End of Year "To Do" List 
Meet an d Treat!
Holiday Safety
Dear Neighbor,

Get a jump on 2018 by prepaying your property taxes, renewing your Ventra Card or replacing your residential parking passes before the New Year.
Beginning Tuesday, December 12, 2017, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas is accepting prepayments of next year's First Installment property tax bill, in response to  prepayment requests surging this year.
Under state law, Tax Year 2017 First Installment taxes, due March 1, 2018, are 55 percent of the prior year's total tax. To prepay, taxpayers must have their 14-digit Property Index Number (PIN), which is at the top of the most recent tax bill. Taxpayers can also to look up their PIN on cookcountytreasurer.com.
Here's how to prepay:
  • Online - Go to cookcountytreasurer.com and select "Prepay Your 2017 Taxes." You can use your bank account or credit card to pay.
  • Download your bill - You can print a copy of your prepayment bill by choosing "Download Your Bill" on the homepage and entering your PIN or property address.  Send the prepayment bill and your payment to:

Cook County Treasurer

PO Box 805436

Chicago, IL 60680-4115

  • In person - Submit the prepayment bill and payment at a Chase branch bank or the Treasurer's Office, 118 N. Clark St., Room 112, Chicago
Here's an informational
flyer .
Current Ventra Cards Begin Expiring December 31, 2017

Current Ventra Card with expiration date

New Ventra Card
The first Ventra cards issued in 2013,
begin  to expire Dec. 31, 2017  through 2022. As a courtesy to customers, Ventra is sending email notifications to registered customers two months prior to expiration. Notifications will ask customers to confirm their current mailing address so they can receive their free replacement card through the mail.  If you are registered at ventrachicago.com and all your account information is up to date, there is nothing you need to do.

Customers who tap their cards at Ventra vending machines (located at all rail stations) will also receive expiration notifications. 

New Ventra cards will be available for sale starting Monday, Dec. 18.  The new Ventra cards  will work the same as existing Ventra cards. 

Customers who do not register their Ventra cards will lose unused balances on their account upon expiration. CTA strongly recommends that customers register their cards ahead of time.

The new Ventra cards will no longer offer the prepaid debit account feature  offered since 2013.  The prepaid debit functionality will cease on  Dec. 31, 2017 . Customers who have opened prepaid debit accounts as a part of their Ventra accounts can transfer funds to new prepaid debit cards offered by Money Network. Customers can spend down their prepaid balances, transfer their funds to a new prepaid debit card or have their funds returned to them via check from Money Network.  For more information -   ventrachicago.com .

Parking Passes Expire This Month

Green residential guest parking passes  expire Sunday, December 31, 2017. Green  passes  can be used overnight on New Year's Eve 2017, so long as the time indicated on the pass is before Monday, January 1, 2017.

New 2018 red residential guest parking passes are now available for purchase. Please visit the City Clerk's   website  for additional information. 

More Holiday Events!

Menorah Lighting at NewCity
Chabad Lincoln Park
1457 N. Halsted
Sunday, December 17
5:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m.

Enjoy live entertainment, jelly doughnuts, face painting, balloon artist, latkes and crafts as we enjoy the Chanukah holiday and light a big menorah! Crafts will take place indoors.

Holiday Meet and Treat
with Alderman Smith
Cocoa + Co.
1651 N. Wells
Wednesday, December 20
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

At our second gathering this year, we'll have yummy cocoa and samples of sweets in Old Town.  If you haven't tried Cocoa + Co., now's the time! I look forward to seeing you then.

Pet Adoption Event at Chicago Animal Care and Control

Home for the Holidays
Adoption Event
Animal Care and Control
2741 S. Western Ave.
Saturday, December 16th
12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Free Cat Adoptions throughout December

Adoption fees are waived for all pets over one year old.  PLUS, Free adoptions for all cats over 1 year old every day in December!

To see adoptable animals, click petharbor.com (updated hourly)

Polar Bear Express at Lincoln Park Zoo

Polar Bear Event
Lincoln Park Zoo
Saturday, December 16
Hurvis Family Learning Center
3:00 -7:00 p.m. (before and during ZooLights)

Join the Zoo's  Conservation Ambassadors Board, including students from Lincoln Park High School, for a fun-filled family event. Explore stations to learn how to help polar bear conservation, and help build a polar bear enrichment project to promote natural behaviors.

Youth Age 4 - 24  Learn to Code this Winter Break

Coding can be fun and easy this winter with Mayor Emanuel's citywide Month of Code Challenge. From December 4 to January 8, youth ages 4 - 24 (and their families) will have the opportunity to 'become coders' at a variety of venues across the city and on-line.
But any and all can engage this program on-line.  All participants will earn 'digital badges' and be eligible for prizes. For a complete list of on-line and on-site activities, go to ChicagoCodes.org .

The Challenge is sponsored by Chicago Public Schools, Chicago City of Learning and Mayor Emanuel.

Holiday Safety

The Office of Emergency Management & Communications reminds us "If You See Something, Say Something" and always be aware of your surroundings this season. Please report any suspicious activity to 9-1-1.  
Also, the holidays bring an increase in phishing and other online scams.   Here are a few pointers from the City's Department of Innovation and Technology:
  • Take time to read the emails you receive. Often online scams use alarmist language enticing recipients to take action and compromise your computer or personal information.
  • Do not click on links, download files, or open attachments in emails from unknown senders.  Always hover over links within emails before clicking.
  • Look out for fake invoices or shipping notifications, and be wary of third party companies that claim they are collecting donations on behalf of legitimate organizations.
  • If a sale or deal seems to good to be true, don't click through from the email. Go directly to the website
  • Package theft is very common this time of year.  Have your packages shipped to a safe place inside when possible.
Here is the complete tip list.

Happy Chanukah and I look forward to seeing you in the neighborhood during this wonderful season.

Michele Signature

Michele Smith
Alderman, 43rd Ward 

43rd Ward Office Hours: M 9 AM - 7 PM, T-F 9 AM - 6 PM 
 2523 N Halsted | 773-906-4333 Call or Text| yourvoice@ward43.org| www.ward43.org