Crime Meeting Update
North Branch Meeting
Preview the New Lincoln Avenue - Tonight
Dear Neighbors,

Thanks to all who attended the 43rd Ward Safety Forum. It yielded important information about what we can do at the state policy level and as individuals to keep our community safe.

You can watch the entire program on our Facebook page. Here are some highlights

Changes is needed in Springfield to Balance Victims' Rights with Juvenile Rights.

Last year, 42% of vehicular hijackings (that is, with a weapon) were committed by juveniles.
In 2016, there were 600 carjackings
In 2017, there were 1000 carjackings.

Until July 1, 2017, carjackings with a gun were automatically treated as an adult offense. Now, they are handled as juvenile crimes with shorter detentions and, in some cases, erasure of the offense from the offender's record. Currently the policy allows juveniles who commit a violent offense to be immediately released - which is totally unacceptable.

We must also prosecute "gateway" crimes. Often, adults and juveniles commit the crime of Possession of Stolen Vehicles before they are emboldened to hi-jack a vehicle. These early crimes are not properly prosecuted due to a unique glitch in Illinois law.

SB 2339, currently before the Illinois House, allows possession of stolen motor vehicles to be prosecuted like other stolen property crimes. It also allows some juveniles who are arrested for committing an armed carjacking to be detained pretrial.

The current policy that is sometimes called "catch and release" isn't working, according to Superintendent Johnson.

Please write your state legislators and urge them to vote for SB2339 to combat increased carjackings.

What Citizens Can Do

Call 911 - 911 dispatchers again stress if you feel uncomfortable and would like a policeman on the scene, call 911. If you see someone suspicious around your or a neighbor's house, call 911 and offer as full as description as possible.

If you are a victim of a hold-up - give the offender what they want. Your car or your wallet is less important than your personal safety.

Consider getting a video doorbell - 19th District Commander Buslik recommended these as a prudent safety measure. Some models allow you to speak from your phone to persons at your door. Check out Nest, Ring, and Skybell. Key features to consider include the quality of the video, whether it works at nights, and whether the video is saved.

Link up your exterior cameras to OEMC - The home versions of Next, Ring, and Skybell can't be linked to the city, but cameras produced by Axis and Vivotek use the Stratocast program and can link to the City network. Here are the details of the OEMC program.

Keep your doors locked - The single most common crime in our Ward is theft via an open garage, window or door. It takes seconds for a thief to enter your garage or home.

Have a security assessment - The 18th and 19th Districts, will, on request, survey a block or alley if neighbors get together and ask for it. Contact 18th District CAPS or 19th District CAPS.

Place a Crime Watch sign in your window - Let criminals know we're a united and involved community.. We have signs in our office, or you can download this one.

Here are more actions you can take from the Chicago Police Department.
More on the North Branch Park Preserve

Support for the North Branch Park Preserve continues to grow with new coalition members. Alderman Waguespak and I advocated for the park on WTTW.

The recent announcement by Sterling Bay of plans for a massive entertainment complex and stadium on the west bank of the Chicago River clearly demonstrates the need for the North Branch Park Preserve in light of the huge concentration of people and structures planned for the area. Currently, there is not one foot of publicly owned parkland in the plan.

Chicago needs families for a stable tax base. To do that, we must keep our city livable. Good government must rise to the occasion and balance the needs of private interests with the public's rights to freely enjoy our precious, public natural asset - our riverfront.

Look for an announcement soon of the next public meeting to present the park vision and show the importance and feasibility of the North Branch Park and Preserve. Those who attended the first public preview say the plan is both encouraging and inspirational.
Upcoming Events
Tonight - Lincoln Avenue Revitalization Plan
Lincoln Park SSA
TONIGHT, Tuesday, May 22nd 
Victory Gardens Theatre
Reception: 6:00 - 6:30 
Meeting: 6:30 to 7:30 PM

The Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Central Association, 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith and Wrightwood Neighbors Association invite you for a community meeting as the plan for the new Lincoln Avenue is presented.

Lincoln Avenue Special Service Area (SSA #35-2015) funded this plan and worked closely with my office to bring improvements to this historic corridor in the heart of Lincoln Park. 

Learn about the Lincoln Avenue revitalization which includes: the  Lincoln Common development ,   ELEVATE Lincoln Park , DuEt  and the new  DePaul University School of Music. P ublic way improvements, branding, marketing, and placemaking will enliven the street from Webster to Diversey for everyone's benefit.
19th District Police
Invites you for
"Coffee with a Cop"
Wednesday, May 23rd
12:00 - 3:00 PM
Starbucks, 3400 Southport

Join 19th District Officers for a chance to chat and discuss issues.
Bike the Drive
Sunday, May 27, 2018
5:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Lake Shore Drive will be closed Sunday morning for the annual Bike the Drive. Make sure to use alternates if you are going out early Sunday morning. Enjoy the ride!
Chicago City Sticker Sale
Thursday, June 7th
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
DePaul Student Center
2250 N. Sheffield Ave, Room 324
The City Clerk's office in cooperation with our office will be holding their annual City Sticker sale on Thursday, June 7th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  

Only stickers expiring in June 2018 will be renewed. Cash will not be accepted. Credit card, check, or money order are the only forms of payment accepted.

You can also purchase a dog license or CityKey ID card. This card offers benefits such as reduced admission to many city museums. Learn more here. You can fill out an application here.
Opting Out of Advertising Papers

We're again getting complaints about free advertising circulars being dropped off in front of houses. The most common is from a company called Red Plum, or RetailMeNot. If you have their weekly ad news paper come to your door, please recycle them or to opt out of these mailers, click
Happy Anniversary to the Bourgeois Pig

Please drop by the Bourgeois Pig, 738 W. Fullerton, and thank owner Malcolm Green for bringing great coffee and food to the neighborhood for 25 years. Happy Anniversary, Bourgeois Pig.
Reminder - Memorial Day Closure

City offices, including ours, will be closed on Monday, May 28th in observance of Memorial Day. We will reopen on Tuesday, May 29th at 9 a.m. Please call 311 for city service requests during the holiday weekend.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend,

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