GCI Research Fellow John Hagedorn on the Growth of Chicago’s Latino Community

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John Hagedorn, UIC professor of Criminology, Law, and Justice, and a Senior Research Specialist with Great Cities Institute, is quoted in an article from The Economist about the growth of Chicago’s Latino population.

“The next mayor of Chicago will be Latino,” predicts John Hagedorn at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Latinos recently became the second-largest ethnic group in the city, accounting for 29.7% of the population, overtaking African-Americans (29.3%) and rivaling whites (32.6%). For decades the local Democratic Party’s machine was able to ignore Latinos. Today this would be political suicide.

The closeness of Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor, to Luis Gutiérrez, a congressman and perhaps the city’s most powerful Latino politician, reflects this. On October 2nd Mr Emanuel, flanked by Mr Gutiérrez, who is of Puerto Rican origin, and dozens of Latino aldermen and city officials, announced that he is inviting “tens of thousands” of Puerto Ricans fleeing their hurricane-ravaged island to Chicago. About 1,600 have already arrived in the city. Gilbert Villegas, chairman of the city council’s Hispanic caucus, predicted that as many as 100,000 Puerto Ricans could pour into Chicago, which would double the city’s Puerto Rican contingent.

For more on the potential changes to Chicago’s political landscape with this expected increase in Latino residents, read the full article in The Economist. »