I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend.
Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield, will be hosting their annual Independence Day Celebration on Tuesday, July 4. The day will be filled with fun family-friendly activities, games, and a parade. The celebration kicks off at 10 am.
Finally, please be aware that in observance of Independence Day, my office will have shortened hours, from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM, on Monday, July 3. In additon, my office will be closed on Tuesday, 4. It will re-open on Wednesday, July 5, at 9 am.
Remember, Fireworks are Illegal in Chicago
The Fourth of July is just around the corner, which means many will be spending time outside celebrating with friends and family.
Leading up to this holiday, residents have complained about the increased use of large, professional-grade fireworks. In response to this, I have asked police in the 16th and 17th districts to enforce, to the extent possible, the ban on fireworks.
We have seen fireworks use evolve from small personal celebrations to full-on displays in our major parks. This is dangerous and disruptive to many residents’ enjoyment of the Independence Day celebrations. Here are some statistics to consider:
- In 2014, an estimated 10,500 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Of those, 7,000 occurred between June 20 and July 20, 2014.
- The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (an estimated 36%); head, face, and ears (an estimated 19%); eyes (an estimated 19%); legs (an estimated 10%); and arms (an estimated 5%).
- The risk of fireworks injury is highest for children under 5 years old, followed by children 10 to 14.
- On July 4th in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day. Fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
Changes to Refuse and Recycling Collection for Independence Day Holiday
Please be aware that observance of the Fourth of July holiday, there will be changes to the refuse and recycling collection schedule.
All city-collected refuse will be serviced Monday and Wednesday through Friday. There will be no refuse collection on Tuesday, July 4. Residents should ensure all black refuse carts are accessible throughout the week of collection, not solely on their regular day of collection so they don’t inadvertently miss their collection.
Waste Management will collect recycling Monday and Wednesday through Saturday. There will be no recycling collection on Tuesday, July 4. Residents should continue to put out their blue recycling carts throughout the week according to their typical schedule. Residents can view their collection week online by visiting the City of Chicago’s recycling pickup schedule.
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.
Please also be aware that as of July 1, the City of Chicago’s newPaid 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.
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.
After School Matters Summer Programs at Schurz
Schurz High School, 3601 N. Milwaukee, is hosting two After School Matters summer programs this summer. Teens can have fun, earn money, and make new friends through the After School Matters programs at Schurz this summer.
The first program, Animation at Schurz, will teach youth to create 2D and 3D animated characters, scenes, and backgrounds. The creations students create will be at the quality to be used in video games, sort stories, or anime. All levels of drawing and animation are welcome to apply for this program. The program runs Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
The second program, Hydroponics at Schurz, will allow teens to advance their skills and knowledge about food science, hydroponics, and gain exposure to career fields related to the program through visiting professionals and field trips. The program will also include a wide range of hand-on activities. The program runs Mondays through Thursdays from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
Both programs begin the week of July 5. Teens interested in participating can learn more and apply online.
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.
Help Homeless Veterans by Donating Basic Household Items & Toiletries
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 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!
Please be advised that due to the Independence Day holiday, lunches will not be served on Monday, July 3 or Tuesday, July 4. Also, there will be no lunch served on Tuesday, July 18.
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.
Thanks for reading,
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.
Fri., July 7, 6-10 pm,Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, 5320 W. Giddings. Come hungry and leave happy during Bands and Brats 3. This fun-filled event is open to all ages and will feature great bands such as Jade the Ivy, El Chupacabbo, The Broken, and Jay Scraub. $5.
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 Market continues 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, 10-11:45 am, Cook County Elder Justice Center, Concourse Level, Room CL-16, 50 W. Washington St.Want to learn more about the operations of the courthouse? Join the Cook County Elder Justice Center for a guided tour. Learn about the basic structure of the court, learn about senior services, and insights into navigating the court system. Register: call 312-603-9233. 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.
Sat., July 15, 11 am-2 pm, Roberts Square Park, 5200 W. Argyle.Join friends, family, and neighbors for the Roberts Square Park Annual Summer Picnic/Potluck. Many surprises for all ages. It’s free, but a donated dish or snack will not be turned down. In case of rain, please come to the Jefferson Memorial Park Field House. Free.
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, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, Courtroom 2005. The senior enrichment seminar series hosts a Veterans’ Benefits: What Am I Enttiled To? seminar. RSVP: 312-603-9233. Free.
Thur., July 20, 5:30-6:30 pm, Athletic Field Park, 3546 W. Addison. Bring your little ones to the playground for some sing-a-longs, sidewalk chalk art, and bubbles for aMovin’ to the Music event. Free lemonade will be available. Ages 12 and younger. Free.
Thur., July 20, 6-7:30 pm, Athletic Field Park, 3546 W. Addison. Join friends, family, and neighbors for the 9th season of Dance in the Parks. Dance in the Parks brings an all-ages show of modern, jazz, contemporary, and tap works created and performed by Chicago artists. Each show features guest youth performers from neighborhood dance programs and ticket giveaways.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 Market continues 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.
Fri., July 28, dusk, Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield. Athletic Field Park hosts Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 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 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.