November 2 newsletter

After two long weeks, our teachers, staff and students returned to the classroom on Friday. I would like to extend an enormous THANK YOU to parents and students for their patience, and a hearty congratulations to our teachers and staff on their new contract! Everyone has made enormous sacrifices, and our schools will be better for it. 

The strike also repeatedly put the state of our city's finances issues into the spotlight--where our revenue is coming from, and what we choose to spend it on, are issues that we are continuing to discuss as part of the process to pass a 2020 budget. The City Council is currently in the midst of two weeks of department budget hearings. This week we heard from more than a dozen offices and departments, including the office of budget and management, the city's chief financial officer, and our city clerk. Next week, we will meet with the Department of Transportation, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, and others. 

A public hearing for the budget is scheduled for November 13, but before then I plan to share more of what I've learned and what my priorities are heading into a vote. 

In this newsletter, you'll also find:

  • A summary of the agreements reached between CPS and Chicago teachers and staff. 
  • Information about interruption to brown line service occurring this weekend
  • A reminder about the "Paws and Pints" fundraiser for the Horner Park Dog Park taking place today at Lizard's Lounge from 2 - 5 PM!

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

-Alderman Rossana Rodriguez 

P.S.: I hope that everyone had a safe and fun Halloween!

Next Ward Night

Our next ward night will be Monday, November 4 from 5 - 7 p.m. 

🏢 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:

💻Check out our ward website for info on services and events:

What the School Strike Achieved

These last two weeks have posed a hardship for many students, parents, teachers and staff. I was proud to support the teachers and staff at our neighborhood schools on the picket lines, and I was even prouder to see them walking back into their building Friday with a strong agreement. 

The agreements reached will mean class-size caps, a nurse and a social worker in every school, and better support for our special education and English Language Learner students. I'm sharing the below graphic from a rank-and-file teacher about some of the most important gains made through the strike. 

It's also important to keep in mind that we have a long way still to go. I enjoyed this Chicago Business article by Troy LaRaviere, president of the Chicago Principals & Administrators Association, about the inequity that exists between our schools and those elsewhere in the state--on average, Chicago schools have 21 fewer staff than Illinois schools. 

Again and again, I was also so impressed by our young people who saw this strike not as time off from school, but as an opportunity to learn about the issues facing our city and show leadership among their peers. I loved hearing some of their voices in this Teen Vogue article, as well as on the picket lines.

For now, I am so pleased that our students, teachers and staff are back in the classroom, and that those classrooms will soon have more of the resources that they need. And of course, I think that we're all pleased to be back inside!

Infrastructure Updates

Brown Line Track Work and Closures

Please note that CTA’s Francisco, Kedzie and Kimball Brown Line stations will be temporarily closed again this weekend.

Brown line service to the loop will depart from Western. Shuttle buses are available and will make stops at the Western and Kimball stations, and at the #81 Lawrence bus stops on Lawrence at Rockwell, Sacramento, and Kedzie.

Normal service will resume Monday morning. Until then, please allow extra travel time!

This is part of ongoing track improvements to prevent slow zones and to improve rail service on the Brown Line, and there will be a final closure next weekend, Nov. 9 - 11. 

As a result of this project, there are further parking and pedestrian impacts on Francisco/Manor (4600N) between Leland and Eastwood near CTA’s Francisco Brown Line station

Local Impact: Friday, November 1 to Friday, November 15, 2019

  • There will be “No Parking” on Francisco/Manor (4600N) between W. Leland Avenue and W. Eastwood Avenue as well as on N. Sacramento Avenue, W. Eastwood Avenue, and W. Leland Avenue adjacent to alley entrances.
  • In the area of construction, the sidewalk on Francisco/Manor Street will have phased closures throughout the construction period.
  • The west entrance to the alley on W. Eastwood will be temporarily blocked. Residents can enter and exit the alley by alerting construction personnel. There may be a brief wait time to allow trucks to move. All non-resident traffic will be routed west towards W. Eastwood Avenue.
  • The west entrance to the alley on N. Sacramento Avenue will be temporarily blocked. Residents can enter and exit the alley by alerting construction personnel. There may be a brief wait time to allow trucks to move. All non-resident traffic will be routed east towards W. Leland Avenue.
  • There will be noise while the work is being performed. Noise may include:
  • Beeping from backup alarms on construction vehicles • Construction equipment traffic • Flagging horns • Railroad personnel communication

Francisco Street (4600N) between W. Leland Avenue and W. Eastwood will be closed 9pm, Friday, November 1 thru 10pm, Friday, November 15, 2019.

Coming Soon: 312 River Run!

The new bridge connecting Clark Park and California Park along our north branch of the river was set to open on Halloween, but has been delayed by snowfall. A new opening date will be announced for this month--once open, it will be the longest pedestrian riverfront bridge in the city!

Check out this photo and article from Block Club Chicago.

Local Business News and Job Openings

Free Workshop on City Inspections

City Inspections – Ask Questions, Get Answers

When: Wed, November 6, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Where: City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St. – 8th Floor, Room 805 (map)
Presented by the City of Chicago To operate a successful business in Chicago you need to know what it takes to maintain compliance. Officials from several City departments will provide insight on how to operate safely, stay compliant, help prepare for inspections and highlight the do’s and don’ts of operating a business. To register please email [email protected] or call 312.744.2086.

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

Apply to Become a Census Taker

Community Meetings and Events 

November 2: Paws and Pints Fundraiser for Horner Park Dog Park 

November 2: Dia de Los Muertos Movie Screening

Enjoy a free screening of the movie "Coco" and visit a community offrenda on display in APCC's lobby through today! More details here. 

November 7: Bateman Performing Arts Fundraiser


November 9: Greater Independence Park Wine & Cheese Party

The 7th Annual GIPNA Wine and Cheese Party will be held on Saturday, November 9 at Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park Rd from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.  This event raises funds to support John B. Murphy Grammar School, the Irving Park Pantry and other GIPNA community projects such as neighborhood beautification and the Farmers Market.  

November 9: Family-Friendly Book Launch Party

November 16: Marimba Concert at Tabor Lutheran Church

November 23: Northwest Side Senior Fest 

November Events at Avondale Coffee Club

Resources for Residents

Utility Bill Assistance for Low-Income Households

The application period for CEDA’s (Community and Economic Development Association) Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program is open now through December.

The program covers one payment made directly to the utility on behalf of the household. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply here. 

Peoples' Gas also operates a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Find out more 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. 

Parent Meet-Up and Recovery Group at Tabor Lutheran Church, 3542 W Sunnyside



Rossana Rodriguez