49th Ward Update
December 24, 2021
Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy New Year!

Good Morning Neighbors,

2021 has been another whirlwind of a year. I want to thank the 49th Ward staff, our Ward Superintendent, and all of the City workers who’ve gone above and beyond to serve the residents of our city this year. As we find ourselves in another dangerous wave of covid in these final weeks of the year, please remember to do your part to minimize the spread of the virus. High cases mean big strains on our healthcare system. Whether it’s patients with non-covid issues who don’t receive the treatment they need because of the overwhelmed system or the healthcare workers who have been overworked for more than two years — people will suffer.

Get tested before gathering with family and friends, wear a mask over your nose and mouth in indoor, public spaces and if you feel sick, stay home. Also, it’s not too late to get vaccinated! And if you’re already fully vaccinated, remember to get your booster shot to make sure that you’ve got maximum protection against covid and it’s variants.

We’ve overcome many challenges this year and though there seems to be a new one to face each week, I know that our resilience and sense of community will ensure our continued progress. Here’s to 2022 and the work we’ll continue to do in the New Year.

Best wishes,

Alderwoman Maria Hadden

Ward Updates
Ward Office Closed for the Holidays
Pleased be advised that the 49th Ward office will be closed beginning on Friday, December 24, through Monday, January 3. Though staff will be back on Monday, January 3, the ward office will remain closed as we plan for 2022. The ward office will re-open to the public on Tuesday, January 4. 

Thank you and have a wonderful holiday season!
Submit Feedback on the Zoning Change Request for 7201 N. Clark
The 49th Ward office is seeking community feedback on a zoning change request for 7201 N. Clark. The owner of the Mobil gas station, Sher Eli, is seeking a zoning change to bring the existing building into compliance with the City of Chicago's zoning code. 

The gas station and convenience store were expanded under the previous owner. The zoning change request is to bring the structure into compliance only; the owner does not plan on building a new structure on site. Additionally, the zoning change will correct a split zoning designation. As it currently stands, the site has been assigned two zoning designations, RT4 and B3-2, due to an error made years ago by the Department of Planning and Development. RT4 zoning districts do not permit gas stations. Changing the zoning designation to B3-2 will allow the gas station to come into compliance and meet all bulk requirements.

If the zoning change request is approved, the owner will still need to apply for a special use permit for the gas station. The special use permit would be required to go through the City of Chicago's Zoning Board of Appeals. 

On Tuesday, December 14, the ward office hosted a community meeting on the proposal. You can view that community meeting on Facebook. You can also view the proposal presentation by clicking here.

Please submit feedback by Sunday, January 2. Feedback can be submitted online at
Committee on Rules Redistricting Public Hearings
The Committee on Committees and Rules will host a series of public hearings on the City Council's redistricting process in January. The hearings are scheduled for:
  • Thursday, January 6, at 10 am
  • Tuesday, January 11, at 1 pm
  • Thursday, January 14, at 10 am
  • Friday, January 21, at 10 am
Residents may submit written feedback ahead of a public hearing. Written feedback should be submitted via email to Specific deadlines for public comment will be detailed on the notices for the meetings, which are available to view on the City's Legistar website

Additionally, residents can sign up to speak during the public comment period at a hearing. To sign up for the public comment period, individuals should call 312-744-6800 and leave a voice message with their name and telephone number. Requests for public comments are accepted from 12:01 am the Monday before the scheduled meeting until 8 am on the day before the scheduled meeting. Anyone who wants to participate in the public comment period must be available at 10 am on the day of the meeting and have access to a touch-tone telephone. More information on how to sign up for public comments for a committee meeting is available on the City Clerk's website.

Finally, you can stream the public hearing on the City Clerk's website at More information on the redistricting process is available on the 49th Ward website
Live Love Shop Rogers Park
Consider shopping local this holiday season to support our small businesses and find unique and thoughtful presents for your loved ones.

On Saturday, December 4, over 30 artists and artisans will be at Jarvis Square for its annual Shop Jarvis Square event. In addition to a broad selection of gifts, there will be carolers, Santa, and more for entertainment! 

Make sure to swing by between 10 am and 5 pm and get all of your holiday shopping done. 
CPS Winter Break Meal Sites

The CPS Grab-and-Go Meal Sites will be open on six different weekdays during winter break. CPS is providing students meal pick-up services for breakfast and lunch at 79 schools across the city. The sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on December 27-29. Families will receive one breakfast and one lunch for every student who lives in their household. IDs are not required for meal pick-up.

Parents can search for the meal pick-up location nearest to their home through our website link

Recycle Your Christmas Tree January 8-22
Beginning Saturday, January 8, and continuing through Saturday, January 22, Chicago residents can begin to recycle their Christmas tree at any of the city’s 25 locations.

The city has partnered with the Chicago Park District to provide residents with this free service. Trees can be dropped off anytime during regular 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.

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. The closest recycling location for 49th Ward residents is at Warren Park, 6601 N. Western.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program Application Open Through December 21
The Department of Family Support Services (DFSS) has opened its rental assistance program application. The Rental Assistance Program is a homeless prevention program that provides financial assistance to eligible Chicago residents at risk of eviction.

To learn more and apply, visit
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. 
CDPH Shares Tips on How to Stay Safe for the Holidays
The Department of Public Health has shared some tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season. By far, the best way to stay safe is by getting yourself and your family vaccinated against COVID-19. There are options available all across the city. More information on
Vaccine Requirement for Customers Begins January 3

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH)  and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) announced that any individual 5 years of age or older will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to dine indoors, visit gyms, or enjoy entertainment venues where food or drink are being served. This new requirement goes into effect on January 3, 2022, and is in response to an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases both locally and nationally, driven in part by the Omicron variant, and is similar to requirements already in place in other large cities, including New York City and Los Angeles.

Patrons age 5 and older must show proof of full vaccination; patrons age 16 and over will also need to provide identification that matches their vaccination record. If any employees of these venues and establishments are not fully vaccinated, the employer must ensure that these employees both continue to mask when interacting with patrons and provide proof of a weekly negative COVID-19 test.

The City of Chicago mask mandate also remains in effect for all public indoor settings. The new order does not affect this mask requirement. The order will remain in effect until the City of Chicago is through this Omicron-driven surge and the risk of overwhelming hospital capacity has passed.

Chicago was already experiencing a COVID-19 surge thanks to the Delta variant, and as the much more contagious Omicron variant has become dominant over the last week, that surge has dramatically worsened. The city is now averaging more than 1,700 new COVID cases in Chicago residents every day, a 79% increase from one week ago. Chicago’s test positivity rate is now over 7%, up from 4.1% one week ago.  More than 60 Chicagoans are being newly hospitalized with COVID each day and an average of 10 Chicagoans are dying from COVID each day.  The large majority of Chicago’s COVID hospitalizations and deaths continue to be in people who are not vaccinated. All of these figures are the worst they have been since January 2021, before vaccines were widely available.

Effective Monday, January 3, 2022, the Chicago Vaccine Requirements will apply to the following public indoor places:

  • Indoor Dining: Establishments where food or beverages are served, including, but not limited to, restaurants, bars, fast food establishments, coffee shops, tasting rooms, cafeterias, food courts, dining areas of grocery stores, breweries, wineries, distilleries, banquet halls, and hotel ballrooms; and
  • Indoor Fitness: Gyms and fitness venues, including, but not limited to, gyms, recreation facilities, fitness centers, yoga, Pilates, cycling, barre, and dance studios, hotel gyms, boxing and kickboxing gyms, fitness boot camps, and other facilities used for conducting indoor group fitness classes; and
  • Indoor entertainment and recreation venues where food or beverages are served: Including, but not limited to, movie theaters, music and concert venues, live performance venues, adult entertainment venues, commercial event and party venues, sports arenas, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, card rooms, family entertainment centers, play areas, pool and billiard halls, and other recreational game centers.

The vaccine requirement does not include houses of worship; grocery stores (though indoor dining sections within grocery stores would be included); locations in O’Hare International Airport or Midway International Airport; locations in a residential or office building the use of which is limited to residents, owners, or tenants of that building; or food service establishments providing only charitable food services, such as soup kitchens. Schools and daycares also are not included in the order.

Proof of vaccination means a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or an official immunization record from the jurisdiction, state, or country where the vaccine was administered or a digital or physical photo of such a card or record, reflecting the person’s name, vaccine brand, and date administered.

Establishments will be required to develop and keep a written record describing the protocol for implementing and enforcing the vaccine requirement. Also, establishments will be required to prominently post signage at each publicly accessible entrance to the covered location and at least one location inside the covered location that is conspicuously visible, informing patrons of the vaccination requirement.

The following individuals are exempted from the vaccine requirement:

  • Individuals entering an establishment for less than 10 minutes for ordering and carrying out food; delivering goods; or using the bathroom;
  • A nonresident performing artist who does not regularly perform or render services in a covered location, or a nonresident individual accompanying such a performing artist, while the performing artist or individual is in a covered location for the purposes of such artist’s performance;
  • A nonresident professional athlete or a nonresident individual accompanying such professional athlete, who enters a covered location as part of their regular employment for purposes of the professional athlete/sports team competition;
  • Individuals who have previously received a medical or religious exemption (e.g. from an employer), provided such patrons show the establishment proof of the medical or religious exemption and a COVID-19 test administered by a medical professional within the last 72 hours prior to entering.
  • An individual 18 years of age or younger who enters a covered location to participate in an activity organized by a school or after-school program offered by any pre-kindergarten through grade twelve public or non-public school; and
  • An individual who enters for the purposes of voting in a municipal, state, or federal election; or, pursuant to law, assisting or accompanying a voter or observing such election.
Paid Research Opportunity for Chicago Parents
If you have a child aged 5-11, the Chicago Department of Public Health would like to ask you to please participate in a virtual focus group.

Qualified individuals who complete a 90-minute online discussion session will earn $50. All that is needed is access to the internet and a computer on a selected day in December. Focus groups will be hosted in English and Spanish and will take place from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm the week of December 13.

Sign up to participate online. If you have questions about the research, please email
Get Vaxxed at Home & Get a $100 Gift Card
All Chicagoans  aged 12+ are eligible to be vaccinated at home. Up to 10 people can be vaccinated at a time, so Chicagoans can invite family, friends or neighbors to their home to be vaccinated together. Each person who gets vaccinated through the City's At Home program is eligible to receive a $100 Visa gift card. 

To schedule your home vaccination appointment, call 312-746-4835 or visit
Resources for Tenants Facing Eviction
With the eviction moratorium having expired, the Department of Housing has compiled eviction and lockout resources on its website at

They also have highlighted three points for tenants at risk of eviction. These three points are: 
  1. Don't self-evict. A notice of eviction from your landlord does not mean you need to leave your home right away. Only the Sheriff can legally remove you from your home.
  2. Get legal help. Free legal assistance is available to Chicago renters. Go to, which is provided by the Lawyers Committee for Better Housing, a DOH delegate agency.
  3. Get financial help. DOH maintains a current list of places residents can apply for emergency rental assistance at
Furthermore, next week, the Department of Housing is launching a court-based rental assistance program in coordination with the Chief Judge's office, Cook County, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Chicago Bar Foundation. 

The court-based rental assistance program is an offshoot of the city's Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), and will serve as a safety net of last resort for tenants and landlords in eviction court who have either applied for assistance but not yet received help, in which case their applications will be expedited; or who have not yet applied, in which case applications will be created for them if they are eligible. Receiving this direct rental assistance should have a significant impact on deterring evictions. Landlords who have received rental assistance already from the DOH program have agreed not to file evictions for at least 90 days after the period of assistance, and by Court policy, must attest that they have not received rental assistance at the time that they file for eviction for nonpayment. 

Finally, a Rogers Park neighbor and housing justice advocate, David Zoltan, applied his expertise in all things housing to create a comprehensive guide for residents facing eviction. This guide will help individuals facing a potential eviction understand their rights and what resources might be available to them. That guide is available to review by visiting Also available now in Spanish!
Protections for Workers Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine
On April 21, an ordinance passed City Council that established labor protections for Chicago workers who 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 (up to two hours per dose if inoculated during a work shift).

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 a public health directive or a COVID-19 related illness. Employers that violate this ordinance are subject to fines of between $1,000 and $5,000 per offense. 
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

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

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