Tier 1 Mitigations/Openings
Vaccine Updates
Combatting Carjackings
Dear Neighbors,

Our office has received many calls and emails with questions about Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. We assure you that everyone who is eligible for a vaccine and who wants one will receive one. 

Individuals in Phase 1b, which includes all Chicagoans 65 and older, along with essential employees are now eligible to start receiving vaccines. Here is a detailed list of who is eligible. However, there are nearly 700,000 Chicagoans who are essential workers or over 65 - and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has only been receiving about 33,000 vaccine doses per week from the Federal government. That means that we are only equipped to vaccinate about 5% of those eligible each week. 

We all must continue to be patient during and follow COVID-19 guidelines. CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady has assured us that Chicago has the capacity to distribute up to five times as many vaccine doses per week as we are receiving, so when we receive more, we will be able to handle it. 

You will be able to get a COVID-19 Vaccine the same way you have gotten a flu vaccine, but by appointment only, through:

  • Your Primary care provider/family doctor (recommended)
  • Pharmacies--more than 100 across the city are enrolled, with more being added daily
  • CDPH-run Dedicated Vaccination Sites--these are currently being used to vaccinate Phase 1A individuals
  • Through employers--this is likely to begin in February

The CDPH will release detailed information soon about participating pharmacies, doctors' offices, and other providers where eligible Chicagoans can get vaccinated. Make sure to contact your own doctor, if you have one, to see when they will receive vaccine.

Visit here for more information on the vaccine and the City's plan for distribution. You can sign up here for updates--this is not a registry to reserve a spot in line for a vaccine, but a way to receive informational updates. 

Finally, if you have questions about the safety of the vaccine, please click here for explanations about how the vaccine works.
Restaurants Re-Open for Limited Indoor Dining
Museums Re-Open

Governor Pritzker announced that Chicago has now moved to Tier 1 mitigations. This allows for the return of indoor dining, with capacity limits, at restaurants and bars that serve food. For complete details on guidelines during Tier 1 mitigations, click here. 

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will be hosting a webinar to help restaurants and bars remain compliant with the newest safety measures. Register here to attend TODAY, Tuesday, January 26th at 2 p.m.
How to Protect Yourself from COVID Right Now

Please remember that despite the improvement in our metrics, we are still living through a pandemic, and the more contagious UK variant has been detected in Chicago. 

Please continue to wear a mask--in fact, when going indoors to a restaurant or the grocery store, wear your "best mask."

According to the New York Times, the "best mask has three layers — two cloth layers with a filter sandwiched in between. Masks should be fitted around the bridge of the nose and made of flexible material to reduce gaps. Head ties create a better fit than ear loops."

Double mask - "If you don’t want to buy a new mask, a simple solution is to wear an additional mask when you find yourself in closer proximity to strangers." The Times health reporter advises, "I wear a single mask when I walk my dog or exercise outdoors. But if I’m going to a store, taking a taxi or getting in the subway, I double mask by using a disposable surgical mask and covering it with my cloth mask." (NY Times photo of Pete and Chasten Buttigeg at the inauguration).

Buy a new mask - Another suggestion, according to the Times, is to buy a KF94 Mask, which in some tests appeared as effective as an N95 masks - except that they don't fit as well because they have ear loops.

Dine indoors carefully - If you do decide to dine indoors, remember, Illinois rules require wearing a mask at all times in restaurants except when you are eating, and especially when you speak with a server.

You can track Chicago's COVID-19 metrics daily on City of Chicago COVID-19 Data Dashboard. (Picture Credit: NY Times).
Public Safety
Carjacking Hearing

On Friday, my colleagues and I on the Public Safety Committee held a hearing to address the rising number of carjackings in the city. The Chicago Sun-Times covered the outrage of aldermen about this ongoing crisis. ABC7 Chicago also covered the story.

As of Friday, there have been 166 carjackings in Chicago so far this year.

Key facts from our hearing:

1) While adults are most often arrested for carjackings, an almost equal amount of youths aged 15-20, and even younger, have been arrested. This spike in juvenile crime began shortly after the Illinois State legislature repealed the mandatory adult treatment of carjacking cases in 2015.

2) While the State's Attorney's Office works closely with the police on carjackings, there are few prosecutions for the "precursor" crime of Criminal Trespass to Vehicle (CTTV), which is a misdemeanor. This is the crime during which many juveniles first get involved as a passenger.

3) While aggravated carjacking is a Class X felony for adults, punishment for juveniles is far less. Many of the adults involved in carjackings have long criminal records, while a fair amount of the juveniles do not. I support legislation to punish adults more severely if they involve juveniles in their crime, and in many cases, I think juveniles should be charged as adults.

4) Almost all the cars taken have been recovered, many times very quickly. The Chief of Detectives said that the primary reason for carjackings is simply joyriding--a very disturbing trend.

5) COVID has definitely had an impact on crime. There are capacity limitations at the jail, and jury trials have not occurred in months. While offenders in the severe cases are being held pre-trial, fewer offenders in general are being held pre-trial. This leads to the seeming lack of consequences.

While many of us are working on legislative solutions, police are working with their state and federal partners to use new and old tools to combat this epidemic. Most notably, officers in each district are working with detectives to focus on these crimes. These teams communicate with teams in other districts, as well as utilize technology to track the offenders and the cars. The teams also work with the State's Attorney's office to make "good" cases that can be proven in court.

But even these arrests will not make an impact unless offenders face real consequences.

To learn more, please sign up for our Zoom community forum on carjackings, Tuesday, February 2nd from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

43rd and 44th Ward Carjacking Community Forum
Tuesday, February 2
6:00 p.m.

RSVP is required. Please register here. About an hour before the forum, you will receive the special Zoom link. As is our practice, attendees can post questions and we will make sure as many questions as possible are answered.

Our 18th District CAPS office hosted a webinar on Saturday, January 23, about carjacking attended by over 300 people. Police shared the following advice:

Be careful. Just as you should always be aware when walking city streets at night, be a bit more aware when exiting your vehicle. If you are making a brief stop, park in a legal spot, and check your surroundings before exiting.

When police alerts are issued, please check your household video. Video evidence is invaluable. Send video to the CAPS Office at CAPS019District@chicagopolice.org (North of Fullerton) or CAPS018District@chicagopolice.org (South of Fullerton).

If you are victimized, surrender your vehicle. It's just not worth the risk.

We will cover more items at the forum, so please attend.
Community News
Paycheck Protection Program
National Partnerships for New Americans, Cook County Recovery Initiative, and Self-Help Federal Credit Union
Tuesday, January 26
11 a.m.

Our local businesses are invited to participate in Paycheck Protection Program Round 2: Updates & Guidance for Non-Profit Organizations & Small Business Borrowers webinar, Tuesday, January 26th at 11 AM. Register here.

This webinar is sponsored by the National Partnership for New Americans and the Cook County Recovery Initiative.

PPP First Draw applications can be found here. Information on the Second Draw loan is here. An overview with guidance and eligibility criteria is here. NPNA also created PPP 2nd Round Infographics in English here and Spanish here
Ethics Town Hall
Tuesday, January 26
7 p.m.

Please join me and Good Government Illinois for a discussion about ethics reform in Chicago and throughout Illinois.

This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the work we've done on the Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight to bring transparency and accountability to the city government. The discussion will be moderated by former Cook County Clerk David Orr.

Also speaking will be Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin and State Senator Elgie Sims. Registration is required for this virtual meeting.
Dog Signs

In order to remind people to pick up after their dogs and keep our community beautiful, our office is offering "Please Leash & Pick Up After Your Pet Signs."There are 500 available, and they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Because the office is currently closed to the public, please email us with your address to request one, and a member of our staff will coordinate delivery.
Chicago Public Schools Update:

As we have previously reported, Chicago Public Schools are beginning a slow re-opening process for the students who most need an in-person education: Pre-K and special needs children who returned January 11,

Students in K-8 grades are scheduled to return on February 1.

CPS released this detailed letter in response to concerns that have been raised about its re-opening plan. The entire reopening plan can be reviewed here.

Educators and school staff are included in Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout. Dr. Arwady announced that she expects to have vaccination sites available for school employees - public, private, and parochial - by mid-February. Here is the CPS Plan for vaccination.
New Business Spotlight
2235 N. Lincoln

Kizami Sushi is dedicated to quality and great service. They source their fresh ingredients from local farmer's markets to serve our neighborhood fine Japanese cuisine.

Be sure to marvel at and try their wide array of nigiri and sashimi options.

854 W. Armitage

Daily Harvest makes eating nourishing foods easy.

Meals of frozen organic fruits and vegetables are delivered to your doorstep, ready to be made and enjoyed.

Stop by their Armitage location to taste their delicious soups, bowls, and more.
This year has been incredibly challenging for our businesses, especially those that have just opened, so we will be dedicating a portion of the newsletter to support them. If you know a business that has opened in the last twelve months, please send it to us so we can feature it in our new business spotlight!
Support Local Businesses
With the new year upon us, supporting our local businesses is as important as ever; please shop and dine locally:
Order From Our Local Restaurants
League of Women Voters Zoom

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to speak virtually with the League of Women Voters-Chicago about our ward, the issues we face, and my priorities.

The entire interview is available to watch here.

This event was part of an ongoing series of virtual meetings with elected officials hosted by the League of Women Voters to help residents learn more about City Council and how they can engage with our city government.

I was honored to be the first interviewee for this informative series.
Watch out for your neighbors, we're all in this together. Patience.

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