Census Participation
Dickens Shared Street
Com Ed Repairs Almost Completed
Rental Assistance Available
Dear Neighbors:

So much has happened this year in our community and across the country, that we do not want to overlook the importance of every one of us participating in the 2020 census. If you have already taken the census, please encourage everyone to do the same.

The census has been taken every ten years in this country, through a Civil War, two World Wars and the Depression. Why is it important now?

By filling out the Census you are letting the U.S. government know how many people live here.The government uses this figure to determine how much federal money to give each state and how many representatives can go to Congress. If the census undercounts the number of people in Chicago, we will lose billions of dollars in critical federal aid that we deserve. The Censusis free, confidential, and safe.

New Deadline: 

The Census Bureau announced that it will be cutting the response period by 30 days. This leaves us less than two months to complete the count.  Right now, just 56.0% of Chicagoans have participated, and there is much work to do before the census website closes on September 30. Only 61% of the people in our ward have taken the census, so we have a long way to go to get everyone counted.

Census "We are Family" Contest

The Census Bureau is working with several organizations to offer prizes to people who complete the census. This week they are kicking it off with stay-cation package, featuring a Kimpton stay & boat cruise. Future drawings include restaurant gift certificates, sports memorabilia, and local activities. Check out the prizes:

Non-Response Follow Up: Federal Census Bureau enumerators will be going door-to-door starting on August 11 to follow up with households that have not responded. These are legitimate workers. Here is information to help you identify a census worker.
Storm Repairs Almost Concluded

After the storm on Monday, our ward had 2845 households without power. As of now, almost all the outages have been restored, and the remaining 131 households will be restored by 9 p.m. tomorrow. Thanks to our Constituent Services Director, Sheila Pacione, for her diligent work in following up with Com Ed to make sure every outage was addressed as quickly as possible.

Almost all the downed trees have been removed, thanks to our wonderful Ward Superintendent, Marty Casey, and the hard work of our Forestry crews. Thanks again to the many neighbors who helped by pulling debris off the streets and hand-cutting limbs.
Dickens Shared Street to Conclude

After a run of about six weeks, the Dickens Shared Street will conclude in the next two weeks.

As we said when we announced the program, "each Shared Street will initially be installed for 30 days. During that time CDOT will gather community feedback, collect data, conduct observations to evaluate how each street is working, and determine whether a Shared Street should be extended an additional 30 days or not. No permanent infrastructure is installed, but signs and barricades will direct pedestrians and traffic."

We are ending the program primarily because St. James School, which will be resuming in person classes soon, cannot effectively do their pick up and drop off under the shared street conditions. There is also construction east of Lincoln Avenue which is interfering with that portion of the shared street.

According to data collected by CDOT, the shared street was well used.
  •  July 11th (Saturday): 1,549 people biking/walking on the street
636 bicyclists / 913 pedestrians
  • July 15th (Wednesday): 1,113 people biking/walking on the street
277 bicyclists / 836 pedestrians

These statistics showed that the route was much more popular with pedestrians than cyclists. We had no reported accidents. Car traffic was dramatically down from the usual usage of 1800 cars/day.

Users reported that the shared street was pleasant, and it encouraged them to bring their children to the street to bike. Car owners complained that the barrels and barricades made it difficult to access their alleys. Many also objected to the aesthetics of the street.

In our view, CDOT was overly aggressive in the use of barrels in the street, which, while it dramatically slowed traffic, was confusing to many users.

This shared street was designed to be an experiment, and neither CDOT nor our office is completely finished with the analysis of all the comments collected about the shared street. Our office heard from about 125 people via email or phone call.

We'd like your views. Please take this short survey below. If you have further comments about the shared street, feel free to email us at yourvoice@ward43.org
Did you ever use the Dickens Shared Street? Please check which activities.
Walk or Run
Bike, Skates, or Scooter
Did not use the street
If you did use the street, what did you think?
Thumbs UP
Thumbs Down
Don't care one way or the other
Do you live on Dickens in the 60614 zip code?
Emergency Rental Assistance Available

Governor Pritzker has announced the Emergency Rental Assistance program.

Applications will be available now through August 21, 2020:
Applications are limited and expected to close early due to high demand. Click here to apply. For assistance, call (312) 883-2270 or toll-free at (888) 252-1119.

Only one application per household is allowed and an application is not a guarantee of assistance. 

You will be eligible for Emergency Rental Assistance if: 

  • Your household income before March 1, 2020 was at or below 80% of the Average Median Income.
  • You, or an adult member of your household, suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19.
  • You missed a rent payment on or after March 1, 2020, and your landlord is willing to participate.
Scooter Pilot

Beginning Wednesday, there have been about 100 electric scooters placed in our Ward to participate in a 4 month pilot.

Scooters will be available everywhere in Chicago except Downtown, the 606, and Lakefront Trail. Read about the expanded program here.

We have many concerns about safety and security about these scooters. In response to our concerns, the city has stated:

  • Each scooter is equipped with a cable lock to secure the scooter to a fixed object.  Scooters can legally be locked to bike racks, street signs, light poles and other fixed object in the public right of way.
  • Based on the information received from the scooter companies, if you cut the lock on a scooter, the scooter can still be operated, but only by renting through the app. The app does give a higher degree of confidence because the scooter companies can verify identities and phone numbers. Because each scooter weighs ~ 50 lbs., it’s not practical for someone to use the e-scooter as a manual scooter.

Scooters MUST be driven in the street, and they are NOT ALLOWED on sidewalks - including in the parks.
Help Initiative Seeks Support

This year, the demand for bag meals has increased—as residents continue to face hardships this year, sadly the need will continue.

To address the need, the Chicago Help Initiative is seeking new donors to help with their mission. If you can help, or know someone who can, please consider contributing to or volunteering for this important effort. Learn more here.
Virtual Ginza Festival

Last Saturday, August 8, would have been the 65th Ginza Holiday at our beloved Midwest Buddhist Temple (MBT). If you missed the festival too, watch the of the first Virtual Ginza, combining a video montage of past Ginza festivals, stories contributed by a broad group of members, volunteers and visitors, and greetings from MBT's WAZA craftspeople from Japan. Watch it here. We look forward to the retunr of Ginza Holiday next year
Outdoor Dining Options This Weekend

Feast on Lincoln
Saturday 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Catch a coffee and bagel Sunday morning, a pita for lunch and evenings in a socially-distanced and safe setting at these restaurants:

Patio on Schubert
Friday 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Saturday 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Sunday 3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Neighborhood favorites Sapori Trattoria, Tandoor Charhouse, and Mayan Palace have a spot reserved for you on Schubert this weekend.
What's Open for Business?

With a slow and steady return to business, we wanted to highlight businesses that are up and running. Please send us an email at yourvoice@ward43.org and let us know you're open for business!
Support our Neighborhood Restaurants

Please patronize our neighborhood businesses as much as possible and try to order directly from the restaurant. Thanks to all you who are writing to us to include your favorite restaurants. Keep it coming!

New now: Several restaurants on the Lakefront are now open, including:

Lakefront (in Theater on the Lake)
Whispers (on Oak Street Beach)

Please be safe, be careful, take care of your neighbors, and wear a mask,

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