Carjacking Alert and Community Forum
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Apply Now for PPP Loans
National COVID-19 Memorial Service
Dear Neighbors,

Our community, along with the entire City, has experienced a surge in carjackings. Since Nov 1, 2020 there have been approximately eight carjackings in the 43rd Ward. I'd like to highlight some recent cases and the Chicago Police's new strategy.

Sixteen year old Denroy Garcia has been charged with murder in connection with the attempted carjacking and later murder of Shuai Guam in Bridgeport. The story is reported in the Chicago Tribune. Garcia is also charged with the December hijacking from our Ward of one of the cars involved in the murder. He was identified after he was arrested in the murder case, and he has been denied any bail pending his trial. A murder case qualifies for automatic transfer to the adult courts. I am pressing the State's Attorney's Office to seek transfer of the carjacking cases to the adult courts as well.

This case follows a pattern of other carjackings across the city, where a group of individuals, often containing several juveniles, hijack several cars. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, just this Tuesday, five carjackings occurred on the North Side within three hours: first, in the 1400 block of Dearborn, then in the 2700 block of Pine Grove, the 1500 block of West Huron Street, and finally in the 1000 block of West Hollywood Avenue (two cars taken).

According to Chicago Police data, Lincoln Park had 15 carjackings in 2020, compared to 8 in 2019. The Gold Coast area of the 43rd Ward had none in 2020 or 2019, but there were two in Beat 1824, which covers the overall area of theGold Coast neighborhood. The entire Near North area had 24, compared with six in 2019.

You can examine the data yourself at (Please recall that ward boundaries are different than neighborhood boundaries - but you can search by ward). The worst hit area is Austin, which had 101 carjackings in 2020, and 45 in 2019, according to ABC7 News.

Since December 15, we have received 12 police alerts about 58 carjackings occurring in every corner of the city.

As a consequence, I have been speaking regularly with the Chief of Detectives, our local Commanders, and the Cook County States Attorney's Office.

  • Police strongly believe that these are organized efforts to carjack.
  • While these are crimes of opportunity, they are not random. Police believe that offenders may follow a car for some time and wait for the victim to park or stop to drop something off. This has been the pattern in many carjackings across the city, including the one that led to the murder in Bridgeport.
  • The police have established several teams across the city. These teams of detectives and uniformed officers communicate almost every day and share data.
  • Fortunately, as a result of this strategy, arrests are up. We have received notices of six arrests for carjacking since January 12th, four of which were arrests of juveniles.
  • Our commanders are participating in these teams and are reinforcing beat integrity to make sure our areas are covered.

Juvenile Crime

Juveniles are highly involved in carjackings. Unfortunately, Illinois changed the law in 2016 so that arrests for armed carjacking are no longer treated as automatically adult crimes. An effort to change the law I championed in 2018 failed in Springfield. Since then, carjackings by juveniles have skyrocketed.

While I have my differences with some of the policies of the Cook County State's Attorney, the Juvenile Division is working closely with police to develop cases that will result in successful prosecutions. More, however, needs to be done to discourage juvenile involvement in these violent crimes.

Community Forum

This carjacking surge is unacceptable. To learn more about the issues and have your questions answered, please attend our special forum on carjackings, hosted by our office and the 44th Ward. Speaking will be our 18th and 19th District Commanders, as well as Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan, and representatives of the State's Attorneys Office.

Community Forum on Carjackings
Tuesday, February 2nd
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Zoom Meeting

RSVP is required. Please register here. About an hour before the forum, you will receive the special Zoom link. As is our practice, attendees can post questions and we will make sure as many questions as possible are answered.

What Can We Do Now?

  • Be careful. Just as you should always be aware when walking city streets at night, be a bit more aware when exiting your vehicle. If you are making a brief stop, park in a legal spot, and check your surroundings before exiting.

  • When police alerts are issued, please check your household video. Video evidence is invaluable. Send video to the CAPS Office at [email protected] (North of Fullerton) or [email protected] (South of Fullerton).

  • If you are victimized, surrender your vehicle. It's just not worth the risk.

  • We will cover more items at the forum, so please attend.

Working together with our police and prosecutors, we can bring this type of crime to an end.
COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
City Council held a hearing Wednesday about the COVID vaccine rollout. Here is the presentation given by Dr. Arwady, the Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Health.

Chicago is still not receiving the amount of vaccine that it needs.  The federal vaccine distribution is based entirely on population, and ignores the need to vaccinate health care workers in a hospital-rich area like Chicago.  As a result, 37% of the vaccine given so far has been given to non-Chicago residents – but these vaccines are going to doctors and nurses at our hospitals.  

The city is anticipating that the Biden administration will be releasing far more vaccine, which will help the city move much more quickly through the process.

While the city continues to vaccinate front line health care workers, Walgreen's and CVS are conducting mass vaccinations of residents in long-term nursing homes, which have had the most deaths from COVID overall.

As those groups get vaccinated, then residents over 65, and at the same time essential workers, such as police, teachers, and others, will get vaccinated.
With 362,000 people over 65 and almost 400,000 essential workers, including 50,000 just in education, the need to receive more vaccine in Chicago is clear.

The city is wisely building a plan to have regular providers of vaccines – doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies – receive doses that can be distributed as soon as received.  Under this plan, people should look first to their regular providers to get a vaccine.  The city also plans to expand the base of providers, to include, for example, dentists.  

The best course of action right now is to wait for your personal physician to contact you to come in for a vaccine. There will be a great deal of publicity when these doses are sent to medical practices, so you will know. The City has also created vaccination plans for those without regular physicians.

No schedule has been set as of yet, but the city will be fully prepared at the right time. Chicago has one of the highest "through-put" of vaccines, and no doses have been wasted. The city can store and distribute 130,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine at a time, and can store much more than that of the Moderna vaccine, which does not require ultra-cold temperatures. If you want to have personal updates, please sign up at

For now, please keep wearing mask, stay in and make good decisions so that others will not suffer.  Most cases of COVID are preventable if precautions are taken, especially wearing a mask and avoiding parties and gatherings. If you are exposed to someone with COVID, please self-quarantine immediately until you can get a test about 5-6 days after exposure.
Paycheck Protection Program Reopening

The Small Business Administration reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on January 11 to supply up to $284 billion toward job retention and other expenses through March 31, 2021. Both businesses that did not receive a loan during the first round and certain businesses that have already received a PPP loan are eligible to apply. 
As a reminder, businesses apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans through a bank, credit union, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), or other lender.

There are two types of loans:

A First Draw PPP Loan can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations. The program is targeting smaller businesses and restaurants this round, but other businesses will also be eligible. Read more here. Here is the application.

Borrowers can also apply for a Second Draw Loan with the same general loan terms as their First Draw PPPLoan. Here is the application. Read more here.

The National Restaurant Association has a great guide to help small businesses apply for PPP loans.
Airbnb Hosting Illegal Party Shut Down

Last week, an illegal Airbnb party was held at 950 W. Wrightwood.  During the party, shots were fired, slightly injuring two people.  Police immediately responded to the scene, investigated, and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) became quickly involved.  In response to BACP's request, Airbnb immediately removed the listing. In addition, the owner of the property voluntarily terminated the lease with the renter of this unit. 

This is an example of our new law working.  Police have more access to information, and BACP’s license team is more active on these short-term rental issues. Because of the pressure of our new ordinance, Airbnb is more willing to take down problematic units now.

Remember, the new law also gives neighbors the power to ban short-term rentals in a precinct.  If you are interested in launching such a petition, you can get information at
CPS Free Meals Program

With the return of pre-K students to in-person learning, CPS will continue to offer free nutritious meals to the community. Any child under the age of 18 can receive a 3-day meal kit at over 450 CPS locations across the city. Our ward’s pickup location is at LaSalle Language Academy, 1734 N Orleans St. Offerings include fresh fruit and vegetables, heat-and-serve, and cold items. 

You do not have to be a CPS student to receive a meal. Families can simply inform the cafeteria staff how many children are in their household and they will receive meals for each child. The grab & go meal service is Monday – Friday, 8am – 1pm. Students who have resumed in-person learning will receive their meals while at school.
Time to Order New Parking Passes

Your current yellow residential guest parking passes expired on December 31, 2020. To make sure you don't get a ticket, stay safe, and avoid unnecessary contact, please purchase parking passes and city stickers online right now.

Buying City Stickers and Parking Passes on-line is convenient and you can order 24 hours a day at

You can learn how to order online by using our Guest Parking Passes 101 guide.

Unfortunately, our office is not open to sell parking passes for the time-being. We're very sorry for the inconvenience.
Chicago 2021 Tree Recycling Program
Cannon Drive North of Fullerton Avenue
Starts Saturday, January 9th - January 23rd, 2021

Chicago's 2021 Tree Recycling Program runs from January 9th through the 23rd at dozens of parks across the City. The closest location in the 43rd Ward is Lincoln Park on Cannon Drive opposite the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Trees can be dropped off anytime during normal business hours. Beginning January 12, 2021, you can also pick up free mulch on a first-come, first-served basis.

Only live/natural trees without flocking are accepted (no garland or wreaths). Because the trees are mulched, all tinsel, ornaments, lights, and stands must be removed. Plastic bags used for transport should also be removed before putting trees in the stalls. 

For other great holiday recycling tips, click here.
Public Safety
18th District CAPS Meeting
January 21

Beat 1821 (5 pm) & 1824 (6 pm) (both of these are in the Gold Coast) will have a virtual CAPS meeting on January 21, 2021

You can find your beat on our website. Please email [email protected] for the link.

Community News
Principal Armendariz's Retirement

On January 9th, Mark Armendariz served his last day as principal of Abraham Lincoln Elementary School. For 30 years, Principal Armendariz has been a dedicated CPS employee. His kindness and patience have influenced so many children, and he will be sorely missed in the classrooms of Lincoln Elementary. 

Principal Amendariz, the families of Lincoln Park are incredibly grateful for your commitment to their students. We wish you a very happy and well-deserved retirement!
Creative Root at the
DePaul Theater School

The DePaul Theatre School has launched Creative Root, a program that employs a holistic theater arts education strategy.
Due to COVID-19, the Theater School is offering remote-learning opportunities for children and adults to be creative in their own homes! Registration for winter classes is here.
Women's Toiletry Drive

I am happy to again be a co-sponsor of Commissioner Bridget Gainer’s Annual Cook County Jail Women’s Justice Program Toiletry Drive. Your donations can be brought to the office of State Representative Ann Williams at 1726 W. Belmont Ave. Monday through Friday (9am–12pm), or any of the locations listed on the flyer.

Travel-size items needed include: shampoo, conditioner, soap, shower gel, deodorant, and body lotion.

Thank you to all of you who have contributed to past drives and please consider making a donation this year.
Support Local Businesses
With the new year upon us, supporting our local businesses is as important as ever; please shop and dine locally:
Order From Our Local Restaurants
City Offices Closed for
Martin Luther King Day

You can watch a moving interfaith prayer for peace at this video of the 2021 MLK Celebration.

Our 43rd Ward Service Office, and all city offices, will be closed on Monday, January 18, 2021 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday. The office will reopen on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 9 a.m. As a reminder, our office at 2523 N. Halsted is still closed to the public. Staff will continue to work virtually until further notice.
As we continue to meet our difficulties, we also can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Please participate in this moment of silence on Tuesday evening.

Have faith and be safe,

43rd Ward Virtual Office Hours: M - F 9 AM - 5 PM 
 2523 N Halsted | 773-348-9500 [email protected]