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49th Ward Update
December 4, 2020

Hello neighbors,

Please remember that COVID-19 infection rates are still very high and are overwhelming our medical systems and workers. We need you need to take every precaution to keep yourself and our community safe. Check out the resources and info below on where to find testing and tips to stay safe. Though we heard good news this week about vaccines, we still need to take every precaution to keep each other safe.

We anticipate the CDC will approve the emergency use of both vaccines and they could be available as early as the week of December 21. Right now, frontline medical workers and the staff and residents of long term care facilities will be the first to receive the vaccine. We’re working on coordinating additional testing opportunities for residents through the winter months and will continue to do our best to provide vital information and resources for our ward.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who came to our Budget Debrief and 2021 Planning session on Wednesday. We’ll have another one tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10a-11:30a. You can sign up here:

Have a safe and restful weekend,

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
Novelist Kathleen Rooney Shares the History of Notorious Rogers Park Building in The Queen of Sherwin Avenue
Novelist Kathleen Rooney became enamored with the Sherwin on the Lake building years ago after spending some time in Rogers Park. Or, as she puts it:

"Sherwin on the Lake, as the building is known, struck me as a poetic appellation, a little bit Stratford-upon-Avon in its iconic descriptiveness: proper name plus geographic feature. On the luminous night more than a decade ago that I first made her acquaintance on a stroll through the neighborhood, her air of world-weary glamour wafted across the sidewalk like an elegant older lady’s assertive perfume. As when one meets a beautiful person, the Sherwin charmed with her harmonious whole, the kind of allure that makes one long to linger.

For years, in my perambulations across the city’s northern reaches, I’d been pulled repeatedly into the Sherwin’s orbit. Towering over the sparkling water, leaning almost, evoking the prow of a grand cruise ship, she surveys Lake Michigan — sunrise to moonrise, snow to rain — never wavering as she watches each grain of sand on her private beach, each swimmer in the waves, each boat that floats by. Exuding a hard-earned charisma that can only be called human, the Sherwin is the kind of place one walks past and thinks, If only this building could talk! But she never opened up, never revealed herself to me. "

Then, this year the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical society had a unique opportunity for history aficionados called the Property History Request. Pay $125 and volunteer researchers would locate all the documents related to a property that they could find, from original titles and deeds to building permits, newspaper ads, and more.  Rooney couldn't pass up the opportunity to embark on this unique opportunity to learn about the building's history and the stories contained within it.

Rooney took their findings and delicately wove them together to share those stories with a broader audience in the latest edition of Chicago Magazine. Make sure to curl up on your couch with your favorite blanket as you dive into this beautiful piece, "The Queen of Sherwin Avenue," showcasing the unique history that makes up one of Rogers Park's most notorious buildings: Sherwin on the Lake. 

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. 
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 11.6%, down from 13.6% last week and 15.9% the week of November 16.

Public Health experts do warn that the declining positivity rate numbers are producing a bit of a mirage, as fewer people sought out COVID-19 tests over the holiday weekend. Unfortunately, we do expect to see another spike in cases in the coming weeks from those who didn't follow recommendations of not gathering with people outside of their households for the Thanksgiving holiday. This means that you should continue to stay at home as much as possible and only leave for essential errands, such as going to the grocery store. Continue to social distance and avoid meeting up in-person with anyone from outside your household. 

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 12,830 people have died from COVID-19. The number of deaths we're seeing now are comparable to those in the spring. 
In Rogers Park, we're seeing the number of positive cases increasing. As of Saturday, November 28, 1 in 20 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 ( or 773-338-5796). 

While folks are experiencing COVID-19 fatigue, everyone must continue to take all necessary precautions to protect our family and neighbors. Wear a mask, social distance, and regularly wash your hands. 

And while it's true that there has been positive news regarding vaccinations, we are still several months away from returning to any sense of normality that existed pre-COVID. This is because it will take time to inoculate our population against this highly infectious disease, meaning that the precautions we're taking now will need to continue until we can achieve herd immunity.

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 December 12
Governor Pritzker announced that the State's eviction moratorium will be extended to December 12 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 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

Ward Updates
Dec. 10 Community Meeting for 1233 W. Pratt Proposal
Creative Designs is seeking a zoning change for the empty lot located at 1233 W. Pratt. The parcel in question served as the location of the Glenwood Sunday Market over the past summer. 

The owner is asking for a zoning change from an RS-2 to an RM-6, which would allow for additional density than is currently allowed under the RS-2 designation. The plans call for a 7-story residential development with a total of 78 units. The rear half of the proposed development's ground floor will include an on-site parking garage with a total of 44 parking spaces, 20 spaces for bike storage, and an E-charging station. The front half of the ground floor will serve as a lobby area for residents in the building. 

The zoning change triggers the city's Affordable Requirements Ordinance, which requires a developer to set aside 10% of units in the building as affordable (60% of the AMI) or to pay an in lieu of fee to a fund to build affordable units in other parts of the city. For 1233 W. Pratt, Creative Designs has agreed to keep the affordable units on-site and to set aside one additional unit as affordable in addition to what is required by ordinance. The affordable units will be proportionate to the unit breakdown in the building. The unit breakdown is:
  • 18 studio units
  • 46 one-bedroom units
  • 12 two-bedroom units
  • 2 three-bedroom units
The proposal includes the incorporation of green space, including a garden near the front entrance, an amenity terrace on the second floor for residents, and a green roof. 

To reduce congestion on Pratt, the garage will be accessible through the alley. The development will also include 1 off-street loading berth for trash, deliveries, and move-ins/outs to reduce congestion. 

The dynamics of the block are unique due to a history of spot zoning in the area. The block has some of Rogers Park's tallest buildings, with the building across the street at 1246 W. Pratt coming in at 13 stories and the Seville two parcels to the west coming in at 9 stories. The parcels located on the northwest and southwest corners of Pratt and Sheridan come in at 5 stories. The block also has a number of single-family homes located on it, with two sandwiching the proposed parcel. The buildings across the alley on the rear-end of the lot come in at 3 and 4 stories.

Our office is hosting a virtual community meeting with Creative Designs on Thursday, December 10, at 6 pm. Register in advance online by clicking here.  Spanish translation available.
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!
Ward Sees Uptick in Mail Delivery Delays
The 49th Ward office has seen an uptick in complaints about delays in mail delivery. Our office has contacted USPS about the concerns we're receiving and has learned that, unfortunately, the delays are a result of postal carries coming down with COVID-19. As we continue to see cases surge across the city and state, the virus is now touching more aspects of our lives. Please understand that we're working to address these delays with USPS.

Our office is working with Congresswoman Schakowsky's office to prioritize the escalation of essential mail items, including checks, medication, and bills. In our communications with Congresswoman Schakowsky's office and USPS, we have been informed that the Rogers Park station is hiring eight additional mail carriers who should begin to deliver mail in the coming weeks, which should help alleviate the issue. 

This additional staffing should help, but please know that we need you to reach out to our Congresswoman and senators to ask them to advocate on behalf of USPS. Earlier this year, we shared information on the Trump administration's systematic efforts to undermine the USPS system. 

With a new Executive Branch administration taking over the White House in January and a critical Senate race in Georgia around the corner, much of USPS's future is still unknown. What we do know, though, is that we cannot live without this critical government service.

Finally, please consider leaving a note of gratitude for your mail carrier as they have worked tirelessly through a pandemic and an unprecedented election season to provide residents across the country with postal services.
Support Our Local Restaurants
New restrictions have been implemented to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in our city. With these new restrictions, it's more important than ever to continue to help support our local small businesses so they can survive. 

The City of Chicago has launched a new challenge called the Take Out Chicago Campaign. Order from 10 different restaurants between now and December 15 then email with your name and the name of 10 restaurants that you ordered from to be entered to win one of 10 VIP tours of select Chicago destinations.

If you can, order directly from the restaurants. Third-party delivery apps can charge restaurants up to 30% of the final bill. An ordinance was passed during the last City Council meeting, which now caps those fees at 15%.
Reminder: Winter Parking Restrictions Now in Effect
The City of Chicago's overnight parking ban went into effect on Tuesday, December 1. In order to ensure that the most critical roadways in Chicago are kept clear at all times, the City of Chicago institutes a Winter Overnight Parking Ban on 107 miles of vital arterial streets from 3:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. between December 1st and April 1st. This ban remains in effect regardless of snowfall. 

In the 49th Ward, the overnight parking restriction applies to Clark Street. Streets with a two-inch snow restriction include:
  • Devon Avenue
  • Sheridan Avenue
  • Ashland Avenue
  • Pratt Boulevard
  • Rogers Avenue
  • Howard Street
For more information and an interactive snow-route map, visit the 49th Ward website at
Loyola University Announces
Preliminary Plans for its Spring Semester
Loyola University announced preliminary plans for their Spring semester last week. The plans would include having 1,200 freshmen return to campus to live. Students would not be assigned a roommate and would instead have single occupancy dorm rooms. The number of students that would potentially return to campus amounts to about 25% of the overall on-campus housing capacity. 

The plans call for regular testing of students and staff so any COVID cases can be quickly identified, contact traced, and stymied before an outbreak occurs. Loyola University is applying to become a part of the University of Illinois's Shield Illinois program, which would allow rapid saliva tests to be conducted on the Loyola community. 

Loyola came to this decision after surveying their student body about the impact COVID-19 has had on their educational experience and personal lives. They found that juniors and seniors were faring better because they already had the social fabric component of their college experience established before the COVID-19 crisis. However, they found that freshmen were struggling academically, emotionally, and socially. Many freshmen feel that they are missing out on a major transition in their life by not being on the university's campus. 

At this time, no plans have been finalized. The decision is contingent on several factors, including if they're accepted into the Shield Illinois program as well as the positivity rate in January 2021. Our office is working with Loyola University to schedule a community meeting in early January to discuss their plans. 

Ahead of that meeting, we ask residents to share any feedback or concerns they have with our office so we can catalog it and share it with Loyola University. Please take a moment to fill out a feedback form online to share your thoughts or concerns.
Community Aid
CP4P & ONE Northside'S Holiday Toy Drive
Community Partners 4 Peace (CP4P) and ONE Northside are hosting a toy drive this holiday season!

Please consider helping families in need this holiday season by dropping off a gift on December 12 in person, or ordering a present online and having it delivered by December 15. For a shipping address, please email Your donation will help brighten up a child's holiday season in an exceptionally difficult year. 
Heartland Heath's Holiday Toy Drive
Heartland Health is hosting its annual Holiday Toy Drive to bring a little extra cheer to their patients this holiday season.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, they will not be able to accept drop-off donations at their locations this year. Instead, consider purchasing an item from their Amazon holiday wish list and have it delivered. You can also consider making a monetary contribution online
Volunteer with CommUnity Makery
CommUnity Makery provides a maker-centered out-of-school learning extension where youth discover, create, and share projects focused on Literacy, Social Emotional Learning & Youth Voice throughout STEAM+ (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math & More) as well as Career and College Exploration.

Community Makery has four afterschool programs at Gale and is looking to implement more beginning in January, including participating in the Chicago Student Invention Convention.   

To volunteer, click here, and for more information, contact
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
LUCHA: Community Alliance Initiative December Workshops
The Chicago Housing Authority Community Alliance is a
partnership with LUCHA and Spanish Coalition for Housing to increase awareness of CHA’s programs and activities across the Chicagoland area and increase the diversity of those able to take advantage of opportunities provided by the CHA.

Each month, the partners host a series of workshops specifically tailored toward seniors, property managers/owners, individuals interested in learning more about Scattered Sites program and Section 3 businesses and/or Job seekers and CHA applicants. Partners also facilitate info sessions for prospective realtors/develops and Community Based Organizations to get up-to-date information about CHA’s programs/activities.

Since its inception in 2016, CHA Community Partners have facilitated 1,365 workshops reaching over 11,000 individuals. Over 65% percent of those individuals belong to underrepresented populations.

The CHA provides interpretation and translation services to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals through the Language Access Plan (LAP). LAP Services include written translations as well as in-person and telephonic interpretation. LAP services are available to CHA program participants and any individual receiving CHA services.

For more information about the Community Alliance, visit
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 

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. 
The CTA Will Still Deliver Holiday Cheer this Season
One of Chicago’s most beloved holiday traditions - the CTA Holiday Train & Bus - will continue in 2020, though with restrictions in place to keep everyone healthy for the holidays.

Santa and his elves will stay socially distanced this holiday season, meaning that customers won’t be able to board the CTA Holiday Train or the CTA Holiday Bus. Instead, the CTA Holiday Fleet will run along each rail line and multiple bus routes, spreading holiday cheer across the city.

As in previous years, when the CTA Holiday Train rolls through stations throughout the CTA system, riders will see an eye-catching, fantastically festive, six-car train decorated with holiday scenes, thousands of sparkling lights and bright LED signage displays. Santa and his reindeer, once again, will ride along outside, on a flatbed car in the middle of the train, traveling from line to line to wave to children and their families. The CTA Holiday Train begins service on Friday, November 27, the day after Thanksgiving, and goes dashing through the snow – and any other weather - on all CTA rail lines.

Santa still loves a good road trip too! So, beginning Tuesday, December 1, the CTA Holiday Bus will visit neighborhoods across the city to light up faces with love and laughter. On the exterior of the bus, customers will see “Ralphie the Reindeer” and his bright green nose. In addition to hundreds of twinkling lights outlining the bus, Santa will pop up through the roof to greet and wave to families.

Passengers hoping to catch a glimpse of these one-of-kind holiday attractions can find the CTA Holiday Fleet schedule by visiting:
IDHS Expands Health Insurance Coverage for Immigrant Seniors
The State of Illinois has launched a new program that gives medical coverage to people of age 65 and older, regardless of their immigration status. For more information on the new policy, you can view the IDHS policy memo online.

Heartland Health has staff available for questions or referrals. FOr more information, contact Stephanie Castrejon, Community Outreach & Enrollment Supervisor, at

Heartland has assistance available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Tagalog. Interpretation is available in 200+ languages.
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.
First Installment Property Tax Bills Now Available Online
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas announced this week that next year’s First Installment Cook County property tax bills are available at The Cook County Treasurer's office released the bills early so property owners can make payments before the end of this year or plan their finances for 2021.

In November, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to waive late fees for two months on both property tax installments due in 2021, giving cash-strapped property owners more time to juggle their finances.
The Board unanimously waived for two months the 1.5 percent per month late fee on all Tax Year 2020 property taxes, according to a news release. Specifically:
  • The First Installment of 2020 taxes is due March 2, 2021, with application of late charges moved back to May 3, 2021.
  • The Second Installment of 2020 taxes is due August 2, 2021, with application of late charges moved back to October 1, 2021.
For more information, visit the Cook County Treasurer's website.
Open Enrollment for Medicare and the Affordable Care Act

Enrollment for 2021 is now open for both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

If you are Medicare-eligible, you can enroll in or change plans for your Medicare coverage at Enrollment for Medicare is open through December 7th.

If you need health care coverage or work for an employer that provides health care through the Affordable Care Act exchange, you can enroll or make changes to your coverage for 2021 now.  Get started by visiting Get Covered Illinois. You can be matched with a Certified Application Counselor who can help you choose the right plan for you and your family. Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act closes on December 15. 

Track the Progress of the CTA's
Red Purple Modernization on Social Media
The CTA has launched new social media accounts for the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project! The RPM social media accounts are now live.

Click each below to follow their social media pages:
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram

Residents can also learn more about the RPM project and sign up to receive email alerts on the CTA's website.
Affordable Housing Initiative Series
King Invest Solutions is hosting a series centered around affordable housing initiatives every Saturday at 10 am through December 12. 

For more information and the Zoom link, email
Grants for Restaurant Workers
The Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's Restaurant Employee Relief Fund is providing one-time $500 cash assistance grants to eligible restaurant workers who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Applications, full eligibility requirements, and a list of required documents are available in English and in Spanish. If you would like to help restaurant workers in need, you may make a tax-deductible donation to the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund online.
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. 
Disability and Immigration Taskforce of Illinois Survey
Access Living's Disability and Immigration Taskforce of Illinois (DITI) is conducting a survey to find data about immigrants with disabilities. DITI empowers and supports immigrants, refugees, and/or asylees with disabilities and their families to access culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

The DITI survey covers topics such as housing, personal assistant needs, public charge, and more. The information collected will only be utilized by the DITI to determine immigrants' needs with disabilities and their support persons. With this information, they hope to develop legislation at the state level to address unmet needs in the immigrant/disability community.

The survey is in five languages:

For questions or more information, email Jennifer at 
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.


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

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. 


  • 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 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
2021 Individual Artists Program Grants
DCASE announced the timeline for the 2021 Individual Artists Program (IAP) grant cycle. IAP grants aim to assist Chicago's practicing artists in creating work that develops their craft and elevates their careers while adding to Chicago's cultural vitality. IAP grants support artists across all artistic disciplines, including Film & Media Arts, Literary Arts, Performing Arts (Theatre/Dance), Music, and Visual Arts/Design. For eligibility requirements and grant calendar and to RSVP for virtual application assistance workshops, please visit
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
Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development Will Hold Vote on Monday to Expand Special Service Area #19 
The Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development will meet on Monday to vote on a variety of items, including the expansion to Special Service Area (SSA) #19 in the 49th Ward. The budget ordinance that will go before the committee will extend the term of the SSA for 15 years and expand its boundaries to include Jarvis Square (the SSA boundaries currently include the Howard business corridor). 

Special Service Areas, known as Business Improvement Districts or BIDs in other cities, are local tax districts that fund expanded services and programs through a localized property tax levy within contiguous areas. The enhanced services and programs are in addition to those currently provided through the City.

SSA-funded projects typically include but are not limited to: public way maintenance and beautification; district marketing and advertising; business retention/attraction, special events, and promotional activities; auto and bike transit; security; façade improvements; and other commercial and economic development initiatives.

The City contracts with local non-profits, called Service Providers, to manage SSAs. In Rogers Park, the SSA service provider is the Rogers Park Business Alliance (RPBA). 

During Monday's committee meeting, the budgets for SSAs #24 (Morse/Glenwood/Clark) and #54 (Sheridan) will also be voted on. The meeting will take place at 10 am on Monday, December 7. Information on how to sign up to make a public comment and how to stream the meeting virtually is available on the City Clerk's website
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
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 . 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.
State Opens Second Round of Business Interruption Grants
Governor JB Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) this week to announce the latest in a series of grants made available for small businesses in Illinois. These grants will be made available to businesses suffering losses as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as communities impacted by the recent civil unrest. 

Applications for the second round of the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program are now open and will offer $220 million in funds for small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic.

One of the criteria for applicants in the second round of grants is for disproportionately affected areas, which does include the 60626 zip code. 

For more eligibility requirements and information on how to apply, please visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development's website
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

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.

Apply for the Future Founders Startup Sprints Program

Apply for a fun-filled day of creativity and entrepreneurship! In less than one day, you’ll get a crash course in startups, work with a team to build a creative business, and do it all with the guidance of your own startup coach (a real-life entrepreneur)! This free opportunity is open to high school students enrolled in Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Charter schools, and Big Shoulders schools. Accepted applicants are provided credit to a food delivery service as a lunch stipend and have the opportunity to compete for $125 cash among other exciting prizes!

The one-day experience will be offered twice (Monday, December 21, and Tuesday, December 22). Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis through Monday, December 14, and can be completed online by clicking here.

CPS Modifies Timeline for Students to
Return to In-Person Learning
CPS announced this week 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

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. 
CPS Developing Whole School Comprehensive Safety Plan
CPS is embarking on a new initiative to provide a more comprehensive approach to school safety. Their goal is to provide all schools with a Whole School Comprehensive Safety Plan that accounts for a range of school safety needs by the start of the 2021-22 school year. 

As a part of the planning process, CPS intends to partner with up to five community-based organizations (CBOs) who will work together to design a citywide engagement process for our stakeholders. Selected CBOs will be tasked with gathering community feedback on alternate school safety strategies.

CBOs interested in applying should submit an application. For information on the whole school comprehensive safety plans, please visit our website.
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 The Round 1 application period is open and closes on December 11, 2020.  
Employment Opportunities
2020 Virtual Concessionaire, Small Business & Vendor Expo
The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) will host a Virtual Concessionaire, Small Business & Vendor Expo for local companies to learn about doing business with the CDA. Expo information will include - how to obtain ACDBE/DBE/MBE/WBE/Certification, as well as up-coming contracting opportunities.

To register for this event, please complete the 2020 CDA Expo Registration Form at
Find a Job with the CSBG Transitional Jobs Program
The Transitional Jobs Program helps those seeking employment gain work experience and get connected to quality jobs. The program offers participants up to 4 weeks of paid work experience and help with transitioning into permanent employment.
  • Age Requirement – Applicants for the program must be 18 years or older
    • Valid (not expired) Driver’s License OR State ID with City of Chicago address
  • Social Security Number
    • Social Security Card (signature required on it)
  • Authorization to Work in the United States/Citizenship
    • Original Birth Certificate OR Hospital Record of Birth
  • City of Chicago Residency (Applicants for the program must live in the City of Chicago).

    For Homeless Individuals:
    • A letter from the shelter stating:
      • Resident’s name and family members, if applicable
      • Date when their residency began at IHP location 
      • Signed by the referring case manager with a current date
          For Others:
    • Landlord Statement OR Current Leave OR Eviction Notice with Current Address
    • Valid (not expired) Driver’s License OR State ID with City of Chicago Address
  • Income Verification (For six months, prior to the date of signed program application)
    • Check Stubs
    • Unemployment Insurance Document OR Printout from IDES
    • Social Security Award Letter OR Form SSA-1099 OR Printout from Social Security
    • Child Support (Verification of payments made on behalf of child/children if applicable)
    • OR any combination of the above 
  • Other Required Documents:
    • Current Food Stamp Award Letter indicating TANF (cash payments) and/or SNAP amount
    • Program application completely filled out, signed, and dated by the client
    • Copy of resume, if applicable
Those interested in participating should call Glenisha at 708-996-1191 to get started.
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