Through February 1, residents of Jefferson Township can submit their property tax appeals with the Cook County Board of Review via their online portal.
In addition, Commissioner Michael Cabonargi and I will be hosting a Property Tax Appeal Workshop in the auditorium at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence, at 6 pm on Thursday, January 26. Staff members from the Cook County Board of Review and my office will be available to help answer questions on the process and help with submitting paperwork.
The DOJ’s Findings and Where We Go From Here
I’ve had the chance to review the Department of Justice report on the Chicago Police Department, and, frankly, the findings are very concerning but not entirely surprising. The report outlined a lack of adequate training of recruits and officers; a lack of proper supervision in the field; the lack of a timely, transparent, and meaningful investigation of many complaints against officers; and a lack of the proper equipping of officers in the field, among other findings.
The report outlines dozens of suggested changes, all of which are needed to create the police department our residents and officers deserve, and most of which will take years to implement in a meaningful way.
Now that we have a road map forward, my biggest concern is that, with the new administration in Washington, new leadership at the Department of Justice might back off a commitment to assist our city in making the needed changes. Generally, the assistance and oversight is provided through a court-enforceable consent decree. Without it, it is hard to rest assured that progress is being made toward the goal of an adequately reformed CPD.
With that in mind, I am working with my fellow members of the Progressive Caucus to craft a mechanism by which we can remain abreast of the department’s progress toward instituting reform and hold the department and the administration accountable. Should Department of Justice oversight not be forthcoming, we need to find another way to ensure reforms are meaningful and transparent.
I look forward to your comments and suggestions in the coming weeks, months, and years, as we move forward on these reforms. I will continue to work toward the goal of a department that treats all residents with respect and provides officers the support they need.
Community Alert: Residential Burglaries
The 17th reported two residential burglaries that occurred in the month of January.
During the incidents, the unknown burglars broke into apartments and homes through windows and doors and proceeded to steal items. The incidents occurred at:
- The 3500-block of North Kildare between 7 pm and 10:30 pm on January 10; and
- The 3700-block of North Kenneth between 1 pm and 10:30 pm on January 10.
Please be aware of this pattern of burglaries and alert your friends, family, and neighbors about these crimes. Make sure all your windows are locked.
If you see any suspicious activity, call 911 and provide a detailed description, including any vehicle description, license plate information, and direction of flight if known. If you have any information about these break-ins, please contact the Area North Bureau of Detectives at 312-744-8263.
Hey Chicago: Bring Your Own Bag!
In an effort to reduce the number of disposable bags used in Chicago, the city is implementing a tax on one-time-use paper and plastic bags used to carry goods out of stores. Beginning Wednesday, February 1, businesses will begin collecting a $0.07 tax on disposable paper and plastic bags.
Here is the good news, you can avoid this tax entirely by simply bringing reusable bags to the store when you shop.
There are multiple disposable bag exemptions, including paper and plastic bags used to package loose bulk items like fruits and vegetables, bags provided by a pharmacist to contain prescription drugs, dry cleaning or garment bags, newspaper bags, bags sold in packages that contain multiple bags (i.e. garbage bags, pet waste bags, or yard waste bags), and bags provided by a dine-in or take-out restaurant.
The impact of plastic bags on the environment is deleterious, from the fossil fuels required to manufacture and distribute them to the detrimental effects on marine life. But they also have a real impact on the cost of city services. One-time-use plastic bags slow the sorting machines in our recycling facilities and effect the efficiency of our water processing plants. Tons of these bags are deposited in landfills each year. Every ton of waste sent to a landfill represents a cost to the taxpayer. The more we reduce this costs, the more resources the city can put towards more productive city services.
To encourage shoppers to get in the habit of bringing reusable bags before the new ordinance goes into effect, my office will be giving away 100 reusable bags on a first come first served basis (one bag per household).
More information regarding the ordinance is available online.
Updated Disability Rights Regulations
The Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR) Board of Commissioners approved updated disability rights regulations under the City’s Chicago Human Rights Ordinance (CHRO).
These newly revised regulations, effective July 1, 2017, are designed to improve citywide accessibility for all residents and visitors through added clarity to existing disability protections. These changes will, in turn, help businesses make their goods and services more accessible for people with all types of disabilities.
For technical assistance on this regulation and the corresponding requirements of the ADA, residents can contact the MOPD’s Accessibility Compliance Unit at 312-744-4441.
Read the CCHR’s press release regarding this update in full at the City of Chicago’s website.
2016 Cook County Property Tax Exemptions
The 2016 Cook County property tax exemption applications are now available on the Cook County Assessor’s website.
In Cook County, the due date for the first installment of property taxes is always due the first business day in March. According to Illinois law, the first installment taxes are 55% of the prior year’s total tax (or 55% of the adjusted tax if an assessment certificate of error is certified by the previous November 30). The first installment tax bills will be mailed on January 31, 2017.
For more information on Cook Country property taxes, visit the Cook County Treasurer’s website. For more information on property tax exemptions and exemption descriptions, visit the Cook County Assessor’s website.
Request for Qualifications Now Open for 50×50 Year of Public Art Project
2017 has been declared as the Year of Public Art. As such, the city is seeking artists for a 50×50 public arts project.
The 50×50 initiative was inspired by Chicago’s 50 wards and the 50th anniversary of two of the city’s most iconic public artworks – the Picasso in the Daley Plaza and the Wall of Respect, which once stood on the South Side.
Artists – including painters, photographers, and sculptors – interested in brightening and enhancing the city are invited to submit their qualifications for the project online before February 24.
More information on the Year of Public art -including a year of exhibitions, performances, tours, and other public events – can be found at the Department of Cultural Affair’s and Special Event’s website.
Recycle Your Christmas Tree Through Jan. 21
Rather than throwing away your Christmas tree, consider recycling it instead. Through January 21, there will be 24 tree recycling locations across the city.
The city’s tree recycling program diverts thousands of trees from filling up landfill space and allows environmentally-conscious residents a green alternative to dispose of their trees.
The closest recycling location for 45th Ward residents are:
- Portage Park, 4100 N. Long;
- Norwood Park, 5801 N. Natoma; and
- North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski.
Please make sure your tree is free of tinsel and other ornaments before taking it to a recycling location.
Chicago’s Free Tax Preparation Assistance Program Opens Late January
Eligible individuals and families with children could receive up to $6,896 from the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit alone, not including other valuable credits. Many Chicagoans may not claim all the income tax credits they deserve without the help of knowledgeable preparers, however.
Families earning up to $55,000 or individuals earning up to $30,000 are eligible to take advantage of the city’s free and confidential income tax assistance at 19 sites across Chicago.
Volunteer tax preparers certified through IRS-approved training will assist eligible tax payers with federal and state income tax returns for the 2016 tax year. Sites will be open between late January and mid-April 2017. For specific information on location and site hours, visit the Tax Prep Chicago website. The closest site for 45th Ward residents is at Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett. Their hours are:
- Mondays from 5 pm to 8:30 pm January 30 thru April 17;
- Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm February 3 thru April 7; and
- Saturdays 9 am to noon January 28 thru April 8; finally
- This location will be closed on February 20, April 14, and April 15.
Last year, the City of Chicago’s free income tax assistance helped 20,000 families and individuals receive $31 million in tax refunds and credits. This added income not only has a direct impact on the lives of Chicago residents – it also helps sustain small businesses, strengthens neighborhoods, and infuses millions of dollars into the local economy.
For more information and to view additional locations, visit the Tax Prep Chicago website.
The Filament Theatre Presents: The Adventures of Robin Hood
Somewhere near you, there is a band of brothers fighting for justice – seeking to rid the land of evil and return hope to the mistreated.
It’s a tale that’s been told a thousand times, although never quite like this. There are heroes and villains, sword fights and explosions, love and loss. A cast of two breathes new life into the beloved tale of The Adventures of Robin Hood with exuberance, athleticism, and heart.
Performances begin January 14th at the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee. Shows will run at 11 am and 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost $25 each and can be purchased online.
Apply to Become a Chicago Police Officer
Are you interested in making a real difference in our community? If so, consider becoming a Chicago Police Officer.
The Chicago Police Department is looking for Chicago residents 18 and older to become part of a team working to make a lasting difference in our communities. The Chicago Police Department offers a competitive salary and benefits in a career that offers a lot of pride.
The Police Department is hosting a Training Academy Open House for interested applicants. Attendees will be able to interact directly with police officers and sample parts of the pre-recruitment test. This will take place from 10 am to 2 pm on January 28 at 1300 W. Jackson. More information on the free Open House is available online.
Applications are now open online and must be completed by January 31, 2017. The test to become a police officer will be held on April 1st and 2nd, 2017 at McCormick Place, 2301 S. King.
Thanks for reading,
Fri., Jan 20, 8 pm, Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. Gear up for Mardi Gras with some New Orleans style music during the Four Stars Brass Band concert. Cost of purchases.
Sat., Jan 21, 10 am-2 pm, Kennedy King College, 6301 S. Halsted. The Chicago Park District hosts a Teen Opportunity Fair. Information on recreation, education, and job readiness. Register: onlinew/program code 191518. Ages 13-19. Free.
Sat., Jan 21, 8 pm,Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. Enjoy great rock music during the Lord Stanley concert. Cost of purchases.
Sun., Jan 22, 1-3 pm, Josi’s Frozen Yogurt, 4032 N. Milwaukee. Josi’s hosts their monthly No Apologies Needed event. This is a private event for special needs families. More info: online. Free.
Tue., Jan 24, 1-2 pm, Oak Street Health, 4848 W. Irving Park. Hear care managers provide some practical tips for Fighting the Winter Blues. Free.
Wed., Jan 25, 3-4:30 pm, BACP City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, Room 805. Donna R. Rockin hosts a How to Write a Business Plan- What you Need to Know! workshop. Register: email organizers or call 312-744-2086. Free.
Wed., Jan 25, 7 pm,Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, Basement Auditorium, 5320 W. Giddings. Meet neighbors and discuss how to improve your community during the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Hands to Help Ministries, Jefferson Park Lions Club, and Friends of Vaughn will speak. Free.
Thur., Jan 26, 12-1:30 pm,Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, 20th Floor, Courtroom 2005. The Circuit Court of Cook County ELder Justice Center hosts a two-partReverse Mortgages and Predatory Lending seminar. This is the first part. More info and register: 312-603-9233.Free.
Thur., Jan 26, 5:30 pm, Lido Banquets, 5504 N. Milwaukee. The Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce hosts itsInstallation Gala Event. Keynote speaker Alderman Laurino from the 39th ward. Cocktails at 5:30, dinner at 6:30. RSVP: email organizers or call 773-775-8871. $35/person (tables of 8 available).
Fri., Jan 27, 9:30-11 am, BACP City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, Room 805. Nick Sarillo hosts a Creating an Enticing and Effective Menu seminar. Register: email organizers or call 312-744-2086. Free.
Fri., Jan 27, 8 pm,Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. What’s better than punk music? Punk Polka music. Join friends for a fun-filled night during thePunkaholics concert. Cost of purchases.
Sat., Jan 28, 10 am-2 pm, Malcom X Community College, 1900 W. Jackson. The Chicago Park District hosts a Teen Opportunity Fair. Information on recreation, education, and job readiness. Register: onlinewith program code 191519. Ages 13-19. Free.
Sat., Jan 28, 10 am-2 pm, 1300 W. Jackson. Learn more about the Chicago Police Department and interact directly with police officers during a Training Academy Open House. Sample parts of the pre-recruitment test. More info: online. Free.
Sat., Jan 28, 7:30 pm, Saint Bartholomew Catholic Church – Krueger Hall, 4910 W. Addison. Join Chicago’s funniest comics for Stand-Up St. Barts. Doors open at 6:15 pm. Parking available. More info and to buy tickets: email@example.com 773-213-4310. $25.
Sat., Jan 28, 8 pm,Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. Enjoy some eclectic folk music during the Ice Bombe, Rent Party, Cody & Chickenfat Klemzer Orchestra concert. Cost of purchases.
Sun., Jan 29, 10 am-2 pm, Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. The Jefferson Park Sunday Market hosts their winter market in the annex space at the Copernicus Center. There will even be a cash bar to make those brunches a little more interesting this winter. Cost of purchases.
Sun., Jan 29, 10:45 am-1:30 pm, St. Edward School, 4343 W. Sunnyside. Tour the campus & meet teachers, parents, and students during an Open House. More info: online or 773-736-9133. Free.
Sun., Jan 29, 12-3 pm, Saint Bartholomew Catholic School, 4941 W. Patterson.Meet teachers and staff, learn about educational opportunities, and discover financial aid possibilities during the Saint Bartholomew School Open House. More info: online773-282-9373. Free.
Sun., Jan 29, 2 pm, Irving Park Lutheran Church, 4100 N. Harding. The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee (IPFAC) presents Ben Melsky in Concert. More info: online or 773-398-6766. Donations gratefully accepted.
Tues., Jan 31, 6-7 pm, Six Corners Association, 4041 N. Milwaukee. Tim Mies discusses the benefits of having an active social media presence along with tips to increase your online visibility on social media during a Social Media Workshop: Let’s Get Social. Tickets: online. $5.
Tues., Jan 31, 7 pm,Rosedale Park, 6312 W. Rosedale. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during theGladstone Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Guest speaks Carrie Lawlor and Bea McDonough from the Norwood Senior Network will share wellness tips and discuss their services. Free.
Sat., Feb 4, 9 am-2 pm,New Life Portage Park, 5700 W. Berteau. Dr. Eric, Pamela Reedmond, Pastor Paco Amador, Maritza Eru, and Claudaniel Fabien will all be guest speakers at aGenuine Relationships Conference. Develop the skills to better relate in authentic ways and create strong, thriving relationships that last. More info:online. $40/couples; $20/singles.
Sat., Feb 4, 2-4 pm,Portage-Cragin Library, Community Room, 5108 W. Belmont. Do you and your family need to get out of the house? Join the library for Family Play Time. For families with kids 3 and older. Sign up at the branch. Free.
Sat., Feb 4, 5-8 pm,Lutheran North College Prep Cafeteria, 5700 W. Berteau. Enjoy a Gourmet Italian Meal by guest chef Marcos Uruchima. Proceeds benefit booster club. Tickets & more info:online. $12/adults at the door, $10/adults in advance, $8/senior citizens, $5/children.
Sun., Feb 5, 3-11 pm, Buckley Hall, 4451 N. Lowell. Support a local school during St. Edward’s Super Bowl Party. Free.
Tue., Feb 7, 6:30 pm, Six Corners Association, 4041 N. Milwaukee #301. Get involved to make a difference in your community by attending aSix Corners Association Committee Meeting. Promotions meets at 6:30 followed by design at 7:30.Free.
Tue., Feb 7, 7 pm,Independence Park Bungalow, 3945 N. Springfield. Join neighbors to learn how you can participate in supporting your community during the GIPNA Board Meeting.Free.
Thur., Feb 9, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, 20th Floor, Courtroom 2005. The Circuit Court of Cook County ELder Justice Center hosts a two-partReverse Mortgages and Predatory Lending seminar. This is the first part. More info and register: 312-603-9233. Free.
Sat., Feb 11, 2-3 pm,Portage-Cragin Library, Community Room, 5108 W. Belmont. Build literacy skills and engage the senses with books, song, and play during Sensory Story Time. Limit to 12 children. Register at the branch. Free.
Sat., Feb 11, 6 pm, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3857 N. Kostner. Celebrate Darwin’s birthday with Science and Faith: A Bishop/Biologis Embraces Both. This will be a moderated discussion with retired Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Free.
Sun., Feb 12, 5-7 pm, Irving Park Lutheran Church Gym, 4057 N. Harding. Thaw out with Carlson’s Soup & Bread. Take a break from winter hibernatio with a steaming bowl of soup from great restaurants and cooks served among friends and neighbors — all for the good of neighborhood programs. More info: email Liz or call 773-398-6766. $15/adults; $10/seniors and teens; $5/kids 3-12; free/kids 3 and under.
Mon., Feb 13, 7 pm, Irving Park Baptist Church Basement, 4401 W. Irving Park. Learn how you can become more involved with the community by attending the monthly Old Irving Park Associationmeeting. Free.
Thur., Feb 16, 7-9 pm,Smokey’s BBQ, 5481 N. Northwest Highway. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Jefferson Park Forwardmonthly meeting. Guest speaker: Merry Ellen from the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association. Agenda and more info:online. Cost of purchases at Smokey’s.
Sat., Feb 18, 2-4 pm, Portage-Cragin Library, Community Room, 5108 W. Belmont. Do you and your family need to get out of the house? Join the library for Family Play Time. For families with kids 3 and older. Sign up at the branch. Free.
Mon., Feb 20, 7:30-9 pm,TBA, Meet neighbors and discuss ways to become more involved in your community during thePortage Park Neighborhood Associationmonthly meeting. More info: online. Free.
Wed., Feb 22, 7 pm, Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, Basement Auditorium, 5320 W. Giddings. Meet neighbors and dsicuss how to improve your community during theJefferson Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Free.
Sun., Feb 26, 10 am-4 pm, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon. There are so many ways to give back to your community in 2017. Save the date to find one that’s right for you at the 5th Annual Chicago Volunteer Expo. Whether your passion is the environment, the arts, or social justice, there’s a volunteer opportunity waiting for you. Free and open to all.
Tues., Feb 28, 7 pm, Rosedale Park, 6312 W. Rosedale. Join neighbors to learn how you can participate in supporting your community during theGladstone Park Neighborhood Association meeting. Free.