I would like to wish you a safe and festive holiday. I wish you and your family health and happiness in the new year.
As we enter 2019, I hope we can all take a moment to reflect on this past year and what we have accomplished as a community. This year we saw continued investment in our neighborhoods, from private businesses opening their doors to the $25 million renovation to the Jefferson Park Transit Center to a new annex space at Prussing Elementary. I am grateful for the residents of the 45th Ward who care deeply about their neighborhoods and continue to partner with my office to find ways to improve their communities. I look forward to continuing to build on the foundation we have laid so we can continue to progress in 2019.
Please note that due to the New Year Day holiday, there is no Ward Night Jan. 1. Ward Night will resume on Jan. 8.
Jefferson Park Branch Library Modernization Meeting Jan. 10
I’m pleased to announce that my office, in partnership with Chicago Public Library and Fleet and Facility Management (2FM), will host a community meeting on the scheduled improvements to the Jefferson Park Branch Library on Thursday, January 10, at 6 pm in the community room at the library, 5363 W. Lawrence.
These improvements are a result of the community-driven participatory budgeting process. During the 2018 cycle, 45th Ward residents voted to approve $175,000 for improvements to the library. Since then, my office has worked closely with both 2FM and CPL to take a more comprehensive look at the library and identify ways in which we can modernize and improve it. Because of these collaborative efforts, I was able to secure an additional $1.5 million in funds from the Jefferson Park TIF to bring these additional improvements to our local library.
During the meeting, 2FM and CPL will provide the planned improvements to the infrastructure and programming of the library as well as a timeline for work to finish, including planned closures for improvements to the interior.
I want to thank 2FM and CPL for their ongoing partnership and support in improving our local library. I would also like to thank the participatory community representative who made this all possible, Mitch Kmiec. Mitch took the feedback “love for the Jeff park library” from an idea collection session and worked closely with Eileen Dohnalek, the supervisor at the Jefferson Park Branch Library, to identify the initial improvements included in the participatory budgeting proposal.
These improvements continue to drive the ongoing revitalization efforts in Jefferson Park – including new business openings, the $25 million renovation to the Jefferson Park Transit Center, and continued private investment in our community. Additionally, these improvements demonstrate how much our community can accomplish when we work together.
Holiday Office Hours
Please note that my office will have abbreviated hours over the holidays. Those hours are:
- Saturday, Dec. 29: closed;
- Monday, Dec. 31: 10 am-4 pm;
- Tuesday, Jan. 1: closed;
- Wednesday, Jan. 2 thru Friday, Jan. 4: 9 am-4 pm.
In addition to the abbreviated holiday hours, please note that there will be no Ward Night Tuesday, Jan. 1.
Normal office hours will resume on Saturday, January 5.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve Safely and Affordably with Free CTA Rides
In an effort to encourage Chicago to celebrate responsibly, the CTA will again offer free rides on CTA buses and trains from 10 pm Monday, December 31 until 4 am Tuesday, January 1.
During the free-ride period, customers do not need to touch their Ventra or personal bankcards at rail station turnstiles or while boarding buses. Signs will be posted reminding customers of the free ride period on bus fareboxes. As in past years, no refunds will be issued if customers elect to touch their fare card or other form of payment on fare-card readers during the free-ride period.
Last year, the CTA provided nearly 91,000 free rides between 10 pm and 4 am. I encourage you to take advantage of this program this year so you can have a safe and enjoyable New Year’s holiday.
Holiday Refuse Collection Schedule
Please note these important changes to the refuse and recycling schedule due to the New Year’s Day holiday on Tuesday, January 1.
There will be no refuse collection on Tuesday, January 1. All city-collected refuse will be serviced Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during the holiday week.Residents should ensure all black refuse carts are accessible throughout the week of collection, not solely on their regular day of collection.
Waste Management will also be collected Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday during the holiday weeks. Residents should continue to put out their blue recycling carts throughout the week according to their typical collection.
We appreciate your patience as our Streets and Sanitation crews work hard to collect all refuse.
Recycle Your Christmas Tree Jan. 5 – Jan. 19
Beginning Saturday, Jan. 6 and continuing through Saturday, Jan. 19, Chicago residents can begin to recycle their Christmas tree at any of the city’s 25 locations.
The city has once again partnered with the Chicago Park District to provide residents with this free service. Trees can be dropped off anytime during normal business hours. Free mulch will also be available on a first come, first served basis starting Jan. 7 at Lincoln Park, Margate Park, Mt. Greenwood Park, North Park Village, Warren Park, and the Forestry Site.
The closest recycling locations for 45th Ward residents are at Norwood Park, 5801 N. Natoma, and Portage Park, 4100 N. Long.
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 on my website.
Shared Cost Sidewalk Program Opens Jan. 8
Homeowners interested in splitting the cost of sidewalk replacement with the city can join the Shared Cost Sidewalk Program. The program allows homeowners to have new sidewalks installed at a significantly reduced cost over what they would pay a contractor.
The Chicago Department of Transportation will open the 2019 Shared Cost Sidewalk Program at 12:01 am Tuesday, January 8, 2019. Those interested should call 311 or log onto the new 311 website. When you call, make sure to specify that you are interested in the Shared Cost Sidewalk Program. Applications made prior to this date will not be accepted.
This is a very popular program that fills up within hours. Do not delay enrollment on January 8 if you are interested.
Find Out if Your Tax Bills Have Been Returned
To help homeowners who have mail-delivery problems, the Cook County Treasurer, Maria Pappas, now shows when tax bills have been returned by the U.S> Postal Service.
Property owners who don’t receive their tax bills can face interest charges for late payments. Additionally, they could potentially lose their home due to delinquent taxes.
To see if your tax bills have been returned, visit the Cook County Treasurer’s website and:
- Select the purple box that reads, “Your Property Tax Overview”;
- Enter your address or Property Index Number (PIN);
- Look for a red warning box that pops up if your bills have been returned;
- Update your mailing information if it is incorrect;
- Choose “eBilling” if you wish to receive your bill by email.
Cheer on the Schurz Bulldogs at the United Center Feb. 9
On Saturday, February 9 at 2 pm, the Schurz Bulldogs will take on Mundelein High School at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison. Come show your Bulldog pride and cheer on our local team!
Tickets for students, faculty, staff, family, and friends only cost $33. To order tickets, complete the ticket form (available todownload online) and return to James Shelton (in-person or by mail only) no later than Friday, January 4.
Let’s show our neighborhood high school that we take pride in them by turning out large numbers!
Help Students Succeed: Become a College Success Mentor
Pass With Flying Colors (PWFC) supports Chicago’s underserved first-generation students for college and career success. With 8 years of unwavering support, PWFC scholars will graduate college at dramatically higher rates than their peers, and will be equipped to access careers that provide economic opportunity.
When you volunteer as a College Success Mentor, you play a key role in helping each PWFC student successfully navigate the unfamiliar college experience and transition successfully into their career. Mentors make a 5 year commitment to one scholar, beginning their junior year of high school. As a mentor, you provide the support, encouragement, and guidance they need to solve problems and celebrate successes.
Mentoring with PWFC is flexible. Training and ongoing support are provided to every volunteer. Currently, PWFC is seeking 22 volunteer mentors to be matched with scholars in their high school junior cohort. Individuals and companies interested in learning more about this opportunity should contact College Success Manager, Kelvin Boddie, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on PWFC is available on their website.
Get Your CityKey ID in January
The City Clerk’s office announced that they have opened appointments for the CityKey for January.
This popular program provides Chicago residents with a valid form of ID that also works as a Ventra card and a library card.
The appointments fill up fast, so make sure to sign-up today!
Explore Chicago’s New 311 System
The city rolled out its new 311 system last week. This was the first major overhaul to the online system since it was first introduced in 1998.
The new system will allow Chicago residents to create a user ID with their email so they can track the status of their requests, residents may also choose to report an issue anonymously if they prefer. The roll out also includes apps for Apple and Android devices, so residents may easily submit requests and upload pictures from their smartphone devices.
The new system helps bring Chicago into the 21st century while allowing residents to track their requests using a more transparent platform. To explore the new system, visit the311 Chicago website.
Northwest Side Hero Nominations Now Open
Nominations can be completed online and will be accepted now through December 31, 2018.
Thanks for reading,
Fri., Jan 4, 5 pm,Location TBD.Join Jefferson Park Forward at their monthlyFirst Friday Happy Hourevent. This is a great way to meet neighbors and support a local business. Every month, JPF picks a new watering hole to host their event. View their online calendar for this month’s location.Cost of purchases apply.
Tue., Jan 8, 7 pm,Oriole Park, 5430 N. Olcott. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1613 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 45th Ward map. More info: 312-742-4521.Free.
Tue., Jan 8, 7 pm,Kilbourn Park, 3501 N. Kilbourn.Learn what you can do about crime during the1731 beat meeting. Find your beat at the45th Ward map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Wed., Jan 9, 7 pm, Athletic Field Park, 3546 W. Addison. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1732-1733 beat meeting. Find your beat at the45th Ward map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Wed., Jan 9, 11 am, Portage Park Senior Center, 4100 N. Long.Want to make Portage Park more age-friendly? If so, please join in learning how a village project is trying to help isolated seniors in the community and how you can become a volunteer at thePortage Park Village Meeting. Parking and the entrance are located at Berteau and Linder. Free.
Wed., Jan 16, 6:30 pm,Gladstone Park, 5421 N. Menard.Learn how you can help further park development through volunteering, fundraising, and support during the Gladstone Park Advisory Council meeting. The GPAC meets every third Wednesday of each month. Follow them onFacebook to keep up on GPAC. news. Free to attend.
Wed., Jan 16, 7 pm,Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield. Help plan upcoming events and identify priorities to better the neighborhood park during theIndependence Park Advisory Council meeting. Show your community pride and have fun in the process! IPAC meets every third Wednesday of each month. Follow them onFacebook to keep up on IPAC news.Free.
Wed., Jan 16, 7 pm, 16th District Police Station, Community Room, 5151 N. Milwaukee. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1623 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 45th Ward map. More info: 312-742-4521.Free.
Wed., Jan 16, 7 pm, 17th District Police Station, Community Room, 4650 N. Pulaski. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1722-1723 beat meeting. Find your beat at the45th Ward map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Thur., Jan 17, 5:15 pm, Location TBD. Every third Thursday of the month, the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association and the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce host aThirsty Third Thursday social gathering at a local watering hole. This is a great opportunity to meet new neighbors while supporting a local business. More info: online. Cost of purchases apply.
Thur., Jan 17, 7 pm, Location TBD. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during theJefferson Park Forward monthly meeting. Every month, JPF host their meeting at a different business or organization in the neighborhood. For location and more information, view their calendar online.Free.
Mon, Jan 21, 7:30 pm, Location TBD. Meet neighbors and discuss ways to become more involved in your community during thePortage Park Neighborhood Associationmeeting. Every month, PPNA hosts their meeting at a different business or organization in the neighborhood. For location and more information, view their calendar online.Free.
Sun., Jan 27, 10 am-2 pm,Copernicus Center, Annex Space, 5214 W. Lawrence. TheJefferson Park Sunday Marketcontinues in the annex space at the Copernicus Center. There is even a cash bar to make those brunches a little more interesting this winter. More info: online. Cost of purchases.
Tue., Jan 29, 7 pm, Pasta D’Arte, 6311 N. Milwaukee. Meet neighbors and get involved in your community during theGladstone Park Neighborhood Associationmonthly meeting. More info: online.Free.
Wed., Jan 30, 7 pm,Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, Basement Auditorium, 5320 W. Giddings.Meet neighbors and discuss how to improve your community during theJefferson Park Neighborhood Associationmonthly meeting.Free.