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49th Ward Update
December 24, 2020
LEE EN ESPAÑOL

Hello neighbors,

This week’s newsletter is coming to you a little earlier than usual because of the Christmas holiday. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, Happy Kwanzaa and a happy New Year too! This will be the last full newsletter of the year. If there are any special updates regarding public health information or other time sensitive news, we’ll send out another e-blast as needed. With only a week left of 2020, I have to say I’m really looking forward to 2021.

Almost every week of this year brought us all incredible challenges - sickness, unemployment, housing and food insecurity, social breakdown, environmental disasters, increased gun violence, police violence, racial tensions, civil unrest, and instability at every level of government. It’s going to take us a long time to process and heal from what we have experienced personally and collectively this year. We have lost so much - family, friends, livelihoods and community institutions. We’ve also been shown time and again the glaring flaws in our society. Our inability to throw off our attachments to systems that perpetuate racism and classism is killing us. And we have all born witness to the selfishness that leads some to put their personal privilege and convenience above the greater good of the whole of society. It’s been incredibly difficult to survive this year for most of us. 

But we’re still here.

No matter the challenges that hit us, people in our ward and our city stood together and came through with solutions. 2020 knocked us down so many times and we just kept getting back up. Let’s end the year celebrating our toughness, our creativity and our hope. From the new mutual aid organizations that formed to the existing nonprofits who found new ways to serve their missions and our communities; from the essential workers who literally and figuratively kept us alive this year to the City of Chicago employees who pivoted on a dime to take on any and every job that needed to be done even when it wasn’t their job; to the neighbors who came out with chainsaws, trucks and a willing hand to help neighbors clear destruction from the tornado - we Chicagoans have shown our resilience.

While 2020 is ending with amazing progress towards ending the global pandemic, we all know more challenges await us in 2021. Having a vaccine doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. We need to stick to the public health guidance. No gatherings with people outside your household. Wash your hands, wear a mask and remember that you don’t have to be symptomatic to be contagious. We’re all in this together.

I also believe 2021 offers an opportunity for real change in our city. Last week, thanks to her courage and the excellent investigative journalism of CBS Chicago, we learned about the inhumane treatment inflicted upon Ms. Anjanette Young. In the week since this incident came to light, we’ve learned that in addition to the initial harm done by police, the City via the Police Department, Law Department and Mayor’s Office have obstructed efforts made by Ms. Young and the news media to bring this issue to the public. This is unacceptable and a clear instance of the type of misdirected government culture that harms our residents and faith in our democracy.

Yesterday, we held a nearly 8-hour hearing in a joint committee meeting of the Committee on Health and Human Relations and the Committee on Public Safety about the practice of police search warrants as in the case of the one that led to the wrong raid of the home of Ms. Anjanette Young. We heard testimony from the Police Department, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), and the State’s Attorney. We did not hear from the Law Department or the Mayor directly.

Bottom line from the hearing: we continue to spend a lot of time, effort and resources to reform departments built within systems that are not meant to serve and protect Black people, poor people or other marginalized groups. We also have too many people in decision-making positions who aren’t interested in making the necessary changes.

The Mayor has asked for and received the resignations of the head of the Law Department as well as some other staff. The specific reasons for their departure are unclear at this time as former Corporation Counsel Mark Flessner has denied responsibility for the video suppression. The Mayor also announced yesterday that she has requested a former federal judge and private law firm to conduct an investigation of the city in our handling of the incident.

While I appreciate the Mayor taking swift action on this matter, I don't think it is necessary to bring in an outside law firm to conduct this investigation. Too many conflicts exist for the Mayor to be in charge of picking who leads the investigation and the trust that would be needed for her to head this is simply not there. Who are they accountable to in reporting their findings? Who will grant them the authority to question city employees? Who are they working for? It’s not you and it’s not the City Council.

We have an independent office empowered by ordinance to conduct investigations of this kind - it’s the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The OIG works for the people of the City of Chicago - no one else. That’s why I’ve joined several Alderpeople in requesting the OIG conduct an investigation. If the Mayor wants to do an internal review to help improve the management of her leadership team and how they handle regular city matters like FOIA requests, COPA investigations and police misconduct, fine. But I hope that her internal review doesn’t obstruct or interfere with the authorized, official investigation that should be completed by the OIG.

We know injustice when we see it. We don’t need an investigation to tell us what is wrong. We need an investigation to help us find the people and processes complicit in allowing such a violation of human rights as we have seen not just in the case of Ms. Young, but in the case of too many other Chicagoans.

The opportunity that we have to change is a mandate. It’s an imperative. Our city was suffering before the pandemic. Racial and economic injustice have been allowed to run rampant through this city destroying most opportunities for all of our residents to thrive. This pandemic has pushed us to the brink. It’s sink or swim time, Chicago. We will either change, or we will perish.

So I’ll be spending the next week of this holiday break resting up because 2021 is around the corner and the coming year will be a fight for the future of our city.

We need police reform and civilian oversight and to completely change the FOP contract.

We need more affordable, accessible housing.

We need an elected school board.

We need fully funded public, mental health crisis response resources.

We need a climate change action plan and environmental justice policies that protect our residents.

In short, we need to make Chicago’s government work for the people.

 

Have a safe and restful week and I’ll see you next year!


Maria Hadden
Alderwoman, 49th Ward

Ward Office Closed for the Holidays
Pleased be advised that the 49th Ward office will be closed beginning on Thursday, December 24, through Monday, January 4. Though staff will be back on Monday, January 4, the ward office will remain closed as we plan for 2021. The ward office will re-open to the public on Tuesday, January 5. 

Thank you and have a wonderful holiday season!
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 office@49thward.org
Happy Holidays, 49th Ward! 
2020 was chock-full of challenges. At every turn, however, 49th Ward neighbors showed their resiliency and generosity. We saw neighbors step up to help each other in need and fight for social justice. Though we aren't out of the woods quite yet, there is hope on the horizon. Please continue to stay safe this holiday season by staying home and celebrating with loved ones from outside your household virtually. 
Rogers Park Students Receive Full-Ride
Scholarships to Prestigious Universities
Three Rogers Park students recently received full-ride scholarships to prestigious universities for the 2021-2022 school year. Owais Ibrahim will attend Princeton University, Marianna Martinez will attend Northwestern University, and Mamayan Jabateh will attend the University of Chicago. All three students are seniors at Chicago Math and Science Academy. Congratulations to these students for their hard work and this amazing accomplishment! 
Rogers Park Helps Make the Holiday Season Special
for Neighbors in Need
49th Ward neighbors demonstrated once again their overwhelming generosity and compassion this holiday season by donating toys and other gifts to Communities Partnering 4 Peace and ONE Northside's holiday drive. These donations will help our neighbors in need have a special holiday season this year. Thank you! 
Ward Updates
New 400, Now the RP COVID Center, Open for Business

The New 400 Theater is the oldest continuously operated movie theater in Chicago history. Our little theater has served Rogers park through revolutions , plagues , and depressions. Even as COVID-19 rages in our community, we have continued to take a stand to help in every way we possibly can. We’ve delivered bags of popcorn to local food drives, provided a headquarters for those who chose to march during the Black Lives Matter protests of the summer, and even held privately booked movie screenings throughout the pandemic, all as a part of our continuous effort to share love and support. 

So, in the midst of this troubling time, New 400 Theater is excited to announce our partnership with the Rogers Park COVID Center. Throughout this pandemic, we have believed that it is imperative that all citizens of our community have the resources to continue being safe, regardless of their current financial situation. This is why we are proud to announce that we will be accepting all PPO, Medicare, and Medicaid based insurance for our rapid Antigen test. Despite the fact that we unfortunately are not in network with HMO’s, our $99 out of pocket payment per test is significantly lower than other Chicago based community healthcare organizations. 

We love serving this community and making people smile. The movies we show are in service of the people, and so we find ourselves again called to action. We invite you to use our services to help you stay healthy during this dire time, and we look forward to the day when we can once again deliver the movies to this community we hold so dear. 

With Much Love, 

Your Friends at The New 400 Theater & Rogers Park COVID Center 

Look for us on Facebook @Rogers Park COVID Center, and on Twitter and Instagram @rpcovidcenter 

Book your appointment now: www.rpcovidcenter.com 

Contact us at (331) 642-8235 with any questions or concerns

Centered Studios Connecting with
Clients Virtually during COVID-19
Centered Studios, 7009 N. Glenwood, has found a way to continue connecting with its clientele during the COVID-19 crisis. They are offering robust virtual programming, including their Community Yoga classes. Community Yoga runs on Sundays from 5:00-6:15 pm and only costs $2-$8 per class, making the practice affordable to Rogers Park neighbors. Be sure to check out their website for all their class options and packages. 
Share Feedback on CPS's Reopening Plan
Last week, our office met with representatives from the Chicago Teachers Union and teachers and staff from our neighborhood schools to hear their feedback on CPS's plan to reopen to in-person learning in January. We would also like to hear directly from our 49th Ward school families any feedback, concerns, or insight they can share on the reopening plan and their remote learning experience. Please take a moment to complete the online survey.
Share Feedback on the
Proposed Development at 1233 W. Pratt
On Thursday, our office hosted a community meeting to discuss a proposed development for the vacant lot located at 1233 W. Pratt. We would like to hear from residents their feedback on the proposal.

Details of the proposal are available on the 49th Ward website at 49thward.org/1233wpratt. You may complete a feedback form online by visiting bit.ly/1233prattfeedback. The feedback form will remain open through January 10. 
Shop Local this Holiday Season

The Rogers Park Business Alliance (RPBA)  has compiled all the information you need this holiday season to celebrate all things Rogers Park. With an unprecedented public health crisis devastating small businesses disproportionately this year, we ask that you shop local this holiday season. 

You can find a variety of unique and thoughtful gifts right here in our community without having to travel. Furthermore, when you spend money in our neighborhood, every dollar stays in the community. This helps us build stronger businesses, provide more employment opportunities, and help create a more sustainable and vibrant neighborhood. 

Plus, when you collect $150 or more in receipts from at least 4 different independently owned Rogers Park businesses through December 31, you can receive a $50 rebate. If you collect $200 or more in receipts, you can be eligible to receive a $75 rebate. For more information on the Live Love Shop Rogers Park campaign, visit RPBA's website

Last Chance to get
“I Survived the Rogers Park Tornado” Merchandise!
The fundraiser to help repopulate the Rogers Park trees will close on December 31, 2020.

Rogers Park lost hundreds of mature trees in an unprecedented tornado on August 10, 2020. The trees of RP are an important natural resource that not only give the neighborhood much of its natural character but also provide clean, fresh air and wildlife habitats.

Tee Shirts, Hoodies, and Mugs from T-Mart make great holiday gifts. There are a variety of designs, colors, and products to choose from. A portion of every sale is donated to the Rogers Park Business Alliance for the purpose of tree repopulation. And who doesn’t need a new hoodie or mask for dining al fresco at an RP restaurant in the Winter? Please support a local business while supporting the cause. All purchases made in December qualify for the Live, Love, Shop rebate too!

Neighbors came together in the days and weeks following the tornado to raise money that will help repopulate our trees as soon as possible. Three local artists generously donated the graphics. As we all understand, the City budget during a pandemic and economic crisis is not going to be enough to rebuild our neighborhood’s natural infrastructure. Together we can help the City not only plant trees but also maintain them and ensure that they reach healthy maturity.

Since August, more than $3,000 has been raised through merchandise sales and individual contributions. Additionally, tree planting measures are being considered as possible participatory budget priorities. These efforts have helped Rogers Park gain the attention of a potential private grant.  

Let’s not stop yet! The cost to maintain a parkway tree to healthy maturity can be triple the original cost of purchase. We will need funding and volunteers from across Rogers Park to make this happen.

Tee Shirts, Hoodies, and Mugs from T-Mart make great holiday gifts. There are a variety of designs, colors, and products to choose from. A portion of every sale will be donated to the Rogers Park Business Alliance for the purpose of tree repopulation. And who doesn’t need a new hoodie or mask for dining al fresco at an RP restaurant in the Winter? Please support a local business while supporting the cause. All purchases made in December qualify for the Live, Love, Shop rebate too!
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. 
City Prepares for Vaccine Rollout
Last week, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. And this week, the FDA authorized the Moderna vaccine for emergency use. With the news, Chicago is administering the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations to our frontline healthcare workers treating COVID patients. 

Vaccination Roll-Out

The inoculation of our city's residents will be rolled out in phases over several months. The first round of vaccines will be limited, so the city will prioritize healthcare workers (especially those treating COVID-19 patients) and people living and working in long-term care facilities.

Prioritization after the initial group will include workers in essential and critical industries, people at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness, and people 65 years or older. Who falls into the "essential worker" category and how members of this category (e.g. grocery store workers versus teachers) will be prioritized will be determined by a federal committee. 

After those groups are vaccinated, the Department of Public Health will then shift to inoculating the broader population by means of mass testing sites and partnering with doctors and pharmacies. The timeline for this stage of the vaccination process still remains uncertain at this time. It will be determined by the availability of vaccination doses in the coming months. 

CDPH is working with hospitals, health care providers, and community leaders on flexible COVID-19 vaccination programs that will accommodate different scenarios. 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

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. As we face the holiday season, it is more important than ever to 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. 
Stay Home Except for Essential Travel
The number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge across the city at an alarming rate. This week, our city hit a positivity rate of 12.0%, up from 13.3% last week and 11.6% the week of November 30.

As we enter the holiday season, please work with members outside of your family to reimagine your traditions this year to keep you and your loved ones safe. Instead of meeting for a family meal, schedule a Zoom call instead. Only celebrate the holidays with members of your household. The best gift we can give one another this holiday season is keeping each others' health a priority. 

The spread of COVID-19 is spreading across all demographics and all zip codes in the city. The main driver of the spread of COVID-19 appears to be from within households, where people let down their guards the most.

The number of available ICU beds in the Chicago region (region 11 for the state of Illinois) continues to shrink, as does the number of available ventilators. Deaths continue to increase as hospitals become overwhelmed and healthcare workers are spread thin. As of Thursday, at least 14,835 people have died from COVID-19. The number of deaths we're seeing now are surpassing those we saw in the spring.
In Rogers Park, we're seeing the number of positive cases increasing. As of Saturday, December 12, 1 in 18 people in our community have tested positive for COVID-19. 
Because the situation grows more dire by the day, the city implemented measures to bend the curve once again. 

Mayor Lightfoot announced a new Protect Chicago plan to curtail the spread of COVID-19. The plan includes a new stay-at-home advisory for the city that is currently in effect. The advisory includes additional restrictions, including:
  • No guests in private residences (except essential homeworkers such as healthcare workers or educators);
  • Avoid all social gatherings;
  • Avoid all non-essential travel; and
  • Create a COVID-19 protection plan for your family (available online).
The Department of Public Health is also asking that social events and meetings do not take place in-person unless absolutely necessary. Only when absolutely necessary, those meetings should be limited to ten people who should be socially distanced and wearing masks. These restrictions also apply to houses of worship for funerals and other ceremonial events. 

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 (office@49thward.org or 773-338-5796). 

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
State Eviction Moratorium Extended to January 11
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.  A new Travel Order is effective as of Friday, November 13, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.

All states and territories will be categorized into three risk levels: Red, Orange, and Yellow. 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 14-day period (or the duration of their time in Chicago, whichever is shorter). Anyone traveling from a state on the Red list must quarantine for a 14-day period or the duration of their time in Chicago, whichever is shorter.

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 chi.gov/eto 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 chicago.gov/coronavirus. For the latest information on COVID-19 in Illinois, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health's (IDPH) website

Community Aid
Local Holiday Drives and Resources

A Just Harvest

A Just Harvest, 7549 N. Paulina, is raising funds to buy/deliver holiday gifts to the families they serve. Donations will be used to purchase toys, hats, scarves, and gloves for children under 12. Donate at https://gofundme.com/f/toy-drive-a-just-harvest until December 20. 

 

C24/7 Father’s Arms Ministries 

C24/7 Father’s Arms Ministries, 1348 W. Howard, is hosting a special Christmas pantry open to all community members on 12/16 from 3-5 with fresh catered food from Urban Tables. 

They are accepting donations for the 12/16 event, looking especially for: Jewel gift cards, wipes, diapers, body soap, dish soap and laundry soap. 
 

Family Matters

The young women of TGP (That Goddess Power), the female-identifying, youth-centered group at Family Matters, are creating care packages for people experiencing homelessness, especially supplies for women. 

Donations can be dropped off at Family Matter, 7731 N. Marshfield, That Goddess Power's Winter Care Package Drive requested items (consider purchasing from a locally-owned business):⁠

  • Watertight gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bags⁠
  • Water bottle (reuseable)⁠
  • Socks, gloves, raincoats, blankets⁠
  • Tuna and crackers; granola bars or cereal bars; fruit snack or -applesauce cup; crackers with peanut butter or cheese⁠
  • CTA bus passes⁠
  • Gift certificate to fast food⁠
  • Hand wipes; packs of Kleenex; hand sanitizer, daily face masks⁠
  • Maxi pads⁠
  • Toothbrushes & toothpaste; hydrogen peroxide; deodorant⁠
  • Band-aids; Mints, cough drops, or gum; toilet paper⁠
  • Nail clippers; chapstick; comb or small brush⁠
  • Superglue, zip ties, duct tape, flashlights, bungee cords⁠
 

Gale Academy

Through December 17, Gale Community Academy, 1631 W. Jonquil, is accepting toy donations for their holiday drive. They kindly ask that gifts are not wrapped. Donated gifts can be dropped off at Gale between from 8-4, M-F. They are requesting coloring books, slime, toys, rollerskates, scooters, bikes, remote controllers, etc. All gifts are greatly appreciated! 
 

Good News Partners

 Good News Partners, 1600 W. Jonquil Terrace, is accepting donations for their annual Christmas Market for their residents, where people can donate new items that they markdown and sell to residents at very discounted prices. The Market will take place this Sat 12/12, and they are accepting donations up until this Thurs 12/10, which can be dropped off at the Jonquil Hotel (1600 W Jonquil Ave). 
 

Heartland Health Centers

Heartland Health Centers, 1300 W. Devon, is hosting their annual toy drive, accepting donations through Mon 12/14. They are accepting gifts via Amazon wishlist or financial donations. Check out the flyer for more information. 
 

Housing Opportunities for Women

Housing Opportunities for Women is accepting gift cards or gently used and new adult coats. Check out their holiday drive page for drop-off information or mailing address. https://www.how-inc.org/holidaywish


Mary Crane Center

The Mary Crane Center,1545 W. Morse, is hosting a holiday drive for children 6 weeks to 6 years old. Now through December 22, drop off donations from 10-5, Monday to Friday. Flyer attached.
 

The Night Ministry

The Night Ministry has a need for new or gently used coats in larger sizes, dark or neutral colors preferred. They also accept new winter gear such as hats, scarves, gloves and thermal socks, as well as new or gently used tents. Donations can be dropped off at 1735 N. Ashland Ave. The office isn't fully staffed due to COVID, so donors should schedule drop-offs ahead of time by emailing Miranda@thenightministry.org.  
 

ONE Northside and Communities Partnering for Peace

ONE Northside and Communities Partnering for Peace are launching a toy drive. Goal is to collect items by December 15, to distribute the toys to children in the 49th Ward and Chicago's Northside who need our help.

Please consider helping families in need this holiday season by dropping off a gift on December 12 in person between 11 am and 1 pm at 4648 N. Racine, or ordering a present online and having it delivered by December 15. For a shipping address, please email Lbdfa@hotmail.com. Your donation will help brighten up a child's holiday season in an exceptionally difficult year. 
 

St. Ignatius Food Pantry / Parish

From Dec 9-23, St. Ignatius Food Pantry, 6559 N. Glenwood, will collect and distribute special holiday items and basic food items. Hours are Wednesday 2-4, Friday 10-12. Basic items that are always needed: 2 lbs. bags of rice, canned soup, mac & cheese, canned tuna or chicken, canned fruit.
 

United Church of Rogers Park 

The United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse, has an Angel Tree to give gifts to neighborhood children. This year they have 3 times as many children on the list as usual. Sign up to give a toy or gift card (especially good for older children) online.

Volunteer for Care for Real's Rogers Park's Food Pantry
Care for Real is seeking volunteers to help provide food to stock the pantry, prepare food for distribution, and distribute food to our neighbors. They're seeking volunteers for Tuesdays and/or Thursdays. Register to volunteer online.

If you or someone you know needs fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy, bread, grains, or canned food, visit the Care for Real food pantry located at the United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse, Tuesdays between 12 pm and 2 pm. 
Community Engagement Opportunities
Join Edgewater Village Virtually to Celebrate the Holidays
Put on your favorite holiday gear, pour yourself some holiday cheer and join Edgewater Village Chicago for fun parties to end the year!  All events are via Zoom and everyone is welcome.
 

The Edgewater Village Holiday Party
Wednesday, December 23
7 p.m.

Edgewater Village be sharing holiday memories, poetry, song, and lots of merriment!
RSVP 

 

Trivia for the Holidays  
Monday, December 28
7 p.m.

Whadaya know? Get together for some serious fun -- maybe even win a prize!
RSVP 

New Year’s Eve Party
Thursday, December 31
7 p.m.

Toast in the new year and make some new acquaintances. Edgewater Village will be sharing their funniest 2020 stories and kissing the year goodbye. Get ready to share some of your 2021 resolutions -- or the ones you're going to renew. 
RSVP 

Registration Open for Warren Park Youth Baseball Little League
Play Little League Baseball this spring at Warren Park! Spots are available for players of all levels ages 4 – 16.  Sign up at www.warrenparkyouthbaseball.org. Divisions are filling fast and space is limited, so don’t wait! Prices increase on March 1, 2021. The season will kick off on May 10. We hope to see you in Warren Park in the spring!
Public Comment Period on the Chicago Police Department's
Community Policing Policies Open Through December 28
The Chicago Police Department has opened a public comment period on 10 draft community policing policies. 
 
Looking for Volunteer Opportunities? Sign-Up Here!
We are always looking for volunteers for the 49th Ward office to help with flyering, school supply distribution events, tabling events, data analysis, event facilitation, among other activities! If you're interested in helping out, we'd love to get your information. Sign-up online, and we'll reach out as opportunities come up!
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 office@49thward.org. 

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. 
Citizens Utility Board (CUB) Shares Utility Resources
Citizens Utility Board (CUB) has shared consumer protections available for people who are having a hard time paying their utility bills during the pandemic.

People only have to call their utilities and express financial hardship (no documentation is necessary) to take advantage of these consumer protections. The utilities involved are: 
  • Ameren Illinois – 1-800-755-5000
  • Aqua Illinois – 1-877-987-2782
  • ComEd – 1-800-334-7661
  • Illinois American Water – 1-800-422-2782
  • Nicor Gas – 1-888-642-6748
  • North Shore Gas – 1-866-556-6004
  • Peoples Gas – 1-866-556-6001
  • Utilities Inc. – 1-800-831-2359
The deadline to take advantage of these protections is December 26. For more information, view CUB's fact sheet online
Apply for Mortgage Relief by December 31, 2020
Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally-backed mortgage (around 70% of loans) can pause payments for up to one year, with no additional interest, late fees, or harm to their credit. The forbearance also freezes foreclosure activity. Consumers do not need a lawyer to request a forbearance; all they have to do is call their lender.
 
Homeowners must request this forbearance before December 31, 2020! They cannot get it once the deadline passes.
 
If property owners are in need of help, they can visit Chicago Volunteer Legal Services's website at www.cvls.org. Once online, you can use the website to check if you are eligible, review informative FAQs, and fill out form documents to request the forbearance. CVLS also runs a hotline with trained law students and attorneys ready to help. For more information, call the hotline at 312-332-8785 or email covid@cvls.org.
Share Your Feedback on the City's E-Scooter Pilot by January 7

The 2020 e-scooter pilot concluded on Saturday, December 12. The Chicago Department of Transportation has now entered the evaluation phase and plans to release a summary report in early 2021. Their evaluation will include a rider survey, vendor survey, trip data analysis, injury analysis, and city staff and community stakeholders' interviews.

Additionally, CDOT has launched a public survey, and all Chicago residents are encouraged to share their feedback on e-scooters.  The survey will close on January 7. Take a moment to submit your feedback by clicking here.

Shared Cost Sidewalk Program Opens January 11
Homeowners interested in splitting the cost of sidewalk replacement with the city can join the Shared Cost Sidewalk Program. The program allows homeowners to have new sidewalks installed at a significantly reduced cost over what they would pay a contractor.

The Chicago Department of Transportation will open the 2020 Shared Cost Sidewalk Program at 6:00 am on Tuesday, January 11, 2021. Those interested should call 311 or log onto the 311 website. When you call, make sure to specify that you are interested in the Shared Cost Sidewalk Program. Applications made prior to this date will not be accepted. 

This is a very popular program that fills up within hours. Do not delay enrollment on January 11 if you are interested. 


For more information on the Shared Cost Sidewalk program, visit the city's website.
Peoples Gas Bill Assistance Available
Some residents may be eligible to receive financial assistance with their gas bill through Peoples Gas. To check your availability for assistance, call CEDA at 800-571-2332. 
ComEd Helping Hands Program

ComEd's Helping Hand program provides the most in-need customers a one-time grant of up to $300 towards a past due balance. The program is available until funds are exhausted.

Eligibility:

Combined household income for the 30 days prior to application (gross income for all household members, before taxes are deducted) is at or below 250% of the federal poverty level, and one of the following concerns is expressed:

  • An unexpected loss of income or reduction in income (including job loss or furlough)
  • Sudden illness to you or family member
  • Other stated COVID-19 impacts

To apply for the one-time bill assistance, call 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334-7661) and mention the Helping Hand program. To learn more, visit ComEd's website

ComEd Bill Assistance Program

ComEd is providing bill assistance for eligible, limited-income households earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. To verify if you meet the income criteria, visit HelpIllinoisFamilies.com.

The ​Bill Payment Assistance program runs through December 31, 2020, or when program funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first.

Eligible customers can receive a one-time bill assistance of up to $500 for past due balances, up to the amount of the balance. Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Eligibility:

  • LIHEAP qualified residential customers with a past due balance
  • Undocumented residential customers with a past due balance may also apply for LIHEAP

If you have not yet applied for LIHEAP, please visit HelpIllinoisFamilies.com or call 1-877-411-9276 to start your LIHEAP pre-application. Once approved for LIHEAP funds, please fill out your information below.

To apply for the one-time bill assistance or learn more, visit ComEd's website.

CEDA Utility Program
Cook County residents are qualified to get help paying their light and gas bills than Check out the new, expanded income guidelines to see if you qualify. To fill out the application click here. Open to residents of the City of Chicago and suburban Cook County. To get more information about other CEDA utility programs to help you through COVID-19 recovery click here.
SARFS Program
The SARFS program provides safety, security, and accessibility improvements and repairs that may include grab bars, lever faucets, door repairs, floor repairs, bathroom repairs, kitchen repairs, and carbon monoxide detectors.

To be eligible for this program, seniors must be a resident of the City of Chicago, live in Wards 38, 39, 40, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, be 60+ years old, be a homeowner in a single-family home or condo with 7 or less units, and have an income of less than 80% of Median Income.

For more information, visit the Northside Community Resources website
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 rpcrt49@gmail.com 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, rpcrt.org. 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
ComEd Bill Assistance Program for Small Businesses
ComEd introduced a new bill assistance program available to ComEd small business customers.

ComEd is offering one-time grants equal to 30% of the business's balance, up to $1,000. The assistance program is aimed to help small businesses who are struggling amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

For more information, eligibility requirements, and to apply, visit ComEd.com/SmallBizAssistance.
Apply for an SBA Economic Disaster Loan
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering small businesses impacted by civil unrest between May 36 and July 30 low-interest economic disaster loans (EIDLs). The loans are available to businesses of all sizes and small agricultural cooperates that suffered economic losses during this period. 

Businesses can apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela . Businesses may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.
PPP Loan Forgiveness for Small Loans
If your business borrowed $50,000 or less through the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), you can be eligible for speedy loan forgiveness. To learn how you can qualify, click here. 

You can click here for the instructions and here for the form needed to apply.
BACP Issues Outdoor Dining Guidelines for Winter
As we enter the fall and winter months, BACP has issued guidance for safe and responsible outdoor dining and drinking. Please read this flyer for the latest information on structures, heating devices, and other safety considerations for outdoor service. Specifically, please note the following guidelines:
  • Temporary structures that fit multiple parties must have at least 50% of the sides open to be considered outdoors
  • Enclosed structures, such as plastic domes, may be used for individual parties and must have adequate ventilation to allow for air circulation
  • Temporary structures must be weighted, anchored or secured to the ground, but cannot be anchored with any method that requires screwing, cutting or drilling into the public way (i.e. on streets or sidewalks)
  • Electrically powered heating devices are permitted in open or enclosed areas
  • Natural gas heaters or any device fueled by propane are only permitted in open, uncovered areas 
Please read the full flyer for all relevant information to ensure safe operations.
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 info@rpba.org.

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.

#SchoolsShineIn49
CPS Offers Meal Kits Over Winter Break
Chicago Public Schools will continue to provide families in need with meals over the winter break. Families can pick up meal kits Monday, December 21 through Wednesday, December 23 for next week. The following week, meal kits will be available for pick up from Monday, December 28 through Wednesday, December 30. Pick-up hours are 9 am to 11 am. 

To locate a meal kit pick up site, visit CPS's website, or call 773-553-KIDS (5437).
CircEsteem Offers After-School Programming
for Rogers Park CPS Students
CircEsteem's Rogers Park program is open to Chicago Public School students in grades 5-8 in the Rogers Park and West Ridge neighborhoods. Students are provided with props kits to give them to learn new circus skills throughout the session such as scarf juggling, feather balancing, ball juggling, flower sticks, clown, and more.

CircEsteem kicks off every session with a social circus game before working on skill-building. Tutors are available for academic help, and participants will transition to homework and reading by the end of the session to ensure peer-to-peer support and accountability. For those interested, act development is available to have a performance-ready routine by the end of the session.

For more information and to enroll, email sambrown@circesteem.org. 
CPS Expands its Chicago Connected Program

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced the expansion of eligibility criteria to all low-income students without wired internet for the Chicago Connected program that provides no-cost, high-speed internet service to CPS students in their households. With the eligibility expansion, ‘Chicago Connected’ can benefit as many as 53,000 additional students.

Chicago Connected outreach and eligibility was initially conducted using a tiered system, beginning with outreach to families most in need based on students who met the most priority indicators, which included students eligible for free lunch, students identified as having special needs, students experiencing homelessness, and students living in communities with the highest hardship based on the UIC hardship index. Chicago Connected has now expanded eligibility to any low-income student in need of high-speed internet who does not currently have wired internet, based on free and reduced lunch status.

Because the date for form submission that designates low-income status has been extended, if students were listed as low-income last school year they are still considered eligible and the eligibility will be updated again once the final metric is complete. Newly-eligible families will receive a letter notification and they can check eligibility status and access their activation code by entering their child’s student ID number and birthdate into CPS’ eligibility tool at cps.edu/GetConnected.

For more information, please visit cps.edu/GetConnected.

CPS Modifies Timeline for Students to
Return to In-Person Learning
CPS announced that they are planning to begin opening school buildings for families who choose to return in 2021 following winter break. Students enrolled in pre-k and moderate and intensive cluster programs will have the option to return on Monday, January 11, 2021, and students in K-8 will be able to return on Monday, February 1. High school students who learn in general education settings will continue learning at home, and CPS will continue to evaluate options for a return to in-person learning for those students in 2021. 

To prepare for the safe return to school buildings, families of children who are eligible to return will be contacted later this month to understand their preferred learning setting following winter break.

Tentative timeline for returning to school based on public health conditions and guidance:
With the plans to bring students back after winter break, school buildings will look different in the new year. To support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s five key strategies for mitigating COVID-19 transmission, schools will take the following safety measures:
  1. Anyone entering a school building for more than 10 minutes will be required to complete a health screener before coming to school to ensure they are free of COVID-19 symptoms and to support the Chicago Department of Public Health’s contact tracing efforts.
  2. Students and staff who are symptomatic or have had close contact with someone who tested positive will not be allowed to enter the building. They will be provided access to free COVID-19 tests through either established primary care providers or city partners.
  3. Anyone entering a school building will also have their temperature checked and be required to wear a face covering, which the district will provide for every student and staff member.
  4. Signs have been installed throughout the building to help students socially distance, and desks and classroom furniture will be spaced further apart.
  5. Hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the building to help everyone practice good hand hygiene.
  6. Classrooms have been cleaned from top to bottom, and facilities staff members will implement an enhanced cleaning routine. 
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, every classroom will have a HEPA air purifier to help capture particles, clean the air, and reduce the risk of indoor transmission of viruses and bacteria.

CPS has also hired independent state-certified environmental specialists to test schools for indoor air quality. Classrooms have been checked to ensure they are properly ventilated and meet ASHRAE’s standards. Families can check the status of their child’s classroom by visiting cps.edu/airquality

The Chicago Teachers Union has expressed concerns about the proposal to have students, faculty, and staff return to school as the city continues to see a surge of COVID-19 cases wreak havoc across our city. Our office understands that there are no easy choices during this unprecedented crisis. Still, we believe that all our residents' health and safety should be prioritized while we continue to combat COVID-19. We will be working with the Chicago Teachers Union to see how we can support their members ahead of any re-openings in 2021. 
Go CPS Application Now Open
GoCPS is now open. GoCPS allows families to learn, research, explore, and apply to nearly every CPS school and program through one online platform. Parents can select the grade level for their student to get an overview of the application process and timeline by visiting www.go.cps.edu. The Round 1 application deadline has been extended to January 8.  
Employment Opportunities
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.
Communities Partnering 4 Peace Hiring Victims Advocates

Victim advocates support victims of crime as they deal with the financial, legal, medical, and emotional impact of their experiences. Working with investigators, lawyers, and other criminal justice professionals, victim advocates attempt to carry out the law so it serves those it protects.

You will help victims cope with stress and navigate the criminal justice system. This work involves counseling, social work, one-on-one services, and practical support for victims.

Victim advocates may also help advance state legislation to support victims’ rights.

They are looking to hire someone hopefully before the year ends. If you’re doing this line of work or have a passion to help others email Ralph Edwards - edwards3121@gmail.com

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

Chicago Park Concessions Application Now Open
The Chicago Park District has announced a Notice of Availability for the 2021 Concession Program Opportunities.  In order to learn more or complete an application, visit https://parkconcessions.com/apply/. Once there, you will find step-by-step instructions on reviewing, completing, and submitting the application. 
 
The application should be submitted electronically via the parkconcessions.com website by Monday, January 18, 2021, by 3:00 pm C.S.T.
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Alderwoman Maria Hadden | 49th Ward Service Office
1447 W. Morse Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
773-338-5796 | office@49thward.org

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.




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