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44th Ward Newsletter - November 24, 2020
Dear Neighbor,
 

As I studied and went line-by-line through Chicago’s 2021 budget, I did so with the knowledge that it was deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which hit Chicago hard. However, I strongly believe that a budget package that includes an annual property tax increase and a huge bond issue is unrealistic and will cause long-term harm to the residents, businesses and economy of Chicago.

People have little faith in their government right now and raising taxes isn’t a way to restore that faith. For this and reasons detailed below, I voted “No.”

Elected officials need to be realistic. Businesses are shedding jobs while others have no choice but to shut down. Because our economic engine has slowed down considerably, people working in the private sector are losing their jobs.

But yet in the last eight months, the City of Chicago has not cut back public employees hours, instituted furloughs or layoffs, nor is it doing so with any meaningful impact in the proposed budget. We have seen little to no success dealing with pushback from the city’s unions. Instead, we were faced with a 2021 budget package with more taxes, fees and overtime, and less accountability and efficiencies.

Of particular note is the lack of progress to bring efficiencies and accountability to the city departments that are charged with maintaining public safety -- CPD, CFD and OEMC. Instead of efficiencies, a new department, the Office of Public Safety Administration, was formed with a 2020 budget of $18.5 million. However, no efficiencies have yet to be realized and it still has not taken over and professionalized the administrative functions of the police and fire departments, as promised. No progress, but yet another $30 million is budgeted for 2021. Meanwhile, overtime for police will top $300 million in 2020.

Previous mayors and city councils were criticized for refinancing of existing debt, yet it was done in the 2020 budget and was done again. The 2021 budget includes $1 billion in refinancing -- $600 million in 2021 and $400 million to fill the 2020 budget shortfall. Unfortunately, this short-term solution to balance the budgets increases the debt load and extends it well into the future.

While being forced to refinance past debt, the City Council also was asked to support a $3.7 billion bond package dedicated to infrastructure improvements like bridges, overpasses, streets, alleys, lighting, traffic signals, etc. Our ward will see very few of these projects as we have been diligent in the past 20 years to ensure that infrastructure improvements were ongoing in the 44th Ward. Among them are the new 19th District Police Station, the newly renovated Merlo Public Library, new street and alley lighting, lakefront revetment, traffic signal upgrades, street and sidewalk repairs, new and upgraded parks and open green spaces, and sewer and water main replacements.

 I fully understand the desire of my fellow aldermen to have these needed improvements made in their wards, but this is not the year to be issuing bonds and adding to an already crushing debt load for the city and its residents.

Yes, I did vote for a property tax increase in 2015 demonstrating I’m not afraid to take an unpopular vote. But, I was very public with the fact that my vote was to ensure more police resources in the 44th Ward and, in order to provide our families with a competitive, high quality, neighborhood high school, $25 million in capital investments for Lake View High School. The investments in Lake View High School were made and the police resources came, but have once again been reduced as the new police superintendent has prioritized citywide units as opposed to district policing and beat integrity.

While I voted against the 2021 budget package, know that I will continue to be a strong advocate for our ward as I push for financial stability for our residents and businesses.

I look forward to working with the Mayor and other members of the City Council as we move forward to revitalize Chicago, enhance revenue and control spending.
 

Sincerely,

 

Tom Tunney

44th Alderman

Two Month Waiver for County Property Tax Late Fees

The Cook County Board of Commissioners today voted to waive late fees for two months on both property tax installments due to 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, specifically:
  • The First Installment of 2020 taxes is due March 2nd, 2021, with application of late charges moved back to May 3rd, 2021.
  • The Second Installment of 2020 taxes is due August 2nd, 2021, with application of late charges moved back to October 1st, 2021.

Time to Order New Parking Passes

Your current yellow residential guest parking passes will expire on December 31st. New, pink stickers are now available and those will be good from now through 2021.

Buying City Stickers and Parking Passes on-line is convenient and you can order 24 hours a day at ezbuy.chicityclerk.com.

Thanksgiving Office Closures and Changes to Garbage Service

The 44th Ward services office will be closed on November 26th and 27th for Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving Day, November 26th, there will not be garbage pickup.
Thanksgiving Donations to the Lakeview Food Pantry

During the holiday season, 1-in-7 people right here in our own community don't have enough food to feed their families. The holidays are an especially difficult time for our neighbors facing food insecurity. Parents and grandparents living in food insecurity may not have access to a special meal. 

With your gift to the Turkey Fund, Lakeview Pantry will help purchase and distribute more than 5,000 turkeys and holiday meats through the end of the year. 

Donate to the Turkey Fund by clicking here.

While the 44th Ward office remains open all of our functions can be done digitally or by calling the office. For general inquiries you can email ward44@cityofchicago.org. You can find the names, responsibilities, emails, and extension numbers of ward staff at https://www.44thward.org/services/team-44/.

You will find information and updates on public safety, infrastructure, and more below.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving,


Tom Tunney
Alderman, 44th Ward
Note: The office will be closed on Thursday, November 26th and Friday, November 27th for Thanksgiving.

The 44th Ward office is up and running with limited hours and staffing levels to support proper social distance.  All staff continue working either in the office or remotely. You will find a list of 44th Ward staff, their specific duties, phone extensions and contact emails here. For assistance with general issues, email ward44@cityofchicago.org.






44th Ward Service Office 
3223 N. Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657

Current Office Hours

Monday 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


Contact Us:
Phone: 773-525-6034
Fax: 773-525-5058
Email: Ward44@cityofchicago.org
Website: 44thward.org
You will find the Week 47 - 19th District crime statistics below and here. We will continue to share crime statistics, staffing levels and CPD updates and alerts as they are received.
Beat 1934 & 1935
Monday, December 14th
6:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Virtual

Beat 1933
Tuesday, January 12th
6:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Virtual
Beat 1922
Wednesday, January 20th 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Virtual

Beats 1923, 1924 & 1925
TBA - Early December
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Virtual
If you would like to attend CAPS Beat meetings virtually, email the CAPS office here with your name and address. 
The 19th District shares regular updates on its Twitter page. Be sure to check out their updates and follow them on Twitter, @ChicagoCAPS19.
The Chicago Department of Transportation's 2021 Shared Cost Sidewalk Program will open to new applicants starting at 6:00 a.m. on January 11, 2021.

The Shared Cost Sidewalk Program is an extremely popular voluntary program in which property owners share the cost of sidewalk repair with the City. Thousands of Chicagoans have been a part of this popular program, taking advantage of the low cost, exceptional value and ease of participation.

The Shared Cost Sidewalk Program cost per square foot charged to property owners is well below what a private contractor would charge. Senior citizens and persons with disabilities may qualify for a further discounted rate. While the Department's program opens on January 11th, my office is accepting contact information of interested applicants today.

If you are interested in taking part in this program, fill out the application on our website and my office will handle the rest when the program re-opens. 

Should you have specific questions about this program, please contact Dionisios "Dan" Manoli in my office at Dionisios.Manoli@cityofchicago.org.
 
Apply Here!

Ongoing Construction at Illinois Masonic
 
Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center continues steel installation for their approved parking garage.

Semi-trucks will be backing into the NW corner of Sheffield and Nelson. Work should be ongoing through mid-December from 8am - 5pm.

More details can be found
here.
Thank you for your patience during these important projects.
*UPDATE*-3200 Block of Wilton Temporary Northbound One-Way

The 3200 block of N Wilton, between Belmont and School, will revert to a one-way southbound (weather permitting) beginning Wednesday, December 2nd. Cars should resume parking southbound and obey all the traffic signs beginning Wednesday.  Should there be any weather delays, neighbors will be notified, notices will be posted on cars and the traffic board on the northeast corner of Belmont and Wilton will reflect any changes.
Street Cleaning

Street cleanings are scheduled to end on Monday, November 23rd. You will find our street cleaning schedule here. Please do your best to move your vehicle when your street is scheduled to be cleaned to help get a good clean and reduce flooding.

Additional updates about snow removal will be available soon.  
 
Garbage and Recycling

There will be no garbage and recycling pickup on Thursday, November 26th

Garbage and recycling pickup continues as an essential service. The next recycling pick up in the 44th Ward will begin next week on November 30th. If you are a part of the City's Blue Cart Program, your recyclables are picked up every other week. Blue carts must be accessible throughout the week.

 
Request Garbage Cart
Request Recycling Bin
Public Transportation Usage Survey
 
The Regional Transportation authority is conducting a survey about transportation choices in consultation with CTA, Metra, and PACE. They want to hear from you even if you are not using public transportation due to COVID-19. All answers will remain confidential and will only be used for this study.

Complete the survey by November 30th and earn a chance to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards.

Survey link: https://rsgsurvey.com/chicagotravel/survey/1/en-us?bl=1&password=rtaf2p5fs 
 
Upcoming Change to Non-metered Utility
 
The City is changing how it bills for non-metered utilities. Currently, the City bills semi-annually, or every six months. Beginning on December 1st, the City will be sending out monthly bills as a way to help residents better budget. The overall bill will not be increasing. Letters announcing the change will be mailed soon.
Small Business ComEd Assistance

Small businesses who either recently received a disconnect notice or were recently disconnected are eligible for grants through the Small Business Assistance Program. Interested businesses can visit comed.com/smallbizassistance for more details.
Rental and Mortgage Assistance Grants

The Neighborhood Housing Services organization has approximately 600 rental and 600 mortgage assistance grants that they are trying to distribute by December 1st. Grants are meant to help those facing COVID-19 related financial hardships. The maximum assistance for renters is $2,500 and $3,300 for homeowners of 1-4 unit properties. You can learn more and apply here: https://nhschicago.org/emergencyassistance.
Celebrate Petsgiving by Adopting a Pet
 
Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and appreciate our families and friends. Chicago's Animal Care and Control (CACC) department wants to give you someone else to celebrate - a new animal friend! When you pick up your new friend between 11/22 and 11/30, you'll also take home a goody bag, and we'll post a "Gotcha Day" pic of you and your new pet on our Facebook page! 

✅ View a list of animals at CACC: petharbor.com/chicago

✅ Fill out your application here: http://bit.ly/cacc_app
Send it to us by 11/24

✅ ALL ADOPTIONS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY! Email your completed application to: visitcacc@gmail.com

✅ CACC's standard requirements and screening process applies: bit.ly/adoptcacc

✅ Other questions? Check out our FAQ: bitly.com/caccfaq

Note: Please allow up to five business days to hear back from CACC to schedule an appointment to meet the animals. CACC takes the matchmaking process very seriously and want to make sure you meet a pet that will be a great fit for you!
 
Thanksgiving might look a little different this year, but Lakeview East businesses have everything you need to make this the most memorable (and delicious) Thanksgiving yet. Whether it's vegan dishes, the whole Thanksgiving spread, or "everything but the turkey," Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce has got you covered. Click here to see the full list!

Santa is Coming to Lakeview

Book a photo session with a porch visit from Santa to your Lakeview home or a meet & greet in front of Tuco & Blondie's mural. Both photo sessions include a socially-distanced visit with Santa, 5-minute photo session and one digital download. Photo sessions take place from 12/3 - 12/13. Space is limited and filling up quickly, so book your photo session today!

To ensure the safety of all guests and partners, please review our photo session guidelines below.

  • Santa will wear a face shield at all times
  • Adults and kids must wear a face mask at all times, including for the photo (order a fun Christmas face mask for kids from BabyDolls Boutique with our Holiday Kids Kit)
  • For photos in front of Tuco & Blondie's mural, there will be markings on the ground for kids to stand 6' away from Santa for the photo session. Adults and kids must keep 6' of physical distance from others.
  • For the porch photos, families must keep 6' of physical distance from the photographer and Santa. Kids will be on the porch/stoop with Santa on the ground in front of them for the photo. The photographer will also capture action photos of Santa greeting the kids from a distance.

Shopping Extravaganza & Treat Stroll

Support local merchants! Lakeview East makes it easy to shop this holiday season by offering a one day discount on local gift cards that are accepted at 185+ businesses.

Purchase gift cards from 12 - 3 p.m. on our website Saturday, December 5th for 25% off up to $500 worth of gift cards! https://lakevieweast.com/product/lakeview-east-gift-card/.

Annual Holiday Treat Stroll: Stop by local businesses and sample holiday treats from 12-4 PM on Saturday, December 5th. Visit www.LakeviewEast.com for a map of participating businesses – coming soon!

Black Shop Friday
 
Mayor Lightfoot is joining with the Chicago Urban League and Chicago agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul to announce the launch of "Black Shop Friday," a campaign encouraging Chicagoans to shop at Black-owned businesses on November 27, 2020. Widely known as “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving has historically been one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

The Black Shop Friday initiative encourages Chicagoans and beyond to “spend green, shop Black” as they shop online and order food to go this holiday season. The campaign includes a new website, www.BlackShopFriday.com, that will be live on November 24, 2020, and will offer a guide to more than 500 black-owned businesses in Chicago.
Re-naming of Agassiz Elementary School

The process for re-naming Agassiz Elementary School is nearing the last stages and the school is looking for community input on names that have been thoughtfully proposed by students of the school. You can find the final name nominations proposed by students by clicking here. Community members can then vote by November 23rd on the proposed names  here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdDODZvpBHl7PObzA1zeRsJyalbG99MxceOInTxlmZvloOK1A/viewform
CPS School Applications Are Open

The application process has begun for the 2021-2022 school year through GoCPS. GoCPS is the platform that allows families to apply to nearly every CPS school and program using one site, one application, and one deadline.

The application deadline is December 11th. Information on how the application process is changing for the 2021-2022 school year can be found by clicking here.

Free CPS Meal Pickup Locations

CPS student meals can be picked up at the following sites in and around the 44th Ward from Monday - Friday between 8am-1pm. No pickups on school improvement days and holidays. Each package provides meals for three days.

Learn more about student meal pickup by clicking here.

Pick Up Locations
  • Blaine Elementary
    1420 W. Grace
     
  • Nettelhorst Elementary
    3252 N. Broadway
     
  • Lake View High School
    4015 N. Ashland

Please note, the Illinois Department of Employment Security has implemented the “callback only model” as a temporary solution to effectively honor the order in which callers attempt to reach the call center for assistance.  For more information, please visit the IDES website, here.

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3223 N. Sheffield Ave., Suite A
Chicago, IL 60657-7231

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