The Chicago Board of Elections has begun accepting vote by mail applications online. The deadline to apply for a vote by mail ballot is 5 pm on February 21.
When you receive the vote by mail ballot, make sure to follow all the enclosed instructions and vote in secret. A mail ballot must be postmarked (or, in the absence of a postmark, certified by the voter) on or before Election Day, February 26, in order to be counted. In addition, the Board of Elections must receive the ballot by March 12 for the ballot to be counted. You may return the vote by ballot through the U.S. Postal Service, by personal delivery to the Election Board (either by the voter or an immediate relative), or through a state-licensed motor carrier (such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL).
Once a mail ballot has been returned to the Board of Elections, it cannot be retrieved or withdrawn. The same voter cannot vote in person at a polling place on Election Day unless they bring the mail ballot (or a portion of it) to the election judges or completes an affidavit stating the mail ballot was never received by the voter or that it was received and lost.
Community Meeting for DSD Sausage & Deli Jan. 15
I’m pleased to announce that DSD Sausage & Deli plans to open a new restaurant and deli at 5201 N. Milwaukee. A community meeting will be held at 7 pm on Tuesday, January 15 in the community room at the 16th District Police Station, 5151 N. Milwaukee.
No zoning change is needed or requested, but I asked the new owner to notify nearby residents of the new activity at this location.
DSD Sausage and Deli will operate a sit-down restaurant, take-out deli, Serbian-focused package liquor section, and sausage production.
I’m pleased to add another restaurant to the ever-growing business openings in Jefferson Park. I hope you can attend the meeting to learn more.
Jefferson Park Branch Library Modernization Update
On Thursday, Chicago Public Library (CPL) and Fleet and Facility Management (2FM) hosted a community meeting on the slated improvements to the Jefferson Park Branch Library at 5363 W. Lawrence. You can find a video of that meeting on my Facebook page and/or the PowerPoint presentation on my website.
Beginning at 5 pm on January 19, the library will close the 49-year-old branch to complete a nearly $2 million renovation. $1.675 million was allocated from the Jefferson Park TIF district to modernize the branch and bring it into the 21st Century. Both 2FM and CPL supplemented the TIF investment at this branch to provide the community with a true public asset that they can take pride in.
The improvements – which will be the first comprehensive upgrade to the library since it was built in 1970 – will include a broad range of upgrades to the building, contemporary furniture and bookshelves, and additional programming and technology to fit the diverse range of services modern libraries provide their users.
The plans call for:
- New early learning play space
- New teen area
- Reconfigured adult reading room
- New circulation desk
- Upgraded community room
- New study room
- New studio adjacent to the teen room
- Upgraded staff workspaces
- Additional power and data outlets
- WiFi access points throughout the library
- Energy-efficient roofing
- New fire alarm
- Upgraded restrooms with ADA improvements
- New ceiling tiles
- New lighting throughout the library
- New exterior windows and additional natural lighting throughout the library
- New window treatments in the children’s and adult areas
- New drywall and paint throughout the library
- Concrete repairs and benches in exterior courtyards
- New “READ BOOKS” bike rack
- Art component in the entrance plaza area
- Improved technology throughout the library
- Re-designed shelving areas
- New furniture throughout the library
- An additional $100,000 invested in new books
The branch will be closed for approximately 8 months while the improvements are completed, with an anticipated opening date in early fall of this year.
The improvements were first proposed as a part of the community-driven participatory budgeting process. Someone remarked that the Jeff Park library “needed a little love” during an idea collection session. I am proud to usher in these upgrades to a local gem and create a welcoming space for all ages to love.
Kids Night Out Jan. 18
The Gladstone Park Advisory Council is hosting their first ever “Kids Night Out” on Friday, January 18. There are only 10 spots left, so don’t delay in registering. Online registration has filled up, so you must register in-person at Gladstone Park, 5421 N. Menard.
Kids needing a night away from parents can head over to the field house at 6:30 pm for an evening full of fun activities and games. Pajamas are optional but recommended.
While the kids play, parents have the option of heading to The Garage Bar & Sandwiches, 6154 N. Milwaukee, to enjoy great food, delicious drinks, and delightful company. There will be a 50/50 raffle as well as raffle baskets.
Property Tax Exemption Applications Now Available
The Cook County Assessor’s Office has released property tax exemption applications for the 2018 tax year (tax bills payable in 2019), including the Homeowner Exemption, Senior Exemption, and Senior Assessment Freeze.
Remember that senior citizen homeowners must complete their senior exemption and senior freeze forms every year.
Exemption applications are available to download on the Cook County Assessor’s website. The deadline to apply is February 6.
Property Tax Exemption Workshop February 4
Staff members from Commissioner Gainer’s office will be available to assist with exemption forms and answer questions. Come by my office, 4854 N. Milwaukee, between 10 am and 4 pm on Monday, February 4 for a Property Tax Exemption Workshop.
For those who would like to apply for the Senior Freeze, please remember to bring your 2017 Federal Income Taxes. A government-issued ID is required for all exemption forms.
More information on various exemptions and forms are available on the assessor’s website.
Recycle Your Christmas Tree Thru 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.
FORTS! is back at the Filament Theatre thru March 10
Enter a world of play and creation as the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee, transforms into a play-space for children and parents to build new worlds
Using cardboard boxes, sheets, clotheslines, and more, you will build adventures of your own devising. With theatrical design elements working together to support creative play, your family is sure to be swept away in the adventure.
FORTS! is an interactive theater experience is open to all ages, from 2 to 102!
Showtimes, date, and tickets are available online.
Our Lady of Victory Hosts Rick Lindy & The Wild Ones Jan. 26
Our Lady of Victory (OLV) Church presents Rick Lindy and the Wild Ones performing legendary jukebox hits.
Enjoy the music of Elvis, Ray Orbison, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, The Beatles, and many more.
The show will take place on Saturday, January 26 in the OLV Parish Hall on the corner of Laramie and Sunnyside. Doors will open at 5:30 pm and the show will begin at 7 pm.
Tickets cost $30 and include a beef sandwich, a salad, chips, dessert, and entertainment. Tickets can be purchased online.
Annual Women’s Toiletry Drive
Once again, my office has partnered with Commissioner Bridget Gainer’s office and the Cook County Sheriff’s Women’s Justice Program to host a women’s toiletry drive throughout the month of January.
The annual toiletry drive helps provide women in Cook County Jail with basic toiletries and feminine hygiene products. Any of the items listed below will be accepted:
- Feminine hygiene products (e.g. pads and tampons)
- Travel size shampoo
- Travel size conditioner
- Travel size lotion
- Full bars of soap
- Small combs
- White socks
- Composition books
- Cards with stamped envelopes
This is an easy way to give back that will help women-in-need. My office will be collecting donations during office hours through January 30.
Volunteer for the Chicago Point-in-Time Homeless Count
The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) will host its annual point-in-time homeless count on Thursday, January 24, from 9 pm until 3 am.
This citywide count provides DFSS with a snapshot of Chicago’s homeless population. The data gathered on the homeless in Chicago serves as a basis for federal funding, for service and resource planning, and to raise public awareness about homelessness.
Volunteer registration for the count is available online.
Check to See if You Are Receiving a Property Tax Refund
The Cook County Treasurer’s Office announced that it is sending nearly 30,000 homeowners refunds totaling $8.3 million without requiring an application.
These refunds are being issued for past overpayments made by property owners since 2013. Overpayments can occur for a variety of reasons, including the simple mistake of paying more than is owed on the tax bill. More often, however, overpayments are the result from a reduction in property taxes after the bill was paid.
Of the 29,752 refunds being issued:
- 8,947 homeowners who paid their taxes through a bank/mortgage escrow account are receiving refund checks
- 20,805 homeowners who paid by check or online are automatically receiving refunds to their bank or credit card accounts
To see if you are entitled to a refund, visit the Cook County Treasurer’s website and:
- Select the purple box titled “Your Property Overview”
- Enter your address or Property Index Number
- Scroll down to view if there are any overpayments on the PIN
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.
Plumbers Apprenticeship Program
The joint apprenticeship committee for Local 130 will be accepting applications for the plumbing apprenticeship program.
An application can be submitted in-person only at one of the three training enters during the scheduled dates and times listed below. A $25 non-refundable application fee is also required. No cash or personal checks will be accepted. Applicants may pay by money order or cashier’s check, made payable to “Plumbers JAC Local 130” or by Visa or MasterCard with a convenience fee. All applicants must possess a valid driver’s license.
Requirements at time of application:
- Completed application
- An application may be completed on-site; or
- Download and complete to bring when you apply
- Valid driver’s license
- Birth certificate or U.S. Passport
- Proof of completion of high school
- Original high school diploma; or
- GED certificate; or
- Sealed official high school transcripts; or
- College diploma with transcripts; or
- Copy of veterans DD214
- $25 non-refundable fee
- Optional: if you wish to purchase a test-taking tip book for $10, your total will be $35 in the form of a money order or cashier’s check. If you choose to pay by credit card, there will be a convenience fee applied to the charge.
- Must read, write, and speak English
- Must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent
- Pass an aptitude test
- Pass a drug screening
- Pass a physical exam
- Pass an agility test
- Always possess a valid driver’s license
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Applicants who are 17 years of age may be placed on the eligibility list if proof is provided that he/she will be 18 years of age prior to being registered by the JAC
Schedule of dates, times, and locations:
You can apply in-person on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday starting on January 22 and ending on February 21, 2019.
All three locations below will be open and accepting applications from 1-4 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Extended hours will be available at all 3 locations on Thursdays from 6-8 pm.
Chicago: 1400 W. Washington Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60607
(Cross streets: Washington Boulevard & Loomis)
Joliet: 2114 South I-80 Frontage Road, Joliet, IL 60436
Volo: 31855 North US Highway 12, Volo, IL 60073
Applicants submitting the required documents at the time of registration will be given all the information of where and when to appear for the aptitude test. Drug screening, physical, and physical agility test information will be provided if invited to a pre-orientation meeting.
There are absolutely no exceptions to these requirements and/or qualifications.
Click here to download the packet.
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 a College Success Manager, Kelvin Boddie, at email@example.com.
More information on PWFC is available on their website.
Thanks for reading,
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 on Facebook 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 on Facebook to keep up on IPAC news. 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 the Jefferson 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 the Portage Park Neighborhood Association meeting. 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.
Wed., Jan 23, 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.
Sun., Jan 27, 10 am-2 pm, Copernicus Center, Annex Space, 5214 W. Lawrence. The Jefferson Park Sunday Market continues 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 the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association monthly 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 the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. A representative from the city’s 311 non-emergency system will give details about their modernization plan, including several new features and enhancements. Free.