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27th Ward Newsletter
June 5, 2020

Mayor Lightfoot Launches Together Now, Chicago's Fund to Rebuild Our Neighborhoods
$10 million City-backed fund receives $1 million donation from Jewel-Osco
Mayor's Press Office    

CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined Dr. Helene Gayle, President & CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, and local partners to announce the launch of Together Now: Chicago’s Fund to Rebuild Our Neighborhoods. In collaboration with The Chicago Community Trust, the City of Chicago is launching the Together Now fund to unite money raised by Chicago’s philanthropies, corporations, and individuals to be disbursed to small businesses and not-for-profits throughout the City that have experienced damage as a result of activities over the past week. The fund is starting out with an initial $10 million City commitment to address immediate needs of small businesses, and today Jewel-Osco is announcing its support as the fund’s first donor. Mayor Lightfoot was today joined by representatives from Jewel-Osco, to announce a $1 million contribution to help small businesses as they begin to rebuild.
“We thank Jewel-Osco for its commitment and partnership in making reopening a reality for businesses throughout the city, as many of Chicago’s businesses are struggling from the compounded impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as from damages to their properties during the events of the past week,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “We also thank Jewel-Osco for its leadership and commitment to Chicago, exhibited clearly by their commitment to rebuild stores. Now more than ever, we are relying on our corporate partners to step up and lead the way, and that’s what we are seeing today as Jewel-Osco reopens several storefronts, helping Chicagoans throughout the city maintain access to the essential goods and services they need.”
In addition to the $1 million donation, Jewel-Osco is also launching a pin pad campaign at all 37 Chicago locations. When checking out, customers will be prompted to donate select dollar amounts, $1, $3 or $5 to the Together Now fund. This campaign will run through July 31st, with the potential for expansion based on additional need throughout the city.
“Jewel-Osco has deep roots in Chicago’s South and Southwest Sides," said Mike Withers, President of Jewel-Osco. "We proudly stand with our neighbors as we work together to rebuild these communities. We are thankful for the generous support of our customers during this difficult time.”
The $1 million contribution comes after several Jewel-Osco storefronts were damaged during the events in Chicago over the past week. The company spent the past several days repairing the damage and has already reopened multiple storefronts including the 95th Street and 87th street locations which open today, and the Woodlawn location which re-opened earlier in the week. The King Drive store re-opens Saturday.
Many of Chicago’s businesses are not only struggling from recent damages but have also lost substantial revenue over the past ten weeks as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Together Now fund seeks to address the critical obstacles many businesses are facing and help them make reopening a reality. The flexibility in resources will help provide funding for rebuilding or repairing physical storefronts, restocking shelves to account for inventory losses, and ultimately reopening for their neighbors and surrounding communities.
“Our hearts ache for the violence and destruction which impacted communities that were already bearing the brunt of decades of disinvestment.” said Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. “We rely on small businesses for far more than goods and services. They provide jobs, economic vitality and hope for our communities.”
When businesses apply for assistance from the fund, multiple factors will be taken into consideration. While businesses throughout the city will be eligible, allocations will be made with an equity weighting to account for a disproportionate impact felt in particular neighborhoods throughout the city. Black and Latinx business owners are more frequently uninsured or underinsured and living in communities that have faced decades of disinvestment, both of which will be considered in the decision-making process.
More information about the eligibility requirements, size of grants, and the number of recipients will be determined in the coming days as the City continues to take inventory of the total damages. In the meantime, for more information or to make a donation please visit  cct.org/togethernow .
June 5, 2020

City of Chicago Announces Extension of Temporary Fines and Fees Suspension as Chicago Moves to Phase Three of Reopening Framework
City provides opportunity for residents to prepare and come into compliance over one-month period
Mayor's Press Office   

CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and City Comptroller Reshma Soni today announced the City’s phased approach for ticketing and enforcement to help residents who are continuing to experience financial hardship due to COVID-19.  On June 3, the city officially moved into phase three of its ‘Protecting Chicago’ re-opening framework ‘Cautiously Reopen.’ On Monday, June 8, the City will resume several services and reopen many of its buildings. Throughout the month, as Chicago begins the process to gradually reopen, the Department of Finance (DOF) will dedicate time to send notices and educate residents about the upcoming dates when the city will resume full enforcement for certain violations that were temporarily suspended due to the COVID outbreak. Beginning July 1, the City will also use a staggered approach to phase in the collection of business taxes that have been deferred, as well as resume regular ticketing and collections.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, the City has taken every possible step to help ease the financial impact on residents and businesses specifically during the state mandated ‘Stay at Home’ order,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “While the City has moved into phase three, we remain committed to continuing to help residents in the wake of the economic aftermath of COVID-19. For this reason, we will be placing an additional emphasis on educating residents while simultaneously helping to bring people into compliance.” 
Today’s announcement comes after the Lightfoot Administration temporarily suspended many of the City’s enforcement activities including debt collection and payment plan defaults on utility bills, compliance and other violations in an effort to provide financial relief to residents experiencing increased financial pressure from the COVID-19 global pandemic.
During this time, the City only continued ticketing enforcement for public safety and parking meter violations.
“While the City took several steps to help ease the financial burden placed on many residents during this time, we are aware that the economic impact lingers,” said Comptroller Soni. “As the City enters into this phase of its gradual re-opening, we will be continuing the suspension of fines and fees enforcement for one additional month to focus on educating and bringing residents into compliance prior to assessing penalties or defaulting any payment plans.”
The resumption of collection activities will be phased in over the next few months. In addition to posting tax payment due dates online, DOF will be sending notices to taxpayers, utility customers and motorists about the compliance due dates and information about the City’s payment plan options. The temporary suspension of booting will continue.
Key dates include the following:
Beginning June 8
  • City Hall Payment Center re-opens. 
  • The payment center located at 400 W. Superior will continue to operate while the neighborhood payment centers will open in phases throughout June.
  • Motorists with unpaid tickets who had not been assessed penalties prior to March 18, 2020 will receive notices informing them of due dates and timelines around penalties.
  • Reminder notices will be sent for ticket and utility payment plans.
  • Ticketing will continue for public safety violations and for unpaid parking meters.
Beginning July 1
  • Late payment penalties will be assessed on past due utility balances.
  • Past due payment plans will be defaulted.
  • Collection and enforcement activities including booting will continue.
  • Residential and municipal utility customers with payment due dates prior to June 30 will not be assessed additional penalties until July 1.
  • Ticket enforcement activities will increase citywide including street sweeping violations.
Beginning July 15
  • Certain deferred tax payments will become due.
  • Motorists will receive a grace period through July 15 to purchase residential parking permits, city stickers and renew license plates before enforcement begins on July 16.
While the City Hall payment center will reopen in phase three the City will require all residents making physical payments in person to abide by important guidance, including: physically distancing and wearing a face covering; limiting capacity to <10 persons; and staying at home if you feel ill or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19. Residents are strongly encouraged to utilize other methods to make payments including City kiosks and the online portal.
Chicago is one of the largest cities in the nation to tackle fines and fees reforms this comprehensively. Last year, the Chicago City Council approved the initial fines and fees reform package, the City’s first step to ending the harmful enforcement practices that have historically impacted financially challenged communities at disproportionate levels. The proposed policies included input from dozens of advocacy groups and city departments, which were all members of the Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative, formed in December 2018 and led by City Clerk Anna M. Valencia.
Chicago has already provided critical relief to many residents by implementing new practices which has included eliminating City sticker ticket debt for those who can least afford it; reduction of excessive late fees on the City Sticker program; elimination of license suspensions for non-driving violations; launch of a series of new payment plans that expand the options for paying off debt; and new pathways to compliance to help residents who are eligible avoid any number of the devastating consequences of onerous city debt – including water shut offs, tow and impound, and more.
Those who may need assistance with outstanding debt are encouraged to visit New Start Chicago, a source found on the City of Chicago’s website that provides information on payment plans, hardship qualifications and other FAQs related to fines and fees reforms. By clicking here,  www.Chicago.gov/newstartchicago , residents can sign up for a flexible payment plans for tickets and utility bills with a lower down payment and up to 60 months to repay amounts due. Residents can learn more or make payments online at  Chicago.gov/finance .

June 5, 2020

Mayor's Office Statement on Independent Monitor's Review of City's Response to Protests
Mayor's Press Office   

"The Independent Monitor has been a critical partner on our road toward building a more transparent, accountable and professional police force, and we join in the request for her thorough review of the City's response to the protests, violence, and looting in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police."
"Since the onset of these events, Mayor Lightfoot and Superintendent Brown have been unequivocally resolute that police misconduct of any kind will not be tolerated and those found committing wrongdoing will be held fully accountable. Just as the overwhelming majority of protests remained peaceful this week, the vast majority of officers followed their training and supervisor direction during these difficult times. Nonetheless, we will continue to vigorously investigate all reports of excessive force arising from this week."
"The Chicago Police Department's road to reform began more than four years ago with the Police Accountability Task Force that was led by Mayor Lightfoot. This week, the Mayor doubled down on her commitment to meaningful, enforceable police reform through new measures that will be implemented in the next 90 days, including crisis intervention and procedural justice training, a new recruit program on police-community relations, a real officer wellness program and additional reform measures. Our work towards reform has never been more important than it is today, and we look forward to working with the Independent Monitor to build on the progress we've made over the last several years."


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