Dear Friend and Colleague,

Welcome to my new weekly newsletter, Money Matters, where I will provide updates on Office happenings and financial resources for all during this COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our first Money Mondays with Melissa webinar! We had a great discussion with Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and Working Credit Co-Founder Amanda Carney. You can find a recording of this discussion here .
I am very excited to announce our next Money Mondays with Melissa on May 11 at 12 p.m. CST with special guests Congressman Chuy Garcia, Congresswoman Robin Kelly and Operation Hope Founder John Hope Bryant. Register at: .
Scholarship Announcement

I am proud to announce the winners of our Hispanic Heritage Month Scholarship, Abel Almanza and Yovani Villeda Alvarez, and the winners of our Black History Month Scholarship, Tyler Smith and Iyana Gross. These four young individuals displayed outstanding passion and commitment to our communities by writing thoughtful and impactful essays on a topic related to entrepreneurship or community leadership. Check out our scholarship announcement here !

Please join us this Friday, May 8, at 3 p.m. to congratulate all of our winners virtually, along with our partners at BMO Harris, who generously donated the scholarship.

During this celebration, we will also be joined by special guest speakers from A.M. Money and OneGoal, who will provide tips on how to manage finances related to higher education in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We invite parents, students and community members to join us for this important discussion. Register for this virtual celebration at

Finally, I want to highlight some important resources available to help individuals through these uncertain times. 

  • Operation Hope provides financial emergency preparedness and recovery assistance through their Hope Inside Disaster Program to individuals, families and businesses, either directly or indirectly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here:

  • We are excited to have Operation Hope founder John Hope Bryant join us for Money Mondays with Melissa on Monday, May 11, at 12 p.m. to hear more about all that the organization is doing. Register at

  • Job loss due to COVID-19 is severely impacting individuals and families. The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership is compiling a list of companies that are hiring right now. This is a great resource if you’re out of work and looking for employment.

  • Waiters, waitresses, bartenders and many more rely on tips to help pay their bills every month. To provide help to those who have lost income working in the service industry, both the National Restaurant Association and One Fair Wage have established dedicated funds to help people during this difficult time.

  • Arts for Illinois, a non-profit co-chaired by Illinois First Lady MK Pritzker and Chicago First Lady Amy Eshleman, is now accepting grant applications for artists throughout the state to offer assistance while theaters, studios and more are currently shut down. Apply at

  • Due to the Federal CARES Act, the length of time you are able to collect unemployment, how much you can collect, and who can collect have all changed. Contract workers, rideshare drivers and those who pay taxes with 1099 forms are now eligible. To see if you are eligible, apply for unemployment through the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Please be patient while going through this process. With so many people out of work, the department is working as fast as possible to help residents across the state.

  • Working Credit is an organization that can help provide you with assistance on how to navigate your personal financial situation and help you make decisions that will be best for your financial wellness in the long term. If you have specific questions or need advice, visit their website at

My office will continue updating our new web page COVID-19: The Help You Need and Where to Find It on a regular basis with financial resources available to individuals, families, small businesses and non-profits. Visit us at .

We look forward to continuing to work with you as we all navigate these uncharted waters. If you have any questions or recommendations about other resources, please contact my office at or (312) 744-3356.

Chicago City Treasurer |