Join friends, family, and neighbors for a Summer Kickoff Party this Saturday, June 24, at 10 AM at Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield.
The Independence Park Advisory Council is hosting this fun-filled day to bring the community closer while enjoying the beautiful park and all it has to offer. There will be a bounce house, face painting, music, crafts, and tons of free fun for all.
Jefferson Place Passes Zoning Committee
On Thursday, the zoning committee approved the Jefferson Place development located at Lipps and Ainslie. I am proud to usher in this mixed-use, transit-oriented development directly adjacent to the city’s second busiest transit hub outside of the Loop.
By increasing density in a responsible way, Jefferson Place will support neighboring businesses such as the Copernicus Center, the Ed Paschke Art Center, the Gift Theater, Windy City Musical Theater, Gorilla Sushi, Weston’s Coffee and Tap Co, and others.
Jefferson Place will help breathe new life into downtown Jefferson Park by answering the demand for quality rental housing, leasable retail and flexible parking. It leverages the multiple transportation options that are Jefferson Park’s best assets.
The building will provide 10,000 square feet of retail space, 114 apartments (11 affordable), and 200 parking spaces. The developers have committed to covering the expenses of improving the streetscape along Lipps, welcoming commuters and residents into the neighborhood.
More information about the plans are available at my website.
Jefferson Park Master Plan Meeting Recap
I would like to thank everyone who took time on Monday to attend the first community meeting for the Jefferson Park Master Plan. We had a great turnout, with over 150 people attending.
Conversations were productive and the participants’ visions for our community were diverse and robust. It was a wonderful exchange of ideas that will help guide Teska as they make recommendations for the final Master Plan.
If you haven’t already, please complete the online survey by June 30. If you were unable to attend the meeting but have an idea that you would like to submit, please do so on the Master Plan website. While you’re online, make sure to explore the website and sign up for the e-newsletter so you can stay involved.
Weston’s Coffee & Tap Co. Slated to Open Mid-August
I have exciting news for the Jefferson Park neighborhood! I am pleased to welcome Weston’s Coffee & Tap Co., 4872 N. Milwaukee, to the neighborhood. The business recently obtained permits and is working on interior renovations ahead of their mid-August opening.
Seeing the potential to serve thousands of thirsty commuters and residents every day, Nick Davis decided that the building located directly across from the Jefferson Park transit center would serve as an ideal location for his business. The new business will serve coffee, craft beer, and paninis.
Weston’s will serve as the perfect addition to the neighborhood as we continue to move forward with revitalization efforts in Jefferson Park.
Come for Crepes – Stay to Shop at Jefferson Park Sunday Market
It’s okay to come hungry to Jefferson Park Sunday Market. Between the wonderful crepes of Magic Circle Crepes, the tamales and tacos from Tamales Express, the veggies, burgers, pastries, and more – you can consider this farmers market a brunch destination.
This week, there will be music by Stephen Gulyas and story time at noon. There will also be a plant swap – so bring along something and swap it out for something new.
While you’re at the market, keep an eye out for Good City Group. They will be asking market-goers to help map the locations of three (or more) benches. This is a community-driven initiative with the generous support of Gale Street Inn, 4914 N. Milwaukee.
The Jefferson Park Sunday Market runs every other Sunday from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM in Jefferson Memorial park, 4820 N. Long, through October 22. For more information and dates of upcoming markets, visit their website.
Ward City Sticker Sale June 30
On Friday, June 30, I will host a City Sticker Sale from 10 AM to 2 PM at my office, 4754 N. Milwaukee.
To purchase a vehicle sticker, you must bring your 2017 Chicago city vehicle sticker courtesy reminder form. If you have lost your courtesy reminder, please bring your state vehicle registration card, which includes your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
The Ward Sale is limited to drivers with vehicle stickers expiring June 30. All motorists must purchase and display their vehicle stickers purchased in June by July 1 to avoid tickets.
This year, absolutely no cash payments will be accepted. Please plan ahead and bring an alternative form of payment. Accepted forms include check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards.
If you would like to purchase your city sticker before June 30, you can purchase one at the City Clerk’s satellite office located at 5430 W. Gale Street, at most currency exchanges (service fees may apply), online, or by via mail following instructions on the back of your renewal notice.
If you have any questions leading up to the sale, please email my office.
Minimum Wage Increase and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Effective July 1
Please be aware that starting July 1, employers in the city of Chicago will be required to pay minimum wage employees $11 an hour. This is a part of the Minimum Wage Ordinance passed in 2014 mandating that over five years, the minimum wage in Chicago gradually increase to $13 to offset the increased living costs for the residents of the City of Chicago.
The wage applies to employers who maintain a business within the city for employees who work two hours within a period of two weeks.
The minimum wage increase does not apply for employees that are taking part in government-subsidized temporary youth employment programs, employees taking part in government-subsidized transitional employment programs, employees of any government other than the city, and certain employees exempted under state law. The minimum wage increase does include domestic employees and home health care workers.
Employers that violate the Minimum Wage Ordinance will be fined $500 to $1,000 for each offense. Each day that a violation continues constitutes a separate offense to which a separate fine shall apply.
You can find a copy of the full ordinance at the city’s website. If you suspect an employer is violating the ordinance, you can either report it to 311 or my office.
Please also be aware that as of July 1, the City of Chicago’s new Paid Sick Leave Ordinance will become effective.
Employees who work at least 2 hours per week while physically present within the geographic boundaries of the city, and who work at least 80 hours within any 120-day period, are covered by the ordinance. For every 40 hours worked, an employee accrues 1 hour of Paid Sick Leave, with a cap of 40 hours per 12-month period. An employee may use Paid Sick Leave for their own illness, to receive medical care, and for an illness of a family member.
More information about the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance is available at the city’s website. If you suspect an employer is violating the ordinance, you can either report it to 311 or my office.
Both ordinances are steps in the right direction in improving working conditions by ensuring that we’re uplifting Chicago workers by narrowing gaps between costs of living and wages. These measures also help eliminate the difficult choices employees, especially lower-wage employees, often face when having to choose between a taking a financial hit to recover from an illness or staying sick longer by not taking important measures to physically recover.
Hands to Help Community Lunches in July
Hands to Help Ministries will host community lunches on Wednesday July 12, July 19, and July 26. Lunch will be served from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM at St. John’s Episcopal Church at 3857 N. Kostner. Young adults with the Serve Boldly program will cook and serve attendees the meals. Whether you are in need of help, hungry, or just want to check out Hands to Help – make sure to stop by and share lunch.
If you are struggling to maintain your housing or lost your housing come early and talk with their outreach worker, Harrison. Hands to Help is a community resource partnering with neighbors on the northwest side of Chicago to maintain and obtain housing. They offer resources and long-term relationships to help neighbors on the brink of homelessness as well as those currently experiencing homelessness.
For more information or to sign up to volunteer, visit the Hands to Help website or email Gayle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help Homeless Veterans by Donating Basic Household Items & Toiletries
Help a Hero
My office is partnering with Operation Help-A-Hero for the second annual donation drive.
There are currently hundreds of homeless veterans who live either unsheltered or in shelters throughout the city. When a veteran leaves a shelter or transitional home to move into a more permanent residence, they often do not have basic household items.
Through July 4, we will be collecting basic household items and toiletries in an effort to help the hundred of Chicago veterans who are homeless. All donations will be delivered to the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA)/ The VA will then distribute materials to qualifying veterans in need.
New, store bought items that will be collected include:
-Personal Hygiene Items such as bath soap, shampoo, conditioner, razors, feminine pads, shaving cream, deodorant, combs, hair brushes, nail clippers, toothpaste, and toothbrushes;
-Kitchen & Cleaning Items such as plastic kitchen trash cans, Windex, Pine Sol, dish washing liquid, dishcloths, sponges, mops, buckets, brooms, dustpans, and paper towels; and
-Bathroom & Miscellaneous Items such as shower curtains, toilet paper (4 or 6 pack), plungers, toilet brushes, toilet bowl cleaner, bath towels, wash cloths, smoke detectors with batteries, flashlights with batteries, garbage bags, laundry baskets, hampers, and laundry detergent.
For more information on this program, please email my office.
Summer Learning Challenge at Independence Park
The Independence Branch Library invites kids to join them for their fun Summer Learning Challenge programs.
The Independence Branch Library will host six library programs at Independence park, 3945 N. Springfield, through August 3. All programs will be held in the auditorium of the Independence Park Field House.
Keep your child engaged and learning throughout the summer with tons of art projects, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities, and more before they head back to school in the fall.
Learn more and register your child online.
Kids’ Summer Meal Program
Children can receive free healthy, nutritious summer lunches during their summer break in the social center at St. Cornelius Church, 5430 W. Foster.
From noon to 1:00 PM Mondays through Thursdays June 26 through August 3, children 18 years and younger can pick up cold, individually wrapped lunches. Each lunch is pork and peanut free so parents do not have to worry about any potential dietary restrictions.
Since lunches are free, there is no requirement to register. Just swing by during the hours listed above!
For more information, call 773-283-5222.
Art Side Out Studio Summer Camp
Art Side Out Studio has an exciting summer planned for children ages 5 and up!
Your children can explore their artistic side as they complete new projects with camp leaders Donna and Jeff. There will also be some old favorites from previous camp.Make art all day and take lunch in the park when the weather permits!
Camp runs July 17 through August 18. Register your child for $40/day, $110/3 days, or $35/day when registered for 4 days or more. Join in on the fun for as many or as few days as your child likes!
More information is available at the Art Side Out Studio website.
City Kid Theatre Camp July 8-August 26
Looking for a fun summer camp for your child this summer? City Kid is hosting a theatre summer camp is hosting a theatre summer camp on Saturday mornings from 10 am to noon July 8 through August 26 at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox.
Kids will learn theatre techniques, improv skills, and enjoy theatre games. Throughout the summer, kids will also rehearse the classic play “Annie”, which with a final performance taking place on the last day of camp.
Camp is for children ages 3-10. More information, pricing, and registration is available online.
Teens Leading the Way to a Stronger Community
Children ages 12-18 (or 6-12 grade) can make an impact on their community by getting involved with the Y Leaders Club at the Irving Park YMCA.
The Y Leaders Club helps teens discover their full potential, grow as leaders, and help serve the community around them. The teen-led group meets regularly and participates in the network of Y-USA Leaders Clubs across Chicagoland, the Midwest, and the country. With guidance and support from an adult adviser, members choose their cause based on the interests and passion of the group.
Weekly meetings take place in the Irving Park Y Program Center at 4251 W. Irving Park Road on Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30 PM. Club dues are $30 per quarter and cover snacks, supplies, and some events.
For more information, call the Irving Park YMCA at 773-777-7500 or contact Lauren Reed at IPYLeaders@gmail.com.
Get your Irish on at the 32nd annual Irish American Heritage Festival on July 7-9
Irish Fest showcases the finest in local and international Irish and American music, dance, and family activities. The festival is held on the grounds of the Irish American Heritage Center at 4626 N. Knox and is their biggest fundraiser.
Confirmed performers include Gaelic Storm, We Banjo 3, Scythian, Makem and Spain, and many more. In addition to the great music lineup, the weekend will be packed with festival favorites including Irish and American food and drink from vendors, step dancing, cultural exhibits, children’s activities, and dozens of vendors and artisans selling Irish gifts.
Tickets are $10 in advance if purchased by the end of the day on July 5, $15 thereafter, and free to children 12 and under. Visit the website for more information on festival hours, parking, and to purchase tickets.
Apply to Become a Crossing Guard
Help give back to your community with this job opportunity as a crossing guard.
Crossing guards are responsible for stopping and directing traffic to ensure the safety of children and other pedestrians as they cross the street on their way to school.
Any Chicago resident aged 19 or older can apply for this opportunity. The position pays $13.80 an hour and is part time. There are currently 45 vacancies the city is looking to fill.
For more information and to apply, visit the City of Chicago’s Careers website.
Host an International Young Professional or Student
Do you enjoy showing guests around Chicago? Want to get your kids more globally-engaged? Consider becoming a homestay host.
WorldChicago seeks short-term homestay hosts for 33 visitors this summer. Home hosts provide a bed, meals, and a glimpse into everyday life in America. Visitors take part in workshops, service learning and peer-to-peer learning weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm, with evenings and weekends free to spend with their hosts.
One of these opportunities is the 2017 U.S. Department of State Iraq Young Leaders Exchange Program, which runs from July 20 to August 3. The program features 14 Iraqi high school students who were selected for this distinguished program through a competitive, merit-based process.
Additionally, six Ukrainian parliamentarians are looking for hosts July 20-26 as part of the Open World Program, and 13 students from the United Kingdom are looking for hosts August 13-21 through the UK Youth Dialogue Program.
Join a community of curious, compassionate citizen diplomats. For more information, visit the World Chicago website or contact Brian Peckrill.
Thanks for reading,
Fri., June 23, dusk,Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield.The Independence Park Advisory Council hosts Sing as a part of the Movies in the Parks series. Gather your friends, family, snacks, and blankets and enjoy this free family-friendly movie. Free.
Sat., June 24, 10 am,Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield.Celebrate summer with friends, family, and neighbors at aSummer Kickoff Party sponsored by the Independence Park Advisory Council. There will be crafts, a bounce house, music, and fun! Free.
Sat., June 24, 10:30 am, Forest Glen Woods, 5400 N. Forest Glen. Join the North Branch Trail Alliance of Greater Chicago for their Inaugural Ride. The five-mile jaunt will include the 1.8-mile extension of the trail completed last year. More info: email the North Branch Trail Alliance. Free.
Sun., June 25, 9 am-1 pm, Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield. The 13th year of the Michelin Guide-recommendedIndependence Park Farmers Marketcontinues twice a month through October. Join neighbors for great produce from farms and other vendors. Music and more at each market. Credit cards and LINK cards accepted. Free to attend, cost of purchases apply.
Mon., June 26, 6:30-8 pm, The Brook, 3105 N. Oak Park. Join Sustainability and Historic Preservation Consultant Carla Bruni to learn about typical materials, mechanical systems, and common maintenance issues in your Chicago bungalow during aBungalow Maintenance 101 seminar. RSVP:online. Free.
Tue., June 27, 7 pm,Rosedale Park, 6312 W. Rosedale. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Park Association monthly meeting. Free.
Wed., June 28, 7 pm,Basement Auditorium of the Congregational Church, 5320 W. Giddings. Meet neighbors and discuss how to improve your community during the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Free.
Sun., July 2, dusk, Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield.The Independence Park Advisory Council hosts The Secret Life of Pets as a part of the Movies in the Parks series. Gather your friends, family, snacks, and blankets and enjoy this free family-friendly movie.Free.
Tue., July 4, 10 am,Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield.Gather your friends, family, and neighbors for Independence Park’sannual Independence Day Celebration! Parade, races, and fun. Free.
Thur., July 6, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, Courtroom 2005. The senior enrichment seminar series hosts a Benefits and Services: Do You Know About This seminar. RSVP: 312-603-9233. Free.
Sat., July 8, 10-11 am,CACC Auditorium, 2741 S. Western.Learn about proper vet care, socialization, and training tips for puppies at a Puppy Parents Workshop. Workshop is for humans only. There will be info on puppy training classes, though. Free.
Sun., July 9, 9 am-1 pm, Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield. The 13th year of the Michelin Guide-recommendedIndependence Park Farmers Marketcontinues twice a month through October. Join neighbors for great produce from farms and other vendors. Music and more at each market. Credit cards and LINK cards accepted. More info:online. Free to attend, cost of purchases apply.
Sun., July 9, 9:30 am-1:30 pm, Jefferson Memorial Park, 4822 N. Long. Support your favorite vendors and purchase locally grown food at theJefferson Park Sunday Market. The market runs through October and offers a great selection. More info: online. Free to attend, cost of purchases apply.
Mon., July 10, 7 pm, Basement of the Irving Park Baptist Church, 4401 W. Irving Park. Meet neighbors and discuss how to improve your community during the Old Irving Park Association monthly meeting. Free.
Tue., July 11, 11 am-12:30 pm, CACC Auditorium, 2741 S. Western. Between April and October, thousands of kittens arrive at Chicago Animal Care and Control – many without a mom and too young to eat on their own. Learn more about how you can help bottle babies at a Kitten on Deck workshop. Free.
Tue., July 11, 7 pm,Kilbourn Park, 3501 N. Kilbourn. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1731 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 17th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Wed., July 12, 7 pm,Athletic Park, 3546 W. Addison. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1732-1733 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 17th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Sat., July 15, 10 am-3 pm, Corner of Berwyn and LaPorte.The Forest Glen community prides itself on its gardens – from their Garden Club that beautifies their award-wining community gardens at the Metra station and Edens Parkway to the annual Forest Glen Thumb awards. To honor and showcase this tradition, they are organizing a Garden Walk. Enjoy beautiful gardens, attend a gardening 101 session, and enter to win raffle prizes and more. More info:online. $8/advance; $10/day of event.
Sun., July 16, 10 am-2 pm, Portage Park, 4100 N. Long.Vendors gather on the NW corner of Long and Irving Park to offer locally grown produce, meats, dairy, baked goods, specialty items, prepared foods, and more during thePortage Park Farmers Market. More info:online. Free to attend, cost of purchases apply.
Mon., July 17, 7:30 pm, Location TBD.Meet neighbors and discuss ways to become more involved in your community during the Portage Park Neighborhood Association meeting. More info: online.Free.
Tue., July 18, 11 am,17th District Community Room, 4650 N. Pulaski.Meet officers and receive helpful resources during aSenior Citizen’s Meeting. More info: 312-744-4588. Free.
Wed., July 19, 7 pm,16th District Community Room, 5151 N. Milwaukee.Learn what you can do about crime during the 1623 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 16th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4521. Free.
Wed., July 19, 7:30 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 the17th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Thur., July 20, 7 pm,Location TBD. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Jefferson Park Forward monthly meeting. More info:online. Free.
Fri., July 21, dusk, Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield. The Independence Park Advisory Council hosts Batman Lego Movie as a part of the Movies in the Parks series. Gather your friends, family, snacks, and blankets and enjoy this free family-friendly movie. Free.
Sun, July 23, 9 am-1 pm, Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield. The 13th year of the Michelin Guide-recommendedIndependence Park Farmers Marketcontinues twice a month through October. Join neighbors for great produce from farms and other vendors. Music and more at each market. Credit cards and LINK card accepted. More info:online. Free to attend, cost of purchases apply.
Sun., July 23, 9:30 am-1:30 pm,Jefferson Memorial Park, 4822 N. Long.Support your favorite vendors and purchase locally grown food at theJefferson Park Sunday Market. The market runs through October and offers a great selection. More info: online. Free to attend, cost of purchases apply.
Tue., July 25, 7 pm,Rosedale Park, 6312 W. Rosedale. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Free.
Tue., July 25, 7:30 pm, Portage Park Senior Center, 4100 N. Long. Do you have thoughts on how to improve Portage Park? Is there a specific event you would like to see in the park? Do you have fundraising ideas? Attend aFriends of Portage Park meeting to share your thoughts. More info: 773-720-5381. Free.
Wed., July 26, 7 pm,Basement Auditorium of the Congregational Church, 5320 W. Giddings. Meet neighbors and discuss how to improve your community during the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Free.
Sun., July 30, 10 am-2 pm, Portage Park, 4100 N. Long.Vendors gather on the NW corner of Long and Irving Park to offer locally grown produce, meats, dairy, baked goods, specialty items, prepared foods, and more during thePortage Park Farmers Market. More info:online. Free to attend, cost of purchases apply.