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49th Ward Update
January 15, 2021

Good afternoon neighbors,

As we reach the midpoint for the first month of 2021, I know that many of you may be feeling cautiously optimistic about what this year will bring. We may continue to face uncertainty about what changes may come with the evolving pandemic and political turmoil, but know that I and my team are here, working hard to make sure that you have the information and resources that you need.

I know that the newsletters are often lengthy, but I hope that you take the time to browse through it all each week. This is the best way we have to share some of the most important information that you need. Each week we compile local events, job opportunities, small business supports, school updates, city council updates and importantly - vaccine and Covid information.

Today we had the case of the Covid variant that is overwhelming health care systems in the U.K. reported here in Chicago. According to the NY Times, "The number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients has risen sharply and now dwarfs the spring peak by 70 percent." There is every reason to expect that Chicago will face similar challenges with this far more infectious variant of the virus. Though the vaccines being distributed will work on the variant we will still face great challenges and loss of lives if we can't continue to practice virus mitigation. That means we need to stay home, limit unnecessary interactions with people outside of our households, wash hands, wear masks and practice physical distancing. We need to continue to work together in order to protect one another.

On Monday, we'll have a Virtual Town Hall about the Covid vaccine and distribution in Chicago. I hope you all can attend (details below)!

Stay safe, and take care,

Maria Hadden
Alderwoman, 49th Ward

Ward Office Closed Monday in Observance of Martin Luther King Day

Please be advised that the 49th Ward office will be closed on Monday, January 18, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. In a year that has gotten off to a tumultuous start, we hope that residents can take this time to reflect on Dr. King's message of imagining a world without hate and working towards a more equitable and fair society. 

Please note that garbage and recycling collection may be delayed next week due to the holiday. The ward office will reopen on Tuesday, January 19, at 9 am.
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
A Just Harvest Receives $50,000 Donation from Chicago Wolves
The Chicago Wolves hockey team donated $50,000 to our local Howard-area non-profit, A Just Harvest. Their generous donation will help A Just Harvest in continuing their work in helping fight hunger in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

Block Club Chicago wrote a nice article on the donation and the great work A Just Harvest is doing. Thank you to the Chicago Wolves for this generous donation! 
Ward Updates
COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall January 18
The 49th Ward is hosting a town hall on the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, January 18, at 5:30 pm. Dr. Luna from the Chicago Department of Public Health will join share information on the vaccine's efficacy and the city's vaccination rollout plan. 

To register to attend the town hall, please visit Simultaneous translation into Spanish will be available.

On Wednesday, Alderwoman Hadden attended the Committee on Health and Human Relations hearing on the city's response to COVID-19. The presentation that Dr. Arwady provided is available to view online, and updates on the city's vaccination plan shared during the hearing are included in the COVID-19 section of this newsletter. 
1233 W. Pratt Survey Results and Update
Thank you for taking the time to engage with our office by attending the community meeting last month and providing feedback on the proposal for 1233 W. Pratt.

Our office received over 200 responses to the online survey, with 40 percent of respondents living within a block of the site. As reflected in the infographic, parking, height and a lack of affordability were the biggest concerns 49th Ward residents have about the proposal. While many expressed fears of blocked light or the strain on parking the development will create,  there was a strong call to include more affordable units regardless of the height and parking from several others.

Additionally, respondents did share positive feedback on the current proposal in the survey. This feedback included the development having a positive economic impact for nearby businesses, the utilization of land that has long been vacant, and the unit mix included in the current proposal. 

Our office shared the feedback and input with the developer this week to see how it can be incorporated into the proposal. We will keep the community apprised of any proposed changes from the developer and continue to solicit feedback and host community meetings. The first meeting was only the first step in creating a long-term plan for the vacant lot. 

Stay tuned for further updates and next steps in the coming weeks! Please don't hesitate to contact us directly with questions at or to
Call for Second Hearing on CPS's Reopening Plan
On Monday, the Committee on Education and Child Development held a hearing on CPS's school reopening. Only CPS and representatives from charter schools were allowed to testify. Your City Council needs to hear from the teachers, support staff, and principals about their experiences.

This is urgent, as Chicago Public Schools brings punitive action against teachers who are simply trying to serve our children AND protect their health. Myself and Alderwoman Jeanette Taylor of the 20th Ward drafted a letter that 18 other alderpeople have co-signed to Chairman Michael Scott calling for a second hearing before the end of the month that includes the voices of our educators and support staff. 
Loyola Community Webinar January 27
A limited number of Loyola students returned to campus this week to begin the spring semester. They will be quarantined in their single-occupancy rooms for the next two weeks before they resume class. 

Loyola would like to share their plans for the upcoming semester with the Rogers Park community. At 6 pm on Wednesday, January 27, join Loyola's Community Engagement team for a webinar. Online pre-registration is required. If you have specific questions you would like answered, please email them in advance to
Save the High Ridge YMCA Rally on Sunday
On Tuesday, January 12, Alderwoman Hadden joined Alderman Silverstein, Alderman Vasquez, and the Save the High Ridge YMCA Coalition for a community town hall on the closure of the West Ridge location and how it will impact the community. While an invitation was extended to the YMCA to join the meeting and hear directly from its members, they refused to meet in this format.

Join the coalition and neighbors for a socially distanced rally at the corner of Western and Touhy on Sunday, January 17, from 1 pm to 3 pm. Masks and social distancing are required.
Participate in the Western Avenue Corridor Study

The City of Chicago is launching a planning study on the North Side, focusing on a five-mile stretch of North Western Avenue between Addison and Howard streets.
The Western Avenue Corridor Study will examine land uses, development patterns, public amenities, and all forms of traffic patterns along North Western Avenue. In partnership with the community, the study will seek to formalize a long-term vision for how the corridor should function for all modes of transportation while also identifying key opportunity sites for future development.
Visit to join the community-driven planning process for one of the North Side’s most traveled thoroughfares, and be sure to:

Questions and comments can be emailed to the project team at

Tee Mart Looking to Help Support Local Businesses through the Here For Good Campaign
Tee Mart, 1445 W. Morse, is participating in the nationwide Here For Good fundraising campaign. This campaign was created by a screen printing company in St. Louis, MO, with the goal of helping local businesses stay 'Here For Good.'

The program features a web store that showcases t-shirts representing any local business (or non-profit) that need help during this time to stay afloat. Loyal customers and supporters can then purchase a t-shirt (or two or three) to help the business to make it through these tough times. The business will receive $10 for each t-shirt purchased to support them.

Tee Mart is in the process of reaching out to local businesses and non-profits in the neighborhood. However, if you do know of any organizations or businesses that would benefit from the Here For Good partnership, please have them reach out to Tee Mart at
Centered Studios Connecting with
Clients Virtually during COVID-19
Centered Studios, 7009 N. Glenwood, has found a way to continue connecting with its clientele during the COVID-19 crisis. They are offering robust virtual programming, including their Community Yoga classes. Community Yoga runs on Sundays from 5:00-6:15 pm and only costs $2-$8 per class, making the practice affordable to Rogers Park neighbors. Be sure to check out their website for all their class options and packages. 
Community Alert: Vehicular Hijackings, Robberies, and Thefts
The 24th District issued a community alert this week in response to a series of car hijackings and thefts that sprawled across multiple districts. In the incidents, the offenders stole a vehicle that had the cars in the ignition and used it to commit subsequent vehicular hijackings, robberies, and purse snatching across the city and into the suburbs. 

If you have any information, please contact the Area Three Bureau of Detectives at (312) 744-8263.
Community Alert: Robberies
The 24th District issued a community alert this week in response to a series of robberies in the area.  

Please be aware of this pattern of crime and alert your neighbors and friends. If you have any information, please contact the Area Three Bureau of Detectives at (312) 744-8263.
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. 
National COVID-19 Memorial Service
COVID-19 is the greatest public health crisis our country has seen in generations, with hundreds of thousands of lives lost to this deadly virus. To memorialize and honor those who have tragically lost their lives to COVID-19, the Biden-Harris Administration is hosting a National COVID-19 Memorial Service.

At 6 pm on Tuesday, January 19, join neighbors by turning off your lights and electronics and step outside to your driveway, balcony, or public way. You may hold a candle and observe a moment of silence for those who lost their lives. Then, at 6:10 pm, please turn your lights back on to symbolize moving from darkness to light. 

Chicago will stand in solidarity with the rest of our nation during the memorial service. Participating faith institutions and businesses are asked to ring bells or other instruments as well to commemorate this memorial service. 

To share how you're participating, please email 
How the COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Works
The approved COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not contain any live virus of COVID-19. Instead, scientists used the genetic sequence of the virus to create a blueprint of the COVID-19 virus. The virus will trigger the body to produce the spike protein in the COVID-19 virus, which will signal our immune systems to produce the proper antibodies and T cells to combat the RNA blueprint. This means that should an individual contract the COVID-19 virus after being inoculated, the body's immune system will already have stored the information necessary to combat the virus. 

When people receive a vaccination, they might feel some side effects as their immune systems respond to the spike protein. The most common side effects include swelling and some pain at the injection site as well as fever, chills, headaches, and fatigue. These side effects are temporary and indicate that the immune system is imprinting its response to combat COVID-19. 
COVID-19 Vaccination Roll-Out Update
In December, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Pfizer and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use.  

Vaccination Roll-Out

At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine supply remains limited. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is following CDC guidelines for the distribution of the vaccine. Based on this guidance, healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents and staff are prioritized to receive the vaccine first (phase 1a). CDPH anticipates vaccine distribution for people in phase 1a to continue through January and into February. 

As more vaccines become available, frontline essential workers and individuals 65 years of age and older (recently changed from 75 and older) will begin to receive the vaccine (phase 1b). At this time, CDPH anticipates this phase will begin in late February/early March. 

As vaccine supplies increase, the COVID-19 vaccine will be available through additional vaccination providers, including doctors' offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.  At this time, there is not a public registration for the COVID vaccine. As more details become available on vaccine clinics throughout the city, CDPH will update its COVID vaccine website page

Dispelling Misinformation

There has been some misinformation circulating online about the COVID-19 vaccine. Leading up to the pandemic, there have been decades of research on coronaviruses broadly. In January 2020, the genetic sequence for COVID-19 was released, which allowed researchers worldwide to begin working on a vaccine immediately. 

Before a vaccine is introduced to the broad public, it goes through a rigorous trial process, including being tested in laboratories and on animals. These tests help scientists identify which candidate performs the best before introducing it to clinical trials on humans. 

Once a vaccination candidate is introduced to human trials, it goes through three phases. During these phases, scientists identify any short-term side effects and risks and any relationship that exists between the dosage size a participant receives and the immune response. Scientists then compare participants in the human trials receiving a vaccine to those who are receiving a placebo. 

At all stages, from the laboratory to the final third stage of human clinical trials, scientists are rigorously evaluating and documenting results. These results are then reviewed by Institutional Review Boards to ensure their scientific validity, the integrity of the trials, and to protect participants. The process is thorough to protect the greater public health from any adverse outcomes. 

What This Means for Right Now

The development and approval of the vaccination is an incredible milestone in our battle against this global pandemic. However, we are still several months away from achieving herd immunity. It is imperative that we continue social distance and wear a mask any time we leave our houses. Right now, those are the best tools we all have in our toolbox to combat this deadly virus. 
Sign-Up for Chi COVID Coach
Our office has received several inquiries about how to register for a COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, the city does not have registration open. However, we recommend that folks sign up for the Chi COVID Coach, developed in 2020 by CDPH. As registration becomes available for a vaccine, Chi COVID Coach will notify you over text message with updates on the vaccine and how to receive one. 

The registration will walk you through four steps to sign up, including identifying any underlying health conditions that might put you at an elevated risk or if your occupation falls within an essential services category. To register, visit
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 10.0%, down from 10.8% last week and 8.7% the week of December 28.

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 17,928  people have died from COVID-19. The number of deaths we're seeing now are surpassing those we saw in the spring.
In Rogers Park, we're seeing the number of positive cases increasing. As of Saturday, January 2, 1 in 16 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). 

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 February 6
Governor Pritzker announced that the State's eviction moratorium will be extended to January 11, 2021 as the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact our state and our country. 

On November 14, protections for Illinois tenants were changed under the latest eviction moratorium extension. Landlords can now file evictions unless tenants give them a written declaration that they should be protected by the COVID Eviction Moratorium. The Lawyers Committee for Better Housing. Tenants can use IDHA's declaration template to provide their landlord with written notice that they've been financially impacted due to COVID-19. That declaration is available online

The Department of Housing has put together a Know Your Rights website for tenants who are facing illegal lockouts during the eviction moratorium. The Lawyers Committee for Better Housing has also put together information for tenants facing an illegal lockout and may be able to provide legal assistance to income-eligible tenants. Learn more on their website here
Updates to the Emergency Travel Order

The Chicago Department of Public Health announced updates to the Chicago Emergency Travel Order. Effective Friday, January 15, 2021, states will only be categorized as yellow or orange. Previously, the city had three category levels for the Emergency Travel Order.

The updates to the order are meant to simplify the message by putting states into one of two categories. Regardless of which category a state falls into, CDPH is still advising that people avoid any kind of travel as we see COVID-10 cases surging across most of the U.S. Additionally, the new COVID variant that is more transmissible has now been detected in at least 8 states, including Indiana and Wisconsin. 

Anyone traveling from a state on the Orange list is directed to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period (or the duration of their time in Chicago, whichever is shorter).  They must practice strict social distancing, mask-wearing, and avoid any in-person gathering. Anyone traveling from a state on the Yellow list is not required to quarantine or provide a pre-arrival test. However, they should practice strict mask-wearing and social distancing.

The lists are updated every two weeks based on state and Chicago case averages. There are no travel restrictions within Illinois. However, non-essential travel to the areas of high incidence is discouraged. If essential travel is needed, follow the prevention techniques such as using a face covering, frequent hand washing/sanitization, and maintaining social distancing.

Please visit for additional information.
Latest Information on COVID-19 from the
Chicago Department of Public Health

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

Community Aid
49th Ward Youth Advisory Council Food Drive
The 49th Ward Youth Advisory Committee has launched a food drive. All donations will benefit the United Church of Rogers Park's weekly free hot meal to help feed our hungry neighbors. Drop off non-perishable items through February 28 at Rogers Park Fruit Market, Cermak Fresh Market, or Devon Market. 
Purchase an A Just Harvest Mask and Support
Your Local Food Pantry at the Same Time
A Just Harvest, 7653 N. Paulina, has stepped up during the COVID-19 crisis and made sure that our most vulnerable neighbors always have a hot meal to eat. They work tirelessly year-round, never taking a day off for the holidays, to give back to our community.

Now you can show your support and appreciation for them by purchasing an A Just Harvest face mask for only $15. Your contribution will go to helping them continue supporting our families. They only have a limited supply, so make sure to order yours today. You can order a face mask on A Just Harvest's website.
Help Our Elderly and Disabled Neighbors
with Snow Removal this Winter
City ordinance requires residents and businesses to keep clear their sidewalks of snow in a timely manner after a storm. The 49th Ward has residents who might need a little extra assistance this winter in clearing their sidewalks. Our office is looking for volunteers with their own shovels to help lend a hand to our elderly and disabled neighbors by shoveling the sidewalks in front of their building. After a snowstorm, our office will email you with a list of locations that need an extra hand in snow removal. If you're interested in volunteering, please fill out this short Google Form

Are you a neighbor that is in need of extra assistance with snow removal? Please fill out this short Google Form. Our office won't share any contact information gathered in this form; we will only include your address on the list that we send volunteers after a snow storm. 
Commissioner Gainer's Annual Women's Toiletry Drive
Commissioner Bridget Gainer is hosting her annual women's toiletry drive. Please consider donating travel-sized products of shampoo and conditioner, soap, shower gel, deodorant, and body location to a drop off location to help women that are currently incarcerated. For more information, call Commissioner Gainer's office at 312-603-4210 or email 
Anti-Cruelty Society hosting a MLK Day of Service
The Anti-Cruelty Society invites individuals of all ages, including families, community groups, and businesses to help animals in need at a virtual day of service on Monday, January 18, to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. This online event allows animal lovers to come together to give back and help positively impact the lives of homeless pets.

The activities include a guided workshop to craft cat and dog toys from items found around the home, a dog training demonstration, a behind-the-scenes tour of the animal shelter, visits with adoptable pets, and conversations with our experts in animal welfare.

Completed toys and other items can be dropped off at the Society’s shelter entrance at 150 N. LaSalle, Chicago, or mail to the Society at 157 W. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60654.

For more information or to register, visit
Become a Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor
January is National Mentoring Month! Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago is a one-to-one mentoring program that matches students with a screened mentor based on location, interests, and hobbies. Matches meet 2-4 times a month for a minimum of one year. Students in this program are more likely to graduate high school, avoid risky behaviors, and improve relationships with their peers. This is currently a 100% virtual opportunity. For more information, please feel free to contact Miesha at 312-207-4249 or  You may also visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters website at to learn more.
Register for the Annual Polar Plunge

The 2021 Chicago Polar Plunge is going virtual! Although there won't be the tradition of gathering on North Avenue Beach in-person on March 7, the spirit and fun of plunging on Chicago’s beautiful yet chilly lakefront will live on virtually.

All plungers who raise $200 or more will receive our commemorative Chicago Polar Plunge t-shirt! Plungers who raise $300 or more have the option to choose between a classic Chicago Polar Plunge towel, a Bluetooth speaker, or a stainless steel water bottle. Raise $25,000 or more, and you can choose between a Peloton Bike or The Mirror Home Workout System. 

Learn more and register online at

Sign Up for Lasagna Love
COVID-19 has negatively impacted America’s dinner tables, and food insecurity among children has skyrocketed. These concerns are further compounded by shifting home and work priorities often heavily shouldered by moms and heads of households.
In an effort to alleviate some of the pressure, Rhiannon Menn, founder of Good to Mama, started delivering homemade lasagnas to families needing a bit of extra care. She saw an opportunity to be good to other moms during an unprecedented time of challenge. Her social posts offering help to moms not only garnered meal requests, but they also resulted in other moms asking how to get involved, and in May 2020, Lasagna Love was born. Lasagna Love is a national movement that aims to positively impact communities by connecting neighbors with neighbors through homemade meal delivery.

For more information, visit
Community Engagement Opportunities
Leone Beach Park Advisory Council hosts
"The Ups and Downs of Lake Michigan Water Levels: What's Going On, and What to Do" 
Want to learn more about Lake Michigan water levels? Join the Leone Beach Park Advisory Council for a virtual talk, “The Ups and Downs of Lake Michigan Water Levels: What is Going On, and What to Do” by Philip Willink, Ph.D.
When: Jan 28, 2021 7:00 – 8:00 pm Central Standard Time (US and Canada)

The event is free, but online advanced registration is required.

About the talk
Lake Michigan is part of one of the largest freshwater ecosystems on the planet. It has been consistently changing throughout its entire existence. A review of over a century of data can yield clues about the multiple processes driving water level changes, and provides insights for what the future may hold, particularly within the context of climate change. This understanding is necessary for communities, like Chicago, to develop shoreline plans that are resilient for the rest of the 21st Century and beyond. A proper perspective is required to protect both Lake Michigan's biodiversity and Chicago's infrastructure in an uncertain future.
About the speaker
Philip Willink is an aquatic scientist that received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, then worked at The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Illinois Natural History Survey. He has also served on numerous boards and committees related to aquatic conservation.
Willink has conducted research in a dozen different countries, as well as extensively throughout the Chicago Region. His primary specialty is fish, specifically how fish communities change over time and whether these changes are in response to natural or anthropogenic factors. This has resulted in projects on endangered species, invasive species, habitat restoration, and climate change. His professional focus has evolved into taking scientific research and making the leap to actionable conservation and management initiatives and policy.
About Leone Beach Park Advisory Council
We are the official Chicago Park District Park Advisory Council for Leone Beach Park (also known as Touhy Beach). We offer nature-based activities for the whole family.
Our role is to connect the community with Leone Beach Park. Our goal is to revitalize Leone Beach Park and Fieldhouse to be an active recreational and educational community asset where people enjoy, learn about, and care for Lake Michigan and its coast.
Grow Your Own Food with the Peterson Garden Project
Learn how to grow your own food! Do you know there is an organic edible community garden at Howard and Ashland? Join your fellow gardeners and neighbors in the community to learn how to grow food, share what you learn, and enjoy some much-anticipated sunshine with Peterson Garden Project. Membership is $85 for the gardening season of April 24th to November 7th and includes education, events, some supplies, water access, and a 4'x8' plot. Visit today to register or for more info!

Contact with questions or for scholarships. 
Edgewater Village Chicago Launches Program
New year, new programs. Movie chats, an Inauguration Day virtual meetup, exercise, and a valentine card activity are just some of Edgewater Village's free, upcoming programs. Other programs are onboard: Armchair Travel, Coffee & Conversation, Greek dancing, and The No Book Club. Visit Edgewater Village's website,, to read more about its programs and sign up for the weekly newsletter.
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. 
Recycle Your Christmas Tree through January 23
Chicago residents can recycle their Christmas tree at any of the city’s 25 locations through January 23.

The city has partnered with the Chicago Park District to provide residents with this free service. Trees can be dropped off anytime during normal business hours. Free mulch will also be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting January 6 at Warren Park, Margate Park, Margate Park, Mt. Greenwood Park, North Park Village, and the Forestry Site.

The closest recycling location for 49th Ward residents is at Warren Park, 6601 N. Western.

Only live/natural trees free of flocking will be accepted (this means no garland or wreaths). All trees must have any tinsel, ornaments, lights, and strands removed in order to be recycled. Any plastic bags used to transport the tree to a drop-off location must also be removed.

A map of all drop-off locations is available to view online.
State Partners with Banks to Provide
Free Check Cashing for Stimulus Checks
The Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (IDFPR) announced this week that they have worked with banks to provide services for unbanked Illinoisans seeking to cash their stimulus checks without incurring check-cashing fees. During the first round of stimulus checks, the banks provided this service and worked again with IDFPR to secure the same agreement for the second round of stimulus checks. 

The FDIC estimates that over 22% of Illinois households are under or unbanked. Many of these Illinois households will once again be receiving paper stimulus checks and have few check cashing options that won't incur fees. To avoid these fees, IDFPR partnered with several banking institutions that will provide non-customers services to cash their stimulus checks for free. The banks in this partnership include the Bank of America, First Midwest, Fifth Third, Huntington, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and U.S. Bank. This partnership means that Illinois residents will be able to apply their full stimulus amount toward food, housing, and other necessities during this difficult time.

To ensure proper social distancing and confirm that they have the proper identification to cash their federal stimulus check, individuals interested in these options should contact the banks listed above or email IDFPR at to set up an appointment. 
Speak Up Hosts 8-Week Course on
How to Talk to Children about Race
Children are internalizing implicit messages about race every day. Research shows that children begin to adopt society’s harmful racial biases at an early age even when their parents and teachers don’t share those biases. Talking with children explicitly about race and racism is the only thing that has been proven to interrupt problematic comprehensive racial learning experiences. 

Join Speak Up's 8-week virtual course for Chicago area parents/caregivers on engaging in antiracist conversation and practice with children.

Learn more and sign up online
ONE Central Project Webinar January 25
The Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) are hosting a virtual community webinar to review Landmark Development’s proposed ONE Central project on the Near South Side.

The meeting will take place on Zoom at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25. Registration for the Zoom webinar is open now. The presentation will be posted on the City’s website in advance of the meeting.

The mixed-use ONE Central proposal is planned for approximately 32 acres of primarily rail yard land between McCormick Place and the Museum Campus on the Near South Side. It would be anchored by a multi-modal transit hub and include 9,050 residential units and more than 12.5 million square feet of commercial, retail, hotel, and event space, along with parking for 3,500 vehicles.

A pending Planned Development zoning application will require review by DPD and other City agencies, as well as the review and approval of the Chicago Plan Commission and City Council. Thorough details about Landmark's proposal will be provided during the meeting.

Members of the public are welcome to email questions in advance of the meeting to or by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21.

For more information, visit the City’s website. Questions and comments can always be directed to
Senior Citizens can Apply for Property Tax Deferral

Senior citizens having a hard time paying their property taxes can take advantage of a loan program administered by the Cook County Treasurer’s Office.

Seniors whose annual household income is $55,000 or less can apply now for the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program, which issues loans to cover property tax payments.

The loans, which are issued by the State of Illinois, do not have to be repaid until the property is sold or the homeowner dies. The state charges a simple interest rate of 6 percent per year. The maximum loan is $5,000 per year. To qualify, homeowners must be at least 65 years old by June 1 of the year in which the application is made.

To apply:

  • Download the application from
  • Submit the completed application and copies of the required documents to the Treasurer’s Office
  • The deadline is March 1, 2021. Applications after that date cannot be accepted
  • Homeowners must reapply every year
  • The First Installment for Tax Year 2020 is due March 2, 2021, but late charges are waived through May 3, 2021
Two Month Waiver Available for Property Tax Late Fees
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.
Submit Comment on City's Demolition Regulations by Feb. 18
Following the demolition of the smokestack in Little Village owned by Hilco Development Partners, the City Council passed measures further regulating demolitions by implosion. These new proposed rules are available for public comment until 11:59 p.m. on February 18, 2021. To review the proposed rules and provide a written comment, please visit the City’s website. You can submit a written comment using the tool found at the bottom of the webpage.

In addition to written comments, a virtual public hearing on the proposed rules will be held on ThursdayJanuary 28, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. To participate in the hearing, please register at  If you wish to offer public comments at the hearing, please check the appropriate box on the registration page. Speakers will have up to 2 minutes to share their comments.  

Simultaneous interpretation in Spanish will be available at the hearing. If you require other accommodations, please contact or call (312)720-5523.
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
Payment Protection Program Application Now Open
The Small Business Administration (SBA) opened another round of Payment Protection Program (PPP) loans this week. The latest PPP loans were included in the second federal relief package passed in late December 2020.

On Monday, businesses that did not receive a loan during the first round of the PPP became eligible to apply for a First Draw PPP Loan at participating Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). On Wednesday, certain businesses that have already received a PPP loan through the first round became eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan through a participating CDFI. After these first two tiers, PPP will open for applications through all participating lenders, including traditional banks.

As a reminder, businesses apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans through a bank, credit union, CDFI, or other lenders. Initially, businesses will only be able to use CDFIs to receive loans in order to promote access to capital. For a list of Illinois CDFIs, click here. Please note that some CDFIs may not be participating in the program- please contact your preferred lender to determine if they are participating. The program will then open up to all participating lenders, including traditional banks, at a later date.

To learn more about the PPP, please visit these links:
Rogers Park Business Alliance COVID-19 Resources

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

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

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

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

CPS Pick-Up Meals Continue through Winter
With the return of pre-K students to in-person learning, CPS will continue to offer free meals to the community. Any child under the age of 18 can receive a 3-day meal kit at over 450 CPS locations across the city. You do not have to be a CPS student to receive a meal. Families simply inform the cafeteria staff how many children are in their household and they will receive meals for each child.

The grab & go meal service is Monday through Friday from 8 am to 1 pm. To find a location, visit CPS's website or call (773) 553-KIDS.
Future Founders Paid Internship and Spring Break Program
Future Founders is offering a paid internship and a free spring break program this spring. 

Be Your Own Boss After School Internship
Join Future Founders for a two-and-a-half week PAID virtual internship where you'll get a crash course in entrepreneurship, work with awesome teens from across the city, and build a business of your very own! Applications are due by Friday, February 5th:

Startup Spring Break Camp run in partnership with Google 
Join girls from across Chicago for a FREE virtual camp - run in partnership with Google - to learn about entrepreneurship, meet female founders making an impact, and collaborate to create business ideas. Applications are due by Monday, March 1st:
CircEsteem Offers After-School Programming
for Rogers Park CPS Students
CircEsteem's Rogers Park program is open to Chicago Public School students in grades 5-8 in the Rogers Park and West Ridge neighborhoods. Students are provided with props kits to give them to learn new circus skills throughout the session such as scarf juggling, feather balancing, ball juggling, flower sticks, clown, and more.

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

For more information and to enroll, email 
Employment Opportunities
Howard Area Community Center Seeking a
Family Support Worker/Family Engagement Liaison
Howard Area Community Center is seeking a Family Support Worker/Family Engagement Liaision. 

Title: Family Support Worker/Family Engagement Liaison
Program/Department: Early Childhood
Full Time or Part Time/Hours per week: Full Time
Salary: available upon request
Last Date to Apply: Until Filled!
Brief Description:
This position will develop and maintain relationships with families and provide case management to ensure that they receive comprehensive services through their participation in our Head Start/ Early Head Start Program.  Responsibilities also include developing and implementing a comprehensive program of parent involvement.
Mandatory Requirements & Qualifications:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Bachelor's degree in social work or related field preferred, experience in social service field, and bi-lingual (Spanish/English) recommended.
How to apply:
Send your resume and transcripts to Maria Elena Roman, M.A. ( or   view our website for other job opportunities

Spinning Wheels in Uptown is Hiring
Spinning Wheel Brands is currently looking for temporary assistance at our Uptown Chicago warehouse with "pick and pack" creation of customized food kits of our snack items for Amazon and getting them palletized for shipping. 
Daily tasks include:
  • Setting up the workspace with inventory, boxes, and labels
  • Create new items with multiple items from existing inventory
  • Double-check each package to confirm it complies with Amazon requirements
  • Close and label packages
  • Palletize items for shipment via truck
  • Some reorganizing of warehouse and simple cleaning may be needed 
Must be able to:
  • Stand for a few hours at a time
  • Lift 50 lbs for brief periods
  • Be highly detail-oriented
  • Follow directions exactly
  • Be very observant of current tasks to avoid mistakes 
COVID-19 Precautions:
  • Everyone on the team must wear their masks throughout the day
  • Working area will be kept separate to ensure at least 6 feet social distancing
  • Everyone will need to be very aware of health - watch their own temperature, sense of taste and smell, headache, etc.
 The current project build is over the next two weeks for two days a week at about 7-8 hours a day. The exact days are still being planned. There is potential for future jobs.
Please contact Tony Boring at with your resume and contact information.
Raise Your Hand is Hiring a Parent Organizer
Raise Your Hand (RYH) is hiring a Parent Organizer.

As a growing organization of 2 FTE and 3 PTE, Raise Your Hand is looking for an experienced partner to design the future of organizing at Raise Your Hand. This position requires someone who will be tactical and strategic, experienced at organizing leaders, and effective at training the next generation of parent leaders. The ideal candidate is someone who has experience intentionally developing members, leading campaigns and has a desire to eventually lead and manage other staff. Reports directly to the Executive Director.

The full job description and more information are available on Raise Your Hand's website. The application closes on January 31, 2021.
Trilogy Behavioral Health Hiring a Licensed Practical Nurse
Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare is seeking a Chief Medical Officer.

The Licensed Practical Nurse provides direct patient care and coordination of care services to assigned clients as delegated by a Registered Nurse or Advanced Practice Nurse to work alongside our outreach teams.  Their primary responsibilities will be medication monitoring, training, and reconciliation for outreach clients to assist the team with ensuring medication is packed correctly and to reduce medication errors.  The Licensed Practical Nurse will provide client-centered, strengths-based, and trauma-informed services to clients with severe mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse/addiction disorders utilizing a harm reduction approach.  

For more information on qualifications and how to apply, visit Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare's website.
Trilogy Behavioral Health Hiring a Chief Medical Officer
Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare is seeking a Chief Medical Officer.

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is responsible for all medical and psychiatric matters at Trilogy. The CMO will report to and work closely with the President and CEO; and will have partnerships with senior leadership to develop and implement strategies across the organization. They must be able to adapt to a continually evolving environment and thrive in an autonomous and deadline-oriented workplace.

For more information on qualifications and how to apply, visit Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare's website.
Greater West Town Hosting Four Recruitment Fairs in January

A New Year means a New Start!  Let Greater West Town help you start a secure and satisfying career!  Register for one of their Virtual Recruitment Fairs in January.  Classes start in January:

Tuesday, 1/12 @ 11:30 AM

Meet William Molina, a technical instructor in Greater West Town's Shipping & Receiving Program.  Chat with him about program opportunities and requirements.  Hear about GWTP's Wood Products Manufacturing program and Adult Placement Services. 

Registration: click here

Thursday, 1/14 @ 1:00 AM

Meet Lorena Hernandez, Job Developer and Coach extraordinaire.  Chat with her about the opportunities available through GWTP for skills training and job placement. 

Registration: click here

Tuesday, 1/19 @ 1:00 AM

Meet Danjuma Gaskin, technical instructor and print reading expert in Greater West Town’s Wood Products Manufacturing Program. Hear about GWTP's Shipping & Receiving program and Adult Placement Services. 

Registration: click here

Wednesday, 1/20 @ 11:30 AM

Meet Lorena Hernandez, Job Developer and Coach extraordinaire.  Chat with her about the opportunities available through GWTP for skills training and job placement. 

Registration: click here

Vocational classes are conducted using a hybrid learning model, which consists of two days of virtual studies and three-days on-site with proper PPE protocols.  Training is at no cost to income-eligible applicants.  If you have any questions, please contact Alma Montiel at 312-563-9570.  

Doctors Test Centers (DTC) Job Opportunities

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) has long been an economic engine for the City and region at large. They recently announced that they will begin offering the most comprehensive COVID-19 testing of any airport in the country at O’Hare and Midway International Airports.

The program will require a workforce to fill the more than 100 available positions.  Doctors Test Centers (DTC) has been selected as the vendor to assist the CDA with the endeavor. They have a variety of employment opportunities open and are seeking applicants. For more information, visit DTC's website here

Chicago Park Concessions Application Now Open
The Chicago Park District has announced a Notice of Availability for the 2021 Concession Program Opportunities.  In order to learn more or complete an application, visit Once there, you will find step-by-step instructions on reviewing, completing, and submitting the application. 
The application should be submitted electronically via the website by Monday, January 18, 2021, by 3:00 pm C.S.T.
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