Historic Budget Shortfall
COVID Causes It
Emergency School Supply Drive for Our Schools
Help Kingston Mines
Dear Neighbors,

This week, Mayor Lightfoot presented a budget forecast that projects a $1.2 billion gap for fiscal year 2021. The largest in the Chicago’s history, it is largely attributed to the devastating and continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on revenues which has caused widespread financial disruption to many sectors of Chicago’s economy. As part of the budget public engagement framework, the City has also released the 2021 Budget Forecast Summary, an overview that provides a depiction of the impacts of COVID-19 on the City’s finances.   
The economic destruction caused by COVID-19 has been devastating to our city.

Our city's Gross Domestic Product has fallen 10%; unemployment has reached 18.7%, and consumer spending has fallen 12%. Federal aid has actually prevented these numbers from being greater. And, according to the budget, "a subsequent mandated stay-at-home order in 2020 could result in an increase to the anticipated shortfall."

For 2020, the city is expected to suffer, $886.6 million dollars in lost revenue, including $200 million in Hotel and Amusement taxes, which have not been generated at all since March. The rideshare tax, passed last year, is expected to bring in only half of what was planned, costing us another $91 million. The drop in real estate sales is costing us $74 million in transfer taxes.

As things stand now, we should all expect these COVID related problems to persist well into 20201, leading to a $1.2 Billion gap between revenue and expenses for 2021. In addition to these COVID-related costs, new costs are planned for 2021, primarily the increase in our mandated pension payments by almost $100 million, and contractual pay increases.

“As the pandemic has continued for months, Mayor Lightfoot said, "compromising the health and well-being of people all across the country, it is clear that without another round of federal stimulus funding, Chicago, like many other cities, will be facing a set of very hard choices. That’s why it remains vitally important for the community to stay involved in this inclusive process so that your voices are heard.” 

You can review the 2020/21 budget forecast here.
City Budget Briefings
Wednesday - Friday 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

As City Council prepares for budget hearings, you can learn more details with us about our budget, and submit questions and suggestions.

During this week's “Budget Week" - watch a series of virtual budget town hall meetings, live-streamed on Facebook, and review a new interactive website where residents can submit questions for the town hall series as well provide other feedback for the upcoming budget.

Budget Week’s online Facebook Live schedule is as follows: 
You can view Monday's and Tuesday's presentations at the links.
TODAY, Wednesday, 9/2: 
Human Services with Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler, Department of Family and Support Services; Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, Department of Public Health; and Commissioner Rachel Arfa, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities 
Thursday, 9/3: 
Infrastructure with Commissioner Randy Conner, Department of Water Management; Commissioner John Tully, Department of Streets and Sanitation; and Commissioner Gia Biagi, Department of Transportation 
Friday, 9/4: 
Neighborhood and Economic Development with Commissioner Maurice Cox, Department of Planning and Development; Commissioner Marisa Novara, Department of Housing; and Commissioner Rosa Escareno, Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection 

The events will be live-streamed on Facebook from 6:00-7:00 p.m. and also made available on the Budget Engagement website here.
COVID Spreads Now At Social Gatherings

Many countries in the world have reopened with kids going to school and business almost at their usual pace - because they followed guidelines and listened to the experts. According to health studies and experience, continued closures and adverse economic impact could be avoided - if everyone would just wear a mask.

Just yesterday, Block Club reported that thirteen people were infected directly at a single pool party in August, and later infected at least six more. Commissioner Arwardy explained this case among high school students in this video, starting at minute 14:00.

Many people write to our office, asking if they "have to" wear a mask. The short answer is - YES. The governor's executive order, still in effect, requires everyone over the age of two to wear a face covering wherever they are in public, unless they can maintain a 6' social distance. This order applies to all situations.

These increased infections are preventing our state and city from opening more, causing incredible economic harm.
Block Party, Parade, and Special Event Permits Suspended Through 2020

Based on City and State Phase Four guidance to avoid gatherings of over 50 people, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced that permits for the following will not be issued through the end of 2020;

  • Block parties
  • Parades
  • Outdoor festivals
  • Athletic events
  • Nonessential markets 

Future programming and events remain under discussion. CDOT and DCASE will continue to work closely with public health officials to adopt protocols that prioritize public safety and health.
Emergency School Supply Drive for our Public Schools
Our Goal is $2500 in Supplies
With remote learning about to start, some of our local schools are still in need of supplies.

Newberry Academy needs 100 sets of school supplies, and LaSalle Language Academy needs about 25 sets.

Please help our students be well prepared to learn.

Here's how to contribute: Click on the links above to connect to an Amazon wish list. Click on the item you want to purchase, and then select the number of items you want to buy (you have to click on the first description of the item to order more than one, not the "add to my cart" button).

Your account will show as a shipping address Newberry Academy or LaSalle Elementary. Click the school name, and pay for the item as you normally would. The items will be delivered to our volunteers, who will distribute them as ordered to the schools. Thanks so much to parent Miriam Bhimani for her leadership on this project.
Free Internet for Eligible CPS Students
Chicago Public School families may be eligible for our Chicago Connected internet program by simply using the links below. They will need to know the student's ID and birthdate. 

Please see if you are eligible by clicking this link. If you don't qualify for Chicago Connected, you may be eligible for AT&T access. Learn more here.
E-Scooter Company Contacts

Our office has received a fair number of complaints about the E-Scooter pilot program, which will continue through mid-December.

It's important to report issues to the scooter companies directly. If you find scooters tied up to your fence or parked inappropriately, just quickly call the provider below:
Help Save Kingston Mines
Halfway to Goal!!

Block Club Chicago reported that one of the most iconic establishments in our community--Kingston Mines--may have to close their doors.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help save this this historic home for Blues. It is halfway to its goal! Please help.
Labor Day Closing

In observance of Labor Day, our office will be closing a 1 p.m. Friday and will reopen on Tuesday morning. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.
Have a safe - and mask-wearing - Labor Day weekend,

43rd Ward Virtual Office Hours: M - F 9 AM - 5 PM 
 2523 N Halsted | 773-348-9500 yourvoice@ward43.org www.ward43.org