Your Feedback on Pension Reform and Funding
City Budget
Help Old Town School Stay
Safety Alerts
Dear Neighbor,

At City Council, Mayor Emanuel proposed sources of pension reform and funding. Please consider the Mayor's suggestions and let our office know your reaction to these proposals by emailing your thoughts to The Mayor proposed to:

  • Legalize cannabis and devote some tax revenue to pension funding.

  • Open a casino and devote earnings and tax revenue to pension funding.

  • Issue "pension stabilization bonds." As I have written in a recent newsletter, this tool can potentially reduce pension costs. The Mayor proposes the city borrow up to $7.7 Billion. That money would immediately shore up pensions. Then, all of the state income tax and personal property replacement tax revenues the City receives would repay the bonds. The city could also meet pension costs by borrowing up to $2.3 Billion secured by the water and sewer tax passed in 2016. The theory is pre-paying almost $10 billion of the city's $28 Billion pension liability reduces the overall cost of pensions (the difference between the interest rate on the pension liability, now 7.5%, and the interest rate on the bonds which are assumed to be lower).

This structure raises many questions. The proposed ordinance allows bonds to be issued paying interest up to 10 percent which suggests borrowing at a rate higher than the current liability.

Also, the ordinance states the bonds would mature "not later than January 1, 2059." But this may not match the deadline when pensions must be fully funded. The police and fire funds must be 90% funded by the end of fiscal year 2040, while the municipal and laborers funds must be 90% funded by the end of fiscal 2058. This inconsistency raises the concern that the bonds can be used to simply extend our pension debt.

  • Amend the Illinois Constitution to allow benefits to be changed; in particular, to amend annual Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) to more closely match actual cost increases, rather than a fixed or compounded 3%. COLAs account for $42 billion in pension liabilities.

The Illinois Constitution can be amended, but it requires a 60% vote of both Houses of the Illinois General Assembly and a vote by 60% of all the voters at a general election.

  • the "consideration" model proposed by Senate President John Cullerton, which allows workers to elect changes to their retirement plans. 

Please let me know what you think of these proposals.
My City Budget Vote

On your behalf, I voted to support The 2019 City budget. It contains no new taxes, it continues to stabilize the city's finances, and takes into account the police consent decree.

The single largest budget increase is the anticipated implementation of the police consent decree, containing $12.9 million for new personnel costs and $12.8 million for non-personnel costs, including enhanced officer training, community policing, and officer wellness. The total investment for the consent decree across all departments is $25.7 million. Under this budget, the city will have hired move than 1000 new police officers.

Other budget items include: The Smart Lighting Project converting the City’s outdated and inefficient High-Pressure Sodium lamps to higher quality, more energy-efficient LED lights,. This will yield savings of $4.1 million in 2019 compared to 2017. The budget also adds $1.3 million to purchase new garbage and recycling carts; $500,000 more for rodent abatement; and an additional $500,000 to plant trees next year.
New Legislation to Improve Ride Share Safety

As part of my commitment to improving public safety, last week I joined with several colleagues in sponsoring legislation to increase penalties on criminals who impersonate ride share operators in order to lure victims.
Old Town School of Folk Music

After a tremendous outpouring of community effort, we are one step closer to saving the Old Town School at 909 W. Armitage, a neighborhood treasure.  The Old Town School board decided to delay the sale of the building until the spring of 2019. This decision creates an opportunity for more input about this historic and irreplaceable asset.

An online petition with a goal of 15,000 signatures, has thus far collected an impressive 10,277+ names and the likelihood of more to come according to the Chicago Tribune.
New 43rd Ward Website
Connect with us online, report an issue, contact us, see our latest newsletters, and keep up to date on our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Toiletry Drive
Donations Accepted until
January 20th, 2019

Our office is teaming up with Cook County Commissioner Bridger Gainer's Office for our annual Holiday Toiletry Drive. Items will be for the Cook County Sheriff's Women's Justice Program.

Items needed: Travel size shampoo, conditioner, lotion. Full bar soap; combs, new socks; composition books; cards with stamped envelopes.
Holiday Garbage & Recycling

There will be a disruption of garbage and recycle pick-up due to the Holidays. The Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) will have extended hours to cover these discrepancies. Put your bins out all week for alley service. Curb side service will all be picked up on Wednesday, December 26th and Wednesday, January 2nd.

Recycling will be the first week of the 2019 New Year.
Division Underpass Mural
Featuring Artist Ruben Aguirre
Thanks to a grant from the Gold Coast Neighbors Association, artist Ruben Aguirre has expanded the mural in the Division Street pedestrian underpass. Thanks to the neighbors for their investment in our community, which expands the mural funded as part of the City's Year of Public Art.
Community Alerts - Lock your Garages & Doors
Chicago Police are warning about recent Garage Burglaries in the 19th District. In these incidents, unknown offender(s) gained access to residential garages that were left unsecured. Once inside the garages the unknown offender(s) took property from inside and/or rummaged through the victim's vehicle for personal property. One incident took place in our Ward.

Incident times and locations are listed below:

  • 2600 Block of North Orchard between Dec. 3, 2018 – Dec. 4, 2018
What you can do:
  • Be aware of this crime and alert nearby residents.
  • Pay special attention to any suspicious people loitering in the area.
  • Have and maintain a working surveillance system.
  • Please check to see if your garage is open when leaving home.
  • Call 911 immediately and provide a detailed description of the offender(s), including any vehicle description and license plate information.
If you have any information Contact the Bureau of Detectives – Area North (312) 744-8263 Reference: JB-542108, JB-539588, JB-539426, JB-544987, JB-547469
The 18th District is warning about a continuing pattern of residential burglaries in which offenders enter residences through open doors or windows, or by popping open a door.

Once inside, the offender removes computer equipment, jewelry, camera equipment, credit cards, and cash.

Incident times and locations:
  • 2200 block of North Seminary Ave., November 7, 2018 in the afternoon hours.
  • 1700 block of North North Park Ave., November 8, 2018 in the daytime hours.
  • 1800 block of North Fremont St., November 13, 2018 in the evening hours.
  • 1900 block of North Dayton St., November 15, 2018 in the daytime hours.
  • 1800 block of North Halsted St., November 16, 2018 in the daytime hours.
  • 1100 block of West Dickens Ave., November 17, 2018 in the afternoon hours.
  • 2100 block of North Sheffield Ave., November 19, 2018 in the evening hours.
  • 2000 block of North Halsted St., November 23, 2018 in afternoon hours.
  • 2200 block of North Seminary Ave., November 23, 2018 in the morning hours.
  • 2100 block of North Fremont St., November 23, 2018 in the morning hours.
  • 1500 block of North Hudson Ave., November 23, 2018 in the afternoon hours.
  • 1400 block of North Cleveland St., November 29, 2018 in the afternoon hours.
  • 2300 block of north Southport Ave., November 30, 2018 in the afternoon hours.
  • 1800 block of North Sheffield Ave., December 13, 2018 in the morning hours.

About the Offenders:
Male, African American, 507-508, 160-170lbs., 25-35 years of age

What you can do:
  • Keep doors locked and windows secure.
  • If video surveillance is available, save and make a copy of the incident for investigating Detectives.
  • If you are a victim, do not touch anything and contact the police immediately.
  • Keep a record of property serial numbers.
  • Call 911 immediately and provide a detailed description of any suspicious people including any vehicle description and license plate information.

If you have any information, contact Bureau of Detectives – Area Central (312) 747-8380.
JB508258, JB508876, JB514756, JB517490, JB518254, JB519775, JB522335, JB525840, JB525878, JB526179, JB526332, JB533754, JB539995, JB552101
P18-1-348C (CA)
Community Safety Tips

Last week, CAPS 18th District Sergeant Chris Schenk led a safety walk through Old Town, pointing out potential issues in alleys and streets. Our office recorded necessary repairs and improvements like lights out and trees to be trimmed. Sgt. Schenk recommends:

  • Wipe down exterior keypads on garages - powder can be used to reveal the codes. Sgt. Schenk suggests a timer for the opener so it cannot be used during off-hours.

  • Please also wipe the sensor covers for automated lights and video so they are being properly triggered for use.

  • Exterior cameras should have a hood over the dome or eye of the camera to avoid accumulation of ice and fallen debris that would block the camera and interfere with its use.

  • Block Captain Training can be arranged through your local CAPS office. (18th or 19th District CAPS office).

  • Place numbers on the rear of garages for police and emergency vehicles.

  • Be alert, make sure you are not an easy target for crime on the street, do not walk with cell phones in hand and headphones.

  • Sign up for Smart 911 and plan ahead for any emergency.

If you'd like to have a block or alley safety walk, please contact our office. To view more personal safety tips please click here.
2018-2019 Chicago Police Beat Meetings
Mark Your Calendars

Attend the meeting closest to your home. If you are unsure of your beat district, you can find it here.
18th District BEAT 1811, BEAT 1812, BEAT 1813, BEAT 1814
Thursday, January 10th located at the Old Town Triangle Association, 1763 N. North Park Avenue starting at 6:00 PM. Special Safety Meeting featuring OEMC, Office of Emergency Management, and block captain training.
18th District BEAT 1824 (Gold Coast)
Tuesday, January 8th located at the 018 District Chicago Police Department, 1160 N. Larrabee Street starting at 6:00 PM.

18th District CAPS Office: 312-742-5778
19th District BEAT 1932 
Monday, January 14th at the New Life Church, located at 1110 W. Lill Avenue. The meetings begin at 6:30 PM.

19th District BEAT 1935 
Monday, February 11th at the 2nd Unitarian Church, located at 656 W. Barry Avenue. The meetings begin at 6:30 PM.

19th District CAPS Office: 312-744-0064
Upcoming Events
Handel's Messiah
Friday, December 21st
St. Michael in Old Town
1633 N Cleveland
7:30 PM

To kick off the holiday celebration, join in with the choir and orchestra of St. Michael in Old Town. The music is conducted by Stephen Alltop; Music Direction by Daniel Strucker; and Concertmaster Irene Quirmbach.

Tickets are for purchase at the St. Michael website.
Holiday Passport
Shop, Dine, and Celebrate!
Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce

Pick up a passport to help you #ShopLocal in the neighborhood. When you make a purchase at any of the listed businesses, you will receive a special stamp in your passport. Collect 5 or more stamps during the month of December and you can submit your passport to the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce (LPCC) for a chance to win one of several prize packages including gift certificates to your favorite Lincoln Park restaurants and shops. Three easy ways to submit your passport:

1) Mail your completed passport to the LPCC:
Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce
 Attn: Holiday Passport
 P.O. Box 14345
 Chicago, IL 60614

2) Scan all completed pages in your Holiday Passport and send an email to . Be sure to fill out this page with your contact information.

3) Use your smart phone to take photos of all completed pages in your Holiday Passport and email to . Be sure to fill out this page with your contact information.

All entries must be postmarked or received by Tuesday, January 15, 2019 to be eligible for the raffle.
DePaul University Ticket Special
DePaul Athletics

In the spirit of the holiday season, DePaul Athletics is partnering with local Chicago schools that allows local families the opportunity to experience the fun and excitement of college basketball free of cost.

It’s easy! Simply have your community’s families visit the website and enter the PROMO CODE: “WINTER” in order to redeem up to four FREE tickets to select upcoming DePaul Men’s or Women’s Basketball home games this holiday season.
  1. Visit This Page:
  2. Enter Promo Code: WINTER
  3. Receive up to 4 FREE Tickets 

These tickets have been donated by college students, who pay an athletic fee, many of whom are home on winter break during December. It’s our hope to see your community’s family and friends join the DePaul fans in cheering on the Blue Demons.
43rd Ward Office Holiday Hours

In observation of the upcoming Holiday Season, our office will have reduced office hours. We are  closed  on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.

We will be open from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on 12/26, 12/27, 12/28, and 12/31. We will return to regular hours on Wednesday, January 2nd at 9:00 AM. Looking forward to seeing you in our wonderful neighborhood. Happy Holidays!
@AldermanSmith is on Instagram!

Keep up with Alderman Smith and the 43rd Ward Office. Follow us for the latest on construction updates, new business, development, infrastructure, legislation, events, community meetings, and more! @AldermanSmith
Happy Holidays and see you in the neighborhood,

Michele Smith
43rd Ward Alderman
43rd Ward Office Hours: M 9 AM - 7 PM, T - F 9 AM - 6 PM 
  2523 N Halsted  |  773-348-9500
Text Us for Constituent Services: 773-906-4333