Early voting for the 2018 Primary Election continues through March 19 at 51 locations throughout the city. The closest location for 45th Ward residents is at the 16th District Police Station, 5151 N. Milwaukee. Voters can cast their ballot at the during the following time and dates:
March 12 thru March 16: 9 am-7 pm
March 17: 9 am-5 pm
March 18: 10 am-4 pm
The 2018 Primary Election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20. To check your polling place on Election Day, visit the Chicago Board of Election’s voter information page and enter your address. To view other wards’ early voting locations, visit the Chicago Board of Election’s early voting page.
Regardless of how you vote, it is important to fulfill your right to cast a ballot and make sure that your voice is heard.
Due to the election on Tuesday, there will be no Ward Night on March 20. The next ward night will be on Tuesday, March 27, from 5-7 pm in the ward office. Please take this opportunity to vote in the important Primary Election.
Senior & Senior Freeze Exemption Deadline Extended to March 30
The Cook County Assessor’s office announced that they will extend the deadline for the Senior Citizen Exemption and Senior Freeze Exemption renewal applications and new applications for Tax Year 2017 to March 30, 2018. Any application postmarked by March 30 will be on time.
Savings from these exemptions will appear as deductions on the 2017 second installment property tax bills mailed this summer.
Seniors must reapply annually for both the Senior and the Senior Freeze Exemptions in order to continue to receive deductions on their second installment property tax bills.
To qualify for the Senior Citizen Exemption for Tax Year 2017, the property owner must have:
- been born prior to or in the year 1952
- owned the property during 2017 or have a lease or contract for 2017 which makes them responsible for the real estate taxes
- used the property as her or his principal place of residence in 2017
Please note: The new law will increase savings this year for the Senior Exemption from $5,000 to $8,000 in Equalized Assessed Value (EAV). It is important to note that the exemption amount is not the dollar amount by which a tax bill is lowered.
EAV is the partial value of a property to which tax rates are applied; it is the figure on which a tax bill is calculated. The Assessor does not set tax rates. The savings for a Senior Citizen Exemption is calculated by multiplying the exemptions savings of 8,000 by the local tax rate.
To qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption for Tax Year 2017, taxpayers must have:
- been born prior to or in the year 1952
- a total household income of $65,000 or less for [income] Tax Year 2016
- owned the property or had a legal, equitable or leasehold interest in the property on January 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017
- used the property as her or his principal place of residence as of January 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017
- been liable for payment of 2016 and 2017 property taxes
Those who don’t qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption because they exceed the income level may still be eligible for the Senior Exemption. The Senior Exemption has no income restrictions.
Seniors receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption will automatically receive the Homeowner Exemption. Seniors receiving the Senior Freeze Exemption automatically receive both the Homeowner and Senior Citizen Exemptions.
Eligible seniors who never applied for the Senior and/or Senior Freeze Exemption in the past may visit the Assessor’s websiteand download an application or contact the Assessor’s Office at (312) 443-7550 and request a form be mailed to them. Applications for the Homeowner Exemption and additional exemptions are also available online.
Spring Planting Weekend at Keeler Gardens
Keeler Gardens, 3631 N. Keeler, received an overwhelming donation from Lurvey Garden Center in Des Plaines and the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. Help them on Saturday from noon until about 5 pm and on Sunday from about noon until 6 pm working in the garden and on the patio. Even if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you are welcome to swing by to be a cheerleader. Attendees will learn about design, specific plans, and planting procedures.
Be a Bunny for the Irving Park Community Food Pantry
The Irving Park Community Food Pantry, 3801 N. Keeler, will begin to give out Easter baskets to their clients’ children up to 12-years-old leading up to Easter on April 1.
In order to do this, they need your support! They are accepting medium-sized baskets and donated items to fill them. Consider donating any of the following fun dollar store items:
- Plastic eggs filled with jelly beans or change
- Snacks such as juice pouches, crackers, breakfast bars, and microwave popcorn
- Wrapped candy
- Bubbles, Nerf balls, Yo-Yos, pinwheels, etc.
- Easter pencils, erasers, toys
- Small stuffed animals
- Stickers, crayons, markers
- Little books and activity pads
- Medium-sized plastic or fabric baskets that stack easily
If you have any questions or want to arrange how to drop off donations or filled baskets, email Megan Tormey email@example.com.
Schurz Mini Maker Faire Applications Due April 3
The popular Shchurz High School Mini Maker Faire returns on May 5!
This popular event draws families from throughout Chicago to the neighborhood to see the unparalleled festival showcasing the creativity and innovation of artists, musicians, inventors, crafters, scientists, hackers, technophiles, and more.
The Makers Faire is accepting applications for exhibitions through April 3. Visit the Maker Faire website to learn more about the festival and to apply.
Olive’s Garden For the Hungry Fundraiser April 7
Olive’s Neighborhood Garden for the Hungry is hosting its annual fundraiser on Saturday, April 7, from 3 to 6 pm at Rabbit’s Bar & Grill, 4945 W. Foster. There will be raffles for items donated by local businesses, and a cash prize!
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards purchasing seeds, plants, and supplies for the upcoming growing season. The food grown in the garden helps serve 70-80 families per week at the Northwest Church of Christ’s food pantry.
Contact Andy at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 773-502-4651 to buy raffle tickets, donate a prize, become a sponsor, or for more information.
Six Corners Community Spring Clean Up April 7
Join the Six Corners Association and 2112 Chicago on April 7th for their annual Community Spring Clean Up!
Community volunteers will pick up trash, clean sidewalks, and spruce up landscaping around the Six Corners area. All community members are encouraged to participate.
This is a great opportunity to get involved in the community and boost the neighborhood’s overall attractiveness for residents, customers, and visitors.
The morning of Saturday, April 7, at 9:30 am, volunteers will meet at Lydia Home, 4839 W. Irving Park, for coffee, donuts, and supplies. Volunteers are encouraged to wear old clothing that can get dirty and bring work gloves. Volunteers will work until roughly 12:30 pm.
More information is available at the Facebook event.
Annual Clean & Green April 21
Join your neighbors for Chicago’s annual citywide Clean and Green Day of Service at 10 am on Saturday, April 21. This is a great opportunity for individuals and community groups to pitch in to help beautify our neighborhoods.
This year, we will be focusing on the following areas in the 45th Ward:
- Along Avondale from Lawrence to Laramie and nearby areas (e.g. Transit Center)
- Along Avondale between Pulaski and Irving Park
- Under the Irving Park Blue Line viaduct
In addition to the supplies available at my office, the Department of Streets and Sanitation will provide rakes, brooms, shovels, and bags. Please bring your own work gloves and wear clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty.
To sign up, contact my office via email email@example.com or call (773) 286-4545 by Friday, April 13.
Volunteer for the 2019 Participatory Budgeting Cycle
After our largest voter turnout from last year’s cycle, my office and our Participatory Budgeting volunteers are gearing up for another round!
Participatory Budgeting provides a unique opportunity to determine how your tax dollars are spent on various infrastructure projects throughout the neighborhood. It is most effective when community members are engaged in the process. It is a rewarding experience to see in a tangible way how your efforts and vote can make a big difference in your community.
We are always seeking new volunteers to help the process and provide additional perspectives throughout the cycle. If you are interested in joining a dedicated team of community members to affect substantive change in your ward, email my office at Ward45@cityofchicago.org or call (773) 286-4545 and ask for Leslie.
Money Available for Businesses in Jefferson Park
Jefferson Park businesses looking to spruce up their storefronts or do any remodeling should apply for a $100,000 city grant. I will be hosting a meeting about this great city program at 10 am Thursday, March 29, at Weston’s, 4872 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The $100,000 grants – not a loan — are available through a city-funded program called the Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF). All sorts of building repairs and improvements are eligible for SBIF funding, including improvements to windows, sign structures, plumbing, and electrical systems, as well as interior build-outs and HVAC and ADA upgrades.
To be eligible, the business must be within the Jefferson Park TIF District, which runs along Milwaukee between Montrose and the Kennedy Expressway, and branches out along Lawrence between Linder and the Kennedy. The application deadline is April 30. If you have any questions or cannot make the meeting, call my office for more information.
Learn more about SBIF at the SBIF website.
Save the Date – Child Safety Seminar April 17
16th District Police are hosting a seminar entitled Keeping Your Child Safe: A Conversation about Sexual Abuse and Internet Safety. The seminar is Tuesday, April 17, at 7 pm, at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence.
Speakers will include Det. Charles Hollendoner of the Special Investigations Unit, and retired social worker Tom Plach.
I hope you’ll be able to make it to this important seminar on protecting our children.
Independence Park Tree Walk March 17
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a tree walk in Independence Park!
Openlands TreeKeepers Program Manager Al De Reu will lead a tour to see and discuss newly planted as well as mature trees. The tour will focus on tree identification, the importance of trees, and appreciation.
Meet outside the eastern entrance of the fieldhouse located at 3945 N. Springfield at 11 am on Saturday, March 17. Please dress for the weather. This event is open to the public but people should register in advance so that Openlands know how many people to expect.
Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips from the 16th District
Recent news reports have featured motor vehicle hijackings throughout the city. In order to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a carjacking, always lock your car doors as soon as you enter your vehicle. Remain aware of your surroundings, and avoid sitting in your parked vehicle for a prolonged period.
There has also been an increase in thefts of vehicles left unattended and running. Consider a remote starter if you want to warm or cool your vehicle before getting into it.
As always, do not leave any valuables inside your vehicle, especially in plain view. This also includes your garage door opener. Also, remember not to leave you ID or financial documents inside your vehicle.
If you suspect a crime is happening, please call 911. For more safety tips, call the 16th District Community Relations Office at (312) 742-4521.
Play-Doh Collection at 16th District Police Station
16th District Police, along with 36th Ward Ald. Gilbert Villegas, are collecting Play-Doh to benefit the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Please drop off unused packages of Play-Doh at the 16th District Police Station, 5151 N. Milwaukee, through March 30.
Chicago’s Free Tax Preparation Assistance Program Now Open
Eligible individuals and families with children could receive up to $7,202 from the federal and stated Earned Income Tax Credit alone, and that’s not including other valuable credits. Many Chicagoans may not claim all the income tax credits they deserve without the help of knowledgeable preparers.
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 18 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 2017 tax year. Sites will be open between late January and mid-April 2018. For specific information on location and site hours, visit the Tax Prep Chicago website.
The closest sites for 45th Ward residents are:
Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett
- Fridays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, through April 13 (closed March 30); and
- Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, through April 14 (closed March 31)
Mather’s – Portage Park, 3235 N. Central
- Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, through April 13 by appointment only (call 888-600-2560)
Mathers – Norwood Park, 7134 W. Higgins
- Mondays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, through April 9 by appointment only (call 888-600-2560)
Last year, the City of Chicago’s free income tax assistance helped 20,000 families and individuals receive $30 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 theTax Prep Chicago website.
Concrete Form Builder Apprenticeship
Through Thursday, March 22, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Apprentice & Training Program will be accepting applications for future concrete form builder pre-apprenticeship training classes.
Each candidate must present the following documents at the Apprentice Program Office – 1256 Estes Avenue, Elk Grove Village, Illinois – between the hours of 9:30 am and 4:00 pm Monday through Friday, no later than Thursday, March 22:
- Letter of recommendation on a local union letterhead signed by an officer;
- Must have attained the age of 17 (driver’s license or state I.D. card required);
- Copy of high school diploma, high school diploma transcripts (must have official school seal – 8 credits minimum), or copy of G.E.D. certificate;
- Copy of Social Security Card or receipt showing duplicate card has been applied for;
- Veterans – form DD214 copy;
- A $25 non-refundable application processing fee. Money orders and cashiers check only. No cash will be accepted.
All (6) above-listed documents must be submitted at the time of filing or the candidate will not be permitted to file an application.
Further details will be mailed to each applicant regarding the required pre-test session and aptitude test dates.
Thanks for reading,
Sun., March 18, 10 am-2 pm,Copernicus Center, Annex Space, 5214 W. Lawrence. TheJefferson 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. Cost of purchases.
Sun., March 18, 2 pm, Irving Park Lutheran Church, 4100 N. Harding.The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee presents Ling’s Classical Strings.Free.
Mon., March 19, 7:30 pm, Location TBD. Meet neighbors and discuss ways to become more involved in your community during the Portage Park Neighborhood Associationmeeting. More info:online. Free.
Wed., March 21, 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 the45th Ward beat map. More info: 312-742-4521. Free.
Wed., March 21, 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 the 45th Ward beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Thur., March 22, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, Courtroom 2005.The senior enrichment seminar series hosts A Senior’s Guide to Property Tax Savings seminar. RSVP: 312-603-9233. Free.
Sat., March 25, 12:30-2 pm, St. John’s Lutheran, Gym, 4939 W. Montrose. The St John’s Lutheran Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts host theirannual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser. Dine in or take out.$6/person; Free/5 and younger.
Tue., March 27, 7 pm, Pasta D’Arte, 6311 N. Milwaukee.Meet neighbors and get involved in your community during the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Free.
Wed., March 28, 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. Chicago attorney Elizabeth Jurkacek will speak on a relatively new statute which provides a modest option on how property owners can transfer their real estate upon death without probate. Also, Jacob Dimuzio from Turning the Page, a North Lawndale organization, will discuss their commitment to link public school, families, and the community in receiving valuable educational resources.. Free.