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Wishing Us All A Happy New Year

It’s the last day of 2020 and I wish us all a blessed, safe and happy new year in 2021. Like most of you, I’m overjoyed to put 2020 behind us, but I also know that we must recognize certain truths in this moment.

1. The coronavirus pandemic created chaos and tragedy for the entire world, and as with any illness, many of it’s worst effects on society are because of underlying conditions. Racism, classism, misogyny, inequality and unfettered capitalism.

2. The pandemic isn’t over and we’ve got a long way to go before we can claim victory.

3. 2020 has forced us to innovate, collaborate and let go of many of our norms. We must embrace change, accept what we must and adapt ourselves and our environment to better suit our collective needs.

In her poem, On the Pulse of Morning, Maya Angelou wrote, “Each new hour holds new chances for new beginnings...the horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change.” Collectively, we are at another horizon with an opportunity to move forward in the spirit of change; to move, together, towards something better. It is the responsibility of us all to reflect on the experiences of 2020 and to learn. In 2021 we must be wiser.

Today is also the 6th day of Kwanzaa. For those who celebrate, the principle we honor today is Kuumba, or creativity. Kuumba urges us, "to do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it." You don’t have to celebrate Kwanzaa to appreciate and embrace the principles of the holiday.

We saw so much creativity emerge in 2020 - every week demanded it from us. Sometimes finding inspiration for creativity can be challenging, but if necessity is indeed the mother of invention, then I know that we’ll see more creativity shine through in 2021. And I believe it is the duty of us all to use our creativity to lift up not just ourselves, but our families and our community.

End this year however you must, in reflection, celebration, mourning, or anticipation. But let’s start 2021 together with hope, unity, creativity and faith that we can not just get through the pandemic, but come out of it better than we were before for the benefit of our families and communities.

Happy New Year,

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

Office Hours

Monday: 9 am - 5 pm
Tuesday: 9 am - 5 pm
Wednesday: 10 am - 7 pm
Thursday: 9 am - 5 pm
Friday: 9 am - 4 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed


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