. Thus, where the least change strategy was not utilized, and it was not used in many instances, the reason for its abandonment was generally due to the overriding strategies of creating the new Latino majority wards or the southeast side influence ward (this accounts for the large population transfers in the 10th, 14th, 26th and 32nd wards), or to equalize population, or due to a combination of the two factors (which accounts for the transfers of population in the 15th and 42nd wards).

  162. Judge Ruble-Murphy received substantial input from the members of the Latino Committee when drawing the Latino majority wards for the referendum map. (Tr. 6965). She, of course, had the target population figures and approximate ward maps that had been worked out on November 13th. She also consulted with several of the incumbent Latino alderman and other Latino public officials concerning the Latino wards contained in the Referendum map. The percentages of total population in the northwest side wards all remained over 65% Latino, and the Ukrainian Village community, which is majority white remained carved out of the 1st and 26th wards.

  163. This Court also heard suggestions that the boundaries of the 25th, 22nd and 12th wards were changed extensively from those proposed in the November 13th compromise. This Court is satisfied that a chief reason for this change was that then-Alderman Medrano of the 25th Ward, and an ally of the council leadership, actively sought the inclusion of the Chinatown community, which was traditionally part of the old 1st ward, into the Latino majority 25th ward. (Tr. 6968-Ruble-Murphy; Tr. 821-Huels). The inclusion, for whatever reason, of Chinatown into the 25th ward set off a chain reaction forcing the 25th ward's boundary with the 12th ward to shift to the east, which also resulted in changes to the 22nd ward's boundaries. In spite of these changes in the boundaries of the 25th, 12th and 22nd wards, the level of Latino population in these wards remained over the target of 70% that had been set in earlier negotiations. While the configurations of the wards changed, the configurations were similar to those agreed upon in November (Tr. 1234-Gutierrez) and despite these changes, the effectiveness of these wards was not impaired.

  164. The Latino percentage in the 10th Ward, however, decreased by approximately 2.5% between the November 13th compromise map and the Referendum Map from 45.691% to 43.133% of the total population. It would be inaccurate, however, to conclude that this change was affected in order to increase the white incumbent's chances of success because the white population percentage also decreased slightly between the two maps from 43.859% in the November compromise map to 43.148% in the Referendum Map. (Compare DX 167, SX1). The reason for these changes was the addition of African-American population to the 10th ward, the African-American population percentage increased from 10.014% in the Equity Map to 13.216% in the Referendum Map. Thus, rather than increasing the white incumbent's chances for success, the Referendum Map actually added minority population to the 10th ward and decreased the white plurality in the ward.

  165. The balance of the wards, the African-American majority wards and the far north side lakefront wards, were for the most part prepared by Judge Ruble-Murphy without any contemporaneous advice from the aldermen. The exceptions to this rule were the aldermen of the 8th and 34th wards, who were members of the Equity Coalition, who had substantial input into the shape of their wards for the Referendum Map. The remaining effective African-American majority wards, as well as the 46th and 49th wards, which were represented by members of the Fair Coalition, were drawn by Judge Ruble-Murphy without any input, with neither a request nor an offer from anyone for further discussion, other than her records of the November compromise discussions and her previous informational meetings with the aldermen in the late summer and fall. It was an unfortunate consequence of the breakdown in negotiations and the acrimonious tone surrounding the redistricting process that Judge Ruble-Murphy, on behalf of the Equity Coalition, and Mr. Miner, on behalf of the Fair Coalition, were left to prepare maps for the referendum without substantial input from all the members of the City Council. It is an unavoidable fact of a redistricting process that very few legislators are entirely happy with the results, and that was particularly the case in the 1991 ward remap when the City Council broke down into opposing factions that by the end of the process had stopped talking to each other.

  166. The Fair Map was likewise prepared for referendum in a vacuum without any input from members of the competing Equity Coalition. The Fair Map contained 22 effective African-American wards. The Fair Map also contained 7 Latino supermajority wards but did not consolidate most of the Latino population on the southeast side into a single ward.

  7. The Referendum

  167. On February 4, 1992, the Equity Coalition filed its map with the City Clerk for submission to referendum on the March 17, 1992 ballot. On that same day, the Fair Coalition filed its map to the City Clerk for inclusion in the referendum. Inexplicably, the referendum did not include a picture of the respective maps, nor did it identify the maps by name. The referendum simply listed the names of the aldermen who signed the respective filing petitions. (PJX 117).

  168. Since no map was ever approved by the necessary supermajority of the Rules Committee, the final hearing envisioned by the redistricting ordinance was never held.

  169. At the referendum, three of the four incumbent Latino aldermen were cosponsors of the Referendum Map. Senator Garcia, then alderman of the 22nd ward, did not endorse either map.

  170. Additionally, the demographer of the Latino Institute, Michael Norkewicz, who also acted in the same role for the Latino Committee prepared an analysis of the two ward maps which suggested that the Latino Institute endorse the Referendum Map. (DX 203,206). This memorandum is relevant only insofar as it reiterates the prudential concerns motivating the original November 13th compromise. Norkewicz concluded that on the southwest side no more than 4 effective Latino majority wards could be drawn, and that the Referendum Map generally conformed to the November 13th agreement. Norkewicz's memorandum reiterated the Latino Committee's position that Latino majority wards had to be drawn with very high percentage majorities because of concerns about low citizenship and registration rates. Norkewicz was also critical of the Fair Map's failure to include a southeast side Latino influence ward. While members of the Latino Institute and the Latino Committee were aware of this suggestion, these organizations did not endorse either map.

  171. The referendum process allowed the aldermanic coalitions to take their cases directly to the voters, an eventuality that had frequently been threatened during the course of negotiations over a compromise map. In connection with the referendum campaign the Council leadership raised approximately $ 250,000 and the Fair Map coalition raised approximately $ 25,000. (BAPX 10,11). This disparity permitted the Referendum Map coalition to campaign much more aggressively in support of their map, the Fair Map coalition limited its campaign largely to the African-American community.

  172. In spite of the manner in which the City Council broke down during the redistricting process, the referendum campaign contained little advertising that could even remotely be termed as making a racial appeal. Much of the advertising in favor of the Referendum Map highlighted the extent to which the map retained traditional ward boundaries and kept neighborhoods intact. It is not surprising that the incumbent of the 10th ward campaigned by focusing on the fact that the Fair Map split the 10th ward between the 7th, 8th, 9th and a reconstituted 10th ward while the Referendum Map retained the traditional neighborhoods of the ward. (PJX 57). Nor does the "council wars" flyer, distributed by some aldermen, which offered voters a choice between a "vote for a new ward map which will keep Chicago moving forward, or one that will bring warfare back to City Council" necessarily make a racial appeal, although it certainly does make a veiled reference to the "council wars" era of the Washington administration. The flyer observes that the Mayor and a multiracial coalition consisting of a majority of the City Council also supported the Referendum Map while the opposing map had not received such broad support. (PJX 56).

  173. The Referendum Map was approved at the March 17, 1992 referendum by a vote of 257,769 for the present ward map and a vote of 163,258 for the Fair Map.

  174. The referendum vote broke down along racial lines. African-Americans supported the Fair Map at an estimated rate of approximately 89% while non-African-Americans supported the current ward map at an estimated rate of approximately 87%. The Latino turnout for the referendum was estimated to be less than 1% of the Latino voting age population so it was not possible accurately to estimate Latino support for the proposed maps. (BAPX 13).

  175. The first elections using the current ward map were the February 1995 aldermanic elections. As a result of these elections 24 white, 19 African-American, and seven Latino aldermen were elected to the City Council. To reiterate a previously stated fact, the final elections under the Ketchum-settlement map in 1991 resulted in the election of 28 white, 18 African-American, and 4 Latino aldermen.

  D. The Contours of the Referendum Map and Incumbency Protection

  176. Plaintiffs contend that the Referendum Map was drawn to protect powerful white incumbents to the detriment of Latino and African-American representation. This Court concludes that concerns about the effectiveness of the new Latino wards rather than the protection of white incumbents provided the basis for the drawing of the relevant ward boundaries in the Referendum Map. The question of possibly improper incumbency protection revolves around the 14th ward represented by Alderman Burke, the 11th ward represented by Alderman Huels, the 33rd ward represented by Alderman Mell, and the 32nd ward represented by Alderman Gabinski, who are among the most senior and powerful aldermen in the City Council. As an initial observation, the Court notes that the Referendum Map contained wards which effectively made it impossible for three white aldermen to succeed in their reconstituted wards -- the 12th ward represented by first-term Alderman Fary was significantly transformed into a ward with a 72.53% total population Latino majority; the traditional 1st Ward, represented by Alderman Mazzola was eliminated and moved to the near northwest side and Mazzola's residence was moved into the 42nd ward represented by Alderman Natarus; the 30th and 35th wards were combined and reconstituted so as to make room for a new Latino majority 35th ward leaving the incumbents, Aldermen Bialczak and Wojcik in the same ward.

  177. That several white incumbents were not protected would not, however, excuse a ward map that simultaneously protected several of the most senior leaders of the City Council in a manner that diluted minority voting power. This Court, however, concludes that the 14th, 11th, 33rd, and 42nd wards were not drawn so as to limit minority representation.

  178. As of 1990, under the prior ward map, in terms of total population the 11th ward was a plurality white ward, the 14th ward was a plurality Latino ward, the 33rd ward was a majority Latino ward, and the 32nd ward was also a slim majority Latino ward. (SX 2). Yet in the 1991 aldermanic elections Aldermen Burke, Mell, and Huels all ran unopposed and Alderman Gabinski was reelected. Each of these aldermen had exhibited a degree of skill at responding to Latino constituent concerns, in fact some of Aldermen Mell's best precincts were in Latino areas of the 33rd Ward. (Tr. 1218-Gutierrez).

  179. After the Referendum Map was approved, the 11th, 14th and 32nd wards all had white total population majorities, and the 33rd ward had a white total population plurality. The decrease in Latino population in each of these wards was according to Judge Ruble-Murphy primarily due to the attempt to draw Latino areas with high Latino population concentrations into the new Latino majority wards. (Tr. 865, 6970). Judge Ruble-Murphy testified that she did not attempt to create white majorities in these wards. (Tr. 6885). Nor, is there anything in the record to suggest that any of these incumbents, particularly Burke, Mell, and Huels, needed to be given "safe" white majority wards in order to continue in office. Alderman Mell, for example was quite vocal in expressing his willingness to keep a majority Latino population in his ward since he had historically done very well in Latino precincts.

  180. This Court credits Judge Ruble-Murphy's testimony, and that of Alderman Burke, that she first drew the new Latino majority wards and then drew the surrounding wards to fill in the gaps so as take up census blocks that did not have a high enough Latino concentration to be included in the new wards. (Tr. 865, 6970). The 32nd ward for example, has its irregular shape because of the attempt to draw a 1st ward with a Latino total population majority greater than 68% which necessitated the connector to the Ukrainian Village neighborhood. Similarly, the oddly shaped trunk-like southwest portion of the 11th ward was drawn because that neighborhood did not have a high enough percentage of Latinos for the new 12th ward. (Tr. 821-Huels).

  181. Similarly, the new configuration of the 14th ward was not drawn in a manner protecting Alderman Burke to the detriment of minority voters. The movement of the 14th ward was necessitated by two legitimate concerns: the creation of the new 12th ward and the repopulation of the 16th ward. The African-American majority 16th ward, was underpopulated by 14%. All the African-American wards adjoining the 16th ward were also underpopulated. Meanwhile, the 14th ward was overpopulated by approximately 24% and was, therefore, a logical candidate to contribute population to the neighboring wards. In order to restore the population of the 16th ward, the ward's borders were shifted to the northwest to add the northern portion of the 15th ward (which moved to the west) and then added the northeast corner of the 14th ward adding a portion of the predominantly African-American and Latino Back of the Yards neighborhood. At the same time the eastern boundaries of the 14th ward were imposed by the new 12th ward which was drawn as a snaking corridor connecting a portion of the Little Village neighborhood, most of the predominantly Latino areas of the old 12th ward, and the northern half of the Back of the Yards neighborhood -- the new 12th ward contained only a slim portion of the old 12th ward, a sliver which cut through the center of the old ward. The 11th ward added most of the eastern portion of the old 12th ward (meanwhile the eastern end of the 11th ward was transferred to the 3rd ward) and the 14th ward was moved to the northwest to add the western portion of the old 12th ward. (SX 1, SX 3).

  182. While plaintiffs astutely observe that the earliest draft partial maps concentrated on the southwest side and included configurations for the 14th ward similar to the one included in the Referendum Map, it is equally true that several of the early partial draft maps envisioned a new Latino ward following the long, narrow boundaries of the 12th ward as included in the Referendum Map. (SX. 25, 26, 27, 32, 45, 53, 54, 70, 82, 107). Creating a new Latino majority ward on the southwest side necessarily required the inclusion of much of the 14th ward into that new ward, and given the thinking of the time, because of concerns about citizenship, registration, and the population percentage needed to create an effective Latino ward, Judge Ruble-Murphy as well as the members of the Latino Committee felt that it would be more responsible to include a portion of the old 22nd ward in the new Latino majority ward rather than try to create a ward including the areas of Gage Park and Marquette Park which have less dense Latino majorities. This decision, not a desire to protect alderman Burke's incumbency, led to the carving up of the old 12th ward and the movement of the 14th ward into the void left by the creation of the new 12th ward.

  183. The manner in which the 11th, 14th, and 33rd wards were drawn also exhibits a laudable level of political realism which had the effect of ensuring Latino electoral success rather than, as plaintiffs now suggest, limiting minority political representation. Drawing either Alderman Burke, Huels or Mell into a new Latino minority ward would likely not have furthered the goal of increasing Latino representation because of the risk, given the previous success of all three aldermen among their Latino constituents, that the incumbents would prevail. No prudent candidate would have sought to run against three of the most successful, powerful, and popular aldermen in the City, and no one during the process seriously suggested that the new Latino majority wards should overlap with the 11th, 14th, or 33rd wards. (Tr. 257-6, 6861- Burke). Coincidentally, although it is not of much relevance, the Fair Maps also preserve the incumbencies of Aldermen Burke, Mell, Huels, and Gabinski. (SX 96,99, DX 198).

  184. This Court cannot detect any evidence that the 42nd ward was drawn in a manner which diluted minority voting strength for the benefit of the incumbent alderman, Burton Natarus. Prior to the redistricting, the 42nd ward had long included the Cabrini-Green Housing project which had a population that was almost entirely African-American. The old 42nd ward was approximately 26% African-American. Alderman Natarus was adamantly opposed to removing Cabrini-Green from the 42nd ward because he objected to drawing ward boundaries which focused solely on race. (Natarus Dep. Des. 59-60, 104-05). In addition, Alderman Natarus had long received electoral support from African-American voters who historically preferred him over African-American aldermanic candidates and had in the past relied on African-American support to defeat white challengers. (BAPX 150).

  E. The Southwest Side -- The 18th Ward

  185. Judge Ruble-Murphy's decision to retain the 18th Ward in substantially the same form as it had been drawn in the Ketchum settlement map was a particularly thorny area of dispute in this case.

  186. The dispute concerning the 18th ward can be adequately considered only when the population figures of the surrounding wards are also taken into account. As of the 1990 census the relevant population figures for the 18th and the surrounding wards were as follows: Ward TP Deviation % TP(VAP) % TP(VAP) % TP(VAP) African-Am White % Latino 18 55,141 -.958% 55.63 41.34 .43 (53.93) (43.48) (.40) 13 59,567 6.991% .19 85.27 13.54 (.19) (87.83) (11.06) 15 55,169 -.908% 81.39 11.91 5.83 (78.73) (15.05) (5.33) 17 51,671 -7.191% 98.31 1.03 .43 (98.02) (1.36) (.40) 21 52,197 -6.246% 98.76 .71 .36 (98.63) (.85) (.32) 19 57.011 2.401% 20.57 77.03 1.76 (19.37) (78.58) (1.46)

  187. In summary, the surrounding African-American wards were generally significantly underpopulated and needed to add population. Meanwhile, the white majority wards were very near or significantly over the target population. Thus as of 1990, Judge Ruble-Murphy faced a situation where the two corner wards, 18 and 19, were very near the ideal population and the surrounding African-American majority wards were generally underpopulated and had to be adjusted.

  188. Early in the redistricting process, it appeared that the 18th ward would be significantly reconfigured. Alderman Murphy, who was a first term incumbent, was advised in his August meeting with Alderman Burke to begin looking for new employment. (Tr. 3430, 3432-Murphy). At this time, Judge Ruble-Murphy was drafting very preliminary maps which included an 18th ward that either 1) combined the white population of the 18th and 19th wards and transferred the African-American populations of those wards to the adjoining African-American majority wards or 2) moved the 13th ward to the west and south adding the white population of the 18th ward and transferring the African-American population of the 18th ward to the adjoining African-American majority wards. (SX 25).

  189. Meanwhile, in his appointments at the computer room, Alderman Murphy worked on draft maps for his ward which took account of the likelihood that his ward would undergo significant change, and also increased the white percentage in the ward, in general these draft maps resulted in the transfer of African-American population to the seriously underpopulated 17th ward and the addition of population from the neighboring 13th ward. (SX 50,79). These draft maps were nothing more than drafts. It was highly unlikely that the 13th ward would undergo any significant changes in its borders to benefit Alderman Murphy since it was doubtful that the 13th ward Democratic Committeeman and State Representative, and Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, Michael Madigan would approve of these changes to his ward.

  190. During the September and October public hearings on the southwest side, Alderman Murphy, more than any other alderman, effectively mobilized his constituents who overwhelmingly testified that they did not wish to see the 18th ward's boundaries changed. (SX 7,16)

  191. In October 1991 Alderman Murphy attended a meeting also attended by Congressman Lipinski, Committeeman of the 23rd Ward, Speaker of the House Madigan, Committeeman of the 13th Ward, and Alderman Burke, Committeeman of the 14th ward, in which the likely relocation of the 14th ward, and its effects on the neighboring southwest side wards was discussed. (Tr. 3490-93-Murphy). Several proposals were discussed at this meeting, several of which would have resulted in the 13th ward moving to the south and the 18th ward being bumped to the east. As a first term alderman who had been elected less than a year earlier, Alderman Murphy did not wish to see the boundaries of the ward he represented undergo a significant change. Eventually, Alderman Murphy agreed to a compromise which would leave the 18th ward largely untouched. (Tr. 3494-95). This strategy was eventually followed in both the Equity Map and the Referendum Map, and the 14th Ward, in making room for a new Latino majority ward, was shifted to assume portions of the 13th ward and the western portion of the 12th ward. This strategy minimized the extent to which the boundaries of neighboring wards would have to be changed.

  192. It simply flies in the face of logic to contend that the 18th ward was drawn in the manner it was in order to protect the incumbency of Alderman Murphy. Under the circumstances, very few participants in the process, other than Alderman Murphy himself, attached much value to the protection of his incumbency. Alderman Murphy won election in 1991 in a very close race, and the effect of the Referendum Map was to leave him in a ward in which he would likely face a close race in the future.

  193. At this stage of its analysis, this Court can find no discriminatory intent in the drawing of this ward, one of the few wards where a racial identification of the ward cannot be readily applied. This is one of the few wards in the City of Chicago where candidates, in order to succeed, cannot take it for granted that they will be assured victory without having to appeal to voters of another race or ethnic group. It is, in theory, a laudable notion that in the 18th ward it is necessary to build a biracial coalition in order to achieve electoral success. The need to compromise, to bargain, to barter, and to seek a majority if not a consensus is a necessary part of the political process, a part of the political process which should hasten the end of racial divisions in our society. It is preferable that a candidate should be forced to seek the support of a diverse electorate, as is necessary in the 18th ward, than that voters be fenced into wards were they are unlikely to be exposed to a diversity of political views. It is likely that a candidate, of any race, will be more responsive to the diversity of public concerns if he or she has to be elected from a diverse ward instead of from a segregated ward. Adequate representation cannot be equated with racial tokenism, in theory the 18th ward is precisely that type of ward where it is impossible to equate representation with racial tokenism.

  194. The 18th and 19th wards were corner wards which were very close to ideal population. Meanwhile many of the surrounding wards were either very overpopulated (the 14th and 13th wards) or were severely underpopulated (the 17th and 16th wards). Rather than significantly alter a corner ward that was near the target population, the nearby underpopulated wards were repopulated by population transfers from the overpopulated 14th ward, which also permitted the creation of a new Latino supermajority ward.

   II. LEGAL STANDARDS

  A. Voting Rights Act Section 2

  1. General Standards

  Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (the "VRA") was intended to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment's guarantee that no citizen's right to vote "be denied or abridged ... on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." U.S. Const. Am. 15, Voinovich v. Quilter, 507 U.S. 146, 113 S. Ct. 1149, 122 L. Ed. 2d 500 (1993).

  Congress amended the Voting Rights Act in 1982 to make it explicit that a finding of intent to discriminate was not required in order to establish a Section 2 violation. S.Rep. 97-417 (1982), 1982 U.S.C.C.A.N. 177, 179. The 1982 amendments were intended to abrogate the Supreme Court's decision in City of Mobile v. Bolden, 446 U.S. 55, 100 S. Ct. 1490, 64 L. Ed. 2d 47 (1990), which held that the VRA required plaintiffs to make a showing of discriminatory intent. Thornburg v. Gingles, 478 U.S. 30, 34, 106 S. Ct. 2752, 2758, 92 L. Ed. 2d 25 (1986). The 1982 amendment re-instituted the discriminatory results test previously employed in White v. Regester, 412 U.S. 755, 93 S. Ct. 2332, 37 L. Ed. 2d 314 (1973). "Congress substantially revised § 2 to make clear that a violation could be proved by showing discriminatory effect alone and to establish as the relevant legal standard, the 'results test,' applied by this Court in White v. Regester, 412 U.S. 755, 93 S. Ct. 2332, 37 L. Ed. 2d 314 ... and by other federal courts before Bolden..." Gingles, 478 U.S. at 35, 106 S. Ct. at 2758.

  § 2 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1973, provides:

  

(a) No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision in a manner which results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 1973b(f)(2) *fn12" of this title, as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

  

(b) A violation of subsection (a) is established if, based on the totality of the circumstances, it is shown that the political processes leading to nomination or election in the State or political subdivision are not equally open to participation by members of a class of citizens protected by subsection (a) of this section in that its members have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice. The extent to which members of a protected class have been elected to office in the State or political subdivision is one circumstance which may be considered:

  

Provided, That nothing in this section establishes a right to have members of a protected class elected in numbers equal to their proportion in the population.

  42 U.S.C. § 1973. Therefore, VRA § 2 requires, as its most essential characteristic, a searching analysis of the myriad increments of the particular political process which might establish that minority voters have less opportunity to participate in the political process or to elect representatives of their choice:

  

The essence of a § 2 claim is that a certain electoral law, practice, or structure interacts with social and historical conditions to cause an inequality in the opportunities enjoyed by [minority] and white voters to elect their preferred representatives.

  Gingles, 478 U.S. at 47, 106 S. Ct. at 2765 (applying the VRA to an at-large electoral system); Voinovich ; 507 U.S. at 152-53, 113 S. Ct. at 1155-56 (applying the VRA to a challenge of a single-member district system). Thus, while VRA § 2 is not meant to provide an assurance of proportional success for minority candidates at the polls, See Johnson v. De Grandy, 512 U.S. 997, 1017-18, 114 S. Ct. 2647, 2660, 129 L. Ed. 2d 775 (1994), it is, at least, supposed to provide an assurance of fairness. UNO v. City of Holyoke, 72 F.3d 973, 979 (1st Cir. 1995).

  The Voting Rights Act does not require a federal court to micro-manage or strictly scrutinize the districting choices of legislative bodies, for a federal court's review of districting legislation represents a significant intrusion into what has traditionally been one of the most primary of local political functions. See, Miller v. Johnson, 515 U.S. 900, 132 L. Ed. 2d 762, 115 S. Ct. 2475, 2488 (1995)(equal protection challenge to a "race-based" district). It is not enough for a plaintiff in a Section 2 case merely to claim that lines could have been drawn differently because some dividing and combination which disappoints some part of the community is inevitable in the districting process and is bound to befall any population group of substantial size. De Grandy, 512 U.S. 1015, 114 S. Ct. at 2659; African-American Voting Rights Legal Defense Fund v. Villa, 54 F.3d 1345, 1355 (8th Cir. 1995).

  2. Types of Vote Dilution

  The inequality of opportunity which the Voting Rights Act seeks to eradicate includes not merely schemes limiting actual minority access to the polling place or a minority member's ability to seek elective office. The VRA also addresses electoral schemes which minimize the ability of minority members to elect candidates of their choice by diluting minority voting strength. Plaintiffs may allege, not only that they have no opportunity to elect their preferred candidates, but also that they have been denied as much opportunity as that to which they are entitled:

  

Plaintiffs challenging single-member districts may claim, not total submergence, but partial submergence; not the chance for some electoral success in place of none, but the chance for more success in place of some.

  De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1012-13, 114 S. Ct. at 2658. The appropriate measure of Section 2, however, can never be the failure to maximize the number of minority wards:

  

One may suspect vote dilution from political famine, but one is not entitled to suspect (much less infer) dilution from mere failure to guarantee a political feast ... The failure to maximize cannot be the measure of Section 2.

  De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1016-17, 114 S. Ct. at 2659-60.

  Vote dilution, as it is relevant to this case, can take the form of: 1) packing, the concentrating of minority members into districts in which they constitute an excessive majority; or 2) fracturing, the dispersing of a minority community into separate political districts thus preventing a minority community from constituting a majority within a single district. Hastert v. State Board of Elections, 777 F. Supp. 634, 646 (N.D. Ill. 1991). Fracturing is the process by which a minority group which could form a sizeable majority in one district is split into two or more districts where the minority members constitute an ineffective political grouping in each. Ketchum, 740 F.2d at 1408, n. 8. It is particularly relevant evidence of a Section 2 violation if packing or fracturing has occurred in a manner disproportionately affecting minority communities. See De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1015, 114 S. Ct. at 2659.

  3. Influence Districts

  In addition to the recognized forms of vote dilution demonstrated by packing and fracturing, courts have increasingly been called upon to consider claims for the failure to create "influence districts." An influence district is a district including sufficient members of a minority group able substantially to influence an election but not numerous enough to comprise a majority in a district. UNO, 72 F.3d at 979, n.2; McNeil v. Springfield Park Dist., 851 F.2d 937, 947 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 109 S. Ct. 1764 (1988). The few courts that have recognized the viability of an "influence district" claim have generally held that an influence district exists when members of a minority group compose more than 25% of the VAP of a district. Rural West Tennessee African-American Affairs Cncl. v. McWherter, 877 F. Supp. 1096, 1101 (W.D. Tenn. 1995), aff'd, 116 S. Ct. 42 (1995).

  The Supreme Court has declined on four occasions explicitly to decide whether an influence dilution claim is cognizable under VRA § 2. See De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1009, 114 S. Ct. at 2656; Voinovich, 507 U.S. at 158, 113 S. Ct. at 1157-58; Growe, 507 U.S. 25, 113 S. Ct. 1075, 1084, n. 5, 122 L. Ed. 2d 388 (1993); Gingles, 478 U.S. at 56-47, n. 12, 106 S. Ct. at 2764, n. 12. The Seventh Circuit, however, has rejected the claim that the failure to create an influence district can be a basis for a claim under Section 2. McNeill, 851 F.2d at 947. Courts in this district have generally refused to recognize influence districts because of the extent to which "influence dilution claims" would broaden the scope of Section 2 and would require a complete reappraisal of the Gingles analytical framework. Illinois Legislative Redistricting Committee v. LaPaille, 786 F. Supp. 704, 715 (N.D. Ill. 1992); Hastert, 777 F. Supp. at 651. Courts could well be flooded by marginal claims if plaintiffs needed only to show that their ability to influence elections has been weakened -- the requirement that a minority group be large enough to control a district, not merely influence it, enables courts to adjudicate VRA claims with a modicum of consistency. LaPaille, 786 F. Supp. at 715. It is also extremely difficult to make any sort of objective, non-speculative assessment of the ability of a particular community to "swing" an election; while political consultants may feel comfortable making such guesses, such speculative assessments are far beyond the expertise of most courts. Id.

  The judicial review of districting decisions under VRA § 2 is not intended to require judicial supervision of every map drawing choice. The entertaining of influence district claims would force courts to intrude further into an area best left to legislative discretion by requiring courts to scrutinize the legitimacy of district boundaries even where it is impossible to create a district in which minorities would constitute a majority. This Court can see no justification for going beyond the requirements of VRA § 2 and the analytical framework of Gingles in order to entertain a claim alleging that the City failed to create an adequate influence district on the southeast side.

  The discussion of influence districts cannot end, however, with the absence of a cause of action for influence dilution under the Voting Rights Act. De... Grandy's discussion of the obligation of minority voters to "pull, haul, and trade, to find common political ground...the virtue of which is not to be slighted in applying a statute meant the waning of racism in American politics," appears to recognize the relevance of influence districts, not as a basis for a VRA § 2 cause of action, but as a factor in considering the totality of the circumstances surrounding minority voters' ability to participate in the political process. See De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1020, 114 S. Ct. at 2661. In this context, the relevant question is not whether the VRA requires the creation of influence districts, but whether the voluntary creation of influence districts should be counted as a factor weighing against finding a Section 2 violation. McWherter, 877 F. Supp. at 1102. This consideration must be undertaken cautiously, however, since the creation of influence districts could well be a subtle form of fracturing. Since De Grandy requires a searching analysis of the totality of the circumstances concerning the ability of minority members to participate in the political process, the extent to which minority voters can exert influence in districts which are not majority-minority districts should be included in the calculus. See Id. Voters in districts in which they constitute a sizeable, possibly decisive, portion of the population have the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice, even if they do not have the opportunity to elect their ideal candidate.

  4. Gingles Test

  The Supreme Court first interpreted the amended Section 2 in a case involving a challenge to a multi-member at-large districting scheme instituted by the North Carolina legislature. Thornburg v. Gingles, 478 U.S. 30, 106 S. Ct. 2752, 92 L. Ed. 2d 25. The Gingles Court held that three threshold conditions must be established by plaintiffs in order to prevail on a Voting Rights Act § 2 claim:

  

First, the minority group must be able to demonstrate that it is sufficiently large and geographically compact to constitute a majority in a single-member district...Second, the minority must be able to show that it is politically cohesive...Third, the minority must be able to demonstrate that the white majority votes sufficiently as a bloc to enable it-in the absence of special circumstances,...-usually to defeat the minority's preferred candidate.

  Gingles, 478 U.S. at 50-51, 106 S. Ct. at 2766. The Supreme Court subsequently applied, without modification, the Gingles test to claims alleging vote dilution in connection with single-member districts. Growe, 507 U.S. at 37-42, 113 S. Ct. at 1084; Voinovich, 507 U.S. at 157, 113 S. Ct. 1149, 1157. While the Gingles preconditions were applied without modification in the single-member district context, in Voinovich the Court stated that the Gingles factors ought not to be applied mechanically but must be considered in the light of the specific dilution claim being made. Voinovich, 507 U.S. at 158, 113 S. Ct. at 1157. The application of the Gingles test, originally designed for at-large districting schemes, to a multi-district single-member districting scheme requires significant gymnastics on the part of a reviewing court. A test more closely tailored to the relevant districting scheme would likely ameliorate the present complexity and confusion of voting rights jurisprudence. In De Grandy, the Court recognized that in the context of partial-dilution claims in single-member districts, a court may not rest uncritically on assumptions about the force of the three Gingles factors. De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1013, 114 S. Ct. at 2658.

  In order to prevail on a VRA § 2 claim, plaintiffs must first establish each of the three preconditions by a preponderance of the evidence. Gingles, 478 U.S. at 50, 106 S. Ct. at 2766.

  The first two Gingles preconditions ask whether minority voters within a constituency have the potential to elect representatives of their choice. Growe, 507 U.S. at 39-41, 113 S. Ct. at 1084; UNO v. City of Holyoke, 72 F.3d at 979. In essence, these two preconditions ask the trial court to anticipate whether it can fashion a remedy for a violation of Section 2 of the Act. Nipper v. Smith, 39 F.3d 1494, 1511 (11th Cir. 1994)(en banc), cert. denied, 514 U.S. 1083, 131 L. Ed. 2d 723, 115 S. Ct. 1795 (1995). There can be no § 2 violation, or potential remedy, for a group that lacks the population, or geographical compactness, or political cohesiveness to benefit from the drawing of an additional single-member district. McNeill, 851 F.2d at 942. It is important, however, to keep in mind that when considering the feasibility of various alternative maps the maximization of minority districts can never be the touchstone of Section 2. De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1016, 114 S. Ct. at 2659.

  Since Gingles propounded a functional evaluation of whether the minority population is large enough to form an additional district, courts have been flexible in assessing the showing made for this precondition. Plaintiffs' proposed districts are not cast in stone, they are merely presented in order to demonstrate that additional minority districts are feasible. Sanchez v. State of Colorado, 97 F.3d 1303, 1311 (10th Cir. 1996); Clark v. Calhoun County, Miss., 21 F.3d 92, 95 (5th Cir. 1994). *fn13"

   In McNeil the Seventh Circuit has ruled that voting age population ("VAP") is the relevant population standard for determining the first Gingles prong. McNeil, 851 F.2d at 945. This standard has never been overturned by the Seventh Circuit. While several circuits. have adopted a citizenship voting age population ("CVAP") standard as the population benchmark for the purposes of the first Gingles prong, see Campos v. City of Houston, 113 F.3d 544, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 11637, 1997 WL 259678 (5th Cir. 1997); Romero v. City of Pomona, 883 F.2d 1418 (9th Cir. 1988), this Court sees no reason for revisiting this circuit's use of VAP as a benchmark.

  While the use of CVAP as a benchmark for evaluating plaintiffs' alternative ward maps might have the benefit of focusing the VRA § 2 analysis on minority members who are indeed eligible to vote, there are too many difficulties with the use of such data for this Court to endorse the use of CVAP. *fn14" As a population benchmark, the use of CVAP leaves much to be desired from a representational perspective. The one person one vote criteria is based upon total population; the ideal ward population benchmark utilized by defendants in this case in Chicago was based upon total population. The use of total population as a benchmark, rather than either VAP or CVAP, might better reflect the principal of virtual representation implicit in the one person one vote rule. See e.g., Barnett v. Daley, 32 F.3d 1196, 1200 (7th Cir. 1994). At least it would be a more empirical standard.

  The trial testimony, particularly the testimony of Professors Estrada and Rives, also demonstrated that citizenship data is inherently less precise and reliable than either total population or VAP. (See III.B.2.d) PP 225-234). Citizenship data is based upon sample data, rather than full count data. Citizenship data is also derived at the census block group level, rather than at the census block level upon which the redistricting was based. Citizenship data also does not become available until after the redistricting process is completed. These reasons render CVAP inappropriate to be used as a benchmark for VRA § 2 liability.

  Additionally, the record in this trial indicates that Latino VAP majority wards, with a Latino VAP of approximately 59% have been effective Latino wards in aldermanic elections. The record in this trial also indicates that judicial districts, although judicial elections have different outcome rules than aldermanic elections, with bare Latino majorities have been effective Latino districts. (BOPX 74). The methodologies for determining Latino CVAP are at best approximations that would not add any additional precision to this analysis.

  The second Gingles precondition combines with the third precondition to ask whether "the challenged districting thwarts a distinctive minority vote by submerging it in a larger white voting population." Growe, 507 U.S. at 40, 113 S. Ct. at 1084; Reed v. Town of Babylon, 914 F. Supp. 843, 863 (E.D.N.Y. 1996). Although the second and third preconditions are analytically distinct, courts frequently group these preconditions together in their polarization analysis. Richard Grofman, Lisa Handley, Richard Niemi, Minority Representation and the Quest for Voting Equality, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge: 1992), 68. The third Gingles precondition asks whether the challenged practice, districting scheme or electoral structure is a cause of the minority group's inability to mobilize its potential voting power and to elect its preferred candidates. Uno, 72 F.3d at 980, (1st Cir. 1995). The third Gingles prong seeks to identify "legally significant white bloc voting," that is, white bloc voting that normally defeats the combined strength of minority support plus white 'crossover' votes. Gingles, 478 U.S. at 56, 106 S. Ct. at 2769.

  When analyzing racial bloc voting, Gingles instructs this Court that a pattern of racial bloc voting extending over a period of time is more probative of a claim that a district experiences legally significant polarization than are the results of a single election. Gingles, 478 U.S. at 57, 106 S. Ct. at 2769; NAACP v. City of Niagara Falls, 65 F.3d 1002, 1012 (2d Cir. 1995). Plaintiffs, however, cannot prevail on the third Gingles prong in the fact of significant probative evidence establishing that whites vote as a bloc for reasons wholly unrelated to race. UNO, 72 F.3d at 981.

  When analyzing voting patterns and behavior in order to determine minority cohesion and white racial bloc voting, it is important to look to who is actually running for office -- whites or African-Americans or Latinos-- in order to determine whether minorities are voting for certain candidates because they are "truly" minority representatives of choice and whether the majority is voting against candidates for reasons of race. NAACP v. City of Niagara Falls, 65 F.3d at 1014. While it is misplaced to argue that a court must be color-blind to the race of candidates when analyzing patterns of minority voting cohesion and majority racial bloc voting, it would be equally mistaken to fall into a sloppy tokenism assuming that only minority members can be the minority candidate of choice. As Judge Cabranes of the Second Circuit has so eloquently observed:

  

We decline to adopt an approach precluding the possibility that a white candidate can be the actual and legitimate choice of minority voters. Such an approach would project a bleak, if not hopeless, view of our society -- a view inconsistent with our people's aspirations for a multiracial and integrated constitutional democracy.

  NAACP v. City of Niagara Falls, 65 F.3d at 1015.

  The satisfaction of the three Gingles preconditions, while necessary for the establishment of a VRA § 2 vote dilution claim, is not sufficient to establish the existence of dilution. De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1012, 114 S. Ct. at 2657; N.A.A.C.P. v. City of Niagara Falls, N.Y., 65 F.3d at 1007. Certainly, proof of the three Gingles preconditions creates an inference that minority members have been injured by the challenged electoral practice and structure. UNO, 72 F.3d at 980. It is the exception, rather than the rule, that plaintiffs would establish the three Gingles yet fail to establish that under the totality of the circumstances, the challenged standard, practice or procedure "impairs the ability of ... [minority] voters to participate equally in the political process and to elect candidates of their choice." Clark v. Calhoun County, Miss, 88 F.3d 1393, 1396 (5th Cir. 1996); NAACP v. City of Niagara Falls, N.Y., 65 F.3d at 1019, n. 21; Jenkins v. Red Clay Consol. School Dist. Bd. of Educ., 4 F.3d 1103, 1135 (3rd Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 512 U.S. 1252, 114 S. Ct. 2779, 129 L. Ed. 2d 891 (1994). Nonetheless, the analysis does not end with the three Gingles preconditions:

  

But if Gingles so clearly identified the three as generally necessary to prove a § 2 claim, it just as clearly declined to hold them sufficient in combination, either in the sense that a court's examination of relevant circumstances was complete once the three factors were found to exist, or in the sense that the three in combination necessarily and in all circumstances demonstrated dilution... The ultimate conclusions about equality or inequality of opportunity were intended by Congress to be judgments resting on comprehensive, not limited, canvassing of relevant facts. Lack of electoral success is evidence of vote dilution, but courts must also examine other evidence in the totality of circumstances, including the extent of the opportunity minority voters enjoy to participate in the political process.

  De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1011, 114 S. Ct. at 2657.

  5. Totality of the Circumstances

  This Court, therefore, must engage in a searching examination of the "totality of the circumstances" in order to determine whether plaintiffs have established that they have "less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice." 42 U.S.C. § 1973; De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1011, 114 S. Ct. at 2657-58; Gingles, 478 U.S. at 79-80, 106 S. Ct. at 2782; Niagara Falls, 65 F.3d at 1008; Nipper, 39 F.3d at 1513. The need for this totality review springs from the historic ingenuity of state and local governments at hobbling minority and opposition voting power -- in order to determine that the political process is 'equally open', this Court must engage in a searching practical evaluation of the past and present realities. De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1018, 114 S. Ct. at 2660. Both Gingles and De Grandy treat as relevant to evaluating the totality of the circumstances the nine factors set out by the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Senate Report accompanying the 1982 amendment to the Voting Rights Act. S-Rep. 97-417; De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1010, n. 9 114 S. Ct. at 2656, n. 9. The Senate factors are:

  

1. The extent of any history of official discrimination in the state or political subdivision that touched the right of members of the minority group to register, to vote, or otherwise to participate in the political process;

  

2. The extent to which voting in the elections of the state or political subdivision is racially polarized;

  

3. The extent to which the state or political subdivision has used unusually large election districts, majority vote requirements, anti-single shot provisions, or other voting practices or procedures that may enhance the opportunity for discrimination against the minority group;

  

4. If there is a candidate slating process, whether the members of the minority group have been denied access to that process;

  

5. The extent to which the members of the minority group in the slate or political subdivision bear the effects of discrimination in such areas as education, employment and health, which hinder their ability to participate effectively in the process;

  

6. Whether political campaigns have been characterized by overt or subtle racial appeals;

  

7. The extent to which members of the minority group have been elected to public office in the jurisdiction.

  S.Rep 97-417 at 28-29; De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1010, n. 9, 114 S. Ct. at 2656, n. 9; Gingles, 478 U.S. at 44-45, 106 S. Ct. at 2762-64. Gingles identifies two additional factors from the Senate Report which may have some probative value:

  

8. Whether there is a significant lack of responsiveness on the part of elected officials to the particularized needs of the members of the minority group; and

  

9. Whether the policy underlying the state or political subdivision's use of such voting qualification, prerequisite to voting, standard, practice or procedure is tenuous.

  Id.

  This list of relevant factors is intended to be "neither comprehensive nor exclusive." Gingles, 478 U.S. at 44-45, 106 S. Ct. at 2763. Rather, in deciding whether VRA § 2 has been violated, courts are given broad discretion to engage in a "searching practical evaluation of the 'past and present reality.'" Gingles, 478 U.S. at 45, 106 S. Ct. at 2764; NAACP v. City of Niagara Falls, 65 F.3d at 1008. The responsibility of the Court to canvass the totality of the circumstances exhaustively has been emphasized by the Supreme Court in De Grandy :

  

...ultimate conclusions about equality or inequality of opportunity were intended by Congress to be judgments resting on comprehensive, not limited, canvassing of relevant facts.

  De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1011, 114 S.C.t at 2657. In this case, for instance, the totality of the circumstances analysis requires a careful canvassing of the practical political considerations which counseled the members of the Latino Committee to reach a compromise for the seven Latino-majority wards that were included in the present ward map. In short, a prudent compromise was reached recognizing the need to develop effective Latino ward organizations in anticipation of continued Latino population growth. This case also requires a careful consideration of the extent to which the 10th, 18th, 19th, 46th and 49th wards, among others, encourage the development of multi-racial and ethnic political coalitions, thereby hastening the end of polarized voting.

  The Voting Rights Act is meant to address the evils of racial bias, and the denial of the rights of minorities to participate in the political process; it is not, however, intended to function as the guarantor of minority political success. The results test of VRA § 2 protects racial minorities against a stacked deck but it does not guarantee that they will enjoy a winning hand -- i.e., an electoral structure is not illegal if the defeat represents nothing more than the routine operation of political factors. UNO, 72 F.3d at 982. The creation of safe, majority-minority districts, when they are not be necessary to achieve equal political and electoral opportunity, bears the mark of a rank racial-tokenism and relies upon a crude racial-calculus which has been described as the "politics of the second best." See De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1020, 114 S. Ct. at 2661.

  VRA § 2, a statute intended to ensure minority voters equal political access, is not meant to absolve minority voters from the responsibility of being actual participants in the political process, nor is it meant to be a free pass permitting minority members to bypass the sometimes messy process of participating in the hurly-burly of political life:

  

If the lesson of Gingles is that society's racial and ethnic cleavages sometimes necessitate majority-minority districts to ensure equal political and electoral opportunity, that should not obscure the fact that there are communities in which minority citizens are able to form coalitions with voters from other racial and ethnic groups, having no need to be a majority within a single district in order to elect candidates of their choice. Those candidates may not represent perfection to every minority voter, but minority voters are not immune from the obligation to pull, haul, and trade, to find common political ground, the virtue of which is not to be slighted in applying a statute meant to hasten the waning of racism in American politics.

  De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1020, 114 S. Ct. at 2661. Politics can sometimes be a very messy business, and nowhere is that more true than in the decennial process of redistricting. Those who have a power base, whether they are white or African-American or Latino or other, want, not surprisingly, to keep what they already have. Certainly, racial and ethnic consciousness, or even animosity, will often be one factor in the process, but it will rarely be the only factor driving the map-drawing process. The desire to even old scores with political adversaries or perceived turncoats; the desire to serve one's community or neighborhood; the desire to reward valuable political allies; the desire of incumbents to cut potential adversaries off at the knees; the desire to improve the social or economic condition of one's constituents; the desire of legislative leaders to use the districting process to lay the groundwork for ensuring future governing coalitions; the desire of an alderman to keep a particular neighborhood because it has an extremely effective precinct captain or generous contributors or to jettison a particularly nettlesome portion of a ward; or the desire to serve the public good are simply a sample of the myriad factors which enter into the messy process of drawing ward maps in a large city such as Chicago. It is this Court's responsibility to piece together this elaborate jigsaw puzzle in order to ascertain the openness of the political process to the City's minority members.

  6. Proportionality of Representation

  While the proportionality of majority-minority districts in relation to the minority percentage of the total population, by itself, is never dispositive, it is relevant to the totality of the circumstances to be analyzed when determining whether members of a minority group have "less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representative of their choice." De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1000, 114 S. Ct. at 2651.

  While proportionality is not a safe-harbor for a particular districting scheme, when substantial proportionality exists, courts are reluctant to find a violation of VRA § 2 absent some evidence of disproportionate treatment of minority members. De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1015, 114 S. Ct. at 2659. Proportionality of representation is a factor in the totality of the circumstances analysis, but it cannot be the sole factor for even a system in which minorities have more or less proportional representation can mask dilutive processes. See De Grandy, 512 U.S. at 1019.

  B. Discriminatory Intent Claim

  Plaintiffs' discriminatory intent claim is governed by the standard used in connection with 14th Amendment equal protection claims. Rogers v. Lodge, 458 U.S. 613, 617, 73 L. Ed. 2d 1012, 102 S. Ct. 3272 (1982); Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Corp., 429 U.S. 252, 265, 97 S. Ct. 555, 563, 50 L. Ed. 2d 450 (1977); Garza v. County of Los Angeles, 918 F.2d 763, 771 (9th Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1028, 111 S. Ct. 681, 112 L. Ed. 2d 673 (1991). Plaintiffs need not establish that a racially-discriminatory motive was the sole or primary purpose, but they need only establish that it was a motivating factor of the challenged districting scheme. Arlington Heights v. Metro. Housing Dev. Corp., 429 U.S. at 265, 97 S. Ct. at 563; Garza v. County of Los Angeles, 918 F.2d at 771. The fact that a discriminatory plan may have other motives that are not discriminatory does not make it any less intentional. Barnett v. Daley, 32 F.3d at 1199.

  The drawing of ward maps in order to protect incumbents is particularly relevant to the intent claim. The desire to protect incumbents, as such, is not a form of racial discrimination. If, however, in order to protect incumbents, the redistricting scheme deliberately adopted devices for limiting minority representation, the map drawers have engaged in deliberate racial discrimination. Barnett v. Daley, 32 F.3d at 1199; Ketchum v. Byrne, 740 F.2d at 1408.

  In order to determine whether maps drawn in order to protect incumbents were in fact racially motivated, it is necessary to investigate the extent to which, in the particular case, the requirements of incumbency were intertwined with the need for racial dilution. Where the record shows that ethnic or racial communities were split in order to assure a safe seat for an incumbent, i.e., where the protection of a white incumbent is accomplished by means of manipulations of racial populations, there is a strong inference that this was the result of intentional discrimination. In such instances the protection of incumbents is virtually coterminous with a purpose to practice racial discrimination. Ketchum v. Byrne, 740 F.2d at 1408; Garza v. County of Los Angeles, 918 F.2d at 779; Rybicki v. State Board of Elections, 574 F. Supp. 1082, 1109. Thus to the extent that fracturing, packing, and the disparate and excessive movement of minority populations were present in order to protect incumbents, a discriminatory intent was at work.

  Where ward maps are drawn merely to protect incumbents, and large shifts and manipulations of racial populations are not evident, the protection of incumbency does not necessarily amount to purposeful racial discrimination. Ketchum, 740 F.2d at 1408.

  In Arlington Heights, the Supreme Court also identified several additional general factors that may be probative to a finding of discriminatory intent. These factors include:

  

a) the impact of the official action;

  

b) the historical background of the decision, in particular if the background reveals a series of official actions taken for invidious purposes;

  

c) the specific sequence of events leading up to the challenged decision;

  

d) departures from normal procedural sequences;

  

e) substantial departures from factors usually considered important by the decisionmakers and which strongly favor a decision contrary to the one reached.

  Arlington Heights, 429 U.S. at 266-67, 97 S. Ct. at 565-66.

  Where plaintiffs have made a showing of intentional discrimination, they need not establish as high a degree of injury as is required VRA § 2, nonetheless they must make some showing of injury so that this Court can impose a meaningful remedy. Garza, 918 F.2d at 771.

  III. FINDINGS WITH RESPECT TO THE EXPERT WITNESSES

  A. General Overview

  195. While lay testimony is instructive for the presentation of anecdotal evidence of minority cohesiveness or racial bloc voting, statistical evidence in the form of ecological regression analysis and extreme case analysis, presented through expert testimony, is also typically offered. Gingles, 478 U.S. at 52-54, 106 S. Ct. at 2767-68; Reed v. Town of Babylon, 914 F. Supp. at 863. Statistical evidence is likely to be the most helpful tool for deciphering patterns of voter behavior as relevant to deciding a VRA § 2 claim. That is not to say that the opinions of those significantly involved in the political process might not also be of relevance. UNO, 960 F. Supp. 515, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5419, 1997 WL 197552*11.

  196. Courts also frequently look to testimony from other social science and demographic experts for assistance. Social scientists can help in identifying communities of interest within and across ethnic and racial groups by looking at socio-economic data. Expert testimony from demographic experts can assist in determining whether minority members are sufficiently large and compact to constitute a majority in additional districts.

  197. Since Gingles, ecological regression analysis has become the usual technique used to infer voting behavior between identifiable population groups. The privacy of the voting booth precludes the actual correlation of one's race or ethnicity with how one votes. It would be equally impractical individually to canvas each voter in an effort to determine their race or ethnicity and their voting behavior. Given this absence of concrete data, the various forms of statistical analysis used by the social sciences provide a useful method for approximating and fairly accurately estimating minority and majority voting behavior. The methods of statistical analysis most frequently used to aid courts in estimating voting patterns are ecological regression analysis and extreme case analysis.

  198. This Court, however, must pause to note that while ecological regression analysis has become a preferred tool to assist courts in divining voter behavior, it is hardly perfect and must not be accepted uncritically. As a first hurdle, the social-science disciplines in general, and ecological regression analysis in particular, utilize methodologies which are foreign to most judges and lawyers. Particularly troubling is the extent to which ecological regression is susceptible to subtle manipulation which may well be invisible to all but the most discerning of cognoscenti. In particular, ecological regression is susceptible to errors due to the "ecological fallacy" of attributing the average behavior of voters in a given area to all voters in that area. See Lewis v. Alamance County, North Carolina, 99 F.3d 600, 605, n. 3 (4th Cir. 1996). cert. denied, 137 L. Ed. 2d 1028, 1997 U.S. LEXIS 3113, 1997 WL 107231, 117 S. Ct. 1820 (1997); Overton v. City of Austin, 871 F.2d 529, 539, n. 12 (5th Cir. 1989). To a large extent, ecological regression assumes what it intends to prove -- that there is political cohesiveness among minority voters and racial bloc voting among majority voters. In order to perform a regression analysis it is necessary to make estimates of the ethnic or racial makeup of a ward, as well as estimates of the voter turnout within wards. It is also necessary to select parameters of the selection of the variables entered into the regression equation. This conglomeration of assumptions may easily lead to sophisticated statistical errors. Overton, 871 F.2d at 539, n. 12. Nonetheless, there is no better analytical tool for interpreting voter behavior available to courts. Courts, therefore, must use these analytic techniques aware of their imperfections and limitations.

  199. There are four basic analytical methods utilized by courts in order to determine voter behavior:

  

1) Simple Regression Analysis : Measures a candidate's share of the votes received in a particular election district as a percentage of the number of voters at the polls in that district. That percentage is then correlated with the racial composition of the district, measured in terms of percentage of the voting age population in that district, A correlation coefficient is generated demonstrating how consistently voter support for a candidate or group of candidates varies with the racial composition of the election district. Simple regression does not allow for the effects of racial differences in voter turnout but it assumes that turnout rates across racial groups are the same. NAACP v. City of Niagara Falls, 65 F.3d at 1006, n.2.

  

2) Double-Equation Regression Analysis/Bivariate Ecological Regression Analysis : Generates an estimate of the voting behavior of the electorate by race as well as an estimate of voter turnout by race. In this method of analysis, two regressions are performed. One regression is performed with the percentage of VAP who are minority members as the independent variable, and the other regression is performed with the percentage of VAP who are white as the independent variable. When each data point is plotted, a regression curve can be drawn through the points. This curve will have a slope measuring the degree of change in the dependent variable produced by one unit change in the independent variable. The curve will intercept the left and right vertical axes (the intercept points) which will provide a statistical approximation of the percentages of white and minority voters voting for a particular candidate. A correlation coefficient ("r" value) measuring the strength of the relationship between the dependent and independent variables can be determined (the coefficient may range from 0.0, indicating that the two variables are independent, to .0, indicating that the two variables are perfectly correlated in a positive direction). Statistical significance can also be calculated for each correlation coefficient, indicating the probability that the coefficient is "true" or non-random. NAACP v. City of Niagara Falls, 65 F.3d at 1006, n.4; Jenkins v. Red Clay Consol. School Dist. Bd. of Educ., 4 F.3d at 1119, n. 10; Reed v. Town of Babylon, 914 F. Supp. at 851-53.

  

3) Multi-Variate Regression Analysis : Involves the inclusion of additional variables into the regression analysis. This process results in a tri-axial graph. In theory, multi-variate regression analysis permits an examination of the reasons for differences in voter behavior. Grofman, Handley, and Niemi, Minority Representation and the Quest for Voting Equality, at 100; Sanchez v. Colorado, 97 F.3d at 1316. The use of multi-variate regression analysis is fairly recent in the Voting Rights context, and it has not yet been received with general acceptance. (Grofman, Handley, p. 100). One of the possible uses of multi-variate regression analysis has been to explain the different voting behavior between racial groups. Multi-variate regression analysis can also be used to estimate voter-behavior in wards in which there are more than two racial or ethnic groups, e.g., in wards with white, Latino, and African-American populations. Caution should be exercised, however, when utilizing multi-variate regression because, despite the theoretically greater accuracy and analytical precision offered by multi-variate regression, it is also subject to abuse, error, and manipulation absent adequate cross-checking procedures.

  

4) Extreme Case Analysis/Homogeneous Precinct Analysis : Examines the actual voting percentages received by candidates in the most heavily white and most heavily minority districts. NAACP v. City of Niagara Falls, 65 F.3d at 1006, n.3; Jenkins, 4 F.3d at 1120, n.12. While conceptually simple, this analytic method is of limited applicability, because it is of questionable accuracy in districts which are less than 90% homogenous. See Jenkins, 4 F.3d at 1120, n. 12. This technique is frequently used as a cross checking device in conjunction with regression analysis by verifying how accurately the regression curves predict actual voter behavior in homogenous wards.

  200. This Court is troubled by the extent to which regression analysis, and the other methods of estimating voter behavior tend to presuppose the truth of what those methods seek to prove -- namely the existence of racially or ethnically polarized voting. In the real world of politics there are countless factors, such as the perceived ability of a candidate to deliver governmental services, besides race which are intrinsically important in explaining voter behavior. Race or ethnic origin, however, is also often a factor in the real world of elections and by looking at enough elections it is possible to isolate the racial or ethnic component of voting behavior and to determine whether there is an identifiable correlation between race or ethnicity and voting behavior. This Court is also satisfied that it would be a methodological impossibility adequately to quantify the effect of the "fire in the belly" or the gravitas of a political candidate. Nor, despite their contention that plaintiffs have failed to analyze the additional possible other causes of voter behavior, did defendants make a significant effort to refute the plaintiffs' experts by indicating the extent to which other factors play a role in voting behavior.

  B. Bonilla Experts

  1. Professor Paul Kleppner

  201. Professor Paul Kleppner, a professor of history at Northern Illinois University, was the first expert to testify for the Bonilla plaintiffs. Professor Kleppner is an historian and his testimony focused upon the history of past redistrictings and the Latino experience in Chicago.

  202. Professor Kleppner's report (BOPX 26) and testimony was not so much an expert work-product as it was a proposed findings of fact summarizing the last 70 years of political history of the City of Chicago. This Court observed during trial that this report was not objective and presented a less than complete account of the relevant Chicago political history. (Tr. 1506). Both Professor Kleppner's report and his testimony were so conclusory that its value as objective expert opinion was dubious.

  203. This Court was particularly troubled by Professor Kleppner's research methodology which consisted largely of borrowing excerpts from party depositions in previous litigations and newspaper articles. While party statements and contemporaneous newspaper articles are certainly part of the research arsenal of any historian of recent events, they should certainly not be the principal source material since they often present an incomplete picture.

  204. Nor does this Court see the relevance of much of Professor Kleppner's report to the Bonilla case -- since by Professor Kleppner's admission the Latino immigration is a relatively recent addition to the ethnic melting pot of Chicago, and much of Professor Kleppner's report deals with the African-American political experience in Chicago. (Tr. 1543, 1553).

  205. These defects, however, are largely besides the point since plaintiffs rely upon Professor Kleppner's report for only a few discrete points involving some documentary evidence of certain unfortunate racial appeals made during the 1983 mayoral elections, the racial tension in the City Council during the first term of the Washington mayoral administration, and references to judicial records concerning previous redistricting litigation in the City chiefly Cousins v. City Council, 503 F.2d 912 (7th Cir. 1974), cert. denied, Rayner v. City Council, 420 U.S. 992, 95 S. Ct. 1429, 43 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1975), and Ketchum v. Byrne, 740 F.2d 1398 (7th Cir. 1984).

  2. Dr. Leobarda Estrada

  206. Professor Leobardo Estrada, a professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at UCLA, has also acted as a consultant to the Census Bureau concerning Latino undercount and citizenship issues. Dr. Estrada prepared reports and testified concerning: alternative ward maps prepared pursuant to the first Gingles prong; socioeconomic statistics concerning Chicago's Latino population; an analysis of the fragmentation of Latinos under the current ward map; and his analysis of Latino citizenship levels in Chicago. (BOPX 21, 23, 134, 178). This Court generally credits Professor Estrada's testimony insofar as it related to his general expertise. The credibility of Dr. Estrada's testimony, and the value of his alternative maps, were limited by his unfamiliarity with Chicago's neighborhood geography, diversity, and political life.

  a) Bonilla Alternative Maps

  207. Dr. Estrada presented five alternative ward maps which were intended to demonstrate that the alleged fracturing of Latino population could have been avoided in order to establish the Bonilla plaintiffs' burden under the first Gingles prong -- that the Latino community is sufficiently large and geographically compact enough to constitute a majority in an additional single-member district. Bonilla plaintiffs contend that Professor Estrada's maps establish that at least two additional Latino-majority wards can be drawn regardless of whether total population, voting-age population, or citizenship is used as the measure of Latino population.

  208. Professor's Estrada's maps are intended solely to demonstrate that it is demographically possible, based upon racial and ethnic statistics, to draw additional Latino majority wards. This is the sole purpose of the alternative maps. The majorities in some of the alternative wards, however, would be razor-thin, by no means ensuring Latino electoral success. The very likely possibility that additional Latino majority wards would be ineffective, taken together with the concerns about the effectiveness of the new Latino majority wards which were expressed by the participants in the remap process, will be decisive to this Court's consideration of the totality of the circumstances.

  209. While it would be a pyrrhic victory for a VRA § 2 plaintiff to prevail in order to draw minority wards that diluted minority voting strength by splitting the minority population amongst several additional wards in which they constituted ineffective majorities, the alternative maps, for the purposes of Gingles, are merely intended to be illustrative. Maps drawn to demonstrate that a remediable harm exists do not require precisely the same level of scrutiny as a judicially crafted ward map intended to remedy an adjudicated harm. None of the alternative maps have been offered as a final ward map, nor is it likely that a final ward map would necessarily take the shape of any of the proffered alternative maps. Taken as a group, however, the Bonilla alternative maps likely reduce Latino population majorities in the southwest side wards to such an extent that those wards could well be ineffective.

  210. It is worth keeping in mind that the Bonilla alternative maps have Latino population concentrations well below those thought necessary during the ward remap process. All the parties involved in negotiating the final ward map thought that supermajorities of at least 65% would be necessary for the northwest side wards to be effective. The Bonilla alternative ward maps contain Latino population percentages below this threshold level. The southwest side Latino majority wards in the alternative maps have Latino population concentrations significantly lower than those proposed by the Latino community during the redistricting process. The Latino majority wards in Bonilla alternative maps 1, 2 and 3 also include majority white neighborhoods which were excised from the Latino majority areas during the negotiation process.

  211. Of less weight is the defendants' contention that the Bonilla alternative maps should be disregarded because they include wards which make use of connectors through unpopulated areas, such as ward 14 in Bonilla alternative map one. The wards in the first two Bonilla alternative maps are no less compact than the 12th ward in the present ward map. The present ward map also makes occasional use of one-block wide connectors which slice through populated areas dividing discrete and contiguous neighborhoods in the 12th and 32nd wards.

  212. Defendants also contend that this Court should reject the Bonilla alternative maps because they are not compact and were drawn based solely on race or ethnicity. While the first prong of Gingles does not contain a compactness requirement, this Court could not accept an illustrative map which evidently ran afoul of the equal protection clause. It is illogical, however, to contend that a remedy intended to correct a particular racial or ethnic group's access to the political process could not be racially or ethnically conscious. That is particularly the case where, as here, this Court is merely determining whether it is possible to draw additional minority districts. So long as a remediation plan comports with traditional districting principles, it would presumably be constitutional. Certainly, at the remedy stage, a court should not go to such an extreme that it violates the equal protection clause. At the present stage, however, it is reasonable to apply a slightly less exacting standard of review for compactness purposes.

  213. This Court also notes that the Bonilla alternative ward maps are no less compact than some of the wards included in the present ward map. While specific wards in the Bonilla alternative maps are no model of compactness; such as the 11th or 30th wards in the first alternative map. Those wards are no more diffuse than the present 12th, 26th, 30th or 32nd wards. Of particular relevance to this Court's compactness consideration, is the manner in which the Bonilla alternative maps show that it is possible to draw an additional Latino ward on the southwest side without resorting to the unwieldy shape of the present 12th ward.

  214. Also of little relevance to this phase of the analysis is defendants' critique of the manner in which the Bonilla alternative maps bring together dissimilar neighborhoods by joining Marquette Park/Gage Park and the Back of the Yards in a new 14th ward. The Marquette Park/Gage Park neighborhood is somewhat more affluent with a more stable housing stock in which a larger segment of the population owns homes rather than rents. That the two areas are somewhat dissimilar is evidenced by Professor Estrada's own socio-economic survey which indicates that the income in the Marquette Park/Gage Park area is higher than it is in the Back of the Yards areas. (BOPX 21,23). While this Court does not concur with Professor Estrada's decision to downplay this important socio-economic factor, the neighborhoods also share several important such characteristics. While Professor Estrada looked only at very select statistics, therefore presenting a less than complete picture of the socioeconomic condition of the Latino community, those statistics indicate that the Marquette Park/Gage Park and Back of the Yards populations share similar rates of families with children, high school graduation rates, and the use of English as the household language. (BOPX 21). Nor is it likely, nor desirable, that any one ward in the City be entirely homogeneous in terms of these characteristics. Diversity is, in general, a desirable trait for a ward -- defendants' own characterization of the 46th, 48th and 49th wards as "all-American" wards attests to the value of economic diversity as a means of broadening the perspective of an alderman and indeed increasing the opportunities for such an alderman to be elected.

  215. The Bonilla alternative maps do not establish that the Barnett and Bonilla cases are mutually opposed, i.e., that additional Latino majority wards could be created only by decreasing the number of African-American majority wards. This Court notes that under the Bonilla alternative maps the African-American community would fare no worse, in terms of the total number of effective wards, than it does under the ward maps at issue.

  b) Latino Communities of Interest

  216. Professor Estrada also compiled selected indicators in an effort to demonstrate that disparities exist between Latinos and non-Latinos and that Latino inhabitants of the City constitute a distinct community of interest. In order to make this demonstration, Professor Estrada compared census block groups with respect to five socioeconomic indicators compiled in the Census sample data: per capita income, high school education, families with children, public assistance, and the use of English as the language spoken at home. Professor Estrada compiled this data on both a citywide level and, using demonstrative maps, at the block group level. While census socioeconomic statistics are extremely helpful in establishing "communities of interest" it is important to keep in mind that they are not the only means of ascertaining community commonalities. This census data was not used during the actual redistricting process since this information had not even been released until after the ward map had been submitted to referendum. At the time of redistricting, the participants in the process relied upon their own understanding of the relevant communities and the opinions of the participants. While not imbued with statistical accuracy, the opinions of community representatives more accurately portrayed the perceptions of the City's residents. Courts should be reluctant to strictly impose socio-economic criteria upon the redistricting process insofar as socio-economic communities of interest are but one of many criteria considered by the participants, and they, by their very nature, can mischaracterize the nature of the electorate.

  217. Professor Estrada's initial city-wide compilations of socio-economic indicators are of little utility in identifying a Latino community of interest, in part because Professor Estrada's analysis reviews the data only in terms of Latinos and non-Latinos which prevents a comparison of the socio-economic conditions of the Latino community to that of other discrete communities, such as the African-American or Asian communities. Professor Estrada apparently selected indicators which would most starkly distinguish the Latino community from the African-American community without selecting data which would show similarities. Only the most generalized observations can be drawn from Professor Estrada's citywide data, namely that Latinos have a significantly lower rate of high school graduation than the citywide average, have a generally higher rate of participation in the labor force, have a higher overall rate of poverty for married couples than the rest of the City, have a median income lower than that for the rest of the City, and have a lower overall rate of home ownership than the non-Latino home ownership rate. In general, the Latino community in Chicago has a very high rate of participation in the labor market but, because, of its significantly lower median education rates also has a lower median income than average. In a City with the particular racial and economic mixture of Chicago, it is difficult to ascertain the extent to which these socio-economic figures indicate a discrete Latino community of interest as opposed to Latino membership in a broader minority community of interest.

  218. Of more relevance is Professor Estrada's regional breakdown of the socio-economic data. This data exhibits the extent to which the wards in the Bonilla alternative maps share similar traits. While Professor Estrada did not prepare the alternative maps relying upon that data, there is nonetheless a rough correlation between the contours of the Bonilla alternative wards and ascertainable commonalities. The Latino majority wards in the Bonilla alternative maps have generally similar socioeconomic characteristics. In the alternative maps, the Latino majority wards have a higher than average rate of families with children, and include within them the largest concentrations of families with children in the City. The alternative Latino majority wards predictably, with some exceptions, contain block groups within the lower half of per capita income but distinct from the adjoining African-American wards the latino majority wards contain a lower percentage of block groups in the lowest quartile of per capita income. The Latino majority wards also contain extremely high percentages of non-high school graduates aged 25 or older. In fact, the highest concentrations of adult non-high school graduates generally fall within the Latino majority wards. Not surprisingly, the Latino majority wards also have extremely high concentrations of households in which English is not the primary language spoken at home. This indicator also distinguishes the Latino majority block groups from the adjoining African-American block groups. Based upon these socio-economic indicators, the Latino community does indeed appear to constitute a particular community of interest within the City with particular socio-economic concerns not necessarily shared with other segments of the City. While there are some gradations within the alternative wards with respect to these indicators, the alternative wards have more in common internally than they do with other areas. There are some exceptions to this rule in the alternative maps, however, such as the long connecting corridor joining the 35th ward with the small pocket of Latino population presently in the far northwest corner of the present 29th ward and the 14th ward contained in Bonilla alternative map 2.

  219. A final demographic indicator is of relevance to future ward maps. The relatively young age of the Latino population, particularly the high rate of children within the Latino community indicates a significant potential for continued growth in the Latino community. Approximately 37% of the Latino population of Chicago was under 18 years of age in 1990. At the time of redistricting, however, the large percentage of the Latino population that was not of voting age also led the participants, at least in part, to advocate very large total population majorities in the new Latino majority wards.

  c) Fragmentation of the Latino Community

  220. Professor Estrada's fragmentation analysis is of particular relevance to the Bonilla case. That there is

  fragmentation of Latino inhabitants of the City is relevant to the ability of this Court to remedy any dilution of minority voting strength. Professor Estrada defined fragmentation as the partitioning of a community of concentrated population into separate wards when that community could have been included in a single district (BOPX 21). Professor Estrada referred to fragmentation as the unnecessary splitting of a contiguous block of majority blocks. (Tr. 3627). Both these definitions imply that in order to be legally relevant, fragmentation or fracturing (the terms are used interchangeably), must involve majority-minority population blocks that could be included within a majority-minority district. It is not legally significant to refer to the fragmentation of a majority Latino census block that could not possibly be included within a Latino majority ward.


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