Six Corners Association will partner with the Northwest Chicago Historical Society for an exploration of the history and evolution of the Six Corners shopping district.
This tour will look at remnants from the area’s early history as a crossroads, as well as the beginnings of the streetcar era. The tour also will examine evidence of the district’s rapid growth and evolution, including modernist retail architecture such as Robert Heller’s nearly intact 1940 former Straus & Schram store that’s now a burgeoning home to the Portage Arts Lofts including Filament Theatre, National Veterans Art Museum, and The Chicago Ballet Center.
The walk will begin at the Portage Theatre, 4050 N. Milwaukee, at 2 pm on Sunday, May 20. More information and tickets are available to purchase online.
CPS Stripped of Control over Special Education
This week, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) determinedthat Chicago Public Schools must allow state oversight of special education program. This decision came after a state investigation found that cuts made to programs and services for diverse learners violated federal special education laws.
When Chicago Public Schools decided to co-mingle both general education and special education into a single allocation in 2016, I stood with Local School Council members from our schools andwarned that this decision would result in making the money spent more difficult to track and result in less transparency surrounding CPS’ decisions.
In January 2017, CPS back peddled their decision to co-mingle funds, and instead announced that they would determine individualized education programs (IEPs) based on school-by-school analyses, leading to disparities in how funds were allocated and services were provided. The negligent decisions have resulted in some students falling years behind.
In October 2017, I stood with fellow members of the Progressive Caucus to demand that then-CPS CEO Forrest Claypool testify before the City Council after a WBEZ investigation discovered plans among CPS leadership to reduce programs, services, and support for special needs students.
For two years, CPS has mismanaged its special education programs and has made opaque cuts to funding and services. ISBE’s decision to strip CPS of its autonomy in this area should come as no surprise after multiple warnings from LSC members, the Chicago Teachers Union, parents, and members of the Progressive Caucus.
This is further evidence that Chicago is long overdue for an elected school board, something I have advocated for since I was first elected in 2011. Our children’s education cannot continue to be an afterthought. Our students and taxpayers deserve an elected school board to ensure more transparency on these crucial decisions.
How Would You Spend $1 Million to Improve Your Neighborhood?
Every year, each alderman is allocated $1.3 million in Aldermanic Menu funds — yes, there is literally a menu to spend on infrastructure. In most wards, this money is allocated by the alderman, with varying degrees of input from city departments, staff, and residents. The 45th Ward, however, uses a process called participatory budgeting to give power to our residents to make real decisions that affect their lives.
We are in the beginning stages of the 2019 participatory budgeting cycle and want to reach as many residents as possible to join in on the process.
To reach more people, we will offer residents four (4) ways to submit ideas:
1) Attend a neighborhood assembly!
The neighborhood assemblies will take place on
- Saturday, May 19, from 10-11 am at the Jefferson Park Branch Library, 5363 W. Lawrence;
- Monday, May 21, from 6-7 pm at Hitch Elementary School, 5625 N. McVicker (enter through doors #6 & #2); and
- Thursday, May 24, from 6-7 pm at St. John’s Epsicopal Church, 3857 N. Kostner.
2) Submit an idea online
You can submit an idea online via the 45th Ward Participatory Budgeting Google Form.
3) Submit an idea at an idea box
Idea boxes will be located throughout the ward. The idea boxes will be placed in the following locations beginning late next week:
- Jefferson Park Branch Library (5363 W. Lawrence)
- Independence Park fieldhouse (3945 N. Springfield)
- Wilson Park fieldhouse (4630 N. Milwaukee)
- 16th District Police Station (5151 N. Milwaukee)
- Rosedale Park fieldhouse (6312 W. Rosedale)
- Gladstone Park fieldhouse (5421 N. Menard)
- Farnsworth Elementary (5414 N. Linder)
- Beard Elementary (6445 W. Strong)
- Hitch Elementary (5625 N. McVicker)
- Prussing Elementary (4650 N. Menard)
- Gray Elemenatry (3730 N. Laramie)
4) Share your idea on the idea wall
The idea wall is located in the front of my office, 4754 N. Milwaukee. Simply write your idea on a sticky note and post it to the wall for all to see. While you’re here, hang out for a while and feel inspired by what others have submitted.
More information on participatory budgeting and projects that have won in the past is available on the PB45 website.
Thank you for pitching in to make your community better!
Discussions on Police Reform Scheduled
The Public Safety Committee of the City Council has scheduled five meetings across the city to gather input on how the Chicago Police Department should be reformed and how police misconduct should be handled.
Currently, there are four different ordinances pending before the City Council, all with differing degrees of community oversight of the department and discipline.
The meetings will be facilitated by Renee Haynie-Jackson, the founder and director of training and development for the Next Generation of Leaders, INC.
The meetings will be at:
- 1-3 pm May 19. at Gage Park High School, 5630 S. Rockwell;
- 6:30-8:30 pm May 29, at Westinghouse College Prep, 3223 W. Franklin;
- 6:30-8:30 pm May 31, at Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett;
- 6:30-8:30 pm June 5, at Amundsen High School, 5110 N. Damen.
I hope you can attend one of the meetings and make your voice heard on this critical issue.
Bob Dylan’s Birthday Bash May 19
The Filament hosts their sixth annual Bob Dylan Birthday Bash and Benefit Concert on Saturday, May 19, at 7 pm at the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee.
There will be birthday cake, a cash bar, raffle and silent auction items, and plenty of great live music to boot.
More information and tickets are available to purchaseonline. Individual tickets and VIP tables of 4 are available.
Irving Park Community Food Pantry Neighborhood Walk May 19
The Irving Park Community Food Pantry, 3801 N. Keeler, is organizing a walk through the Old Irving Park neighborhood to raise funds and generate awareness of hunger in our community.
Neighbors and friends will meet at the Food Pantry at 9 am on Saturday, May 19, and walk about 1.7 miles through the neighborhood. The route should take about 30 to 40 minutes to complete.
Those interested in participating can ask friends, family, and neighbors to sponsor them. Toiletries, food, and socks donations will also be collected to add to the pantry’s stock for clients.
Schools, church groups, neighborhood associations, and individuals are encouraged to participate to build a stronger community and support an organization that works tirelessly to give back to our neighbors in need. Students will be eligible to receive two hours of service time for participating.
5th Annual NW Side Craft Beer Ride May 24
Join in on the 5th annual NW Side Craft Beer Ride! This annual event is a tour of Northwest Side bars, each one featuring a local craft brewery.
The event consists of a continuous bus route that runs in a loop from 6 pm until 12 am, with a total of 3 buses to transport participants. Simply show up at one of the 9 bars and a bus will come by and take you to the other locations. Exit the bus where you want, have a beer, and meet a brewer. Another bus will pick you up when you’re done and take you back to the loop of local bars.
Sound interesting? Join in on the fun! Tickets for the event cost $20 and are available to purchase online. You must be at least 21 to ride. The ticket price only includes cost of transportation, you must purchase beer separately.
View the event online for more information, the list of participating bars, and to purchase a ticket.
Chicago Fringe Festival Presents Five Fifths of The Rocky Horror Show May 24
The Chicago Fringe Festival is back for their totally unique take on the cult classic The Rocky Horror Show.
Five local theater companies will come together to reinterpret, redefine, and reimagine the classic film into one unforgettable show.
Tickets cost $35 if purchased before May 15 and are available online. After May 15, ticket prices raise to $40. The price includes two cocktails, food, and access to a special Chicago Fringe Festival board-sponsored wine raffle and silent auction.
Tickets to this popular event sell fast, so make sure to secure yours today!
Faith and Action Event May 25
Eden United Church of Christ is partnering with the 16th District Police to host a Faith and Action Event.
At 6:30 pm at Eden United Church of Christ, 5051 W. Gunnison, the 16th District police officers will conduct an outdoor roll call. Afterward, at 6:45 pm, neighbors will have an opportunity to have a meet and greet with police officers and build a stronger relationship between community members and our local officers. Neighbors will also have the opportunity to stay and attend a fellowship following the meet and greet.
For more information, contact the 16th District Community Relations Office at 312-742-4521 or via email atCAPS016district@chicagopolice.org. Make sure to follow the 16th District on Twitter, @ChicagoCAPS16, to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the 16th District and on future community events.
Windy City Performs Presents The Jungle Book June 2-9
The Conservatory Teen Company as a part of Windy City Perform’s “Teens for Young Audiences” will perform The Jungle Book June 2 through June 9.
Adapted from the classic Disney animated film, this production features a host of colorful characters and favorite songs from the kids movie. Teens planned, produced, and will preform in this kid-friendly, immersive, and high-energy production.
The Teen Company consists of students ages 13 and up. Students in the program learn advanced-level skills in drama, vocal production, and dance while preparing a full-length theatre piece. Teen Company audiences consistently have their expectations exceeded with the quality and professionalism of the students’ work.
Performances begin Saturday, June 2 at The Playhouse, 4766 N. Milwaukee, and will run through Saturday, June 10. More information and tickets are available online. Tickets are free for kids 12 and younger, and only $10 for those ages 13 and older.
Aoife Gallagher Benefit June 3
Twelve year old Aoife Gallagher fights a debilitating disease called Leukodystrophy. Aoife’s form of the disease is so rare, only 250 people worldwide have been diagnosed. This neurologically degenerative disease has no cure.
Diagnosed more than 10 years ago, Aoife has lost the ability to walk and talk and depends on her paents and 10-year-old brother Fionn for her every need. After years of medical treatment, Aoife had a recent major setback that required intensive care treatment for more than three months.
Aoife is a student at Disney II Magnet School on Chicago’s Northwest side. Aoife’s father, John Gallagher, hails from Crossmolina, CO. Mayo, Ireland. Her mother is Margaret McIntyre, and her brother Fionn plays for the Windy City Gales Irish youth football team for which John coaches.
On top of the emotionally and physically intense years of medical procedures and extensive medications, this ordeal has resulted in a sizable financial burden for the family.
A benefit to support this resilient family will be held on Sunday, June 3, from 3-8 pm at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox.
If you are interested in sponsoring the event, you can find a donation commitment form on my website.
Friends of the Jefferson Park Library Book Drive and Sale
Jefferson Park Forward and Eden United Church of Christ have partnered with the Jefferson Park Branch library to host a book drive and sale.
Through May 30, you can drop off books, CDs, and DVDs in good condition at the Jefferson Park Branch library, 5363 W. Lawrence. The Friends of the Jefferson Park Library will then host a sale to help raise funds to purchase tables, bulletin boards, and CD holders for the library.
The sale will take place on Thursday, May 31, from 3 pm until 7 pm; on Friday, June 1, from 10 am until 4 pm; and on Saturday, June 2, from 10 am until 4 pm. Teachers can receive a special 50% discount on June 2 from 1 to 4 pm.
If you are interested in volunteering, they are seeking volunteers to set-up, help with the sale, and clean-up afterward. Those interested can sign-up at the Jefferson Park Forward website.
This is a great opportunity to build community while raising funds for our local library, support the environment by promoting recycle and re-use, and help promote a love of reading and learning.
Help Homeless Veterans by Donating Basic Household Items & Toiletries
For the third year in a row, my office is partnering with Operation Help-A-Hero for their annual donation drive.
There are currently hundreds of homeless veterans who either live 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 hundreds of Chicago veterans who are homeless. All donations will be delivered to the united States Department of Veterans Affiars (VA). The VA will then distribute materials to qualifying veterans in need.
New, store bought items that will be collected include:
- Personal Hygiene Products including: bath soap, shampoo, conditioner, razors, feminine pads, shaving cream, deodorant, combs, hair brushes, nail clippers, toothpaste, and toothbrushes;
- Kitchen and Cleaning Supplies including: plastic trash cans, Windex, Pine Sol, dish washing liquid, dishcloths, sponges, mops, buckets, brooms, dustpans, and paper towels; and
- Bathroom & Miscellaneous Items including: 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.
This year, all Jewel-Osco stores in city of Chicago limits will also accept donations.
For more information, contact my office at 773-286-4545 or email Ward45@cityofchicago.org.
NVAM New Exhibit: Artifacts
The National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM), 4041 N. Milwaukee, will unveil their latest exhibit, Artifacts, beginning this Saturday, May 19.
Artifacts examines the personal, cultural, and historical significance of objects that have specific meaning to those directly and indirectly impacted by war. Bringing together photography, sculpture, and installation, the pieces in Artifacts serve to expand the definition of “artifact” and examine the ways in which collected objects hold meaning and significance for people, societies, and history impacted by war.
The opening reception will be Saturday, May 19 from 4-7 pm and feature brief statements from the artists and curator. The exhibit will run through September 22.
To learn more, visit the NVAM website.
Taft High School Foundation
The Taft High School Foundation, formed in 2015, is currently accepting nominations for the 2018 class of the William Howard Taft Hall of Fame. They are seeking nominations of Taft graduates who have achieved success in their fields of endeavor, as well their participation in high school and community activities. Outstanding Taft teachers (retired) are eligible for nomination, as well as Taft High School teams.
Any Taft or retired Taft teacher is eligible to participate. Information on the nomination process is available online.
Previous inductees include such notables as Jim Jacobs, co-author of Grease; Lynn Morley Martin, former Congresswoman from Rockford and Secretary of Labor; Jim Grabowski, University of Illinois Hall of Fame running back and Green Bay Packers first round pick; retired Rear Admiral Larry Marsh; Terry Kath, co-founder of the rock group Chicago; and more.
The Taft High School Foundation was formed to raise funds to create a better environment at Taft, to renew a sense of community among alumni, and to recognize outstanding alumni, teachers, and school teams.
Windy City Performs Summer Camp
Windy City Perfroms Conservatory summer camps are among the best in Chicagoland.
Their camps teach the basics in music theatre performance while preparing students for a final performance, semi or fully-produced based on age group.
Windy City Performs integrates games, social events, team-building activities and outdoor time at Jefferson Memorial Park to ensure their students have a well-rounded summer camp experience.
For pricing and scheduling information, visit the Windy City Performs website.
Register Your Child for Summer Day Camp
Summer day camp season is almost here! The Chicago Park District day camp runs June 25 through August 3.
Summer camp is a great way to keep your kids active, engaged, and safe throughout the summer. In celebration of Special Olympics’ 50th anniversary, the day camp theme this year is “Unified: We Choose to Include. This theme reflects the Chicago Park District’s enduring commitment to provide inclusive recreational opportunities for every community throughout Chicago. This theme will be woven into camp activities throughout the summer.
Registration is now open and available online.
Host an AFS Exchange Student
AFS is looking for Chicago families to host foreign exchange high school students for the 2018/2019 school year.
As a host family, you will open your home and heart to a student who will become a member of your family. Host an AFS exchange student is a great way to enrich your family by sharing your daily life with a young person from another culture and country. It also allows you to introduce your city and culture to the student.
Students arrive with their own spending money, excellent medical coverage, and are looking forward to participating as active members of their host families, schools, and community.
There is no typical host family. Couples with or without children (any age), single parents, or single adults are all welcome to open their homes to a student.
AFS is looking for host homes for the following three students. You can choose which student you feel will be the best fit for your home:
- Hatice: Hatice is from Germany. She is cheerful and loves to learn, especially math and science. She has been playing soccer since she was 7.
- Samuele: Samuele is from Italy. He is social, active in scouting and a member of a local volleyball championship team.
- Pann: Pann is from Thailand. He is a top student, musical, and participates in academic competitions.
Three Brothers Garden Seeking Summer Intern
Photo Credit: Partners for Sacred Places
Are you a college student interested in environmental science, biology, or non-profit management? Do you like vegetable gardening? Do you like people? Do you need a fun summer job? Or, do you know someone who checks these boxes? Then Carlson Community Services’ Three Brothers Garden needs you!
Three Brothers Garden is an organic food pantry garden located on the corner of Pulaski and Belle Plaine. All produce grown in the garden is donated to the Irving Park Food Pantry. To be considered for the position, you must be able to work Tuesdays from 5:30-8:00 pm and be able to drop off produce Wednesday mornings by 9 am throughout the summer. You must have access to a car and a valid driver’s license for produce delivery to the Food Pantry, located at Grace and Keeler. You must be able to lift 20 lbs, be personable, and willing to get your hands dirty.
The position pays $12/hour. The slected intern will work 4-5 hours per week (part time) for 11 weeks or longer if able. If you’re interested or know someone who is, please send an email of inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send a longer job description and application. The deadline to apply is June 1.
One Summer Chicago Applications Open Thru May 21
The City of Chicago’s One Summer program will return this summer, providing the city’s youth with over 30,000 jobs and internships this summer. Now through May 21, youth ages 14 to 24 can apply online.
The One Summer program connects Chicago’s youth with valuable work experience, helping them realize their full potential and work towards a brighter future.
Learn more and apply online.
Northwest Home Equity Assurance Program
Our local real estate market has almost bounced back from the 2008 crash. A great way to ensure that you hold onto that value is by registering with the Northwest Home Equity Assurance Program.
The program already collects a small tax from almost every residential property in the 45th Ward, but to be eligible, you need to have your property appraised and sign up. After 5 years, and as long as the property is well maintained, the program guarantees the value of your property from the time of the appraisal, except in cases where market conditions are impacting the entire city.
You can double check that you live in the program service area on this map. To learn more, call the Northwest Home Equity Assurance Program at (773) 622-0700.
Thanks for reading,
Sat., May 19, 8 am-12 pm, Eden United Church of Christ, 5051 W. Gunnison. Eden United hosts its2nd annual Pancake Breakfast. Menu includes pancakes, sausage, applesauce, orange juice, milk, and coffee. Tickets: email organizers or call 773-283-5557.$5/ticket by May 17; $7/door; free/kids under 5.
Sat., May 19, 9 am-12 pm,O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant, 3500 Howard Street, Skokie. Join the MWRD for and Open House and Water Reclamation Plant Tour. Learn how the MWRD recovers resources and transforms water at these vital facilities. Free trees and compost available. Free.
Sat., May 19, 9 am-4 pm, West Walker, Save the date for the annual West Walker Garage and Yard Sale. Event will happen, rain or shine! Cost of purchases.
Sun., May 20, 9 am-1:30 pm,Copernicus Center, Parking Lot, 5216 W. Lawrence. Come out to the Spring Community Flea Market/Garage Sale. 30+ vendors, water and coffee available to purchase. Event will happen rain or shine. Food, water, and coffee available for purchase in lobby area. Sponsored by the Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce, the Copernicus Foundation, and the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association. More info: 773-282-3879. Cost of purchases.
Sun., May 20, 10 am, Harvest Christian Center Chicago, 4020 N. Tripp. Harvest Christian Center will host Chaplain Valerie Saviano as a guest speaker during their morning service. More info: online.Free.
Sun., May 20, 3 pm, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3857 N. Kostner.The St John’s Concert Series presents Jesus Garcia, paino, and Dalia Chin, flute, playing pieces by Amirov, Dvorak, and Rachmaninoff. In addition, Mr. Garcia will delight your ears with Sonata no. 13, K. 33 by Mozart and works by Brahms.Free and open to the public.
Mon., May 21, 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.
Tues., May 22, 6:30 pm, Eden United Church of Christ, 5051 W. Gunnison. Eden UCC hosts“Walking Together: Community Conversations on Mental Well-being.” The final session in a current series, the session will focus on the intersections of community well-being and personal well-being. A light dinner will be served, followed by discussion led by Consultant David Angel. RSVP requested my May 21. More info or RSVP: (773) 283-5557 or email.
Thur., May 24, 9:30 am-2 pm,Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Kizer Conference Center, 820 S> Damen. The US Department of Veterans Affairs in partnership with the Illinois Department of Employment Security-Pilsen Workforce Center hosts their annualMemorial Day Veterans Hiring and Resource Fair. Numerous employers and agencies will be on-site to promote their employment opportunities and program services. More info: online.Free.
Thur., May 24, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, Courtroom 2005.The senior enrichment seminar series hosts a Navigating Foreclosures: What Happens When You Get Served with Foreclosure Papers? seminar. RSVP: 312-603-9233. Free.
Fri., May 25, 9:30 am, Portage Park, 4100 N. Long. Join students and staff from Portage Park School to honor soldiers in the annual Flowers for Soldiers Ceremony. This ceremony is held every year to honor the military at the site of a memorial tree at the northeast corner of Portage Park, near Berteau and Long. Grade K-2 students will perform patriotic songs and lay flowers at the base of the tree. The PPS Wind ensemble and Concert Band will perform the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held in the auditorium. More info: call 773-534-3576. Free.
Tue., May 29, 7 pm, Pasta D’Arte, 6311 N. Milwaukee. Meet neighbors and get involved in your community during the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Associationmonthly meeting.Free.
Wed., May 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 Associationmonthly meeting. Featured speaker is Jeff Skrentny, leader of a dedicated group of restoration volunteers, in conjunction with the Forest Preserve of Cook County. He will give insights into LaBagh Woods’ diverse population of wildlife. Free.