Voting Demographics Amongst Elections

By Anais Roman, Sheryl Carter and Michelle Moray

Hilario Dominguez, who ran in the 25th ward Aldermanic election this spring, has a theory as to why so few Chicagoans showed up for the local elections this year — and for the 2018 midterm elections last year.

Dominguez referenced his college days, when he started his political work, and that times have not changed in terms of voting patterns.

“It is historically known, that older white people vote at higher rates,” he said

U.S. Census Bureau data on voter turnout in the U.S. for the 2018 midterm elections supports Dominguez’s analysis. It shows that nationally about 89 million people that identified as white non-hispanic voted — which was 57.5% of the population. Only about 11 million Latinx people voted (40.4%) and only about 15 million African Americans voted (51.1%).

U.S. Census Bureau Data Graphic

When it comes to touchy subjects, politics is certainly one that falls within the category of the unspoken rule to do not discuss openly with others. Political party affiliation, ideals and who you are voting for is always something that can spark a hot discussion.

Although it has been more traditional in the past to remain silent of politics, the 2016 Presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was a case study in voter turnout’s downswing over the years.

For the 2016 election, the voter turnout across America was the lowest since 1996, with just over half of eligible voters coming out to vote for a candidate (CNN). While most Americans might rationalize that neither candidate was worth voting for, the lack of turnout in 2016 has contributed to the backlash of President Trump across the country and future action toward politics in cities everywhere.

According to the Chicago Board of Elections, of 1.57 million registered voters in Chicago, only
70.7 percent — or 1.11 million — cast a ballot for the 2016 presidential race.

Google My Maps

That voter turnout is impacted by Dominguez’s theory on racial and age breakdown. He mentioned that older age groups are more consistent when it comes to being involved and showing up to the polls.

As one of the younger candidates, he wanted to target young people but didn’t feel as though the time and money spent to go after the young generation was going to be worth it in the end towards his success of being elected.

Dominguez, a young minority himself, appreciated tactics to involve popular Chicago figures in elections and campaigning such as Chance the Rapper to resonate and draw young minority crowds but that ultimately doesn’t work for younger, marginalized generations.

“Chicago segregation reflects Chicago politics,” he said. “Wards are very drawn to race and class where they want to be physically engaged to see the impact.”

Destiny Rivera, UPRS Vice President Shot by: Anais Roman

Destiny Rivera, the vice president of the Union of Puerto Rican Students (UPRS) at University of Illinois at Chicago who is double majoring in communication and Latino Studies, noted a large gap between registered voters and the ballots cast in the Latinx community. She mentioned that 56% of Latinos are eligible to vote and under 20% of Latinos go out to vote.

Rivera explains why she believes the Latinx community in Chicago have such a low voter turnout.

“I believe it has to do a lot to do with a distrust of the government and a distrust in the system,” she said. “Historically, a lot of young Latinx students and people have been under scrutiny from the government.”

Angie Sandoval, who lost the Cook County Commissioner race back in 2018, explained her perception of voter turnout and how it has impacted her.

Angie Sandavol, Shot by: Michelle Moran

 

Campaign Supporters, Shot by: Anjeli Manam

“In Chicago it’s hard not to say that you don’t notice the difference in demographics,” she said. “Chicago is so segregated if you go, take example of where I live in local politics, if you cross the street in the neighborhood in my block you are going to go from Latino to African American really fast. ”

Sandoval mentioned how she found it evident that younger people are coming out, especially since there is a lot more activism in college as well as social media playing a big part.

“ The millennial generation, is on its way to be a powerful voting block,” she said.

Another impact on voter turnout — social media. It allows for people to listen a lot more because the information is so easily available but also makes it harder when seeing what is real and what is not.

A Google survey taken by a small sample group of 18 UIC students showed that there was a decrease in votes from the 2019 midterm elections to the 2019 mayoral elections. In the midterm elections 27.8% of participants went to vote while only 5.6% of participants voted in the mayoral elections.

Google Survey

One anonymous participant said “I do think it is harder to trust different candidates and I don’t see as much about politics in my life.”

However, 88.9% of participants said that they would come out to vote in the 2020 presidential elections.

Sandoval mentioned that the way politics is played in Chicago is that at the state and local level, someone who is running for, lets say, governor, they bring on Black or Latino officials to endorse them to try to get black or Latino votes so ultimately they can control the vote that way because Chicago is so segregated that ultimately if they calculate to get a certain amount of numbers of the population, candidates are then “covered.”

Younger officials are also being elected, which Sandoval said she found very exciting. That is very encouraging since these young officials are running on a lot less money and challenging old establishments.

Talk about this past 2019 Chicago Mayor race for example, women are taking out white men like Daley, McCarthy and Joyce.

“People who you think would have push and pull, don’t have as much weight anymore,” Sandoval said.

Another reason for lack of voter turnout and disproportionate numbers, comes to an issue that Sandoval mentioned as “voter fatigue.”

Between the gubernatorial, primary for mayor, general election and others, voters get confused and tired. The past Mayoral race there was low turnout across the board, and as Sandoval said, “If it’s not a candidate that inspires them, they are probably going to stay at home, and if the weather is bad, then forget about it.”

 

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20 Great Cycling Cities

The Google My Maps graphic shows the top 20 cities for people to go cycling. Most of the cities are located in Europe with few outliers in Japan and America.
France actually has 3 cities ranked in the top 20 cycling cities. Paris is ranked at No. 2, Nantes is ranked at No. 15, and Bordeaux is ranked at No. 16.

An article on Wired called “The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet” states that many of the cities do not understand cycling infrastructure well enough to make efficient choices that could make the city even better. Paris has made an initiative to make the city more bike friendly although the author questions some of the decisions they have made.
Cities such as Copenhagen have invested a lot of money and energy on improving the cycling infrastructure in the city. There are plans for new bridges and ramps to be built as well as plans to improve Cross-Town route. There seems to be a lot of praise for the work Copenhagen has done for the cycling community. Other cities should follow in Copenhagen’s footsteps to ensure the best cycling experiences in their cities.

Fastest Growing City in US

WalletHub conducted a study on the fastest growing cities in the U.S. Fort Myers, Florida was the fastest growing city according to WalletHub.

WalletHub compared 515 cities on 15 key factors over a seven year time period for this particular study. They found that the South had some of the highest population gains.

Fort Myers has had a long history of steady population increase. Since 1890 the city has seen an increase in the population census after census. The population growth has gone up 24% since the 2010 census according to the World Population Review.

As seen by the graphic by Google Earth Engine Fort Myers not only has an increase in population but also an increase in infrastructure. Even in recent years the little land that was empty seems to have been used for new buildings.

The expansion of Fort Myers does not seem to be halting anytime soon and the population might reach 100,000 in no time.

 

Life After the Military

Military personal are struggling to fit into society after they retire and come back to the states. A lot of these veterans struggle finding jobs once they arrive back to the states while also dealing with health conditions such as PTSD.

Depending on the state the veteran resides in determines the health benefits and overall welcome the community gives to the veterans. Certain states seem to be a lot more friendlier to military veterans than other states.

WalletHub decided to make a chart that compares the states and the District of Columbia by how accepting each state is to veterans. The chart has 4 different categories which are quality of life rank, economic environment rank, health care rank, and overall rank.

The top 5 ranked states were Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, Alabama, and South Carolina. While the lowest scoring states were District of Columbia, Oregon, Vermont, Nevada, and New Mexico. Florida ranked No. 1 in the overall ranking and ranked No. 5 in quality of life. Illinois ranked close to the bottom at No. 39 and ranked in the 40’s for economic environment and quality of life.

Google Trends: Social Movements and R. Kelly against the Me Too Movement

Me Too and Black Lives Matter

In recent years movements such as the Me Too Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement have become important conversations in national media. Social Media’s have played a huge role in providing information on the movements and making the movements known to the general public.
The Me Too Movement began in 2006 for victims of sexual assault in low income communities to find help on ways of dealing with the trauma. After the hashtag #metoo went viral it launched a national conversation on sexual assault especially for women in the entertainment business.
The Black Lives Matter Movement was created in 2013 in response to the Trayvon Martin’s trial and acquittal of the police man that murdered him. This movement and project speak out against the discrimination black Americans face against the police and society.

According to an analysis of Google search on Google Trends, the Me Too Movement seems to be the most popular over the last 5 years. However, in July 2016 the Black Lives Matter Movement surpassed searches for the Me Too Movement by a landslide.

This other graphic shows that the Me Too Movement has a higher percentage of searches by the majority of states in the U.S. According to an analysis of Google search on Google Trends, only Minnesota and Vermont have a higher percentage of searches for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Me Too and R. Kelly

The Me Too Movement have led to many public figures being accused by multiple people of sexual harassment. These high-profile cases have caught media outlets attention and have become a controversial topic in the nation.

One of the first high profile cases that the Me Too Movement was a part of was the Bill Cosby case. After Andrea Constand spoke out about Bill Cosby sexually assaulting her many other women spoke out about the similar situations with Cosby. This eventually led to Cosby’s sentence of 3 to 10 years in prison for a felony sexual assault charge.

Kelly has recently been thrown back into the spotlight with charges of sexual assaults filed against him in February 2019. The charges were filed after a Lifetime documentary was released last January describing the allegations of sexual assault against Kelly. With the number of allegations against R. Kelly it raises the question if the #metoo hashtag will be used for this case.

According to an analysis of Google search on Google Trends, the Me Too Movement has had a steady amount of searches on google even during the R. Kelly trial. However, searches for R. Kelly began to rise right before the premiere of the Surviving R. Kelly  documentary after the release of the movie searches began to drop.

It seems like the Me Too Movement has no correlation with the R. Kelly case. There have been no rise in searches for the Me Too Movement while R. Kelly still seems to be receiving a higher percentages of searches on Google.

NFL 2018 Player Salary

The graphic displays the highest salary players for the NFL for the 2018 season. The salaries for the players in the graphic do not include endorsements and licensings.

Due to the increase of TV contracts the NFL has had a 44 percent increase in the salary cap over the past five years. The top 10 players made 424 million dollars including their salaries, bonuses, endorsements and licensings. Kirk Cousins is ranked No. 1 on the graphic with a salary of 22.5 million dollars. While the No. 2 ranked player, Demarcus Lawrence, makes about 17 million dollars.

Kirk was signed as the Minnesota Vikings quarterback in March 2018 on a 84 million dollar contract for 3 year contract. This contract made him the highest paid NFL player in history topping well known players such as Aaron Rodgers and other high ranking Quarterbacks.

Surprisingly the majority of the highest paid players is not quarterbacks. There seems to be a diversity of positions in the highest paid players with only 3 players being quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers is shockingly not in the top 10 highest paid players. He actually is ranked at No. 545 being paid 1.1 million dollars a year. However, with all of his endorsements and licensings he is definitely in the top 10 highest paid players.