49th Ward Update
March 5, 2021

Good afternoon neighbors,

I hope everyone is enjoying the lovely weather lately. Please remember that even though winter is over, the pandemic isn't - wear your mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands! We must keep transmission down while we get vaccinations up.

We had good news on the vaccination front this week. The United Center Mass Vaccination Site registration opened up for senior citizens and nearly 28,000 people registered for appointments! We distributed flyers, emails, and worked with Jane Addams Senior Caucus to phonebank to make sure our seniors knew how to register.

We also got confirmation that the City will have vaccination teams out to our senior buildings this month. We've made sure our buildings were registered weeks ago and have been following up regularly with the Dept. of Health on scheduling. We'll have dates to announce soon.

This morning, I spoke with Fran Spielman of the Sun-Times about my first two years in office, civilian accountability of police and the Anjanette Young Ordinance I introduced last week. You can listen to the interview here.

Lastly, please check out the rest of the newsletter - remember that you may need to open this in your browser to see all of the content - as there is great info about our schools, businesses and work opportunities included as well.

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
State Senator Simmons Visits Rogers Park's Small Businesses
Director of Economic Development, Torrence Gardner, joined our new State Senator, Mike Simmons, to tour the small, locally owned businesses throughout the neighborhood. State Senator Simmons was able to get to know the diverse and impressive selection of businesses we have in the ward and hear from them directly. 

Thank you to Torrence for taking the time to show State Senator Simmons around, and thank you to State Senator Simmons for introducing yourself to our area businesses and establishing a new relationship with them.
Local Muralists CJ Williams and Kristianna Jacques' "Color Through Chaos" Mural Featured in the Sun-Times
Local muralists CJ Williams and Kristianna Jacques received recognition for their mural "Color Through Chaos." The mural is on the side of Honeybear Cafe in the Rogers Park neighborhood and addresses the protests that took place following George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis last summer. 

Make sure to swing by Honeybear to check it out in person and read the full write-up in the Sun-Times here.
Ward Updates
Community Meeting on Corridor Development Initiative at Howard and Ashland March 16
A report showcasing the community-shaped vision for the site at Howard and Ashland will be presented during a virtual community meeting on March 16 at 6 pm.

Over 200 Rogers Park community members participated in workshops, surveys, and design kits throughout the process. We received a variety of input on what participants would like to see (and not see) on the site, with an overwhelming number of people emphasizing that they would like any future development to incorporate amenities for the community—including green space, an incubator, workforce development, and/or affordable housing. This initial report has been extremely valuable in identifying community preferences. Please continue to stay engaged, as there will be more opportunities to provide input and feedback as the process evolves

Please join us for the community meeting on March 16 for an update on the process and to review the report. Register in advance for the meeting at Spanish translation will be available. 
Vote in PB49 Through March 12!
It's that time of year again! Once again, participatory budgeting will look different this cycle than in years past due to the COVID-19 crisis. Instead of hosting in-person voting events, we are asking that folks predominantly rely on online voting to cast their ballot. The 49th Ward office will still distribute paper ballots but will be doing targeted outreach to our community-based organizations, food pantries, senior homes, and others to disseminate those. 

Also different this cycle than in previous cycles is that 49th Ward residents will see a separate section on the ballot to vote on policies and programs. These policies and programs are not eligible for the traditional $1 million capital infrastructure funding, but will instead help Alderwoman Hadden develop agenda to pursue in the 49th Ward and citywide.​

For those wishing to vote online, simply fill out an online registration form. Our staff will respond with the voting site link and an access code that will allow you to vote.  Please note that this is not an automated system; rather, office employees will be verifying the information. This may result in a delay from the time you submit the registration form to when you receive the code.

To view what is included on this cycle's ballot, visit the 49th Ward website
Online Voting Registration Form
Housing Plus Shares ADU Pilot with 49th Ward
Alderwoman Hadden has partnered with Housing Plus to pilot an additional dwelling unit (ADU) pilot to add more units of affordable, accessible housing in the 49th Ward. Are you interested in turning a non-residential space into a residential unit? Looking to create live-work spaces in your building? This may be the program for you. Check out the recording of our presentation and make sure to reach out to Housing Plus directly to join the pilot -
Build Our Community, Block by Block
Community presentation on Block by Block 49 - 2/25/2021
Block by Block is a community building initiative from the office of Alderwoman Maria Hadden designed to connect neighbors to one another, local resources, and to reinvent the Chicago block club for a new generation. The last couple of decades has seen the decline of organized communities at the block level. We are working longer hours, our lives are busier and more complex, and we are facing more economic problems. All of these things make it more difficult to get involved and participate, but if we don’t find a way to take care of our block or our neighborhood, who will?

Our office will provide tools and resources to help you:

  • Connect to neighbors on your block

  • Identify block level issues and solutions

  • Plan activities and events to build community

  • Get connected to other blocks in the ward

No experience is needed and no restrictions apply for participation. You just need to live in the area where you want to participate. We will offer training and skill-building workshops to help you organize your block and do your part to build a stronger community in the 49th Ward.

Last week, we had our first virtual meeting. You can view the presentation above and don't forget to sign up to be a part of building your block!

Community Meeting on 1952 W. Morse Proposal March 9
The 49th Ward office will host a virtual community meeting for a development proposal at 1952 W. Morse on Tuesday, March 9, at 6 pm.

The property owner, Ilya Pisarenko, is seeking a zoning change from RS-2 to RS-3. The proposal is to tear down the existing 3 unit building and a coach house that currently occupies the lot. The coach house burned down in 2013 and is not in a habitable condition. 

The owner would like to build two new single-family homes on the lot, each coming in at 30-feet tall. There would be shared green space between the two homes. Each home would also have its own garage. 

Sign up in advance to attend the community meeting at Spanish translation will be available. 
COVID-19 Updates
As we continue to combat COVID-19 across the city, state, and country, we are bringing back our section with the most up-to-date information on the ongoing public health 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. 
Seniors Aged 65 and Older Can Prioritezed fro United Center COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments thru March 7

The United Center, 1724 W. Madison, will begin to operate as a Federally-run vaccination site beginning on Tuesday, March 9. The site will be able to administer up to 6,000 doses of the vaccine per day. 

Seniors aged 65 and older will have exclusive registration access starting on Thursday, March 4, from 8:30 am through 4 pm on Sunday, March 7. Seniors can register for an appointment using the Zocdoc scheduler at Registration for all others who meet the state's 1b+ eligibility criteria will open on Sunday, March 7, at 4 pm.

Those who are not able to access the Zocdoc scheduler can call the site's hotline at 312-746-4835 to schedule an appointment instead. The hotline is multilingual and will prioritize senior appointments during the same window as Zocdoc. 

The multilingual hotline's hours are as follows:
8 am - 8 pm Monday thru Saturday (except on March 4, when it will open at 8:30 am)
8 am - 4 pm on Sunday

There is no onsite registration and you must have an appointment to receive a vaccine at the United Center.

How to get to the United Center:

Driving: Entrance to the vaccine site is in Lot E of the United Center, off of Madison. Parking is available in Lot A with a free shuttle to the vaccination site.

Uber: Offering ride credits

Uber is providing 20,000 Chicagoans with $40 ride credits to get to the United Center. After a Chicago resident books an appointment via Zocdoc, they will receive an appointment confirmation email which will also ask if they need transportation to their visit. If they answer yes, they'll receive ride credits from Uber which will work only for rides to and from the United Center that are within Chicago city limits. 

Mayor Lightfoot Eases COVID-19 Restrictions

Mayor Lightfoot and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) announced this week the further easing of COVID-19 regulations for Chicago businesses.

Effective immediately, bars, restaurants, and events can stay open for on-site service and serve alcohol until 1:00 a.m., and indoor capacity can increase to the lesser of 50% or 50 people per space. All other regulations remain in place for these establishments, including: 

  • Food must be available at all times in order to offer indoor service. This means that bars, taverns or breweries without a food license can reopen indoors as long as they partner with a food establishment so that food is available to patrons at all times (e.g., making menus available and allowing delivery, allowing patrons to order from third-party delivery services). 
  • Maximum of six patrons at indoor or outdoor tables. 
  • Patrons can sit at bars, with six feet of social distancing between parties. 
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times, except when patrons are seated and actively eating or drinking. 
  • Patrons must be seated whenever they are eating or drinking. 
  • Tables must be six feet apart.

Other industries, such as performance venues, health and fitness centers, movie theaters and personal services, can also increase to 50% capacity, with no more than 50 people within any one space and 20 people in indoor fitness classes.

Finally, alcohol sales from businesses with a Package Goods license can now continue until 11:00 p.m., a two-hour extension from the 9:00 p.m. curfew that has been in effect since April.

While these restrictions were announced to go into effect this week, residents must remain vigilant in their efforts to mitigate community spread of COVID-19 by wearing a face mask any time they leave their home and practice social distancing.   

CDPH Partners with Zocdoc to
Launch Vaccine Appointment Scheduler
The Chicago Department of Public Health has partnered with Zocdoc to create a more centralized platform where people can schedule vaccination appointments when they’re available. To view available appointments through Zocdoc at

At this time, this platform is showing available appointments at the city's Point of Distributions sites (PODS) and Rush University Medical Center. More information on where to locate other vaccination sites is contained below in this newsletter.
Three Ways Chicago Residents can Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine:
The City of Chicago began inoculating people in phase 1b of the vaccine rollout this week. Individuals in this group include essential frontline workers and residents aged 65 and older. 

There are three ways Chicago residents can receive a COVID-19 vaccine:
1. Your health care provider
Your first contact should be your health care provider, including your primary care provider, health clinic, or hospital where you have gotten medical care in the past. Over 350 health care providers have signed up with CDPH to distribute vaccine. Providers are also reaching out directly to schedule appointments with their existing patients, prioritizing those who are older with more underlying conditions. Health care providers can still sign-up to be vaccine providers.
2. Your pharmacy
The City of Chicago has provided vaccines to pharmacies across Chicago. These pharmacies each have their own registration link which can be found below.
The City of Chicago does not endorse any of the listed organizations. This list is provided only as a convenience. See the full disclaimer here.
3. Your employer
Specific employers in prioritized essential workers groups will be able to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to their employees in 1b. CDPH is working directly with employers as vaccines become available. For example, first responders are already being vaccinated and others will begin soon. If you receive your vaccine through your employer, you will not need to take any other action. 
For those that have insurance but do not have a primary care provider, please check with your insurance company for a list of providers accepting new patients. One option is to enroll with one of Chicago’s many Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) if you do not have insurance. 

For especially vulnerable populations (e.g., those facing housing insecurity or undocumented immigrants), the city will partner with city colleges to set up PODs (points of distribution) to vaccinate residents. At this time, PODs are continuing to vaccinate health care workers included in phase 1a, and no appointments are available yet to those included in phase 1b. 

While the city has transitioned to phase 1b of the vaccination rollout, supply remains limited. Last week, CDPH informed aldermanic offices that they're currently receiving 34,000 doses of the vaccine a week, which amounts to roughly 5% of people in group 1b. This means that appointments are filling up fast. On Tuesday, President Biden announced that his administration is working to purchase an additional 200 million doses of the vaccine. Their goal is to have enough vaccine supply for the entire adult U.S. population by the end of the summer. 

You can track the vaccine data for the city of Chicago on CDPH's website by clicking here
Howard Brown Health Vaccine Appointments

Howard Brown Health is now offering the COVID-19 vaccine to established patients and community members who are essential frontline workers or age 65 or older. Reserve your vaccine appointment online.

Appointments may be rescheduled based on the availability of the vaccine. Due to supply, vaccination appointments are available at limited clinic locations in Chicago. The appointment for the second dose will be scheduled at the end of your first appointment.

All appointments are subject to change based on vaccine availability.

Details regarding the Howard Brown vaccination rollout plan will continue to change in the coming days. Please visit for the latest information regarding scheduling and availability.

Rush Medical Vaccine Appointments
Rush has been working with local and city officials to begin delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to its community, following the guidelines outlined by the Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health. Based on those guidelines, eligible people will include those 65 years of age or older and essential workers, including health care workers. 

To view available appointments at Rush Medical, visit their website.
Heartland Health Vaccine Survey
Heartland Health Center, located at 1300 W. Devon in Rogers Park, is a designated Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). As we continue with the vaccine rollout for phase 1b, they will be giving the vaccine to established patients who meet CDC and IDPH guidance. 

At this time, Heartland Health has limited vaccines. They are currently contacting their highest risk patients in 1b to ensure that they're receiving their dose. As they receive more vaccines, they'll continue to reach out to the remaining eligible 1b patients. This meant that they're not currently accepting calls for vaccine appointments until they have a steadier supply of vaccines.

However, they are looking to support residents while they await more supplies. If you are interested in receiving the vaccine from Heartland Health Centers, please take a moment to complete their online survey. As soon as more doses become available, they will contact individuals who have completed this survey. 
Swedish Covenant Vaccine Waitlist Registry
Swedish Hospital has created a waitlist to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at their facility. At this time, they are preparing to vaccinate seniors ages 65 and older and those that still remain in group 1A. However, you may complete their online waitlist to receive more information as vaccine appointments become available. 

For more information and to sign up, visit Swedish Hospital's website.
Transportation for COVID-19 Vaccines
For seniors and people with disabilities who need assistance to access their COVID-19 vaccine appointment will be able to take advantage of transportation resources. 

Special Needs Chicago

Special Needs Chicago has wheelchair accessible transportation throughout the Chicagoland area (city and suburbs) to assist people with getting to their COVID vaccine appointment. Call 630-668-9999 for more information or click here to book a reservation

Uber to Provide Free Rides to Vaccine Appointments

Uber has partnered with Walgreens Pharmacy to make it easier for people who don't have a car or a nearby pharmacy to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Uber will offer free rides to Walgreens stores and clinics for those who book an appointment and live in an underserved community. Uber will work with community organizations, such as the Urban League, to determine underserved communities that will be eligible for free rides. Those organizations will then work to distribute codes that community members can use to get the free rides. 
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
Sign Up for CDPH's E-Newsletter
The Chicago Department of Public Health is dedicated to ensuring that all Chicagoans get trusted information about its local COVID-19 response. Sign up online for their email list and be among the first to receive press releases, current guidance, and other important information. 
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 March 6
Governor Pritzker announced that the State's eviction moratorium will be extended to March 6, 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
Donate Blood and Save Lives on March 10
Versiti has partnered with the Chicago Public Library to host a blood drive on Wednesday, March 10, from noon to 5 pm. Please make sure to eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of water before donating. A facemask and a photo ID are required to donate blood.

To sign up for an appointment, click here or call 800-7TO-GIVE.
Honeybear Cafe Hosting Kids Art Supply Drive
Honeybear Cafe has collaborated with artist Kristianna Jacques to launch a kids art supply donation drive. The supplies will go to kids living in the Rogers Park community to foster their creativity. 

Honeybear Cafe has set up a contactless donation box in their entryway. Items can be dropped off between 8 am and 2 pm Wednesday through Monday.  Any donation is appreciated. 

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 
Community Engagement Opportunities
Celebrate & Honor Black Women in the HIV Movement
The Positive Women's Network invites you to celebrate Black women and their tireless efforts in the HIV movement.  The Positive Women's Network is a nationwide community of women living with HIV. Their mission is to prepare and involve all women living with HIV, in all our diversity, including gender identity and sexual expression, in all levels of policy and decision-making. For more information, visit
Share Your Yard!
Calling all homeowners! Share your yard for food growing! The Rogers Park Yard Sharing network helps connect gardeners to homeowners with unused yard space. They are currently seeking interested homeowners to share their yard and become a part of the Yard Sharing Network.

Interested homeowners can fill out this Google Form. You can learn more about this process and The Rogers Park Yard Sharing Network on our website. Please email with questions. 
CHA Community Alliance Affordable Housing Workshops
The CHA Community Alliance is hosting a series of virtual workshops throughout the month of March. The workshops will focus on CHA family housing, senior housing, and waitlist management. 

For more information, contact 773-245-4107 or email To register for a workshop, visit
Community Makery Creating "4-H Real Talk" Video Series
Community Makery is partnering with 4-H University of Illinois Extension to develop a "4-H Real Talk" video series as part of the ongoing Illinois 4-H DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiative.

They are searching for black & brown high school youth who want to share their voice about the impact of racism in their lives. If this project is of interest to you, please email Mimi at
Planning Ahead Discussion March 16
In partnership with Pride Action Tank, the Center for Disability & Elder Law is hosting a discussion titled "Planning Ahead: Securing your Future with Advance Directives and Estate Planning." The event will be held on Zoom on March 16 from 5:30-6:30 PM. While anyone is welcome to attend, LGBT elders and individuals living with disabilities can sign up for an appointment with a volunteer attorney to complete Powers of Attorney and a will intake. 

For more information and to register, visit
Loyola Community Nursing Center Hosting Series
on Community Health and Nutrition
The Loyola Community Nursing Center is hosting a virtual educational series on community health and nutrition throughout the months of February and March. Join a session to learn more about a variety of topics. To join a virtual session, visit
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. 
Park District Announces Reopening of Lakefront
The Chicago Park District announced this week that the lakefront, playgrounds, and indoor aquatics will be reopening over the new few weeks. 

As snow removal and clean-up from recent storms continue along the lakefront, Chicago Park District crews will begin opening public access points to parkland east of Lake Shore Drive. Lakefront parks will be open during normal operating hours. Regulations on lakefront parking will also be lifted. Parking fees will be required and enforced. Masks are mandatory. Large gatherings are strictly prohibited and social distancing must be observed at all times.  

During the upcoming weeks, the Chicago Park District will also unlock gates and prepare all 500+ outdoor playgrounds and nature play spaces to reopen, expanding outdoor recreation opportunities for children, ages 12 and under. Families and caregivers are urged to practice safety guidance, including wearing a mask, social distancing, and cleaning hands frequently. These high-traffic areas are not sanitized but can be enjoyed safely by following the guidance on the signage installed at each location. 

During its Spring programming session, the Chicago Park District will reopen its indoor swimming pools to offer limited aquatics programming. Spring registration begins Monday, March 8th. Programs run from April 5th through June 13th. Spaces for each program will be limited to observe social distancing. The District will follow swimming pool guidance from the State of Illinois.

For more information, visit the Chicago Park District's website

Now Enrolling: Mary Crane Center
Mary Crane Center at 1545 W. Morse is now enrolling children from 15 months to 5 years old. They offer Head Start, Pre-K, and Child Care Programs. Call them at 773-262-1390 to learn more!
CPS Launches SQRP Revisioning Initiative

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced the launch of an effort to create a new system for measuring school quality. Key goals of the new SQRP go beyond traditional school ratings to include:

  • Providing a more complete picture of school performance and progress: The advisory group will seek to better portray the various ways in which schools have improved and are serving the needs of their diverse student populations. 
  • Improving the district’s capacity to support schools: Effective accountability systems are tied to strong school support, and the new system should ensure that every school is effectively supported.
  • Providing clear information to parents and the public: By better understanding what parents and other stakeholder groups want measured and reported, the new system should help each family choose the school that best meets their child’s unique needs and advocate for the support their school community needs.
  • Evaluating and reporting on district effectiveness: The entire district must share responsibility for improvements in student outcomes, and the new accountability system will develop and report measures of district effectiveness that will enable conversations about district accountability.

CPS will hold targeted engagement sessions with existing stakeholder groups — such as Community Action Councils (CACs), Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) and Local School Councils (LSCs) — launching district-wide stakeholder meetings, issuing surveys, and holding stakeholder-specific focus groups and workshops.

CPS  is also launching an advisory group that will develop and propose the new policy, which will be rooted in community feedback. The new policy will be presented to the Board of Education for consideration in spring 2022, with the first school ratings under the new system released in the fall of 2023 (for SY22-23).  Advisory group members include parents, student representatives, teachers, principals, Board of Education members, and accountability experts from UChicago Consortium on School Research and UIC’s Center for Urban Education Leadership. 

The advisory group will review materials, research proposals on system designs, ensure the incorporation of parent, educator, and other stakeholder feedback, and provide recommendations for how it believes the district should redesign its accountability system. Out of a commitment to openness and transparency in the district’s decision-making process, materials from these meetings will be available to the public via

A full list of members can be found below:

Earlier this month, the district began holding small-group conversations with key CPS stakeholder groups such as PACs, LSC members, and CACs. I

In March 2021, the district will hold four citywide town halls that will be simultaneously aired in Spanish. These small and large group discussions aim to create a baseline understanding of the history and purpose of school accountability while also collecting initial feedback from a broad set of stakeholders across the city. 

Virtual Town Hall Dates:

After initial feedback meetings, the district will engage in a set of deeper, more intensive engagement through stakeholder-specific focus groups, surveys, workshops and other research and data collection. The perspectives, input, and ideas generated through these discussions will be presented to the advisory group on a frequent, ongoing basis and ultimately reflected in the final proposed policy developed by the advisory group. 

Chicago Monuments Project
Photo Credit: Block Club Chicago
Monuments and memorials have become a focal point for conversation, protest and activism in the city of Chicago. In response, the City has created a committee to review the city’s collection of monuments and recommend solutions. The Chicago Monuments Project intends to grapple with the often unacknowledged – or forgotten – history associated with the City’s various municipal art collections and provides a vehicle to address the hard truths of Chicago’s racial history, confront the ways in which that history has and has not been memorialized and develop a framework for marking public space that elevates new ways to memorialize Chicago’s true and complete history. To learn more and share your thoughts, please visit – and join the conversation on social media using #ChicagoMonuments.
File Your Taxes with Tax Prep Chicago
The City of Chicago will offer free, confidential tax help through mid-April in partnership with Ladder Up. Trained volunteer tax preparers can assist you in completing and electronically filing Federal and Illinois tax returns for Tax Year 2020 and, in some cases, for prior years. They'll also be able to help determine if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and other tax credits!

The tax filing deadline is Thursday, April 15! For more information, visit or call (312) 588-6900 to schedule an appointment and see if you qualify.
Senior Sewer Rebate Program Update
The Office of the City Clerk no longer functions as the intake office for receipt of eligible first-time applicants and renewals for the Senior Sewer Rebate program. Instead, the Department of Finance's Utility Billing and Customer Service Division processes the applications.

The yearly renewal form requires the claimant to provide a copy of their government-issued identification and a recent property tax bill for verification purposes. To simplify the application process, the Senior Rebate for multi-unit buildings and the Senior Exemption for single-family homes use the same application form and require the same documentation. The property type determines for which program the senior is eligible. Renewal letters have been mailed to those who received the rebate in 2020. 

Current information and application forms can be accessed online at When you're on the website, make sure to click utility charge exemptions and rebates. Those with questions about the program can email or call 312-744-4426.

Seniors can return their application and documentation in an email to or by mail to the following address:

Chicago Department of Finance
Utility Billing & Customer Service
P.O. Box 6330
Chicago, IL 60680-6330
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. 

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
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

For eligibility requirements, more information, and to apply, visit the SBA's website.

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners, including agricultural businesses and nonprofit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

For eligibility requirements, more information, and to apply, visit the SBA's website.
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.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Scholarships
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority is awarding college scholarships to the class of 2021. These will be awarded to African or African-American high school seniors that have. a3.0 or higher GPA and have been accepted into a 4-year university. The deadline to apply is March 19. For more information and to apply, click here.  
Apply to be a Mikva Summer Fellow
Mikva Challenge is seeking 17-20-year-olds for its Summer Fellows internship program. As a part of the Mikva Summer Fellows (MSF) program, you will be placed in a paid summer internship in the office of a city, county, state, or federal lawmaker. You will work 30 hours a week for 6 weeks between late June and early August, and be paid $15 per hour.

In addition to working in an elected official’s office, Mikva Summer Fellows will be part of a professional development cohort focused on developing work readiness skills including communication, collaboration, critical thinking, public speaking, and teamwork. Fellows will meet weekly with Mikva staff to create career goals, complete workforce readiness assessments, and track their progress in the program. Please submit your initial application HERE by April 10th. 
SUFEO Legal Assistance
Stand Up For Each Other (SUFEO) Chicago is a group of law students at Loyola who provide free legal information and services to K-12 students in a variety of areas. With all the challenges of remote learning and uncertainty around school reopening, many families are concerned about their children's education. SUFEO is here to help.

Under attorney supervision, SUFEO offers support and representation to students experiencing:
  • Inadequate special education services
  • Bullying or harassment
  • Suspension, expulsion, or other discipline
  • Barriers related to COVID-19 and remote learning

Any parents/guardians who need help understanding their child's school rights should call the SUFEO hotline at 773-800-0338. 
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.
Employment Opportunities
LUCHA Hiring Outreach & Engagement Specialist
Organization Overview
Since 1982, LUCHA (Latin United Community Housing Association) an Illinois 501(c)(3) corporation has served thousands of moderate and low-income families with Affordable Housing Development, Emergency Housing Repair and Assistance, Home Buyer Counseling, Foreclosure Prevention and Legal Assistance.  LUCHA owns and operates 198 units of affordable housing in the West Town, Humboldt Park and Logan Square Communities of Chicago.

Program Overview
The Community Alliance Initiative is a program conducted in collaboration with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) to work in targeted communities (Armour Square, Humboldt Park, Jefferson Park, Logan Square, and Rogers Park) with the goal of increasing the participation of Latinx, and other underrepresented groups taking advantage of CHA housing, business, and employment opportunities.

Job Role
  • Conduct outreach to targeted households and local community organizations, agencies, institutions, and elected officials
  • Schedule, promote, and hold workshops on CHA housing, business, and employment related programs.
  • Conduct follow up services with interested workshop participants
  • Enter and manage data regarding program participation
  • Maintain ongoing relationships with local collaborating groups
  • Support other LUCHA housing related initiatives when called upon
Educational Requirements
Required: Undergraduate degree (BA/BS).

Other Qualifications/Requirements
  • Bilingual (not limited to Spanish/English) highly desired.
  • Familiarity with client management systems
  • Experience with MS Office programs (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.).
  • Must be effective public speaker
  • Social service, educational, or community organizing experience working in diverse lower income communities
  • Must be able to work in client centered manner and be able to identify and respond to specific client needs
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment.
  • Willing to work flexible hours.
  • Owning a car with a valid driver’s license a plus.
  • Ability to represent LUCHA in a positive and professional manner at all times.
  • Residents of the target communities are encouraged to apply.
Contact: Maria Galarza, 773-276-5338 ext.#239 or
LUCHA is 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and an equal opportunity employer.  To learn more about LUCHA, please visit
City of Chicago Hiring:
Asphalt & Concrete Construction Positions
The City of Chicago is looking to fill positions for asphalt and concrete jobs. The city offers competitive compensation as well as benefits, including a pension and healthcare. For more information and to apply, visit the City of Chicago's careers page
Find a Career with S&C Electric Company
S&C Electric in Rogers Park is hiring several key positions to join their team. S&C Electric is a 100% employee-owned team seeking several team members in the Rogers Park community to keep the lights on across the globe.

To learn more and apply, visit
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