The annual designation of March as Women's History Month first started in 1981 when Congress passed a law requesting the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” This request was updated in 1987 when Congress designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations commemorating March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history.
This Women's History Month I would like to honor Chicago's first female Aldermen, Anna Langford of the 16th Ward and Marilou Hedlund of the 48th Ward, who were both elected in 1971. Alderman Langford was elected to her first of three non-consecutive terms to represent Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, while that same year, Alderman Hedlund was elected to City Council representing the Uptown community. Like me, Alderman Langford didn't succeed in her first run for the post, but through dedication, perseverance and hard work, she eventually rose to the position of President Pro-Temp in City Council under the leadership of Mayors Eugene Sawyer and Richard M. Daley. Alderman Hedlund served one term focusing on youth living in her ward, women’s rights, gay rights and the landmark preservation of historical buildings and sites in the ward. These inspiring women paved the way for the dozens of female politicians like me who have been honored to serve the people of Chicago in City Council.
I ask you this Women's History Month to join me in remembering the female figures in your life that have influenced you in a positive way.
One piece of housekeeping business as well. Now that the snow is finally melting, please be sure to pick up the garbage and dog doo in your yard and parkway. I know it was increasingly difficult to maintain properties under a foot of snow, but now that it's a bit warmer, please do your part to keep our neighborhood safe and clean. Dog doo especially, as it is food for rodents and will contribute greatly to the rodent problem come summertime.
The 3rd Ward Public Service Office staff and I are available to assist you by phone 773-373-9273 or via email at Ward03@cityofchicago.org. Thank you for reading this newsletter. Please share it with a neighbor or friend.
Alderman, 3rd Ward
Third Ward Update
COVID-19 Vaccine, United Center, Business, Park Updates
Chicago is now in phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccinations. This means Chicagoans age 65+ and specific groups of highest-risk and front-line essential workers are eligible for vaccination. Please remember, even when you become eligible, it may take weeks to get an appointment. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) expects it to take at least through March for frontline essential workers and those who are 65+ to get their first dose of vaccine because of limited supply, and the number of providers who are able to administer the vaccine. The vaccine will be offered at no cost to all Chicagoans who want it.
On February 10, Governor Pritzker announced the expansion of phase 1b to those with underlying conditions. While the City is making progress every day with vaccinating people in 1a and 1b, at this time Chicago is not being supplied enough doses to expand phase 1b to include those with underlying conditions. There are 713,000 Chicagoans (363,000 seniors 65+ and 350,000 essential workers) currently in phase 1b. However, the City has only received 218,250 first doses as part of phase 1b. CDPH will monitor the situation and continue to work to vaccinate as many Chicagoans as possible.
Phase 1C is estimated to start March 29th (majority of vaccinations in April and May)
Phase 2 is estimated start May 31st
United Center Mass Vaccination Site
State and local officials announced that the United Center's new mass vaccination site will open for appointments exclusively for Illinois residents age 65 and over at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 4th. General registration for Phase 1b+ will open Sunday, March 7th at 4:00 pm. Please click here to access the United Center dedicated website that shares all of the details.. There will be two ways to sign up: on Zocdoc (details below) or by calling 312-746-8435.
The United Center site will operate seven days a week for eight weeks and will be able to administer 6,000 shots per day at full capacity. Vaccinations would be by appointment only and demand is anticipated to be high. Doses administered at the United Center will be provided directly from the federal government and are not diverted from the supply sent to Chicago or Illinois.
City Partners With Zocdoc for COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment
Zocdoc is new City partnership and is an efficient way for those eligible in Phase 1b to request a vaccine appointment, outside of their healthcare provider or directly with a pharmacy. Currently there may not be appointments available, however Zocdoc is a way to provide some basic information, and as supply increases and additional appointments become available, individuals will be contacted directly by email.
The City of Chicago has announced the further easing of COVID-19 regulations for Chicago businesses. Due to sustained progress in all four reopening metrics, indoor capacity at bars, restaurants and other businesses can increase to 50%. Additionally, bars and restaurants can now remain open until 1:00 a.m., alcohol sales from liquor stores and other establishments with a Package Goods license can now continue until 11:00 p.m. and indoor fitness class size can increase to 20 people. As part of the established roadmap for a cautious and careful reopening, other regulations will remain in place for the time being, including the capacity limit of no more than 50 people within any one space at bars, restaurants, events and other venues. Complete reopening details can be found here.
The Chicago Park District announced plans to reopen the city’s lakefront, playgrounds and indoor aquatics programming as metrics have allowed the city to ease COVID-19 regulations.
Chicago Park District crews have begun opening public access points to parkland east of Lake Shore Drive. Lakefront parks will be open during normal operating hours. Parking fees will be required and enforced. Masks are mandatory. Large gatherings are strictly prohibited and social distancing must be observed at all times.
During the upcoming weeks, the Chicago Park District will also unlock gates and prepare all 500+ outdoor playgrounds and nature play spaces to reopen, expanding outdoor recreation opportunities for children, ages 12 and under. Families and caregivers are urged to practice safety guidance, including wearing a mask, social distancing and cleaning hands frequently. These high traffic areas are not sanitized but can be enjoyed safely by following the guidance on the signage installed at each location.
During its spring programming session, the Chicago Park District will reopen its indoor swimming pools to offer limited aquatics programming. Spring registration begins Monday, March 8th. Programs run April 5th through June 13th. Spaces for each program will be limited to observe social distancing. The District will follow swimming pool guidance from the State of Illinois.
For park specific, COVID-19 updates, visit Chicago Park District. We also encourage residents to check the City of Chicago website for vital information including Protect Chicago and Protect Chicago Plus in addition to the State of Illinois website for Restore Illinois, the most up-to-date information and guidance available.
3rd Ward Receives Additional Police Officers
The Chicago Police Department has assigned additional police officers to two districts that cover the 3rd Ward. The 2nd District, which covers the Bronzeville, Grand Boulevard, GAP and Washington Park communities was allocated 10 additional police officers. The 9th District, which includes the Fuller Park community, received 9 additional officers. In the 2nd District, these officers will be dispersed evenly amongst the 1st and 3rd watches to provide additional support during the evening and late night hours.
As has been widely reported, the City of Chicago, much like many other cities across the county, has experienced a recent spike in reported carjackings. In February 2021, this trend slowed with 121 reported hijackings through February 27th. This is down significantly from the previous month when 219 vehicular hijackings were reported.
The Chicago Police Department remains dedicated to further reducing the volume of carjackings citywide and acknowledges that the winter weather likely contributed to the monthly reduction. Still, the drop in carjackings points to progress having been made since the launch of the Vehicular Hijackings Task Force.
Dowell Joins Fellow Elected Officials in Calling for Change at USPS
Alderman Dowell was proud to stand with Congressman Bobby Rush, Aldermen Harris, Brookins and Curtis, and Alsip Mayor John Ryan to call for the resignation or termination of Chicago Postmaster General Wanda Prater and her leadership team, for the utter failure of USPS and several post offices - including the Henry McGee Station which serves the Bronzeville community. A USPS Inspector General report found stations like Henry McGee had unreported and/or under-reported delayed or never delivered mail and packages. Absenteeism and irregular hiring patterns were also cited in the report as problems. USPS is clearly in disarray and 3rd Ward residents deserve to get their mail, medicine and packages on time even during a pandemic. As the federal government has oversight of the USPS, thank you to Congressman Rush for his leadership in holding townhall meetings with residents, requesting the Inspector General investigation and organizing the important press conference on this issue.
Dowell, Other State and Local Leaders Condemn Trinity Health for Closure of Mercy Hospital
In the wake of Trinity Health's announcement that it will close the historic Mercy Hospital on Chicago's South Side, Alderman Dowell worked with other elected leaders to release a letter criticizing the planned closure, which will leave countless already underserved residents without neighborhood access to health care. A portion of the letter is copied below:
"As elected officials and advocates for our community, we begged Trinity to work with us and our community partners to save Mercy Hospital and to continue to provide much needed health care to underserved Black, Brown, Asian and White communities on the south side. We asked them to 'work with us' on a smooth transition to allow another entity to take over. They refused to talk to us and chose instead to operate in secrecy, strategically dismantling a once vibrant hospital and creating their own financial dilemma."
For a copy of the full press release, please click here.
3rd Ward Roof and Porch Grant Winners
Each year, a limited amount of grant funding is available to income-eligible Chicago homeowners to make repairs to their roofs or porches. Interested parties must register in a lottery for a chance to receive the service.
In the 3rd Ward, 6 properties in Bronzeville, 2 in the South Loop, 1 in Washington Park, and 3 in Fuller Park were selected to receive the grants. In addition, 2 properties in Bronzeville, 1 in Washington Park, and 1 property in Fuller Park were placed on the waitlist in case there is additional grant funding that can be distributed.
Registration for the 2021 Roof and Porch Repair Program lottery closed on Thursday, May 21, 2020. The lottery drawing took place on Thursday, July 23, 2020 to determine who will receive the one-time service.
The City of Chicago announced the 30 finalists selected for to received a Neighborhood Opportunity Fund grant. The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund finalists were selected from nearly 400 applicants that submitted grant proposals in the fall – the second of two application rounds held by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) in 2020. Projects were selected based on development team experience, project viability, neighborhood needs, potential economic impact, and other criteria. The 3rd Ward is proud to announce that Bronzeville Wingz at 4547 S. State St. was selected to receive grant funding.
Grant amounts range from $40,000 to $250,000 but are subject to change as projects are refined in the coming months. Recently announced program updates now provide a pathway to 100 percent funding based on ownership and hiring plans, Finalists will be provided with concierge service by DPD to help with contracting, permits, licenses, financing and other needs as each project progresses through design, construction and completion.
Entrenuity Opens in the 3rd Ward
Please join Alderman Dowell in welcoming Entrenuity, a co-working space and coffee bar, to the 3rd Ward's South Loop neighborhood (1449 S. Michigan Ave.). Opened on Friday, February 19th, Entrenuity is home to Mox.E, a business incubator and co-working space dedicated to helping Black, Latinx and women entrepreneurs develop their businesses and access capital. The location will also be the new home of South Loop favorite Overflow Coffee, which moved from its previous location on the corner of 16th St. and State. St. For more information on Entrenuity, visit entrenuity.com and Mox.E at moxechicago.com.
Ms. Biscuit Reopens!!
Washington Park staple Ms. Biscuit has reopened. Two years after shutting its doors, the restaurant returns to its former home at 5431 S. Wabash Ave. Famous citywide for its legendary flaky, buttery biscuits and gourmet soul food, Ms. Biscuit welcomed its first customers on Sunday, February 28th. Call 773-268-8088 for more information or to place an order!
Arterial Street Resurfacing Projects - 18th St. from Halsted to Canal; LaSalle St. from Pershing to 47th
The Chicago Department of Transportation and its partners will be performing the following arterial street resurfacing projects that will affect residents of the 3rd Ward - 18th St. from Halsted St. to Canal St., and LaSalle St. from Pershing Rd. to 47th St.
Work includes but is not limited to: hot-mix asphalt surface removal, hot-mix asphalt resurfacing, pavement for bus pads and patches, ADA compliant ramp installation, city structure adjustments, sidewalk, driveway and alley, curb, and curb and gutter removal and replacement, traffic control and protection, and pavement markings.
Construction schedules for these projects will be sent at when they are established by CDOT. Questions, please contact the 3rd Ward Public Service Office at 773-373-9273.
16th St. and Clark St. - Infrastructure Project
This project comes as an effort by Crown Castle to build up their infrastructure at 16th St. and Clark St. in order to bring advanced fiber technology to the area. Work will be performed by Western Utility, beginning March 1, 2021 and will be completed by March 9, 2021. Questions, please contact the 3rd Ward Public Service Office at 773-373-9273.
CTA Orange and Green Line Track Maintenance Sunday, March 7th
Due to necessary track maintenance, there will be a line cut on the Green Line between Roosevelt and 35th-Bronzeville-IIT Stations, and a line cut on the Orange Line between Roosevelt and Halsted Stations. Work will be performed on Sunday, March 7th, from start of service (4:30am on Orange, 5:00am on Green) to 6:00pm (or completion of work). Transfers and shuttle busses will be provided for free.
Shuttle Routing, Service Description
The Orange Line shuttle will operate service in both directions between State/Roosevelt and the Halsted Orange Line bus terminal. It will not make any other stops. Frequency: 6-10 minutes.
The Green Line shuttle will operate in both directions between State/Roosevelt and the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT station. It will also stop at State/Cermak. Frequency: 7.5-10 minutes.
South Loop Event Parking Restrictions
Parking restrictions are in place for the South Loop from Roosevelt Road to Cermak Rd. from Lake Shore Drive to Clark St. during all Chicago Bears football games and many other Soldier Field events. Wintrust Arena events have been removed from the parking restrictions. Vehicles parked in the South Loop without a valid South Loop Event Parking Pass, South Loop Event Guest Pass or Residential Permit Parking pass (for Residential Permit Parking Streets ONLY) are subject to ticketing or towing.
For a complete list of Soldier Field events, please visit www.SoldierField.net/event. The 3rd Ward is providing the list below as a courtesy to residents and visitors and does not assume liability for the accuracy of the monthly list of South Loop events. All Soldier Field events are subject to change, including cancellation or the scheduling of additional events. It is your responsibility to adhere to the parking restrictions in place.
Events Postponed Until Further Notice
(As of April 1, 2020)
Tips to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
During cold weather months, the Chicago Department of Water Management (DWM) encourages residents make sure pipes in homes are properly insulated and not exposed to freezing air. Specifically, homeowners should maintain proper heat in their homes; insulate pipes including outside pipes; run a trickle of cold water; and remove all garden hoses and insulate the hose bibbs. If pipes do freeze, thaw them with a hair drier or heating pad, do not use candles or open flame.
Neighborhood Opportunity Fund Applications to Reopen in March 2021
The City of Chicago's Neighborhood Opportunity Fund will reopen for grant applications up to $250,000 starting Monday, March 8th, with more than $4 million in funding available for small businesses, non-profits and cultural institutions on the West, Southwest and South sides. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 9th.
The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) program supports private rehabilitation and construction projects that add economic vitality to neighborhood commercial corridors and support local needs. A map of eligible areas and application details can be found on the program’s website, www.chicago.gov/nof.
Grants may be applied toward costs including building rehabilitation, new construction, design, site acquisition and preparation, technical services and other expenses. To date, the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund program has committed $55 million in financing to about 180 active and completed project across the West, Southwest and South sides of Chicago.
Chicago Soccer Foundation and Chicago Rec Sports Open
Because many schools are not permitted to provide sports in-house at this time, Chicago Soccer Foundation and Chicago Rec Sports have designed opportunities to help students reacclimate themselves to recreational sports.
The organizations are offering a comprehensive menu of recreational youth sports this spring at the brand new, state-of-the-art ComEd Rec Center and the new Dunbar Park Turf. Choose from many fun, low cost, convenient and equal opportunity programs for grades preschool through 8th. Families will register individually with the option to be paired with their classmates/friends as a group. Individual signups will be placed on an age appropriate team. Program average cost is $175 per player for 8 week season with jersey.
CPS is holding town hall meetings to gather feedback from the community on how we can strengthen the ways we measure school quality and build a new school accountability system. The town hall meetings will also provide an overview of the history and purpose of measuring school accountability. Meetings will be simultaneously aired in Spanish.
When: Wednesday, March 3rd from 10:00 am to noon; Thursday, March 4th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Monday, March 8th from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm; Wednesday, March 10th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: March 3rd register here, March 4th register here; March 8th register here; March 10th register here.
NHS Financial Fresh Start Webinar
Whether you are planning to purchase a home or simply need to improve your finances, this webinar will prepare you for financial security. Learn How To: develop a spending plan, reduce your debt, and increase your credit score.
Learn about the home buying process such as the basics of budgeting, improving credit, understanding the closing process and down payment assistance programs. This is an eight-hour course delivered in four 2-hour sessions.
Join Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) on March 11 at 5:00 p.m. at the NHS (Virtual) Annual Awards when national leaders discuss Strategies for Systemic Change. NHS President and CEO, Anthony Simpkins leads King Harris, John Rogers Jr., Scott Swanson, and Andrea Zopp in conversation about solutions to access and equity.
Bishop Dr. Horace Smith Appointed to Low Income Housing Trust Fund Board
Bishop Dr. Horace Smith M.D., pastor of Apostolic Faith Church in the 3rd Ward and attending physician specializing in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, has been selected to serve on the City's Low-Income Housing Trust Fund Board of Directors.
The Low-Income Housing Trust Fund was created to meet the permanent housing needs of Chicago’s very low-income residents. The Trust Fund assists residents living in poverty, with incomes not exceeding 30 percent of area median income, by providing well-maintained and affordable housing. The Trust Fund is managed by the Board of Directors, which provides oversight and direction for the organization, sets policy, establishes the budget and monitors expenditures.
Johanna 'Jojo' Harris Named Notable 2021 Leader in HR
Crain’s Chicago Business named JoJo Harris as a Notable 2021 Leader in Human Resources (HR). Mrs. Harris works at the Jacobson Group as Senior Vice President of Human Resources where she is responsible for transitioning the company to remote work during the pandemic, introducing a new talent management system, enhancing the company retirement savings plan, and overhauling the company's outdated onboarding system. She is also known as a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry. Mrs. Harris is also the spouse of notable Bronzeville Pastor Chris Harris.
March CAPS Meetings
Attending and participating in the Chicago Police's Community Policing Program (CAPS) is one of the best ways to address crime and quality of life issues in your neighborhood. By attending CAPS meetings, you can share important information with the police that will assist them in making arrests and preventing crime as well as receive valuable information about resources that promote homeowner and community safety. Visit www.chicagopolice.org to find out what district you live in and click on each district title to learn more about what is happening in your neighborhood.
1st District CAPS Meetings (via Zoom, email CAPS.001District@chicagopolice.org for login info)
When: Tuesday, March 16th @ 3:00 pm
When: Wednesday, March 24th @ 3:00 pm
2nd District CAPS Meetings
When: March 4, 2021 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)