33rd Ward Weekly Newsletter (Sept. 27 - Oct. 3)

As you may have heard already, members of the Chicago Teachers Union voted overwhelmingly this week to authorize a strike if necessary. Another group of CPS workers, including our Special Education Classroom Assistants and school security staff, as well as Chicago Parks District workers, have also all voted to authorize a strike this fall if their negotiations for a fair contract do not succeed before then. The earliest that teachers and school workers could strike is October 7, and in the meantime they will continue bargaining with the city to try to reach an agreement. 

Many parents and community members will have questions about what a potential strike could mean. Strikes always mean sacrifice and risk for the workers who undertake them, and we know that our teachers and schools workers aren't taking this step lightly. We also know that it would mean disruption of families' normal routines, and if a strike occurs we will share information on where students and families can go to receive lunch, childcare and other resources. Many community members and organizations are already preparing to offer these resources if a strike occurs, because they know the importance of standing united--teachers, students, parents, and community. 

We'll continue to update residents, but in the meantime, it's important for parents and community members to know why our teachers and school workers may go on strike. Their demands include access to resources that are vital for our students and our neighborhoods: 

In this newsletter, you'll also find:

    • Info about the dozens of great events happening this weekend as part of Mosaic Arts Festival
    • Updates on road resurfacing, water main replacement and other infrastructure projects in the ward
    • A reminder about the October 5 Avondale School forum

If you have an event or resource you'd like included in upcoming letters, please send it to [email protected].

I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to improve our neighborhoods!

-Alderman Rossana Rodriguez

Next Ward Night

Our next ward night will be Monday, October 7 from 5:30 - 7:30p.m. 

**Ward nights are every other Monday night, with the exception of the following dates, on which ward night will be cancelled due to holidays or conflicting events: October 14, November 11, November 28, December 25

Office hours:
Monday: 12:00 PM - 7 PM

Tues - Thurs: 10 AM - 5 PM

Friday: 9 AM - 4PM 

And as always, you can also:

 E-mail [email protected] anytime for service requests or general queries

 Call us at 773-840-7880 during business hours

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter

Subscribe to our newsletter: https://www.33rdward.org/subscribe

Back-to-School Events and Resources

School is in full swing, and there are lots of ways you can get involved with and support our neighborhood schools--whether you're a student, parent, or just an active community member. If you have school events you'd like included, please send them our way! 

October 5th Avondale School Forum 

Join the Avondale Neighborhood Association for their third annual school forum!

School Events this Month

Bateman Elementary 

Registration for after-school programs is now open! Check out program descriptions here and fill out preference forms for grant-funded programs/ register for tuition-based programs here
October 1: Go CPS Parent Workshops
4:00 pm - English
5:00 pm - Spanish
October 10: Fifth Annual Health and Wellness Event

Cleveland Elementary

October 4: Red Bird Hustle

Red Bird Hustle is Cleveland's first annual student fitness fundraiser. Register today at funrun.com & enter the code 798-859 to register your student so family and friends can start sponsoring your child!

Edison Regional Gifted Center

Get Involved in Trackathon 2019 on October 11! Trackathon is a student and family event where students run/walk laps and complete relays to raise funds for Edison.

Today, September 27, is the deadline to submit personal messages printed on the back of the Trackathon t-shirts!. See the webpage for more details. 
For $120 each, friends and relatives can support their student with a special message on the back of the Trackathon t-shirt! Click here to complete this form online!
Corporate Sponsorships - For $250, put your corporate logo on the back of the Trackathon t-shirt! Sponsorship donations and related artwork are due September 27th. Please reach out to co-chairs Nora Sullivan and Rachael Chisholm or email us at [email protected]
Parent volunteers also needed! Sign up here. 

Roosevelt High School

Have you got tickets yet for Roosevelt Rising? Get your early bird tickets to support and celebrate the achievements of our neighborhood high school! More info here. 

September 28: Lincoln Square Montessori School Open House

Finally, stay up to date on back-to-school information, events and volunteer opportunities by signing up for your school's newsletter!

Infrastructure Updates

Water main replacement

Since many blocks still have ongoing water main replacement work, ware continuing to update this map with the most recent info we have from the water department. This week, we added new info for several more streets that we received. Please check it out for details on the state of construction on your block.

New water main work on Irving Park Rd.

Our office has also received notice that the Department of Water Management Crews has begun installing 4,000 feet of new 8-inch water mains on Irving Park Rd. between Kimball and California. 

Our office will share all updates we receive with residents. You can also sign up to receive updates from the water department directly by visiting http://buildinganewchicago.org/ and registering for the WaterALERT program. You will need to enter your name, e-mail address and project ID # 1501109.

Road Resurfacing Schedule

Resurfacing is proceeding in several areas of the ward at present. Here is the information we have for you at present.

On the following blocks where grinding has already occurred, paving is expected to be completed by September 30:

3000 block of W Ainslie

3300 block of W Sunnyside 

4900 block of N Christiana

Once grinding is completed on the 2800 W block of W Nelson, paving is expected to be completing on October 5. 

Blue Line Track Work Impacting O'Hare Travel

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has announced a nine-day suspension of Blue Line service later this month. This extended line-cut will allow crews to safely and more efficiently perform critical and complex track and signal work

Beginning 10 p.m. Friday, September 27 through 4 a.m. Monday, October 7, trains will not run between the Rosemont and O’Hare stations. To accommodate riders, CTA will operate a free bus shuttle between the Rosemont Station and O’Hare International Airport Bus/Shuttle Center. The Bus Shuttle Center is located above the O’Hare Blue Line Station, between Terminals 1, 2, and 3. For connections to Terminal 5, riders should board the O’Hare shuttle bus in Terminals 1, 2, or 3 (O’Hare Shuttle route map).

Demolition Notices

We have received notice that demolition or other work will be preceding this month at the below addresses. City nuisance controls require owners to minimize dust, water and mud and avoid leaving waste on site. Please report potential violations of nuisance controls to 311 or to our office. 

  • 2854 W Giddings (completion on or before October 11)
  • 2723 W Melrose (completion on or before October 5)

Participatory Budgeting: Keep Those Ideas Coming!

The 33rd Ward has joined seven other wards that will be using participatory budgeting to allocate $1 million in aldermanic menu funds this fall.

PB is a civic engagement program that increases transparency and democratic participation in our communities. Residents work together to generate ideas about infrastructure improvements they'd like to see in our ward, then vote on which should receive funding. You can read more about PB Chicago here

The first stage is collecting your ideas for projects you'd like to see in our community! We are looking for ideas related to arts & culture (i.e. public art, public WiFi), safety & environment (i.e. community gardens, solar panels on public buildings), parks and recreation (i.e. playground equipment, park improvements), and streets & sidewalks (i.e. bike lanes, lighting improvements, lighting improvements).

We now have an Idea Collection box in our ward office and will be announcing dates for neighborhood assemblies soon. In the meantime, you can fill out idea collection forms online in English and Spanish.

Some residents have asked us how PB will impact ongoing infrastructure work such as pothole repairs or alley and curb resurfacing. Through the participatory budgeting process, residents work together to generate ideas, develop them into full proposals, and then vote both on which proposals receive funding and the level at which they are funded. 

For example, last year in the 35th Ward alley and curb resurfacing projects received $446,500, pedestrian and traffic safety projects $258,000, and a lighting project in Hermosa received $390,000. 

In the 49th Ward, street resurfacing and sidewalk and alley repair received $626,000, a project to plant 100 trees received $80,000, bus benches received $33,000, public murals received $44,000, a public plaza/stage (zocalo) in Touhy Park received $60,000, and a high school artificial turf field and running track received $157,000. 

The value of this approach is that it puts decision-making about our priorities in the hands of residents. It also encourages neighbors to work together to take stock of our needs and develop ideas for projects that, even if they do not receive funding in this year’s round, could be funded in future years or through other sources.

We will be announcing dates for community assemblies soon. In the meantime, please continue submitting ideas and if you'd like to become a community representative, send an e-mail to [email protected] with the subject line "PB Community Rep."

Legislatives Updates

A number of residents reached out this week to ask whether I will be supporting a new ordinance from Alds. Lopez and Sposato restricting backyard ownership of livestock. Horses already require a license, but this ordinance would extend this requirement to livestock such as chickens. 

We have heard concerns from many neighbors in our ward who would be affected by this ordinance, and I will not be supporting it. I will also actively ask my colleagues in City Council not to support it. 
In a moment when we are urgently looking for ways to increase our city's sustainability, I do not see making it harder for people to produce their own food, or to have animals for therapeutic or humane purposes, as a good use of our resources.

Don't Miss This Weekend's Mosaic Art Festival!

This annual festival celebrating the global roots and local roots of Albany Park is a great antidote for the gloomy weather forecast for this weekend! Thanks to the North River Commission, the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce and Special Service Area 60 for hosting. Check out the full schedule, volunteer opportunities, and special discounts for neighborhood residents!  

Events include DJ sets and story-telling events and Surge Billiards and Nighthawk tonight, family-friendly events at River Park (rain or shine) and Eugene Field Park on Saturday, a special screening of the Albany Park Theater Project's 2012-2013 production Home/Land at Vintage GrindHouse on Saturday evening, and a free, staged reading of The Wooden Heart from Halcyon Theater at Montrose Saloon on Sunday. 


Friday, October 4th: Flu Shot Clinic and Community Health Fair

My office is working with community organizations and State Rep. Jaime Andrade to host a fall community health fair. If your organization would like to participate or help us spread the word, please contact us!

*If you cannot make it this Friday, we will be having a Saturday flu shot event on October 26, so keep an eye out for these details soon!*

Got Thoughts on E-Scooters?

Here's your chance share them! The four-month pilot program that brought scooters to our ward and other parts of the city concludes on October 15th. The city has created a survey to help understand the impact of the program, which will factor into whether it will continue in the future.

The Chicago E-Scooter Survey is open to everyone whether or not they rode a scooter during the pilot. We encourage you to share your thoughts!

Calling 33rd Ward Theater Lovers!

Our ward's own Windy City Playhouse is currently offering a discount code for 33rd ward residents to their critically-acclaimed immersive show, THE RECOMMENDATION, which the Chicago Reader called "a penetrating experience not to be missed."

Did You Receive Your Property Tax Bill?

The Cook County Treasurer announced this week that mail delivery of property tax bills was unsuccessful for about 60,000 homeowners this fall, and they may need to update their mailing addresses. Could this be you? Did you know that paper applications for change of address are no longer required?

To see if your bills have been returned or to change the name and address on your bill, visit cookcountytreasurer.com and:
• Select the purple box labeled “Your Property Tax Overview”
• Enter your address or Property Index Number (PIN)
• Look for a red warning box that appears if your bills have been returned
• Select “Update Your Information” to change the taxpayer name or mailing address

If you'd like to receive your bill by e-mail, select “eBilling” on the website. Paper name/address change applications will continue to be accepted in the treasurer's office, 118 North Clark Street, Room 212.

Community Meetings and Events

Saturday, September 28: Free Shredding and Prescription Take-Back Event

We're partnering with State Reps. Jaime Andrade and Iris Martinez's offices for this event tomorrow, which will be held in the parking lot of Roosevelt High School. Please enter off of W. Leland Ave.

Shredding is fun! It's also a safe way to dispose of any documents you no longer need but that may contain personal or private info.

You can also bring unused or expired prescription drugs to safely dispose of through the Cook County Sheriff’s prescription drug take back program.

For more details about what you can bring, please check out our Facebook event. 

Saturday, September 28: River Fest at the River Park boathouse

Join the North River Commission, the Chicago Maritime Arts Center, the Chicago Park District, and more to celebrate the reopening of the River Park Boathouse as a community facility for canoe & kayak rental, guided paddles, ecology programs, and arts & culture activities. Facebook event. 

Saturday, September 28: Welcome to the Jungle Homebrew Competition & Festival

Twisted Hippo is partnering with the non-profit, We are Lions to put on the first annual Home Brew Competition, Festival & Art Show, Welcome to the Jungle. 

The festival celebrates Home Brewers and artists with disabilities, giving participants the opportunity to showcase their talents and engage with the public in a fun and unique environment. Tickets are now available!

Sunday, September 29: Inherit Chicago and World Dumpling Fest

Inherit Chicago is a citywide intercultural festival of art, ideas, and performance. This month-long festival will begin September 29, 2019, with an opening celebration, World Dumpling Fest, that will then bridge to Chicago's neighborhoods for 20 intercultural programs and events at the city's cultural centers and heritage museums. Purchase Tickets at www.inheritchicago.org

Tuesday, October 1: NRC Economic Development Meeting

Join North River Commission and the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce in a discussion about economic development efforts in our communities and commercial districts. We will update you on recent projects and investments, new businesses, successful district programs, use of public funds, and NRC's 2020 economic development areas of focus. Facebook event. 

Bonus: Be one of the first to visit OSO apartments at 3435 W Montrose and view the progress of the building's mural!

October 4 - 5: Visceral Dance Chicago: Fall Engagement at the Athaeneum Theater

Tickets available here!

October 5: "Healing Through Justice" Community Gathering

This important event will convene 500 individuals throughout Chicago’s diverse communities to educate, share and understand the role of community-led healing justice and transformation in creating a trauma-informed city. This gathering will include testimonies from community residents, policy experts, small-group discussions and more. Facebook event.

Transportation will be provided from Albany Park. Contact Communities United at 773-649-6916 with questions or Register here

October 6: Harmony House's Walk for Cats

Join Harmony Center, a wonderful cageless, no-kill adoption center for cats in our ward, for its 37th annual walk for cats, sponsored by Portage Park Animal Hospital and Ravenswood Animal Hospital. 

Every registered walker receives Walk t-shirt designed by Karin Tweedie. Registration is $30 in advance or $35 on the day of the event. Online registration and more info here. 

October 12: U.S. Citizenship Workshop at Irish American Heritage Center

October 12: Pop-Up Market at Avondale Coffee Club

The first of three pop-up markets with Ruckus Entrepreneurs, a teen leadership program of Concordia Place. 

October 12: Fundraiser for PAWS at Chief O'Neill's

Mark Your Calendars: The Kedzie Center Turns Five on October 30th!

Resources for Residents

Facade Improvements

Special Service Area 60 is accepting applications for the 2019 facade improvement program. All business owners and property owners on Lawrence, Montrose, Irving Park, or Kedzie within the SSA boundaries are eligible for the rebate program.

**Download the facade application, click here.**

For more more information contact Alexa: [email protected], 312-860-7884

October 3rd: Second Annual Northside Regional Job Fair at Truman College

Educational Programs for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Did you know that the city's Business and Consumer Protection Department has free classes for those wishing to start or grow a business? Check out the schedule of classes is available here.

Free English Classes

There are a number of free English classes in our community, including at the HANA Center and Christ Lutheran Church, 3253 W Wilson.

Office of Inspector General's Public Safety Survey

The Office of the Inspector General is still seeking input from Chicago community members regarding your concerns about policing and priorities for improvement. Your responses will help inform the inspector's work and prioritize the topics OIG’s Public Safety Section will evaluate, inspect, and review in the coming year. The survey should take approximately five minutes to complete, and participation is voluntary and anonymous. Summary statistics based on survey responses will be published in the Public Safety Section Annual Report. The community survey is also available in Spanish.

You can also always report anonymous tips to the OIG at the number below. 

Input on Federal Funding for Housing and Development

The survey (available until September 30) can be taken in EnglishSpanishPolish, and Chinese. Simply click on your preference and you will be redirected to the survey.

Neighborhood Dinner at Tabor Lutheran Church, 3542 W Sunnyside

Mobile City Hall

Through October, residents will be able to purchase City Stickers, Residential Parking Permits, Dog Licenses, and get their CityKey ID at one of many regional sites. See below for details.

Street sweeping: Street sweeping season continues until November 1.

Avoid a ticket by signing up for alerts of upcoming street sweeping on your block: https://sweeparound.us/

You can also see street sweeping activity here: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/streets/iframe/sweeper_tracker.html