Important Bills Pending in Springfield - Contact Your Representatives Now:
Fairer Commercial Property Assessments
Tougher Gun Laws
Dear Neighbors,

May is the height of the legislative session in Springfield. There are two laws pending that are of special concern to our Ward residents - please contact your state Representatives and ask them to support these bills.

Fair Commercial Property Assessments

The Cook County Assessor's office does not receive full and accurate information from commercial property owners, leading in the past to unfair lower assessments. According to Crain's Chicago Business , "the prices of the 50 biggest [commercial] property sales in Cook County over the last five years added up to $17.1 billion, while the [former] assessor valued them at only $7.8 billion. The difference— about $9.2 billion —equals the value of nearly 40,000 median-priced homes in the Chicago area." Residential homeowners pay increased property taxes because of these under assessments.

SB1379 gives the Cook County Assessor’s Office the ability to collect operating income and expense data to more accurately deliver property assessments. The change would bring Cook County and Illinois in line with professional practices in other states and cities, including Washington D.C., Boston and Seattle. A summary of the bill is here.

The bill is fair - it exempts smaller commercial properties with fewer than six residential units "above the store."

Passage of this bill is critical to reforming our assessment system. There is a hearing scheduled on this bill tomorrow, May 9, before the Revenue and Finance Committee. Please voice your support this bill by contacting the Chair of the Committee, Michael Zalewski, members of the Revenue & Finance Committee, and your own State Representative.

State Representatives who represent the 43rd Ward are:

Art Turner (9th):
Ann Williams (11th):
Sara Feigenholtz (12th):
Kam Buckner (26th):

Don't live in our Ward? Find contact information for your State Representative here. Please show your support for Assessor Fritz Kaegi by urging our State Representatives to vote for this bill.
Tougher Gun Licensing, Seizure and
Identification Revocation Bill

Illinois lawmakers have introduced HB96, to improve the FOID (firearms owner identification) system and keep guns out of the wrong hands. HB96 strengthens Illinois law and tightens legal gaps that enabled both the Aurora shooting n February 2019 and the Mercy hospital shooting as well as overall gun violence plaguing our state.

HB96 would:
  • Require point-of-sale background checks for all unlicensed gun sales
  • FOID applicants must apply in person and be fingerprinted by the State Police
  • Law enforcement must remove guns when a FOID card is revoked
  • Cuts FOID card from 10 to 5 years
  • Strengthen Concealed and Carry Licensing process

Please contact your state legislators to voice your opinion on the matter at the same addresses listed above. The bill is currently stuck in the House Rules Committee.
Community Events
Old Town Triangle Association CAPS Meeting
Thursday, May 9th
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
1763 N. North Park

This meeting includes beats 1811, 1812, 1813 and 1814. We encourage you to attend the CAPS meeting held this Thursday at the Triangle. CAPS meetings share information for the community to better fight crime and to stay informed on the issues occurring in the neighborhood. Meet the beat officers that patrol your area everyday and share your concerns.
Commander Buslik Retirement Reception
Monday, May 13th
6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.
850 W. Addison St.

Please join the 19th District Police Steering Committee to congratulate the Commander of the 19th District, Commander Marc S. Buslik, on his retirement from the Chicago Police Department. Commander Buslik has served on the Chicago Police Department for 39 years and led our District since his assignment to the 19th District in November of 2016. Refreshments and desserts will be served.

Please RSVP to the community policing office at 312-744-0064 by May 9th.
Coffee with the Commander - 18th District Dan O'Shea
Wednesday, May 15th
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Wintrust Bank of Old Town
100 W. North Ave.

Join RNRA (River North Residents Association) public safety committee members at "Coffee with the Commander." Stop by and meet Commander Dan O'Shea and our 18th District officers over a cup of coffee. Share your safety concerns and hear what CPD has planned for summer safety measures.
Wrightwood Neighbors Wine Festival
May 17-19th
12:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Jonquil Park
1001 W. Wrightwood Ave.

Wrightwood Neighbors Association will be hosting their 5th annual Wine Festival next weekend at Jonquil Park. Beyond samplings, wine connoisseurs will also appreciate hearing the expertise of brand ambassadors and sommeliers. Enhancing the fest will be a mellow live music lineup, food-wine pairings, artisans, and the products/services of wine-related vendors.

For tickets and information, please visit their website here.
Construction Notices of Current Projects

Fullerton and Geneva Terrace Restoration

Diversey/Halsted Sewer Project Continues Closure
The Diversey Sewer Project from Halsted to Burling continues with a temporary closure of Diversey. This location may allow intermittent through traffic while working north on N Burling St, but please consider this closure while making travel plans.

Happy Mother's Day,


Michele Smith
43rd Ward Alderman
43rd Ward Office Hours: M 9 AM - 7 PM, T - F 9 AM - 6 PM 
  2523 N Halsted  |  773-348-9500
Text Us for Constituent Services: 773-906-4333