Weekly Newsletter (Oct. 4 - Oct. 10)

Happy October!

Did you know that this is also "city sticker amnesty month"? All Chicago residents will have the opportunity to purchase up-to-date city stickers without late fees, and those who come into compliance this month will also be eligible to apply for relief of past sticker-related debt. This is important info, and I hope you'll help me in getting the word out to all our neighbors. 

You can read more about how to take advantage of this new program, offered by the mayor and the City Clerk's office, here and below. 

This program is part of a package of reforms passed by City Council last month that addresses our broken ticketing system. Under these reforms, the city will no longer issue motorists multiple tickets on the same day, suspend licenses for unpaid tickets, or continue certain other practices that have created a spiral of debt for low-income families.  

Some residents have asked me on social media how we can afford measures like this when our city has an $838 million budget shortfall. But reporting by ProPublica last year showed that instead of encouraging motorists to repay their ticket debt, these aggressive, compounding fees and fines have instead been driving tens of thousands of residents to declare bankruptcy each year--and in that scenario, the only winners are the bankruptcy attorneys. In many other cases, suspended licenses, impounded cars, and ineligibility for municipal jobs for those with unpaid tickets has made it impossible for people with ticket debt to hold down jobs that would allow them to repay it.   

In other words, we can't fund our city through mounting fees and fines on those who can least afford it. Not only does it ruin lives, it doesn't work. I'm thankful for the leadership of the City Clerk, the mayor and my City Council colleagues on this issue, and I'm looking forward to ongoing discussions about a more just way to fund our city. 

In this newsletter, you'll also find:

  • Info on upcoming school fundraisers and events, including the October 5 Avondale School forum
  • A report-back from today's community health fair--the next flu shot clinic will be October 26
  • An update about this week's decision to postpone the appointment of the mayor's pick for Chicago's new health commissioner

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 p.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

💻Check out our ward website for info on services and events: https://www.33rdward.org/

Infrastructure Updates

Water main replacement and road resurfacing

We are continuing to update this map with the most recent info we have from city departments about the state of work on different blocks in the ward. Please check it out for details on the state of construction on your block.

New water main work on Irving Park Rd.

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.

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)

Legislative Updates

I'm proud to serve on the Human Relations and Health Committee, and this week we met to consider the mayor's nomination of Dr. Allison Arwady as our city's new health commissioner. While I had heard many positive things about Dr. Arwady's experience and qualification in the research I did to prepare, a number of colleagues and I were concerned that Dr. Arwady had previously referred to the 2012 closure of half of the city's mental health clinics as the "right decision."
During our discussion, Dr. Arwady essentially reaffirmed that position. While she acknowledged that at least 200,000 people who need mental health treatment in Chicago aren't getting it, we did not hear a plan to address these unmet needs or a commitment to re-open shuttered clinics. Ultimately, Chairman Sawyer decided to hold the confirmation in committee until we could be briefed with more information.
I believe that we need a strong, independent City Council, and I also believe that fixing addressing our city's mental healthcare crisis is at the center of many of the other challenges we face. You can read more about the issues raised in the committee meeting in the Sun-TimesChicago Tribune, or The Daily Line coverage of the meeting.

Next Flu Shot Clinic: Saturday, October 26

Thanks to everyone who came out to our flu shot clinic and community health fair today! We had a great day with representatives from orgs including Swedish Covenant, The Night Ministry, Chicago Therapeutic Services, Asociacion Ecuador Unido, Chicago DSA's Medicare for All campaign, Oak Street Health, the Kedzie Center, and World Relief Chicago--as well as Rep. Jaime Andrade and Commissioner Bridget Degnen who co-sponsored!

We will be holding a second flu shot event on Saturday, October 26--stay tuned for more details!


Cannabis Zoning Meetings

The committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards will be hosting community information sessions about the legislation introduced to regulate zoning for the recreational cannabis industry. The focus of this meeting will be the recently introduced Cannabis Zoning Ordinance. Ordinance text here: O2019-6926.  Full flyer here.

The committee is holding three public meetings on this topic:

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 6-7pm Malcolm X College 1900 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60612
Wednesday, Oct. 9, 6-7pm Kennedy-King College 6301 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60621
Thursday, Oct. 10, 6-7pm Harry S. Truman College 1145 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

School Announcements and Events

October 5th Avondale School Forum 

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

Looking for preschool for your child?

Hibbard has a few spots open for their English full-day classroom.

Hours are 8am until 3:05pm. Possibility to enroll for before and after care through APCC.
Call the school for more information: 773-534-5191
Email Ms Chajon: [email protected]

October 5: Zumba on the Field at Cleveland Elementary

October 10: Bateman Elementary Fifth Annual Health and Wellness Event

October 11: Trackathon for 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

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!
Please reach out to co-chairs Nora Sullivan and Rachael Chisholm or email us at [email protected]
Parent volunteers also needed! Sign up here. 

October 13: Roosevelt Rising

Have you got tickets yet for Roosevelt Rising? Ticket includes apps, two drinks, and access to a one-of-a-kind silent auction! More info here. 

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

Community Meetings and Events

October 5: Avondale Walking Tour with Nia Eastley

Artist Nia Eastley will be leading another tour based on her research into the area in Avondale that was once a free Black settlement–around the late 1800's. More info and register here. 

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 5: Annual Pet Blessing & Remembrance 

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

October 19: Queen of Angels Children's Resale

October 26: Candy Kingdom at Tabor Lutheran Church

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

Social Entrepreneur Grant Opportunity

BOOST, a live, crowd-funded pitch fest to support environmental and social innovations in Chicago, is currently accepting applications from social entrepreneurs who can win a grant to support and grow their business.

Final Month for Mobile City Hall

Last chance this year for mobile city hall! Residents will be able to purchase City Stickers, Residential Parking Permits, Dog Licenses, and get their CityKey ID at one of many regional sites. The closest site to the 33rd Ward will be Broadway Armory, 5917 N Broadway, on October 10 from 10AM - 2PM.

CTA Hiring Bus Mechanics and Part-Time Bus Operators

Construction Career Exploration Class

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. 

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


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




Rossana Rodriguez