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49th Ward Update
January 22, 2021

Hello neighbors,

This was an exciting week. The inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will hopefully lead to some much needed change in how our nation responds to the coronavirus pandemic and economic aid to help us all. We also have our first woman to serve as the Vice President of the United States - an historic moment to be sure! While there is much to do still, it is important to take time to reflect on history being made. This week I hit a personal milestone as on January 20, Inauguration Day, I turned 40! Thanks to everyone that sent birthday wishes - all in all it’s been a good week.

It was also a busy one - as we prepare for City Council next week committee meetings have been back to back. We’ve also been busy supporting a safer reopening for CPS, drafting legislation to strengthen our City’s environmental protection work, working with community coalitions to pass stronger legislation to support affordable housing, protecting senior citizens during public health emergencies, and getting as much actionable information as possible about how to get the covid vaccine to our residents as soon as possible.

Check out City Clerk Anna Valencia’s website for more information about upcoming Council meetings and to sign up for public comment.

Stay safe, and take care,

Maria Hadden
Alderwoman, 49th Ward

Celebrations & Appreciations
You didn't think we were going to allow a pandemic to make us stop celebrating and appreciating our community did you? Of course not! We need this more than ever, so please, send us the people, orgs and actions that you want the ward to know about next week! Email us at
Sullivan Senior Awarded Protiviti Scholarship
Riley Thorpe, a student representative on Sullivan High School’s LSC, has been awarded a $20,000, 4-year Protiviti CommUnity Scholarship.. The global consulting firm “supports economically challenged Chicago students who have the spirit and aptitude to achieve their goal of attending college.”
Riley, now a senior, moved to Chicago from St. Louis as a freshman, and describes Sullivan as “one big family…. all our teachers are there for us whenever we need them. The students were very kind and I made friends quickly.” As a freshman, she was a founder of the Student Council. In her first two years, she was the top-ranking student in her class and expects a similarly strong finish this year.
Among her memorable experiences is volunteering at the aldermanic debate hosted by Sullivan, at which, having just arrived in Chicago, she learned about the role of aldermen.
Riley is active in the Student Voice Committee, Future Business Leaders of America Club, two bands, and the soccer team. “Having voice matters,” she says. “It’s our lives, we should have those choices.” As for leadership roles, “It’s very collaborative. We are multiple leaders, working together.”
Riley has been accepted to 9 of 10 colleges she applied to, and deferred at one. Her top choices right now are Loyola and DePaul.  Future plans include business and law, with an eye to starting her own business and, “once having the success I want, starting a family.”
Ward Updates
POAH Finalized Acquisition of the Levy House this Week
The Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) closed the Levy House sale this week, making them the bonafide and legal owners. Their acquisition of the Levy House means that it will be a 100% affordable housing building, and no existing tenants are at risk of being displaced. Additionally, POAH will be able to make some capital improvements to the building with the acquisition. I want to thank POAH for working so closely with our office, the CHA, CJE, and the Jane Addams Senior Caucus on this sale and ensuring that no seniors will be displaced in the middle of a pandemic. 

For more on the history of POAH's acquisition of the Levy House, visit the 49th Ward website
CTU Organizers ask Teachers to Work Remotely Monday Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
Photo Credit: Block Club Chicago
On Wednesday, the Chicago Teachers Union 600-member House of Delegates voted to present a collective action plan. Beginning Monday, January 25, teachers will refuse to return to in-person teaching at the schools and instead continue to teach online. 

Teachers included in the second wave of CPS returns, kindergarten through eighth grade, were scheduled to return to schools on Monday ahead of students returning on February 1. The action comes after failed negotiations with CPS to address the unaddressed questions and concerns educators and families have been asking for several months. To date, only about 21.7% of families have opted in for in-person learning (or a total of 77,000 out of 355,000 students), demonstrating that much work needs to be done to address the concerns around a safe reopening as the COVID-19 crisis continues. 

Our educators and students' families deserve a robust and collaborative plan to return to in-person learning. We've already seen educators and students have to quarantine after teachers tested positive for COVID in the first wave of returns. Absent a plan that addresses the unions' concerns, the only way for educators and students to stay safe is to continue with remote learning. 

Rank and file teachers still have to vote on the collective plan for it to go into effect on Monday. Those votes will continue through Saturday.  
Save the High Ridge YMCA Coalition
Meets with YMCA Leadership
Photo Credit: Chicago Sun-Times
On Wednesday, the Save the High Ridge YMCA Coalition met with YMCA leadership to discuss their plans to close the location and the devastating impact that this will have on our community. Alderman Silverstein and District Director Leslie Combs from Congresswoman Schakowsky's office were also in attendance at the meeting. 

During the meeting, the YMCA went over some of the financial challenges the organization was facing and how the pandemic has compounded those issues. They did indicate that at this time, they plan to move forward with the closure next week. However, they said they wouldn't put the property up for sale for at least two months. 

The Save the High Ridge YMCA Coalition informed the YMCA of their efforts since the announcement during the meeting, including receiving over 200 pledges from community members to purchase memberships at this location. The Coalition is also seeking corporate benefactors to help the YMCA overcome the significant financial challenges it faces. With a new federal administration now in leadership, there might also be an opportunity to modify PPP loans to include large not-for-profit organizations. 

Our office will continue to work with Alderman Silverstein, Congresswoman Schakowsky, and Save the High Ridge YMCA to see how we can preserve this staple in our community. 
1233 W. Pratt Survey Results and Update
Thank you for taking the time to engage with our office by attending the community meeting last month and providing feedback on the proposal for 1233 W. Pratt.

Our office received over 200 responses to the online survey, with 40 percent of respondents living within a block of the site. As reflected in the infographic, parking, height and a lack of affordability were the biggest concerns 49th Ward residents have about the proposal. While many expressed fears of blocked light or the strain on parking the development will create,  there was a strong call to include more affordable units regardless of the height and parking from several others.

Additionally, respondents did share positive feedback on the current proposal in the survey. This feedback included the development having a positive economic impact for nearby businesses, the utilization of land that has long been vacant, and the unit mix included in the current proposal. 

Our office shared the feedback and input with the developer this week to see how it can be incorporated into the proposal. We will keep the community apprised of any proposed changes from the developer and continue to solicit feedback and host community meetings. The first meeting was only the first step in creating a long-term plan for the vacant lot. 

Stay tuned for further updates and next steps in the coming weeks! Please don't hesitate to contact us directly with questions at or to
Loyola Community Webinar January 27
A limited number of Loyola students returned to campus this week to begin the spring semester. They will be quarantined in their single-occupancy rooms for the next two weeks before they resume class. 

Loyola would like to share their plans for the upcoming semester with the Rogers Park community. At 6 pm on Wednesday, January 27, join Loyola's Community Engagement team for a webinar. Online pre-registration is required. If you have specific questions you would like answered, please email them in advance to
Theatre Above the Law Opens New Show - Constellations
We have been waiting to bring this amazing and moving play to YOU for almost 3 years. It was to be the closing production of our 4th season last May. Covid had other plans. The cast and production crew stayed vigilant and dedicated to have it come to fruition. We began rehearsing online and then creating a production bubble of 2 cast members, stage manager and director and rehearsed the past 5 weeks with masks on. Our cast both just tested negative to begin tech without the 2 of them masked and we are filming the performance this weekend with a masked audience of 6 from our bubble and another with no audience.

This production is a long time coming and well worth the wait. We feel it deserves a live audience. That is not possible right now. Hopefully someday we can all experience it together. It the meantime, YOU have 10 opportunities to watch from home. 

Streaming tickets are available here. Thank YOU for supporting Theatre for YOU!
Lifeline Theatre's Fillet of Solo Is Back
Celebrating the breadth of Chicago’s enduring storytelling and live lit scene, Lifeline virtually brings 15 storytelling collectives and 17 solo performers together from all over the world in a three-week (February 8-28), online gallery of powerful personal stories.
This year’s Fest will take place entirely online! Upon ticket/pass purchase, a confirmation will be sent with information on how to access the Fillet of Solo website that features the gallery of this year’s stories.

There are two types of tickets:
– Single Tickets are Name Your Price (suggested donation of $20) and give you access to the Fest website for the full run (Feb. 8-28).
– Festival Passes are only $45 and give you full access PLUS live virtual extras including panel discussions and storytelling workshops with Festival artists.

Tickets/passes can be purchased on our website or through our Box Office at 773-761-4477.
Super Savors from Rogers Park
Want to support local businesses? Looking for some new restaurants to try? This event is for you! Meet local restaurant owners and hear about what they've got on the menu.
Organized by community member Tom McDermott and the Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce. 

When: Friday, Jan 29 - 5:30pm
Where: Virtual Zoom meeting
Meeting ID: 850 3047 3054
Passcode: 937360
Dial-in: 1-312-626-6799
Participate in the Western Avenue Corridor Study

The City of Chicago is launching a planning study on the North Side, focusing on a five-mile stretch of North Western Avenue between Addison and Howard streets.
The Western Avenue Corridor Study will examine land uses, development patterns, public amenities, and all forms of traffic patterns along North Western Avenue. In partnership with the community, the study will seek to formalize a long-term vision for how the corridor should function for all modes of transportation while also identifying key opportunity sites for future development.
Visit to join the community-driven planning process for one of the North Side’s most traveled thoroughfares, and be sure to:

Questions and comments can be emailed to the project team at

Tee Mart Looking to Help Support Local Businesses through the Here For Good Campaign
Tee Mart, 1445 W. Morse, is participating in the nationwide Here For Good fundraising campaign. This campaign was created by a screen printing company in St. Louis, MO, with the goal of helping local businesses stay 'Here For Good.'

The program features a web store that showcases t-shirts representing any local business (or non-profit) that need help during this time to stay afloat. Loyal customers and supporters can then purchase a t-shirt (or two or three) to help the business to make it through these tough times. The business will receive $10 for each t-shirt purchased to support them.

Tee Mart is in the process of reaching out to local businesses and non-profits in the neighborhood. However, if you do know of any organizations or businesses that would benefit from the Here For Good partnership, please have them reach out to Tee Mart at
Community Alert: Armed Robberies
The 20th and 24th District reported a series of armed robberies in the area this week. The offender appears to be the same individual in both incidents where money and personal items were stolen. 

If you have any information on the incidents, please contact the Area Three Bureau of Detectives at 312-744-8263.
Community Alert: Robberies
The 24th District issued a community alert this week in response to a series of robberies in the area.  

Please be aware of this pattern of crime and alert your neighbors and friends. If you have any information, please contact the Area Three Bureau of Detectives at (312) 744-8263.
COVID-19 Updates
As cases continue to skyrocket across the city, state, and country, we are bringing back our section with the most up-to-date information on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and any changes that are being implemented to address it. Information on aid and relief programs will continue to be housed in the "Need to Know Info" section of this newsletter. 
COVID-19 Vaccination Roll-Out Update
In December, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Pfizer and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use.  

Vaccination Roll-Out

Dr. Arwady announced this week that beginning on Monday, January 25, the city will begin to inoculate Chicago residents who fall in phase 1B of the city's vaccination rollout. Individuals in group 1B include frontline essential workers and seniors aged 65 and older. 
During the 49th Ward town hall on the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday (available to view here), Dr. Luna from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) indicated that there approximately 600,000 Chicagoans who fall in phase 1B of the city's vaccination plan. 

After the city is complete with inoculating people in group 1B, it will transition to phase 1C of the vaccine rollout plan; which includes other essential workers and people aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions that put them at an elevated risk should they contract COVID-19. On Tuesday, Dr. Arwady indicated that phase 1C of the vaccination rollout is expected to begin by late March.

Individuals in phase 2 of the vaccination plan will be the final group of Chicagoans to receive a vaccine. This group includes people aged 16 and older who are not included in phase 1 of the vaccination rollout. CDPH anticipates phase 2 will begin to receive their vaccinations starting May 31. 
During the town hall we hosted on Monday, Dr. Luna said most individuals will receive their vaccine from their primary care physician. The city is also enlisting retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers to assist with administering the vaccine. For especially vulnerable populations (e.g., those facing housing insecurity, undocumented immigrants, and those without a primary care physician), the city is partnering with city colleges to set up PODs (points of distribution) to vaccinate residents. 

At this time, there is not a public registration for the COVID vaccine. As more details become available on vaccine clinics throughout the city, CDPH will update its COVID vaccine website page. CDPH officials also recommend that residents sign up for the Chi COVID Coach, where information on how to get vaccinated will be texted to your phone once it becomes available. 

Dispelling Misinformation

There has been some misinformation circulating online about the COVID-19 vaccine. Leading up to the pandemic, there have been decades of research on coronaviruses broadly. In January 2020, the genetic sequence for COVID-19 was released, which allowed researchers worldwide to begin working on a vaccine immediately. 

Before a vaccine is introduced to the broad public, it goes through a rigorous trial process, including being tested in laboratories and on animals. These tests help scientists identify which candidate performs the best before introducing it to clinical trials on humans. 

Once a vaccination candidate is introduced to human trials, it goes through three phases. During these phases, scientists identify any short-term side effects and risks and any relationship that exists between the dosage size a participant receives and the immune response. Scientists then compare participants in the human trials receiving a vaccine to those who are receiving a placebo. 

At all stages, from the laboratory to the final third stage of human clinical trials, scientists are rigorously evaluating and documenting results. These results are then reviewed by Institutional Review Boards to ensure their scientific validity, the integrity of the trials, and to protect participants. The process is thorough to protect the greater public health from any adverse outcomes. 

What This Means for Right Now

The development and approval of the vaccination is an incredible milestone in our battle against this global pandemic. However, we are still several months away from achieving herd immunity. It is imperative that we continue social distance and wear a mask any time we leave our houses. Right now, those are the best tools we all have in our toolbox to combat this deadly virus. 
CDPH Issues Warning of COVID Vaccine Scammers
The City of Chicago and Chicago Public Health Department (CDPH) are warning residents about COVID19 vaccine scams. If you or someone you know gets calls, texts, or emails offering early access to a COVID-19 vaccine, it is NOT legitimate, it is a scam, and you should not respond.

Safe and legitimate vaccines are being distributed through the Chicago Public Health Department (CDPH) using a phased approach, starting with priority access populations like health care workers of all types and long-term care facilities residents and staff. In the coming weeks, CDPH will also start offering vaccination for essential workers and those over 65, with an eye toward equity among hardest-hit populations.

Scammers may pretend they are from the World Health Organization, or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), or even Governor Pritzker’s or Mayor’s Lightfoot’s office. They may offer to ship a COVID-19 vaccination directly to your home, or provide early access to city sites for a price, or be selling special cold storage units to keep your vaccine safe. Nobody needs to pay for a COVID vaccine – they are free and will eventually be available to all.

As COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins, here are signs of potential scams:
  • Patients are asked to pay out of pocket to get a vaccine. You will not have to pay for the vaccine itself, although you may be charged a small fee for administration of the vaccine—any offer to “sell” a vaccine is a scam
  • Patients are asked to pay to put their name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access.
  • Unsolicited emails, text messages, advertisements, or telephone calls offering to sell COVD-19 vaccines.
  • Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment.
Before responding to communications from a doctor, pharmacy, health department, or other health care practitioner, verify the source of that communication. Protect Yourself. Do not give out your personal information to unknown sources.

Remember, never give out your social security number, do not pay for a vaccine or buy and send gift cards, do not reply to calls or texts suggesting to you “sign up” for a Chicago vaccination list. The vaccine will not be available to the general public for several months, and it will always be free of charge.

Consumers and healthcare providers can report any fraudulent COVID-19 products to:
Chicago Transitions to Tier 2 Mitigations
Effective immediately, the State of Illinois has determined that Chicago has made significant enough progress as a region in the fight against COVID-19 to move into Tier 2 Mitigations Measures.  Chicago was able to move to Tier 2 Mitigation Measures because the State of Illinois has removed the requirement that regions have greater than 20% capacity in medical/surgical beds.

Under Tier 2, restaurants and bars must:
  • Close at 11 pm and may reopen no earlier than 6 am the following day
  • No indoor service, all bar and restaurant patrons should be seated at tables outside
  • Reservations are required and tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • No tables exceeding 6 people and no seating of multiple parties at one table
  • Outdoor dining may include tables that are inside but within 8 feet of wall that is 50% open, and open retractable roofs and open tents.
Under Tier 2, health and fitness centers may have:
  • 25% capacity indoors
  • Group classes of 10 or fewer can resume under the 25% capacity restriction
  • Reservations are no longer required and locker rooms can reopen under capacity restrictions
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times
Under Tier 2, museums may re-open at 25% capacity.

You can read about the specific Tier 2 Mitigation Measures here.  The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will continue to track the positivity rate in regions across the state and determine if mitigations can be relaxed or if additional mitigations are need to be implemented. Track Chicago's metrics on IDPH's website.

Workers who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, have a positive COVID-19 test, are awaiting COVID-19 test results, or have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 should stay home. Employers cannot retaliate against workers who stay home because they are positive with COVID-19. Any violations of the anti-retaliation ordinance can be reported to 311, by filling out an online complaint form, or contacting our office ( or 773-338-5796). 

While the city is transitioning to Tier 2 mitigations, please continue to practice social distancing and mask-wearing. Just last week, public health officials discovered the more contagious COVID variant in the city. While this hasn't been found to be deadlier than the original strain, it does spread more easily. By taking proper precautions, we can continue to not overwhelm our healthcare system. 

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the city's Coronavirus Response Center website. For more information on the Restore Illinois plan, visit the State of Illinois' Coronavirus Response website
Sign-Up for Chi COVID Coach
Our office has received several inquiries about how to register for a COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, the city does not have registration open. However, we recommend that folks sign up for the Chi COVID Coach, developed in 2020 by CDPH. As registration becomes available for a vaccine, Chi COVID Coach will notify you over text message with updates on the vaccine and how to receive one. 

The registration will walk you through four steps to sign up, including identifying any underlying health conditions that might put you at an elevated risk or if your occupation falls within an essential services category. To register, visit
How the COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Works
The approved COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not contain any live virus of COVID-19. Instead, scientists used the genetic sequence of the virus to create a blueprint of the COVID-19 virus. The virus will trigger the body to produce the spike protein in the COVID-19 virus, which will signal our immune systems to produce the proper antibodies and T cells to combat the RNA blueprint. This means that should an individual contract the COVID-19 virus after being inoculated, the body's immune system will already have stored the information necessary to combat the virus. 

When people receive a vaccination, they might feel some side effects as their immune systems respond to the spike protein. The most common side effects include swelling and some pain at the injection site as well as fever, chills, headaches, and fatigue. These side effects are temporary and indicate that the immune system is imprinting its response to combat COVID-19. 
State Eviction Moratorium Extended to February 6
Governor Pritzker announced that the State's eviction moratorium will be extended to January 11, 2021 as the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact our state and our country. 

On November 14, protections for Illinois tenants were changed under the latest eviction moratorium extension. Landlords can now file evictions unless tenants give them a written declaration that they should be protected by the COVID Eviction Moratorium. The Lawyers Committee for Better Housing. Tenants can use IDHA's declaration template to provide their landlord with written notice that they've been financially impacted due to COVID-19. That declaration is available online

The Department of Housing has put together a Know Your Rights website for tenants who are facing illegal lockouts during the eviction moratorium. The Lawyers Committee for Better Housing has also put together information for tenants facing an illegal lockout and may be able to provide legal assistance to income-eligible tenants. Learn more on their website here
Updates to the Emergency Travel Order

The Chicago Department of Public Health announced updates to the Chicago Emergency Travel Order. Effective Friday, January 15, 2021, states will only be categorized as yellow or orange. Previously, the city had three category levels for the Emergency Travel Order.

The updates to the order are meant to simplify the message by putting states into one of two categories. Regardless of which category a state falls into, CDPH is still advising that people avoid any kind of travel as we see COVID-10 cases surging across most of the U.S. Additionally, the new COVID variant that is more transmissible has now been detected in at least 8 states, including Indiana and Wisconsin. 

Anyone traveling from a state on the Orange list is directed to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period (or the duration of their time in Chicago, whichever is shorter).  They must practice strict social distancing, mask-wearing, and avoid any in-person gathering. Anyone traveling from a state on the Yellow list is not required to quarantine or provide a pre-arrival test. However, they should practice strict mask-wearing and social distancing.

The lists are updated every two weeks based on state and Chicago case averages. There are no travel restrictions within Illinois. However, non-essential travel to the areas of high incidence is discouraged. If essential travel is needed, follow the prevention techniques such as using a face covering, frequent hand washing/sanitization, and maintaining social distancing.

Please visit for additional information.
Latest Information on COVID-19 from the
Chicago Department of Public Health

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Chicago, visit the Chicago Department of Health's (CDPH) website at For the latest information on COVID-19 in Illinois, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health's (IDPH) website

Community Aid
ChangeX Community Challenge
ChangeX Chicago Community Challenge will make $100,000 total available to 15 different ideas. The money is made available to help support new community projects across the city. Each applicant who successfully completes a 30-day challenge and an impact challenge will receive funding amounts ranging from $500-$5,000 to help get their selected project off the ground. 

There is a range of ideas - from community fridges to creating a Girls Who Code Club - that you can explore on Change X's website to help you get started on a project in the 49th Ward. For more information on eligibility requirements and how to get started, visit Change X's website
49th Ward Youth Advisory Council Food Drive
The 49th Ward Youth Advisory Committee has launched a food drive. All donations will benefit the United Church of Rogers Park's weekly free hot meal to help feed our hungry neighbors. Drop off non-perishable items through February 28 at Rogers Park Fruit Market, Cermak Fresh Market, or Devon Market. 
Purchase an A Just Harvest Mask and Support
Your Local Food Pantry at the Same Time
A Just Harvest, 7653 N. Paulina, has stepped up during the COVID-19 crisis and made sure that our most vulnerable neighbors always have a hot meal to eat. They work tirelessly year-round, never taking a day off for the holidays, to give back to our community.

Now you can show your support and appreciation for them by purchasing an A Just Harvest face mask for only $15. Your contribution will go to helping them continue supporting our families. They only have a limited supply, so make sure to order yours today. You can order a face mask on A Just Harvest's website.
Help Our Elderly and Disabled Neighbors
with Snow Removal this Winter
City ordinance requires residents and businesses to keep clear their sidewalks of snow in a timely manner after a storm. The 49th Ward has residents who might need a little extra assistance this winter in clearing their sidewalks. Our office is looking for volunteers with their own shovels to help lend a hand to our elderly and disabled neighbors by shoveling the sidewalks in front of their building. After a snowstorm, our office will email you with a list of locations that need an extra hand in snow removal. If you're interested in volunteering, please fill out this short Google Form

Are you a neighbor that is in need of extra assistance with snow removal? Please fill out this short Google Form. Our office won't share any contact information gathered in this form; we will only include your address on the list that we send volunteers after a snow storm. 
Commissioner Gainer's Annual Women's Toiletry Drive
Commissioner Bridget Gainer is hosting her annual women's toiletry drive. Please consider donating travel-sized products of shampoo and conditioner, soap, shower gel, deodorant, and body location to a drop off location to help women that are currently incarcerated. For more information, call Commissioner Gainer's office at 312-603-4210 or email 
Become a Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor
January is National Mentoring Month! Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago is a one-to-one mentoring program that matches students with a screened mentor based on location, interests, and hobbies. Matches meet 2-4 times a month for a minimum of one year. Students in this program are more likely to graduate high school, avoid risky behaviors, and improve relationships with their peers. This is currently a 100% virtual opportunity. For more information, please feel free to contact Miesha at 312-207-4249 or  You may also visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters website at to learn more.
Community Engagement Opportunities
Leone Beach Park Advisory Council hosts
"The Ups and Downs of Lake Michigan Water Levels: What's Going On, and What to Do" 
Want to learn more about Lake Michigan water levels? Join the Leone Beach Park Advisory Council for a virtual talk, “The Ups and Downs of Lake Michigan Water Levels: What is Going On, and What to Do” by Philip Willink, Ph.D.
When: Jan 28, 2021 7:00 – 8:00 pm Central Standard Time (US and Canada)

The event is free, but online advanced registration is required.

About the talk
Lake Michigan is part of one of the largest freshwater ecosystems on the planet. It has been consistently changing throughout its entire existence. A review of over a century of data can yield clues about the multiple processes driving water level changes, and provides insights for what the future may hold, particularly within the context of climate change. This understanding is necessary for communities, like Chicago, to develop shoreline plans that are resilient for the rest of the 21st Century and beyond. A proper perspective is required to protect both Lake Michigan's biodiversity and Chicago's infrastructure in an uncertain future.
About the speaker
Philip Willink is an aquatic scientist that received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, then worked at The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Illinois Natural History Survey. He has also served on numerous boards and committees related to aquatic conservation.
Willink has conducted research in a dozen different countries, as well as extensively throughout the Chicago Region. His primary specialty is fish, specifically how fish communities change over time and whether these changes are in response to natural or anthropogenic factors. This has resulted in projects on endangered species, invasive species, habitat restoration, and climate change. His professional focus has evolved into taking scientific research and making the leap to actionable conservation and management initiatives and policy.
About Leone Beach Park Advisory Council
We are the official Chicago Park District Park Advisory Council for Leone Beach Park (also known as Touhy Beach). We offer nature-based activities for the whole family.
Our role is to connect the community with Leone Beach Park. Our goal is to revitalize Leone Beach Park and Fieldhouse to be an active recreational and educational community asset where people enjoy, learn about, and care for Lake Michigan and its coast.
Grow Your Own Food with the Peterson Garden Project
Learn how to grow your own food! Do you know there is an organic edible community garden at Howard and Ashland? Join your fellow gardeners and neighbors in the community to learn how to grow food, share what you learn, and enjoy some much-anticipated sunshine with Peterson Garden Project. Membership is $85 for the gardening season of April 24th to November 7th and includes education, events, some supplies, water access, and a 4'x8' plot. Visit today to register or for more info!

Contact with questions or for scholarships. 
Northside AARP Community Group Meeting February 2
The Northside AARP Community Group will host their next monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 2. Don Bell will join the meeting to present "How We Got to Today" and lead a conversation on the events of January 6, 2021, and other issues we face today. 

To register to attend the monthly meeting, email
Edgewater Village Seeking Help for 
Valentine Card Giving Program Through February 5
Edgewater Village is partnering with the Edgewater Branch of the Chicago Public Library to collect Valentine’s Day cards -- store-bought as well as handcrafted cards -- to give to our neighbors in assisting living, long-term care communities and rehabilitation facilities.

This is a great intergenerational activity! If you need supplies, a small selection of crafting materials may be picked up from the Edgewater Branch Library to be used in making homemade Valentine's Day cards. Check the library's website for the hours it is open. 

Email Librarian Katy Linehan ( with the number of cards you can provide, and she'll send further details. Cards should be dropped off at the Circulation Desk of the Edgewater Library, 6000 N. Broadway, by Friday, Feb. 5. If you can't stop by during open hours, cards can be left in the outside book drop as long as they are bundled and inside a bag. Clearly label the bag: Attn:  Edgewater Village Chicago.
Check out Edgewater Village's Upcoming events

Conversation with author Miles Harvey
Thursday, Jan. 28
6:30-7:30 p.m.

​Join Miles Harvey, author of "The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreams, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch." Harvey digs into the strange and largely unknown story of James Strang and the singular movement in antebellum American that allowed him -- and the new breed of "confidence men" -- to thrive.

The free program will be presented on Zoom by Edgewater Branch Library and Friends of the Edgewater Library. Register here.

In addition to the conversation with Miles Harvey, you're invited to The No Book Club (Jan. 25); exercise (Jan. 26); Chicago's Urban Wildlife (Jan. 29); Movie Chat (Jan. 30); Coffee & Conversation (Feb. 2) and It's Greek to Me (Feb. 2). Check out the website,, and sign up for the newsletter so you don't miss out on some interesting programs. All activities are held via Zoom; review the "join a meeting" tutorial if you aren't familiar with using Zoom.

Government Corner
With the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot of information and resources available to people at all levels of government. To make sure you're receiving all the information to help you through this time, please consider signing up for the following newsletters or keeping your eye on the following pages. See something that should be added to this section? Email it to the office at 

City of Chicago Resources:
City of Chicago Coronavirus Resource Center Website
City of Chicago Coronavirus Updates Distribution Sign-Up
CPS COVID-19 Resources & Updates
Chicago Park District COVID-19 Response Page
BACP COVID-19 Resource Page

Cook County:
Cook County COVID-19 Response Website
Contact Commissioner Suffredin's Office
Commissioner Gainer Newsletter Sign-Up

State of Illinois:
State of Illinois COVID-19 Response Website
Sen. Steans Newsletter Sign-Up
Rep. Cassidy Newsletter

Federal Government:
Sign-up for Congresswoman Schakowsky's newsletter
Federal Government COVID-19 Response Website
Need to Know Info
Each week we've been updating this section with the rapid information coming down from all levels of government. This has resulted in a long email with the information running for several weeks. To shorten the length of the newsletter and provide the freshest content, we have archived all the COVID-19 newsletters on the 49th Ward website. You can also refer to the Rogers Park Community Response Team's website, where resources and information are abundantly available for our neighbors. 
LIHEAP For All: Financial Assistance for All,
Regardless of Legal Status

Low-income families in the state of Illinois can still apply for financial assistance to help pay for gas or electric bills through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) until June 30, 2021. However, the sooner you apply, the better.

CUB recommends that to avoid misinformation, the most reliable way to get details about LIHEAP benefits is to always use the State of Illinois’s website.

LIHEAP remains available up to 200% of the federal poverty level, and undocumented applicants are welcome. Currently, the LIHEAP system accepts an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in place of a Social Security number (SSN). Even if you don’t have an ITIN, you can still apply. 

To apply for LIHEAP, fill out the pre-qualification application. Once you fill out your application, your local LIHEAP office will contact you. 

For more information and to learn about other financial assistance programs, visit the state’s Help for Illinois Families website.

If you have any questions, please call the Citizen's Utility Board's consumer hotline at 1-800-669-5556. If you need help in Spanish, you can call 1-833-711-0374. 

Recycle Your Christmas Tree through January 23
Chicago residents can recycle their Christmas tree at any of the city’s 25 locations through January 23.

The city has partnered with the Chicago Park District to provide residents with this free service. Trees can be dropped off anytime during normal business hours. Free mulch will also be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting January 6 at Warren Park, Margate Park, Margate Park, Mt. Greenwood Park, North Park Village, and the Forestry Site.

The closest recycling location for 49th Ward residents is at Warren Park, 6601 N. Western.

Only live/natural trees free of flocking will be accepted (this means no garland or wreaths). All trees must have any tinsel, ornaments, lights, and strands removed in order to be recycled. Any plastic bags used to transport the tree to a drop-off location must also be removed.

A map of all drop-off locations is available to view online.
State Partners with Banks to Provide
Free Check Cashing for Stimulus Checks
The Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (IDFPR) announced this week that they have worked with banks to provide services for unbanked Illinoisans seeking to cash their stimulus checks without incurring check-cashing fees. During the first round of stimulus checks, the banks provided this service and worked again with IDFPR to secure the same agreement for the second round of stimulus checks. 

The FDIC estimates that over 22% of Illinois households are under or unbanked. Many of these Illinois households will once again be receiving paper stimulus checks and have few check cashing options that won't incur fees. To avoid these fees, IDFPR partnered with several banking institutions that will provide non-customers services to cash their stimulus checks for free. The banks in this partnership include the Bank of America, First Midwest, Fifth Third, Huntington, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and U.S. Bank. This partnership means that Illinois residents will be able to apply their full stimulus amount toward food, housing, and other necessities during this difficult time.

To ensure proper social distancing and confirm that they have the proper identification to cash their federal stimulus check, individuals interested in these options should contact the banks listed above or email IDFPR at to set up an appointment. 
ONE Central Project Webinar January 25
The Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) are hosting a virtual community webinar to review Landmark Development’s proposed ONE Central project on the Near South Side.

The meeting will take place on Zoom at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25. Registration for the Zoom webinar is open now. The presentation will be posted on the City’s website in advance of the meeting.

The mixed-use ONE Central proposal is planned for approximately 32 acres of primarily rail yard land between McCormick Place and the Museum Campus on the Near South Side. It would be anchored by a multi-modal transit hub and include 9,050 residential units and more than 12.5 million square feet of commercial, retail, hotel, and event space, along with parking for 3,500 vehicles.

A pending Planned Development zoning application will require review by DPD and other City agencies, as well as the review and approval of the Chicago Plan Commission and City Council. Thorough details about Landmark's proposal will be provided during the meeting.

Members of the public are welcome to email questions in advance of the meeting to or by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21.

For more information, visit the City’s website. Questions and comments can always be directed to
Senior Citizens can Apply for Property Tax Deferral

Senior citizens having a hard time paying their property taxes can take advantage of a loan program administered by the Cook County Treasurer’s Office.

Seniors whose annual household income is $55,000 or less can apply now for the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program, which issues loans to cover property tax payments.

The loans, which are issued by the State of Illinois, do not have to be repaid until the property is sold or the homeowner dies. The state charges a simple interest rate of 6 percent per year. The maximum loan is $5,000 per year. To qualify, homeowners must be at least 65 years old by June 1 of the year in which the application is made.

To apply:

  • Download the application from
  • Submit the completed application and copies of the required documents to the Treasurer’s Office
  • The deadline is March 1, 2021. Applications after that date cannot be accepted
  • Homeowners must reapply every year
  • The First Installment for Tax Year 2020 is due March 2, 2021, but late charges are waived through May 3, 2021
Two Month Waiver Available for Property Tax Late Fees
In November, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to waive late fees for two months on both property tax installments due in 2021, giving cash-strapped property owners more time to juggle their finances.
The Board unanimously waived for two months the 1.5 percent per month late fee on all Tax Year 2020 property taxes, according to a news release. Specifically:
  • The First Installment of 2020 taxes is due March 2, 2021, with application of late charges moved back to May 3, 2021.
  • The Second Installment of 2020 taxes is due August 2, 2021, with application of late charges moved back to October 1, 2021.
For more information, visit the Cook County Treasurer's website.
Submit Comment on City's Demolition Regulations by Feb. 18
Following the demolition of the smokestack in Little Village owned by Hilco Development Partners, the City Council passed measures further regulating demolitions by implosion. These new proposed rules are available for public comment until 11:59 p.m. on February 18, 2021. To review the proposed rules and provide a written comment, please visit the City’s website. You can submit a written comment using the tool found at the bottom of the webpage.

In addition to written comments, a virtual public hearing on the proposed rules will be held on ThursdayJanuary 28, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. To participate in the hearing, please register at  If you wish to offer public comments at the hearing, please check the appropriate box on the registration page. Speakers will have up to 2 minutes to share their comments.  

Simultaneous interpretation in Spanish will be available at the hearing. If you require other accommodations, please contact or call (312)720-5523.
Need Help?
Call or email the Rogers Park Community Response Team!

The Rogers Park Community Response Team is an action-oriented group created in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. RPCRT was created by 49th Ward Alderwoman Maria Hadden in coordination with local service providers and community organizations. Partners include IL State Representative Kelly Cassidy, Protect RP, Northside Community Resources, Loyola Community Nursing Center, and hundreds of deeply committed community volunteers.

We are working together to support each other. We will do so, to the best of our combined ability care for all of our RP family, with fierce love and compassion. We want every Rogers Park resident to know that you are cared for and not alone.

Contact us at or call our Support Hotline at 773-831-7668. Volunteers are available to answer your questions and direct you to resources now.

Please also take a moment to look at the Rogers Park Community Response Team's robust website, This website acts as a centralized location where a variety of resources can live to help residents in the wake of COVID-19. 

Business Updates
SBA Loans & Small Business Relief Town Halls
Commissioner Bridget Gainer will join the Small Business Administration District Director Robert Steiner to host a series of town halls for small businesses. Learn about SBA loans and other business relief opportunities. For more information, email Commissioner Gainer's office at
Payment Protection Program Application Now Open
The Small Business Administration (SBA) opened another round of Payment Protection Program (PPP) loans this week. The latest PPP loans were included in the second federal relief package passed in late December 2020.

On Monday, businesses that did not receive a loan during the first round of the PPP became eligible to apply for a First Draw PPP Loan at participating Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). On Wednesday, certain businesses that have already received a PPP loan through the first round became eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan through a participating CDFI. After these first two tiers, PPP will open for applications through all participating lenders, including traditional banks.

As a reminder, businesses apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans through a bank, credit union, CDFI, or other lenders. Initially, businesses will only be able to use CDFIs to receive loans in order to promote access to capital. For a list of Illinois CDFIs, click here. Please note that some CDFIs may not be participating in the program- please contact your preferred lender to determine if they are participating. The program will then open up to all participating lenders, including traditional banks, at a later date.

To learn more about the PPP, please visit these links:
Rogers Park Business Alliance COVID-19 Resources

The site maintains updated information on how we can support our small business community as well as resources for businesses in how they can adapt during this unique and challenging time. From their site:

Rogers Park Business Alliance is proud of the caring, work ethic, dedication and resiliency of our community. We firmly believe that, together, we will meet the challenge that we are all faced with today and going forward.  

Out of an abundance of love and concern for the health of our community we are closing our offices. Based on recommended precautionary measures and public health guidelines, team RPBA will be working remotely until given the all clear. We are available via phone and email. We appreciate your patience at this time. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at (773) 508-5885 or

You can view our growing list of Rogers Park businesses that are open and/or receiving donations. You can also checkout the Chicagoland Dining at a Distance list.

Become a Tutor with Connecting Chicago
Connecting Chicago was founded in March 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 crisis in order to offer free tutoring services to students across the city. They currently have 550 students and tutors enrolled and recently registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Joining their team offers a great experience from which students can earn service hours. Students interested in volunteering to tutor should sign up for their third-quarter cycle by January 30th.

You can find more information on their website, where you can sign-up to be a tutor or to receive tutoring services.
CPS Pick-Up Meals Continue through Winter
With the return of pre-K students to in-person learning, CPS will continue to offer free meals to the community. Any child under the age of 18 can receive a 3-day meal kit at over 450 CPS locations across the city. You do not have to be a CPS student to receive a meal. Families simply inform the cafeteria staff how many children are in their household and they will receive meals for each child.

The grab & go meal service is Monday through Friday from 8 am to 1 pm. To find a location, visit CPS's website or call (773) 553-KIDS.
Future Founders Paid Internship and Spring Break Program
Future Founders is offering a paid internship and a free spring break program this spring. 

Be Your Own Boss After School Internship
Join Future Founders for a two-and-a-half week PAID virtual internship where you'll get a crash course in entrepreneurship, work with awesome teens from across the city, and build a business of your very own! Applications are due by Friday, February 5th:

Startup Spring Break Camp run in partnership with Google 
Join girls from across Chicago for a FREE virtual camp - run in partnership with Google - to learn about entrepreneurship, meet female founders making an impact, and collaborate to create business ideas. Applications are due by Monday, March 1st:
Employment Opportunities
Aramark Job Fair January 27
Aramark is hosting a job fair on Wednesday, January 27, from 9 am to 12 pm and again from 1 pm to 3 pm. They are hiring full-time and part-time custodian positions for Chicago Public Schools. The positions have a starting pay of $15.55/hour plus healthcare benefits. To pre-register for the job fair and to learn more, visit
Howard Area Community Center Seeking a
Family Support Worker/Family Engagement Liaison
Howard Area Community Center is seeking a Family Support Worker/Family Engagement Liaision. 

Title: Family Support Worker/Family Engagement Liaison
Program/Department: Early Childhood
Full Time or Part Time/Hours per week: Full Time
Salary: available upon request
Last Date to Apply: Until Filled!
Brief Description:
This position will develop and maintain relationships with families and provide case management to ensure that they receive comprehensive services through their participation in our Head Start/ Early Head Start Program.  Responsibilities also include developing and implementing a comprehensive program of parent involvement.
Mandatory Requirements & Qualifications:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Bachelor's degree in social work or related field preferred, experience in social service field, and bi-lingual (Spanish/English) recommended.
How to apply:
Send your resume and transcripts to Maria Elena Roman, M.A. ( or   view our website for other job opportunities

Spinning Wheels in Uptown is Hiring
Spinning Wheel Brands is currently looking for temporary assistance at our Uptown Chicago warehouse with "pick and pack" creation of customized food kits of our snack items for Amazon and getting them palletized for shipping. 
Daily tasks include:
  • Setting up the workspace with inventory, boxes, and labels
  • Create new items with multiple items from existing inventory
  • Double-check each package to confirm it complies with Amazon requirements
  • Close and label packages
  • Palletize items for shipment via truck
  • Some reorganizing of warehouse and simple cleaning may be needed 
Must be able to:
  • Stand for a few hours at a time
  • Lift 50 lbs for brief periods
  • Be highly detail-oriented
  • Follow directions exactly
  • Be very observant of current tasks to avoid mistakes 
COVID-19 Precautions:
  • Everyone on the team must wear their masks throughout the day
  • Working area will be kept separate to ensure at least 6 feet social distancing
  • Everyone will need to be very aware of health - watch their own temperature, sense of taste and smell, headache, etc.
 The current project build is over the next two weeks for two days a week at about 7-8 hours a day. The exact days are still being planned. There is potential for future jobs.
Please contact Tony Boring at with your resume and contact information.
Raise Your Hand is Hiring a Parent Organizer
Raise Your Hand (RYH) is hiring a Parent Organizer.

As a growing organization of 2 FTE and 3 PTE, Raise Your Hand is looking for an experienced partner to design the future of organizing at Raise Your Hand. This position requires someone who will be tactical and strategic, experienced at organizing leaders, and effective at training the next generation of parent leaders. The ideal candidate is someone who has experience intentionally developing members, leading campaigns and has a desire to eventually lead and manage other staff. Reports directly to the Executive Director.

The full job description and more information are available on Raise Your Hand's website. The application closes on January 31, 2021.
Trilogy Behavioral Health Hiring a Licensed Practical Nurse
Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare is seeking a Chief Medical Officer.

The Licensed Practical Nurse provides direct patient care and coordination of care services to assigned clients as delegated by a Registered Nurse or Advanced Practice Nurse to work alongside our outreach teams.  Their primary responsibilities will be medication monitoring, training, and reconciliation for outreach clients to assist the team with ensuring medication is packed correctly and to reduce medication errors.  The Licensed Practical Nurse will provide client-centered, strengths-based, and trauma-informed services to clients with severe mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse/addiction disorders utilizing a harm reduction approach.  

For more information on qualifications and how to apply, visit Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare's website.
Trilogy Behavioral Health Hiring a Chief Medical Officer
Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare is seeking a Chief Medical Officer.

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is responsible for all medical and psychiatric matters at Trilogy. The CMO will report to and work closely with the President and CEO; and will have partnerships with senior leadership to develop and implement strategies across the organization. They must be able to adapt to a continually evolving environment and thrive in an autonomous and deadline-oriented workplace.

For more information on qualifications and how to apply, visit Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare's website.
Doctors Test Centers (DTC) Job Opportunities

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) has long been an economic engine for the City and region at large. They recently announced that they will begin offering the most comprehensive COVID-19 testing of any airport in the country at O’Hare and Midway International Airports.

The program will require a workforce to fill the more than 100 available positions.  Doctors Test Centers (DTC) has been selected as the vendor to assist the CDA with the endeavor. They have a variety of employment opportunities open and are seeking applicants. For more information, visit DTC's website here

Alderwoman Maria Hadden | 49th Ward Service Office
1447 W. Morse Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
773-338-5796 |

Office Hours*

Monday: 9 am - 5 pm
Tuesday: 9 am - 5 pm
Wednesday: 9 am - 5 pm
Thursday: 9 am - 5 pm
Friday: 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

*Please note the physical office remains closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Our staff is working virtually from home and is happy to answer calls and emails.

Paid for and authorized by Maria for the 49th Ward.

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Alderwoman Maria Hadden · 1447 W. Morse Ave · Chicago, IL 60626 · USA