In this Issue
Third Ward Update
What started as a really strange change for nearly all Americans, over the past two years, masks in public have become a part of everyday life. Whatever you think of the pandemic restrictions put in place across Illinois, masking in public was mandatory and it was the law.
That changed starting February 28th. Masks are now optional in most public settings (details on where they are still required below). It's important to note that masks are indeed optional, not unnecessary. There is a huge difference. COVID-19 is still with us, and masks along with universal vaccinations are still the best way to prevent catching COVID and coming down with symptoms that can send you to the hospital.
But our understanding of COVID-19 and our public health response continues to evolve. That means allowing individuals who choose to not wear masks in public to do so, just as individuals who want to continue to wear masks must be allowed to as well.
Everyone wants the pandemic to end. The suffering it has caused all of our communities is immeasurable. Having our public health experts declare that masks are no longer mandatory is an important step in that process. But it's still just a step, and everyone should still do whatever they can to protect themselves and their families.
As always, 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
Latest COVID-19 Updates
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D., announced that the City has removed the mask and vaccine requirements for certain public spaces on February 28 to align with the State of Illinois’ previously announced plans to lift the statewide indoor mask mandate on that day.
The vaccine requirement for restaurants, bars, gyms and other indoor public settings where food and beverages are served went into effect on January 3 in response to the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases both locally and nationally, driven in part by the Omicron variant. More Chicagoans were hospitalized with COVID-19 during the Omicron surge than at any prior point in the pandemic and the great majority of these hospitalizations were in unvaccinated Chicagoans.
Masks will continue to be required in health care settings, on public transit, and in other congregate settings. As the City transitions its mitigation measures to remove the mask requirement, many Chicagoans will continue to wear masks in public spaces for a variety of reasons, even if they are vaccinated. For example, after 5 days of isolation or quarantine, masks will continue to be required in days 6-10 in public spaces, as they are now. CDPH recommends Chicagoans who may be immunocompromised or have a family member who is immunocompromised still wear a mask, as well residents under the age of 5 who are still not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Please be kind and considerate of your fellow Chicagoans and the decisions we all continue to make to protect themselves and those around them.
CPS to Continue Requiring Masks
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has prioritized the safety and well-being of staff and students since the onset of this pandemic nearly two years ago. CPS shared with staff and families that the District will continue to require universal masking in schools and offices for now.
CPS is in the process of reviewing the latest masking guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and are working with labor and public health partners on how to preserve a safe, healthy learning environment for all as the City transitions into this new phase of the pandemic.
Alderman Dowell Authors Resolution Supporting the Nomination of a Black Woman to the Supreme Court
Together, Alderman Dowell and Mayor Lori Lightfoot sponsored a resolution in City Council in support of President Biden's nomination of a Black Woman to the U.S. Supreme Court. Following its introduction on February 23rd, a copy was sent to President Biden and to Senate leadership, who will ultimately be voting on the appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice.
Throughout the Supreme Court's 233-year history, all but seven Justices have been white men. Ensuring diverse voices amongst the justices is more important than ever as the court considers a calendar of cases that strike at the heart of who we are – and who we want to be – as a nation.
Alderman Dowell and Mayor Lightfoot are confident that whichever of the highly qualified Black female nominees is put forward for consideration by the full Senate, that they will uphold the integrity of the Constitution, commitment to justice, and passion for our Democracy that is both forged from the Black female experience, and expected of all Supreme Court Justices.
3rd Ward Announces Latest Town Hall Meeting on March 17th at 6:00 pm
Alderman Dowell will be hosting a Town Hall meeting the evening of Thursday, March 17th at 6:00 pm. This will be a virtual meeting. Registration information will be sent out to all residents shortly.
At the Town Hall meeting, Alderman Dowell will discuss ongoing issues with Bronzeville Renaissance (4641 S. King Dr.), welcome Cliff Rome to present on his application for a Public Place of Amusement license for his new business in the ward, and hear from Ex-Cons for Community and Social Change Founder Tyrone Muhammad. Questions? Contact the 3rd Ward Public Service Office at 773-373-9273 or email Ward03@cityofchicago.org
3rd Ward Microgrant Program
3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell is providing up to $100,000 in one-time funding to support three community-based organizations within the 3rd ward. Funding will provide short-term support in the form of a microgrant to organizations offering community programming. The maximum amount for a microgrant will be $34,000 for the period of January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022. Details on the application process, types of community services eligible for funding, and a full Request for Proposals document will be provided in the near future. Complete application information will be posted to Chicago's eProcurement website
This microgrant program is made possible because of dedicated funding secured by Alderman Dowell as part of the 2022 City of Chicago Budget through her role as Chairman of the Committee on the Budget and Government Operations. The 2022 Budget included $5 million to allow each of Chicago's 50 aldermen to allocate $100,000 to support community enhancement programs in their ward.
Check out Alderman Dowell's New YouTube Channel
Alderman Dowel is excited to have launched her own YouTube channel! While it's a little sparse right now, more great content is coming. If you are looking for videos from previous Town Hall meetings or community events that you may have missed, Alderman Dowell's channel is the place for you. Visit and subscribe by clicking here
Cannabis and Your Community
The legalization of cannabis and cannabis-related businesses in Illinois is relatively new. Because of that, neighborhoods like the ones that make up the 3rd Ward are still adjusting to this new type of business. Local and statewide laws to regulate this industry are constantly changing, making it difficult for communities to ensure their voices are being heard.
With the latest round of cannabis licenses recently awarded by the State of Illinois, communities in the 3rd Ward are being inundated with applications to establish retail cannabis businesses. As the Alderman of the 3rd Ward, Alderman Dowell has no direct control over the cannabis business approval process. That power lies with the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). Where Alderman Dowell can be part of the process is in community organizing and education. Many of the ward's residents have already participated in one or more of the cannabis-related community meetings hosted by Alderman Dowell. Those meetings are an important part of the ZBA process. Thank you to everyone who has participated in the past.
Turning to education, community residents play a critical role in the cannabis business application process. First and foremost, letters of support/opposition to a particular business can be sent to ZBA@cityofchicago.org. Residents wishing to speak on a particular item during a ZBA meeting can find sign up information here.
The proposed Wabash Ave. dispensary will be on the Zoning Board of Appeals agenda on March 18th
Additionally, residents can petition to restrict the establishment of cannabis-related businesses in their precinct. A successful petition would bar any new cannabis-related business from opening in the precinct. A FAQ on the petition process can be found here. A guide to the petition process can be found here. And a list of petitions filed is located here.
However you feel about cannabis, it is important to be a part of the process to make sure our community reflects the goals and values we all work so hard to uphold. If you have any questions about the cannabis license application process, or there is anything else the 3rd Ward Public Service Office can do for you, please don't hesitate to reach out at Ward03@cityofchicago.org or at 773-373-9273.
Honoring Chicago's Nurses
Big thank you to all the nurses who serve so compassionately during this pandemic. Special kudos to all the Black nurses who are celebrating the 34th Annual Black Nurses Day. Alderman Dowell attended a nurses panel discussion at Apostolic Faith Church to discuss nursing during the pandemic. To have Joseph Harrington, Dr. Allison Arwady, Dr. Phoenix Matthews, Dr. Terry Mason and Dr. Alesia Coe all on the same panel was special and very informative. Each discussed the pandemic from their perspective, from what is happening in the hospitals, to the need to support nurses, to staffing/training impacts, low-vaccination rates in the black community, community self improvements strategies, and more. Thank you to Dr. Sandra Webb-Booker who chaired the event planning committee!
Alderman Dowell Signs Onto Resolution in Support of Starbucks Unionization
To support the unionization efforts of Starbucks employees both in Chicago and across the nation, Alderman Dowell joined many of her colleagues to cosponsor of a resolution calling for free and fair union elections to be held in any Starbucks that wishes to explore unionization.
The resolution urges Starbucks accept card check neutrality and allow their workforce to discuss unionization free from threats, intimidation, anti-union propaganda, and lawsuits. If Starbucks workers in Chicago unionize, the resolution urges Starbucks to bargain a fair contract so that the workers can have good standards of living and the company’s overwhelming wealth does not flow just to the top executives and shareholders.
University of Chicago Names New Chief of Police
The University of Chicago is pleased to announce that Lieutenant Colonel Kyle Bowman of the Michigan State Police has been selected as the next Chief of Police for the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD), effective April 4. Incoming Chief Bowman will lead UCPD, a nationally accredited law enforcement agency that provides law enforcement services to the University, the Medical Center, and the neighboring communities within UCPD’s extended patrol area. Incoming Chief Bowman will work closely with campus and community partners, as well as University leaders, including President Alivisatos and Provost Lee, to develop and enhance UCPD’s ongoing crime prevention and community engagement strategies. To read the entire hiring announcement please click here
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.
Chicago Fire FC vs. Orlando City SC
Saturday, March 5th at 5:00 pm
Chicago Fire FC vs. Sporting Kansas City
Saturday, March 19th at 5:00 pm
Apprenticeship Building America Program
The "Apprenticeship Building America" program's earn-as-you-learn model is perfect for those starting out or seeking a career change. Nonprofits, labor orgs, and schools - apply for this grant to help more workers find a reliable path to the middle class. To learn more click here
CPS Hiring Crossing Guards
Be a part of your school community while helping students in your neighborhood stay safe on their way to and from school. To apply go to cps.edu/careers
and click the "Job Board" link in the middle of the page. From the Job Board page, type "Crossing Guard" into the "Keywords" field. Click on the crossing guard job posting for the location where you want to apply, and follow the instructions to fill out the application.
Chicago Park District Summer Jobs
Calling all high school students, ages 14+, interested in exploring the field of sports and recreation. Register for a paid opportunity through After School Matters
to learn more. Apply before March 7th. Get paid to train and qualify for summer park jobs. The 10 week session starts March 7th.
Public Image Partnership Training and Employment
Are you 18-24 years old, out of high school, unemployed and an Illinois resident? Public Image Partnership can get you trained and permanently employed within a week. Bring state issued identification, your Social Security card, and come visit or call to make an appointment. Public Image Partnership is located at 8949 S. Stony Island Ave., and can be reached at 773-374-7756.
Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy (CPFTA)
The Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy (CPFTA) is a training program for students interested in careers in public safety, law enforcement, criminal justice, and fire science.
The CPFTA program fulfills the two career education or elective credits that all CPS high school students need in order to graduate. The CPFTA curriculum allows juniors and seniors who are city residents to progress seamlessly from high school directly into any City College of Chicago to complete their associate’s degree.
In addition to high school and college training, students have the opportunity to participate in a paid summer internship between junior and senior year to promote a better understanding of all aspects of careers in public safety. After completion of the two years in high school and two years at a city college, students will have met the minimum educational requirements to take the Chicago Police and Fire Department examinations for entry into their respective academies.
Recruitment events are held at high schools, City Colleges of Chicago, and the Chicago Police and Chicago Fire Academies during the months of February and March. Interested sophomores can apply online each year beginning in February.
Chicago Recovery Grants: Less Than $250,000
Provides additional opportunities for the City to invest in catalytic local development, expanding upon existing investments and support from the Department of Planning and Development (DPD). The Application deadline for second review is March 10th
Prior to the opening of the online application, applicants can use the below PDF of application questions and required documents as a guide to gather the necessary information to apply. Applications will only be accepted by the online link.
The 2022 CityArts program is now open. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations of all sizes can apply for general operating grants and project grants. Applicants must have a primary mission to create, produce, present, provide, or support arts and culture services. Application deadline is March 22nd at 5:00 pm. Visit chicagoculturalgrants.org
to attend an application assistance workshop and apply.
Getting Evicted? Get Free Legal Help
The Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA) will now provide housing related legal services to individuals and families facing eviction, in partnership with the Greater Chicago Legal Clinic. Residents who have current eviction cases filed against them, are delinquent on rent, or are seeking counsel in anticipation of falling behind on rent can seek legal services. Contact 773-784-2900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistance for Veterans Experiencing Homelessness or Unemployment
OfColorInc. can help veterans who are at-risk of homelessness or unemployment. To qualify for services, veterans must be within 60 days of homelessness, are currently homeless, recently housed within the last 60 days after being homeless, released from incarceration within the last 12 months, or are a participant in Supportive Services for Veteran Families or HUDVASH. Call 312-300-2003 or visit www.ofcolorinc.org
Free Mammogram Screens
Get your free mammogram, because the life you save may be your own. The Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program clinics, and other health organizations, will set up free mammogram appointments for women that are uninsured or underinsured. Women with insurance may also sign up. Sign up at bit.ly/FREE-MAMMOGRAMS.
Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards
Now accepting submissions for the 6th Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards. Deadline to apply is Friday, May 6th. Submit now at: ilhumanities.org/poetry.
Lakeside Alliance Technical Review and Networking Meetings
Potential bidders for the Obama Presidential Center should attend to: Hear a high level project description, get an overview of the packages currently out to bid, learn about the bidding/procurement process, talk with procurement agents, meet potential business partners, and more. Visit lakesidealliance.com for more information.
When: Wednesday, March 2nd at 10:00 am (South Shore Cultural Center - 7059 S. South Shore Drive.), Friday, March 4th at 10:00 am (Virtual at bit.ly/3v6vBGp), April 6th at 10:00 am (South Shore Cultural Center - 7059 S. South Shore Drive.)
Intensive Outpatient Program
The Intensive Outpatient Program is an innovative, two-week program for veterans impacted by the invisible wounds of war and life. The program provides full-spectrum treatment that connects veterans to individual and group therapy and a daily regimen of physical fitness, stress reduction training, and wellness practices. Food, lodging and travel expenses for veterans and one family member or significant other will be provided. Interested veterans may call 312-942-8387 to initiate the intake process or apply online at RoadHomeProgram.org
and fill out the Schedule an Appointment form.
Educare Chicago Enrollment
Educare Chicago (5044 S. Wabash Ave.) is accepting applications for their Early Head Start and Head Start programs. These programs serve children from 6 weeks to 5 years old. Children with special needs are encouraged to apply and limited transportation assistance is provided. Enroll by calling 773-924-2334 or visit educarechicago.org
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
Date: Wednesday, March 16th at 6:00 pm
Location: For Zoom registration information, please email Caps.001District@chicagopolice.org or call 312-745-4381
2nd District CAPS Meetings
Date: March 22nd at 6:00 pm
Location Zoom Meeting ID: 841 2964 4400 Passcode: 5101
Date: March 15th at 6:00 pm
Location: Zoom Meeting ID: 840 8967 0980 Passcode: 5101
Date: March 24th at 6:00 pm
Location: Zoom Meeting ID: 857 0051 2046 Passcode: 5101
Date: March 3rd at 6:00 pm
Location: Zoom Meeting ID: 874 2087 2524 Passcode: 5101
Date: March 17th at 6:00 pm
Location: Zoom Meeting ID: 892 9848 9556 Passcode: 5101