CPD says Safety Improving
"BRAVE" Keeps Kids from Crime
Update Lincoln Yards
Women in Government Tomorrow
Ward Office Closure MLK Day
Dear Neighbors,

The Chicago Police Department says public safety is improving as a result of added police, better technology, new police strategies, stronger laws and community involvement that all help police do their job. This week we made progress in several areas.
License Plate Reader Technology (LPR)

Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent Johnson announced the first of 200 vehicles equipped with innovative License Plate Reading (LPR) technology. It allows the City to automatically match license plates against a list of stolen vehicles sent by OEMC daily.

All police districts will receive 6 vehicles this Spring. Part of the Vehicular Highjacking Taskforce, a multi-agency comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement partners and prosecutors, working to identify carjacking patterns and apprehend offenders.

Since the Taskforce was launched, carjackings have decreased across the city, and by 50 percent in our Ward. We expect the numbers to decrease even further with this new technology.
18th District Crime Stats Improve

At the highly attended CAPS meeting last Thursday, The Chicago Police announced that the 18th District policing strategies are bearing fruit. Commander O'Shea explained his District treats robberies the way other districts treat shootings - with a massive response. He reported carjackings have dropped from 34 in 2017 to 18 in 2018 while arrests of gun offenders has jumped 50%. Police traffic and investigative stops to deter crime are up 40%. Officers made over 3000 investigative stops and 18,000 traffic stops. These tangible actions have proven a successful deterrent to crime. We look for continued improvement.

Our new Strategic Decision Support Center (SDSC) collects and analyzes information from CPD and allows officers to monitor a network of information: surveillance cameras, license plate readers (LPR) the location of police units, and incoming calls for service. The result is quicker response time. We will soon be announcing the placement of even more cameras in our area funded by a combination of city funding and our aldermanic menu.

Call Center Complaints
Residents have complained the 911 center is erratic and police intervention was delayed because the call operator did not properly handle the call for help. Commander O'Shea advises if you ever have a problem with a 911 call, you should ask for a supervisor immediately. Our office is documenting and referring these cases to OEMC management-
please tell us if you experience difficulty with 911.

We are partnering with our police commanders to offer neighborhood walk abouts and safety checks for homes and alleys. If you'd like to have the police come to your block, please email us at yourvoice@ward43.org.

Please remember these CPD safety tips:

  • Keep your garages closed and locked - this is the biggest risk in our neighborhood.
  • Place address numbers in your alley so CPD can locate your address (available for free in our Ward Office).
  • Link your private cameras with OEMC's "private camera initiative."
  • Install sensor lights and lighting for your porch or alleyways.
Governor Signs Gun Dealer Licensing Bill

I was honored to join Governor Pritizker in the bill signing for the new Illinois Gun Dealer Licensing Act. We worked hard to support this bill last year and our new Governor signed it on his 4th day in office.

Dealer Licensing is critical to combatting gun violence. Until now, Illinois gun dealers were largely unregulated because of the lack of federal engagement. Now Illinois regulators can investigate "straw purchasers" of guns. Guns sold in Illinois comprised about 40% of guns used in crime in Illinois.
New Program - Keeping Kids from Crime

Last year I learned from parents that no programs exist in the 18th District to keep kids from crime because the city does not focus on our neighborhood for these kind of services.

I'm proud to announce that beginning in March, Loyola University is launching the BRAVE program at Lincoln Park High School. "BRAVE" is a support system of counselors, school personnel and others working with at-risk youth and their families.

This will be the first time BRAVE will be offered directly through any school. We thank CPS for helping us certify the program for Lincoln Park High School to bring this to our Ward.
UPDATE: Lincoln Yards

Alderman Hopkins has announced the yet unseen new Sterling Bay plans for Lincoln Yards may be submitted to the Chicago Plan Commission next week, January 24th. It is highly unusual for any plan, especially one covering 52 acres and involving a proposed $900M dollar TIF to move forward with so little public knowledge.

We are awaiting word from Alderman Hopkins whether a public community meeting we be arranged to preview the plans.

Despite a large crowd objecting, the Joint Review Board recommended passage at the TIF, stating that they believed their only role was to comment on whether the area was obsolete and not on using taxpayer dollars without specifics on expenditures of the TIF.

As I discussed on WTTW. We believe that the TIF and the plan should be delayed until there is a full review of the plan and a commitment by the developer to finance infrastructure and open space and the creation of the 24 acre North Branch Park Preserve. We also want developer statements about "shared space" such as a school or library to be put into formal, binding language. You can read about it on Block Club here.
Community Events

Women In Government
Saturday, January 19th
10:00 a.m.
Lincoln Park Library
1150 W. Fullerton Ave.

On the 3rd Anniversary of the Chicago Women's March, local and state women representatives are joining to discuss their journey into activism, current issues, why we need women in government, and how you can get involved.

I am moderating a panel with State Representatives Sara Feigenholtz, Ann Williams, Melissa Conyears-Ervin and our Cook County Commissioners Bridget Gainer and Bridget Degnen. This is a great opportunity and it will be a fascinating discussion.

Please join us and RSVP on our Facebook Page we will be live streaming the event on Facebook.

At this event, share your photos with hashtags: #OperationActivationChi #WomenInGovernment
Polar Peace March

Please join me this Sunday, January 20th from 10 a.m. at St Paul's Church of Christ located at 2335 N. Orchard St., for the 4th annual Polar Peace March.

The March helps raise funds for ucan, one of the leading providers of services for at risk-youth.

You can learn more and pre-register for the event here .

Property Tax Exemption Workshop

We will be hosting a workshop to help residents claim all their appropriate property tax exemptions at our ward office, 2523 N. Halsted on January 28th from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

If you have any questions, please call our office at 773-348-9500. Remember to bring your photo ID, a copy of your second installment tax bill, and your 2017 Federal Income Taxes if you think you may qualify for an income-based exemption.
Help the Homeless

Help Us Get The Data We Need To Help
Care for Chicago's Homeless:
Volunteer for the Chicago Point-in-Time Homeless Count on

Thursday, January 24th, 2019
9 p.m. to 3 a.m. – Citywide.

The annual Point-In-Time Homeless Count provides the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) a “snapshot” of Chicago’s homeless population.

Click here to register for volunteering in the 2019 Point In Time Homeless Count.

Register to Vote by Mail
Anyone can vote by mail! The application to Vote by Mail is due before February 21st by 5:00 PM. Apply by the first week of February to be sure you have enough time to receive and return your ballot by Election Day.  For more information, please visit the Chicago Board of Elections Website.
Martin Luther King Jr. - Ward Office Closure

Please note: The office will be closed on Monday, January 21, 2019 in observance of the holiday. Our office will reopen on Tuesday, January 22nd at 9 a.m.

If you need immediate assistance, please call 311 for non-emergencies, or 911 for emergencies. Have a safe and great week.
See you soon and remember to shovel your snow and check on your elderly neighbors during our snowy weekend. If you need assistance with shoveling your snow, please call 311.

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 yourvoice@ward43.org www.ward43.org
Text Us for Constituent Services: 773-906-4333