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49th Ward Update
July 3, 2021
LEE EN ESPAÑOL

Good morning neighbors,

Happy Independence Day! Today marks the day that the 13 original colonies passed the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. Over 245 years our country has undergone many changes and, hopefully, we'll continue to evolve and progress. But it's up to us, the people of this nation, to struggle, learn, reflect and organize for the changes we want to see. As political battles for voting rights, equal rights, and distribution of wealth are fought in states across our union, remember on this Independence Day that democracy is a practice and our republic is not a finished product. Let's continue to build together towards the goal of a more perfect union.

Have a wonderful, safe weekend,


Alderwoman Maria Hadden

Celebrations & Appreciations
Let's celebrate and appreciate what's wonderful about our ward, the people, the places and accomplishments. We need this more than ever, so please, send us the people, orgs and actions that you want the ward to know about next week! Email us at office@49thward.org
49th Ward Office Welcomes Interns Patrick and Caleb!
The 49th Ward office welcomed two new interns through the Mikva Challenge this week. 

Patrick, on the left, is a rising senior at Sullivan High School. In 2018, he immigrated to the United States with his family from Uganda. They now live in the Rogers Park community. If you see Patrick in the office, make sure to greet him!

Caleb, pictured on the left, is a lifelong Rogers Park resident. Caleb just graduated from Northside College Prep and is headed to Howard University in the fall. We've had the honor of hosting Caleb as an intern in our office previously and are so excited he's back for another summer. Make sure to say hi if you see him in the office!
Good Luck, Grayson!
49th Ward Coordinator of Constituent Services and Youth Engagement wrapped up their tenure in the 49th Ward office this week. Grayson recently graduated from college and is ready to start the next chapter of their life.

Thank you for all your hard work in the office! Best of luck with whatever the future holds, Grayson!
Ward Updates
Ward Office Closed July 5
Please be advised that the 49th Ward office will be closed on Monday, July 5 in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Office hours will resume on Tuesday, July 6 at 9 am.

Please have a safe and relaxing holiday! 
Special Council Meeting on Police Response
On Friday, July 2 we held a Special Meeting of the Chicago City Council to hear testimony from Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown on plans and actions for violence reduction in the City. I was one of 47 alderpersons present. Superintendent Brown and senior members of his team were in attendance for 6 hours of questions and answers from City Council.

Council sought answers around: deployment plans/numbers and whether there is an equitable distribution of police around the city; claims by the Superintendent and Mayor Lightfoot that the high violence is due to the County's electronic monitoring program, specifically asking for numbers to back up the claims; officer wellness and mental health, a plan to increase the program was put on hold and many had concerns about that; recruitment and attrition in the police department. You can watch the full meeting (and any of our past meetings) on the Clerk's archives here: https://vimeo.com/showcase/citycouncil
Remember: Fireworks are Illegal!
With the Fourth of July holiday this weekend, our office wants to remind residents that all fireworks are still illegal in Chicago. Leading up to this holiday, residents have complained about the increased use of fireworks. The use of fireworks can cause undue stress and anxiety to our neighbors who struggle with PTSD. They also can cause pets to become easily stressed and anxious. Finally, their usage can be disruptive to our sleep and overall quality of life. 

Over the years, we have seen fireworks use evolve from small, personal celebrations to full-on displays in our major parks and schoolyards. This is dangerous and disruptive to many residents' enjoyment of the Independence Day celebrations and can cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and clean up. Violations are subject to fines.
 
Here are some statistics to consider:
  • Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires
  • These fires caused an average of $23 million in direct property damage
  • In 2017, emergency rooms treated an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks-related injuries
  • Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries 
  • Children aged 5-9 are more than twice as likely as other age groups to be injured by fireworks 
Source: National Fire Protection Association
Changes to Refuse Collection Due to Independence Day Holiday
Please note these important changes to the refuse and recycling schedule this week due to the Friday, July 5th (4th of July Observed) holiday.  
 
There will be no city refuse or recycling collection on Monday, July 5th in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Normal collection will resume on Tuesday, July 6. To view your city refuse collection pick-up day, visit the 49th Ward map
Virtual Community Meeting July 7
Join us on Wednesday, July 7 via zoom for our next monthly town hall! Alderwoman Hadden will share City Council and Ward updates, Block Clubs will share updates, we'll have My Block My Hood My City with us to present about their programs and opportunities for you to organize events on your block.

Register for the meeting here: https://bit.ly/3qdqaBc

If you're already part of the Block by Block Program, this is your monthly meeting space as well. If you haven't signed up yet, but want to meet neighbors to plan activities on your block, sign up now!
Decision on the St. Scholastica Zoning Change Request
Decision - Approved

The St. Scholastica project is a well-thought-out proposal. The plans will add 80-100 new senior housing units and allow the Benedictine Sisters, who have committed their lives to charitably giving back to our community, to age in place. 

The Sisters worked with counsel from NNRO and their consultants for several years to determine how they can remain living on the location while addressing the financial constraints of St. Scholastica. 

After hosting a community meeting in early June and soliciting feedback from the community, it's clear that the proposal has the support of our community. Our office received 72 responses to the survey, with an overwhelming 82% supporting the zoning change request. 

Respondents expressed support for allowing the Sisters to age in place and expanding senior housing opportunities in the area. Concerns were expressed about losing green space on the site and the potential for increased traffic in the area. We will work closely with the Benedictine Sisters and their selected developer to address these issues when finalizing plans. 

This decision will allow the zoning change request to go before the Committee on Zoning and Landmarks in July. If it passes in committee, it will then head to City Council for a final vote. Once approved, the Sisters will then be able to seek a suitable contractor to develop the site. 
Sheridan Road Resurfacing Project
Chicago Department of Transportation crews will begin a resurfacing project on Sheridan Road after the 4th of July holiday. Sheridan Road from Bryn Mawr to Winthrop is slated to be resurfaced. The project will began with concrete work (curbs, gutter, etc.) before shifting to on-street construction. Crews will work on the east side of the street and then move to the west side of the street.

This is a major street resurfacing project that will help improve the conditions of a high-volume traffic thoroughfare. Please plan your commute accordingly as there may be delays caused by the construction. 
Correct the Courts Block Party July 3
Today, Saturday July 3, at 1pm, please join Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P), ONE Northside and the Black Gaming League for a community block party and 3-on-3 basketball tournament at Willye B White Park!

While we work on the longer term goal of new outdoor basketball courts, I was happy to sponsor the purchase of four mobile hoops, which will be used for this tournament and future events.

This event is taking place thanks to CP4P, which has been doing intensive violence interruption and reduction work in our neighborhood. I greatly appreciate their work and when they started planning this basketball tournament, my office and I were there to support. Bringing back outdoor basketball courts in Black and Latinx neighborhoods is about equity and fairness, and it is also an important way for community to gather and have fun together.
Theatre Above the Law Reopens to Live Audiences July 8 with its Production of Henchpeople
Theatre Above the Law's return to live audiences brings to you a world premiere play by Ross Compton (the playwright behind Amicable). Perfect for the Super Hero/Villain fan of any age, a self-obsessed supervillain is mere minutes away from unleashing their simmering vengeance upon a helpless city, and right-hand helpers Oona and Jarlath are there every step of the way. Unfortunately (for them at least), something goes very, very wrong. Now, these bewildered baddies must face an army of blood-thirsty foot soldiers, a formidable superhero, and their own feelings of distrust, self-worth, and burgeoning friendship in this new comedy.

All audience members 12 years of age and older must show proof of full vaccination for COVID-19, and all audience members must wear masks during the performance. This helps to protect the cast and audience members 11 years of age and under. There is also a streaming ticket option for those not comfortable with these precautions or unvaccinated audience members.

For tickets and more information, visit Theatre Above the Law's website.
Flatts & Sharpe Music Festival Returns to Rogers Park July 10
Flatts & Sharpe is a general music store located at 6749 N. Sheridan Rd. It's known for music instrument rentals, repairs and sales, as well as a vibrant music lesson program. Though they're a small-town music store that somehow ended up in a big city, their passion has always been for building community through music. It's the mission that drives their team. 

After a long year of being forced into hiatus, Flatts & Sharpe jumped at the chance to host its 2nd annual music fest for the community. We're lucky enough to live in one of the most diverse zip codes in the nation, and the lineup will reflect that diversity. The first half of the day will be filled with family fun and will even feature Flatts & Sharpe's very own student rock bands! The latter half of the day will be a homecoming for residents and musicians to say hello to one another after this long drought from live music. 

Join in on the fun on Saturday, July 10, from noon to 10 pm on Sheridan Road at Columbia. There is a $10 suggested donation to attend the music festival. For more information, visit the event website
Movies in the Parks Returns to Paschen Park July 10
Movies in the Parks, a favorite Chicago summer tradition returns this summer! On Saturday, July 10, grab your favorite lawn chair or blanket to get cozy on the lawn at Paschen Park, 1932 W. Lunt. Bring some snacks and non-alcoholic beverages and Imagine That with Eddie Murphy. 

A financial executive can't seem to stop the downward spiral of his career. His daughter (Yara Shahidi) invites him to join his imaginary world, where he is able to find unique solutions to his problems. The film is rated PG. 

All movies in the Movies in the Parks series are free and begin at dusk. Please visit the Chicago Park District's website for updated guidelines on masks and social distancing requirements for movie nights. For a list of all Movies in the Parks this summer, visit the Chicago Park District's website
49th Ward Property Tax Assessment Workshop
Join Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi for a 49th Ward Virtual Workshop on Property Tax Assessments. Property owners will have the opportunity to learn about the property tax system, understand their assessment notice, and learn how to file an appeal. 

The workshop will take place on Tuesday, July 13, at 5 pm. Register in advance at bit.ly/49thWardPropertyTax. Spanish translation will be available. 
Clark Street Taco Crawl July 15
The Rogers Park Business Alliance is hosting a Taco Crawl on Thursday, July 15. Put on your favorite stretchy pants as you enjoy tacos from seventeen different restaurants on Clark between Rogers and Devon. 

Tickets cost $20 in advance or $30 the day of and can be purchased at tinyrul.com/TacoCrawl21. Tickets can be picked up on July 15 between 3 pm and 6 pm at 7056 N. Clark, and the crawl will take place from 3 pm to 7 pm. 
Black Lives Matter Street Mural on Paulina
A Just Harvest hosted a successful Juneteenth event last weekend, where a "Black Lives Matter" mural was painted on Paulina from just north of Howard to Jonquil. We were happy to be a part of this Juneteenth activity in the first year our city has officially observed the holiday.

In working with the Department of Transportation and the community-based organizations in the area, I'm pleased to announce that Paulina will remain a shared street for this summer. The shared streets program launched last summer in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Due to their success throughout the city, the Department of Transportation has decided to continue this program. 
Shared streets allow us to reimagine our space. Paulina will remain open to northbound traffic only from just north of the post office until Jonquil. The southbound lane will remain blocked off by moveable barricades. Both southbound and northbound traffic will be open north of Howard to the post office. Local organizations and businesses will still be able to accommodate deliveries or pick-ups. This will transform the area in two ways:
  • Create a space where the community can gather to activate the street through various programming
  • Calm traffic along a stretch of road where we see a lot of speeding
This shared street will allow us to create community and reclaim a part of our neighborhood as we reemerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Community-based organizations in the area are already brainstorming on ways they can collaborate to activate the area and offer community programming opportunities. 
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. 
Get Vaccinated at Home and Receive a $50 Gift Card from Grubhub

The Chicago Department of Public Health announced this week that its in-home vaccination program, Protect Chicago At Home, is now open to all Chicago residents age 12 and up. To encourage Chicago residents to take advantage of the program, Chicago-based Grubhub will donate gift cards valued at $50 to every household that chooses in-home vaccination.

Appointments can be booked now and gift card distribution will begin June 28. The gift cards will be usable immediately at any restaurant available through the Grubhub app. 

In-home vaccination offers a choice between the Pfizer (12 and older) and Johnson & Johnson (18 and older) vaccines. Up to 10 people can be vaccinated per household. Gift cards are limited to one card per household. The gift cards represent a $100,000 in-kind donation from Grubhub.

Call (312) 746-4835 to make an appointment or register by region using the links below, which can be accessed at www.chicago.gov/athome.

CDPH Offers Pop-Up Vaccine Events Across the City
The City of Chicago has made it easy to get vaccinated – at a city site, pop-up locations throughout the city, and other special events. Check out upcoming events where you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine!

If you want to request a vaccine at your event, please complete CDPH's online form.

If you would like to have a vaccine event added to the City's calendar, please complete this short online form
CDPH Announces Changes at City-Run Vaccination Sites

This week, the Chicago Department of Public Health announced the closure and planned decommissioning of a number of City-run vaccination sites, as it continues to focus on hyperlocal distribution to reach Chicagoans who still need their COVID-19 vaccine.

The Chicago State University drive-thru closed on Saturday, June 19, but there is still a walk-in vaccination site at CSU, open for appointments or walk-ups. Thursday, June 24, was the final day of operations at the United Center vaccination site. As the United Center closes, a vaccination site at Malcolm X College will reopen on June 28, administering the Pfizer vaccine, operating Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. In addition, City vaccination sites at Kennedy King College, Richard J. Daley College, and Wilbur Wright College will offer first doses of the Pfizer vaccine only through Saturday, July 3, before officially closing on Saturday, July 24.

As the City transitions away from fixed vaccination sites, it continues to offer vaccines at dozens of neighborhood-based pop-up and mobile vaccination events, including at churches, food pantries, farmers markets, parks and beaches, CTA “L” stops, and more. Visit Chicago.gov/VaxCalendar to find a vaccination event in a community near you. In addition, COVID vaccines will be offered at CDPH immunization clinics throughout the city when they re-open in July, and CDPH just announced the expansion of its At Home program, where anyone 12 and older can make an appointment to get vaccinated in their home. People can make an appointment by calling 312-746-4835 or going to www.chicago.gov/athome.

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 zocdoc.com/vaccine

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.
Protections for Workers Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine
On April 21, an ordinance passed City Council that established labor protections for Chicago workers that take time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Under the ordinance, employers are prohibited from taking any adverse action – including termination, demotion, layoff or punitive schedule changes – against an employee for taking time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Furthermore, if a worker has paid sick leave or other accrued time available, employers must allow their employees to use that time off to receive the vaccine. Finally, if an employer requires a worker to be vaccinated, it must compensate the worker for the time taken to receive the vaccine if it is during a shift, up to two hours per dose.

The ordinance expands the protections guaranteed under the Anti-Retaliation Ordinance that passed City Council in May 2020. That ordinance, which remains in effect, protects all workers from any retaliatory action from their employer if they are unable to work due to public health directive or COVID-19 related illness. Employers that violate this ordinance are subject to fines of between $1,000 and $5,000 per offense. 
IDHS Launches Crisis Counseling Program to Support Communities Hardest Hit by COVID-19
Following the federal declaration of a major disaster area in Illinois due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Division of Mental Health was awarded a $2.3 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to kickstart the Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program. This unique program allows individuals negatively impacted by COVID-19 to access resources from community behavioral health clinics, which includes screening and referrals for residents struggling with mental health and substance use disorders.

The Illinois Crisis Counseling Program aims to increase disaster-related services in Cook, Winnebago, and St. Clair counties, which have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. IDHS’ Division of Mental Health, in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and local behavioral health clinics, will continue to offer support and resources for residents struggling with increased stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic.

Please visit illinois-strong.org for more information and resources available near you.
Reimbursement for Funeral Expenses
Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now processing applications for reimbursements up to $9000 for funeral expenses for a loved one who died due to COVID-19.

Eligible funeral expenses include but are not limited to:
  • Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual
  • Transfer of remains
  • Casket or urn
  • Burial plot or cremation niche
  • Marker or headstone 
  • Clergy or officiant services 
  • Arrangement of the funeral ceremony
  • Use of funeral home equipment or staff
  • Cremation or interment costs
  • Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates
  • Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances.

It is important to coordinate with friends, family members, and anyone else who incurred an expense on who will submit the claim. FEMA will only accept one claim per deceased individual so it is vitally important everyone who helped cover the funeral and cemetery expenses work together on one application and wait until all the expenses have been incurred. 

More information is available on FEMA's website. You may also call 844-684-6333 to apply. 

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. 
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 vaccine 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 to be Phased Out by August
Governor Pritzker announced this week that the state's ban on evictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be phased out during the next three months, with an expiration date of August 2021. More information on the details will become available in the coming weeks. 

On November 14, protections for Illinois tenants 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. 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 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

Tenants who faced a financial impact due to the COVD-19 pandemic may be eligible to receive state and local rent relief. The Illinois Housing Development Authority has put together some resources to help residents with housing assistance. More information is available on illinoishousinghelp.org. Additionally, the City will open its Emergency Rental Assistance Program on Monday. More information on that program is available at chicago.gov/RentHelp.   
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 chi.gov/eto for additional information and to view the latest information on travel restrictions. 
Latest Information on COVID-19 from the
Chicago Department of Public Health

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

Community Aid
Family Matters will host a Community Yard Sale July 10
Family Matters is hosting a Community Yard Sale on the 7700-block of North Marshfield on Saturday, July 10, from 10 am-1 pm. Swing by to grab some great deals and help our local community-based organization. They will be accepting cash, Square, and Venmo. 
Donate to Good News Partners to Renovate the New Life Family Shelter
Photo Credit: Block Club Chicago
Good News Partners is looking to raise $300,000 to renovate their New Life Interim Housing on Paulina. For 30 years, New Life Interim Shelter has served as a lifeline for thousands of families, helping provide them with housing and other resources.

The renovation will allow them to expand their capacity to 37 beds. It also will include new plumbing and electrical systems,a new kitchen area, expandable walls to provide families with more privacy, a play space for kids, and a new media and computer area. The plans also include new bunk beds and furniture throughout the shelter. 

Please consider making a contribution to Good News Partners' public fundraising campaign. To make an online contribution, click here
Donate Window AC Units to Good News Partners
Good News Partners in East Rogers Park is in the process of renovating their family shelter this summer. In order to do that, they will be moving their residents into another building in July that does not have air conditions. They are seeking donations of up to 10 used or brand new window air conditioners that are no more than 5,000 BTU (or 110 volts).

If you would like to donate an AC unit to Good News Partners, contact Christina Calderon at christina@goodnewspartners.org.
Community Engagement Opportunities
Family Matters Justice Ride July 17
Family Matters will host a Justice Ride on Saturday, July 17. The Justice Ride is a youth-centered 15-mile community bike ride for people 12 years and up. There will be stops along the way to explore themes of transformative justice. Lunch will be provided, as will bikes as needed. Divvy bikes and Divvy ebikes are available upon request while supplies last. 

Registration to attend the event is required. For more information and to register, click here
Join the Rogers Park Running Club
The Rogers Park Running Club is ramping up their meetup group runs now that many folks are getting vaccinated. They're also organizing the first-ever Thursday NIGHT meeting at 7:30 PM at Loyola mini track for a chill 3-5 mile run/walk throughout the neighborhood. This will be weekly, and folks are encouraged to crew up, get some exercise, and enjoy our neighborhood.

For more information and to connect with members, join the Running Club's Facebook group
Chicago Northside AARP Community Meeting July 6
The Chicago Northside AARP Community Group will hold their next monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 6, at 12:30 pm. 

The meeting will feature a discussion and video by Pritzker Military Library. There will be an opportunity for a Q&A afterward. 

To register to join the Zoom meeting, email northsideaarpcommunitygroup@gmail.com. For more information on the AARP community group, click here
Government Corner
With the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot of information and resources available to people at all levels of government. To make sure you're receiving all the information to help you through this time, please consider signing up for the following newsletters or keeping your eye on the following pages. See something that should be added to this section? Email it to the office at office@49thward.org. 

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

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

State of Illinois:
State of Illinois COVID-19 Response Website
Sen. Simmons Newsletter
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. 
Apply for Rent Relief by July 18
The Illinois Rental Payment Program is an emergency rental assistance program designed to support households in Illinois that are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The landlord-led application period for the Illinois Rental Payment Program is now closed. If your landlord has not started an application, you may still apply. An additional application period for tenants applying directly for rental assistance opened on June 28. Tenants have until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 18, to complete their portion of the application.

For more information and to apply, click here
Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment thru July 19
Residents in the Rogers Park township recently received a reassessment of their property values. Many property owners saw increases in their property's assessed value, resulting in a higher property tax bill than in previous years. The last time the Rogers Park township underwent a reassessment was in 2018. Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi modified the assessment model upon entering the office to stabilize property owners' assessed values to better financially plan for property tax assessments.

The Cook County Assessor has compiled resources on the Rogers Park reassessment for commercial and residential property owners so they can better understand the assessment methodology and property valuations:
How to file an appeal?
Before you begin filing for an appeal, prepare by having an email address on hand to create your online account and visit www.cookcountyassessor.com/online-appeals to start your application.

What happens after an appeal is submitted?
You will receive an email confirmation of your filing and a second email that contains your appeal docket number used to reference your appeal in the Assessor's office. The results will be sent to you in the mail.

How can I check the status of my online appeal?
1. Go to https://propertytaxfilings.cookcountyil.gov
2. Log in using your email address
3. Click on My Filings
4. Review your appeal information

Remember, if an appeal results in any changes to your property's assessed value in 2021, this will be reflected in the 2021 tax bill you will receive in 2022.

Commissioners Suffredin and Gainer's offices are available to help provide individual assistance with property tax appeals.

To schedule a time to talk to a staff member from Commissioner Suffredin's office, please contact his office at 847-864-1209 or email mjordan@suffredin.org.

To schedule a time to talk to a staff member from Commissioner Gainer's office, please contact her office at 312-603-3695 or email district10@cookcountyil.gov. To view the recorded webinar from June 21 that Commissioner Gainer hosted, click here
Disability and Immigration Taskforce of Illinois Survey
The Disability and Immigration Taskforce of Illinois (DITI) has created a survey for immigrants with disabilities who live in Illinois. While there is information available about immigrant groups and disability groups, it’s very hard to find data about immigrants who are also people with disabilities. The survey covers topics such as housing, personal assistant needs, difficulties with immigration status, and more. The information collected will ONLY be utilized by DITI to determine the needs of immigrants with disabilities and their support persons. The survey is available in five languages, with respective links to each one below:

English
Spanish
Polish
Arabic
Mandarin Chinese

Four survey participants will win a $50 Amazon gift card through a drawing. Those interested in the gift card should provide an email or phone number; the contact information would not be used for any purpose except to contact drawing winners. However, participating in the drawing is not required. Again, survey participants should be immigrants with disabilities living in Illinois, or those who serve as support persons to immigrants with disabilities in Illinois.

DITI will use the survey results to create a document about self-reported issues facing immigrants with disabilities in Illinois. This will help identify ways to increase opportunities and support for immigrants with disabilities in our state. The deadline to complete the survey is July 26 (the 31st anniversary of the ADA).
New State Law goes into Effect July 1 to Reinstate Suspended Drivers Licenses due to Ticket Debt, Fines, or Fees
Starting July 1, 2021, Illinois will no longer suspend a license for any ticket debt, fines, or fees. This change includes suspension and holds due to parking tickets, vehicle compliance tickets, red-light camera tickets, automatic speed camera tickets, traffic tickets, and abandoned vehicle fees. These changes are due to the SAFE-T Act which passed in January. The Act also reinstates driving privileges for those who have already had their driver’s license suspended/revoked for failing to pay red-light camera tickets, speed camera tickets, traffic tickets, and abandoned vehicle fees. Reinstatement is free, automatic, and will occur by July 1, 2021.
 
Your license might still have a suspension or a hold if there were multiple reasons for suspension/hold on your record. Call the Secretary of State's automated phone number to determine if your license is valid: 217-782-6212, select option 2, then option 1. Have your Social Security Number and Driver's License Number handy.
 
The law does not eliminate any outstanding ticket debt. You must still pay off your tickets, but your license will no longer be suspended due to the debt.
 
Learn more about these reforms and how to get your license back at https://www.license2work.org/.
Child Tax Credit Payments Begin July 15
The Child Tax Credit provides major tax relief for nearly all working families. All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called the head of household). The Child Tax Credit has been expanded to $3,000 per child 6-17 years old and $3,600 per child under 6 years old. 

Starting on July 15 and continuing through the end of the calendar year, payments will be disseminated monthly at $250 per child between 6-17 or $300 per child under 6. Roughly 39 million households will automatically receive the new child tax credit (accounting for nearly 90% of children in the US). 80% of recipients will receive payment via direct deposit, and the remaining will receive them via mail. 

The IRS has launched a simplified online tool that will allow families not automatically enrolled in the program to receive the Child Tax Credit. For more information on the Child Tax Credit, visit the White House's website.
Preschool Opportunity in Rogers Park
Do you have a child turning 3 or 4 by September 1st, 2021?  If so, Jordan Community School at 7414 N Wolcott has openings for you!  Approximately 10 half-day seats for 3-year-olds and 15 full-day seats for 4-year-olds need to get filled for the fall!  

Sign up at chicagoearlylearning.org and choose Jordan as your first choice. If you are waitlisted somewhere else, you can call Chicago Early Learning at 312-229-1690 and change to Jordan.  Preschool at CPS sites is tuition-free for all students.  For further information about the school, call the main office at 773-534-2220.
CPD Unveils Revisions to its Foot Pursuit Policy
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Police Department unveiled a revised foot pursuit policy this week (full text of the policy is available here). Highlights of the revised policy include:
  • The new foot pursuit policy reminds officers to begin any interaction with tactics meant to reduce the possibility of a foot pursuit.
  • Tactics to avoid a foot pursuit include: continual communication with a subject and encouraging officers to position themselves in such a way to reduce the opportunity for a foot chase.
  • The circumstances also must be considered before any foot pursuit takes place. Officers need to ask themselves if they need to apprehend the subject worth the risk to responding officers, the public, or the subject.
  • The policy also spells out that foot pursuits are only appropriate when it is believed an individual has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime or there is probable cause for an arrest.
  • According to the new policy, foot pursuits can no longer be initiated for criminal offenses less than a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Foot pursuits also must be discontinued if someone is injured and requires immediate medical assistance; if officers are unaware of their location; and if the need to apprehend the subject is not worth the risk to responding officers, the public, or the subject.
  • Supervisors can also instruct officers to discontinue a foot pursuit at any time.
  • All officers are required to notify the Office of Emergency Management and Communications of a foot pursuit and will activate their body-worn cameras to record the entire incident.
The Chicago Police Department will collect public feedback on the policy revisions through July 15, 2021. They have also said that they will facilitate community meetings throughout the city, as well as targeted discussions with community organizations and individuals who have
direct experiences. The Department will hold a live virtual webinar on June 1, 2021, to review the policy and answer general questions from the public.

For more information on the policy proposal, how to attend community meetings, and to submit a feedback form, visit the City of Chicago's website.
Applications for Chicago Works Community Challenge Now Open
The city announced the Chicago Works Community Challenge last week. The Mayor’s Reimagine Chicago award is a $10M community investment award that will make seven awards of up to $1.5M for each of Chicago’s 7 planning regions. Awards will be issued to fund community-identified enhancements to city-owned properties including, public parks, schools, libraries, or city-owned vacant lots in residential zones through the Chicago Works capital plan. The City expects the projects like playground improvements in parks, co-working space or meeting room upgrades in libraries, and community gardens or playgrounds on vacant lots. 

Starting June 1, applications will be available for proposals until September 1. Finalists in each region will partake in community feedback and engagement sessions between October and December. Winners will be selected for funding based on a range of criteria, including financial feasibility, community preferences, project design, and impact. The City will aim to break ground on many of the projects in 2022.   
 
Awardees will be selected through a multi-phase process. First, eligibility will be determined by a prescreening process that will confirm if the land or facility proposed can receive funding under Chicago Works capital plan guidelines. After the initial screening, the proposals will be subject to deep community engagement and an evaluation process based on feasibility, design, community input, and impact.   

Eligible projects must be located on residentially zoned City-owned vacant lots (directory here) or in facilities operated by Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, or Chicago Public Library.   
 
For more information on the Chicago Works Community Challenge or to submit a proposal, visit chicago.gov/chicagoworkschallenge
Mortgage Assistance Grants Now Available

Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago has approximately 450 mortgage assistance grants remaining that they are trying to distribute by December 10th to City of Chicago homeowners in need of mortgage assistance. 

The maximum assistance for homeowners (1-4-unit properties only) is $3,300.  The following are general program requirements:

  • Must reside within the Chicago city limits
  • Provide a government-issued photo ID
  • For Homeowners: Demonstrate their total household income was at 120% or below the Area Median Income (AMI) prior to March 1, 2020
  • Have experienced a change in their financial status (after March 1, 2020) due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Mortgage must be in arrears or in a forbearance plan

For more information and to apply, visit https://nhschicago.org/mortgageassistance.

Interested City of Chicago residents may also call NHS at 800-831-7949 or email EmergencyAssistance@nhschicago.org, with questions or for assistance with applying for the program.

CTA Reducing Fares for 1, 3, and 7-day Passes this Summer 
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announced a promotion on fares that will make public transit even more affordable and convenient for residents and visitors.

As part of the City’s “Open Chicago” initiative to reopen the city and bring back events, festivals, dining, and other indoor and outdoor activities, the CTA is reducing the price on three of its existing unlimited-ride pass products to welcome back customers, attract new riders and encourage existing customers to use transit more often.

From Memorial Day weekend (Friday, May 28) through Labor Day (Monday, September 6), the CTA will offer attractive discounts on three of its unlimited-ride passes:
  • One-day pass: $5 (down from $10)
  • Three-day pass: $15 (down from $20)
  • Seven-day pass: $20 (down from $28)
The promotional fares will be available for purchase at Ventra Vending Machines at CTA rail stations, on the Ventra app, on the Ventra website, at over 1,000 retail locations, and by calling Ventra customer service at (877) NOW-VENTRA (669.8368).
Business Updates
ComEd Small Business Assistance Program

ComEd's Small Business Assistance Program provides eligible small business customers, with a one-time grant of up to $1,000 towards a past due balance, once every 12 months. Eligible customers may also place a remaining balance into a payment plan of up to six months.

Eligibility:

Small business customers applying for this program must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Have an active ComEd service account (includes customers disconnected within the past 30 days).
  • Use less than 1400 kilowatts (kWs) of peak demand. This includes customers who are
    0-100kW or watt hour. To confirm the amount of kWs your business uses, reference your ComEd bill (see sample bill).
  • Have a past balance, per the bill due date.
  • Have not received Nonprofit Special Hardship grants in 2020.
For more information and to apply, visit ComEd's website.
Rogers Park Business Alliance COVID-19 Resources

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

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

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

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

#SchoolsShineIn49
Congratulations to All Our Graduates!
Senior classes from Sullivan High School, Chicago Math and Science Academy and Acero Cruz graduated this week. 8th graders at Gale Community Academy, Jordan Elementary, Eugene Field School, and Kilmer Elementary had graduations last week. To all of our students and their families, we see you. You overcame unimaginable obstacles this school year. Your perseverance and resilience do not go unnoticed. Thank you for continuing on your path of education and for contributing so much to our community. To all of the school staff, administration and teachers - you’re simply the best.
Register for Summer Programs with the Chicago Park District
The Chicago Park District's traditional summer camp is now underway, and they still have availability in camps as well as some of their in-person and virtual classes for all ages. View the map of camps with spots still available. Check out all of their summer offerings, including Late Summer Camp, and register here
Chicago Public Library Launches "Make Summer Yours" Programming at 81 Libraries Across the City
Chicago Public Library (CPL) has launched “Make Summer Yours,” an all-ages and citywide approach to summer programming across all 81 Library locations. From June 28 through August 22, “Make Summer Yours” offers a mix of online and in-person events and resources focused on education, engagement, and safety. This year’s theme explores public art, creative expression, and community activism.

CPL’s research-based and award-winning Summer Learning Challenge for children and teens is designed to develop literacy skills and provide opportunities for cultural enrichment and civic engagement outside of the structured classroom setting. According to research from the Brookings Institute, children who are not engaged in learning over the summer lose up to three months of math and science knowledge, which puts them significantly behind their peers. This disparity is particularly stark amongst students of color, who were disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and the educational challenges it caused. Chicago Public Schools will also host over 93,000 summer programs in 2021, which will support the social, emotional, and academic recovery of students.

For summer registration for kids and teens, mainstage virtual events, and more information, visit chipublib.org/summer
Employment Opportunities
Work for PACTT
PACTT Learning Center is hiring! They are looking to hire Rogers Park neighbors to join their dynamic team. Work with individuals on the spectrum in the Rogers Park neighborhood. PACTT is offing a starting wage of $16/hour and a signing bonus of $250 after 30 days and $500 after six months! For more information, email jobs@pactt.org. 
Apna Ghar is Hiring!
Join Apna Ghar's dynamic team of hard-working, creative, problem solvers advocating to end gender violence in our communities. To view current open positions, visit their website by clicking here. For more information on employment opportunities at Apna Ghar, email employment@apnaghar.org
Chicago Women in Trades
The Chicago Women in Trades are offering a free 12-week She Can Build It training program. This program offers a great opportunity for women to pursue a career in the trades. For more information and to register for an information session, visit cwit.org
Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare Job Openings
Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare is hiring several key positions to join their team. 

As one of the leading community mental health organizations in Illinois, Trilogy is committed to excellence, diversity, and opportunity. They are a mission-driven organization as committed to innovative practice models in mental health treatment as they are to helping our employees do their best work.

Working at Trilogy is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors and help strengthen the community.

For more information on current job openings, visit Trilogy's Careers website at trilogyinc.org/careers.

 

Heartland Alliance Job Openings
Heartland Alliance has several positions open across Chicago. These positions include a bilingual mental health clinical practitioner, a clinical supervisor, an LPN, case managers, and more. 

Heartland Alliance works to advance human rights and champion human dignity by providing services and promoting solutions to achieve a more just global society. Heartland Alliance's mission is to advance human rights and respond to the human needs of endangered populations—particularly the poor, the isolated, and the displaced—through the provision of comprehensive and respectful services and the promotion of permanent solutions leading to a more just global society. Their approach is multi-faceted and intentional and intersects through three focus areas: health and healing, safety and justice, and economic opportunity.

For more information on job openings, visit Heartland Alliance's Careers website by clicking here
Chicago Botanic Garden Employment Opportunities
The Chicago Botanic Garden has a variety of seasonal and year-round job opportunities. For more information, visit their careers page at chicagobotanic.org/jobs. Applications are accepted online only via employment@chicagobotanic.org.  
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 ww.sandc.com/careers.
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

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

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