Public Safety Hearing
Upcoming Zoning Community Meetings
Shred Day July 10
Dear Neighbors,

Violent crime plagues our city. The stories we read are chilling. I'm outraged at the shootings and the disruption that continues downtown. We need action, not theatrics. We need prosecutions, not petitions.

We will be having a special City Council meeting this Friday to hear from our Police Superintendent about the City's plans for this coming weekend. We work regularly with the commanders and personnel in the 18th and 19th districts to protect our community and we know the plan locally. For example, police will be following a plan that has successfully combatted incidents on the beach since 2011.

So while I expect the police to address the tactics being deployed for this weekend, we remain fixed on the strategy to reduce crime.

A key to turning the situation around is to use a portion of the American Rescue Plan federal funds for public safety, as announced by President Biden:

  • Offenders carrying guns should be arrested and prosecuted. Gun offenders should be detained during pre-trial as supervision of electronic monitoring has been shown to be under-resourced. If courts will not detain offenders, use funds to increase Sheriff Dart's budget to have adequate staff to actually monitor released offenders.

  • Use the federal funding to hire police to relieve police retirements and overtime, hire new kinds of staff, and flood the city with violence interrupters and other programs to try to stop the cycle of retaliation in our city.

  • Maintain the carjacking task forces. After carjackings spiked in the first three months of this year, the re-establishment of task forces has led to a reduction in these serious crimes in many parts of the city, including ours.

  • Fully deploy the federal government's strike force that is being brought to our city to combat gun trafficking and associated crimes.

  • Continue to work with our federal partners in the U.S. Attorney's Office to prosecute cases.

  • Use American Rescue Plan funds to create jobs in disinvested communities, and partner with these communities to address their concerns.

  • Continue to rebuild our police department under the consent decree, and curb police abuses that have harmed people sowed distrust, and drained our finances.

There are the obstacles to our ability to fight crime in our city:

Guns and Prosecution Issues

  • Mass shootings, in which several victims are shot by one offenders are on the rise. The City suffered two in the past week which killed two and injured 17. In every case, the offender used an extended magazine. Between 1994 and 2004, The Federal Assault Weapons Ban included a ban on high-capacity magazines between 1994 and 2004. Today, there is none, and Illinois has yet to ban them.

  • There has been a massive increase in individuals carrying illegal weapons, according to data from the University of Chicago.

In the face of the overwhelming flood of firearms in our city, and the increased stakes due to high-powered weapons, the CPD's drive to remove firearms and arrest gun offenders is essential to reducing the number of victims.

Unfortunately, the State's Attorney does not agree with the strategy of arresting gun offenders. She says that there is no correlation between arresting offenders who possess a gun and violent offenders. Of course, that assertion cannot be proven wrong or right because there are so many crimes committed with no identification of the offender or the weapon used in the crime. Until national policy changes, or the courts and the State's Attorney are more willing to prosecute and detain gun offenders, the best course of action is to rely on police gun seizures, the federal strike force, and violence interrupters to try to reduce the number of victims of gun violence.

The State's Attorney also does not agree with prosecuting retail theft in cases valued at less than $1000.

Police Staffing and Overtime

  • Our police forces are under strain. Increased retirements are a nationwide issue. The New York Times reported that in a survey of 200 cities, police "retirements were up by 45 percent and resignations by 18 percent in the period between April 2020 and April 2021, when compared with the preceding 12 months." Moreover, because of the pandemic, the incoming classes at the police academy were restricted due to space limitations. This will delay the influx of new officers to replace retirees.

  • In January 2019, the city had an all-time high of 13,500 police officers. The numbers today are about the same as they were in 2017: 12,297 police officers in June 2021 and 12,154 in August 2017, according to the Inspector General's data. The re-opening of the city will allow police officers to be trained and hired; until then, police will, unfortunately, be required to work overtime. Interestingly, police earned $177.5 million in overtime in 2020. That's only slightly over the amount of overtime in 2017, $169.7 million, although undoubtedly the duty was harder in 2020.

I did not sign on in support of this emergency City Council meeting to demand a report of the police superintendent this Friday, the day before the Fourth of July weekend. I believe the Police Superintendent, the police force, and the other city departments should be preparing for the weekend, rather than spending hours and hours reporting their plans before City Council. I remain concerned that this meeting will be more political theater than solutions.

But the meeting will be taking place, and of course, I will participate.

Police Superintendent David Brown will be giving his weekly address to the press TODAY at 1 p.m., in which he reviews the plans for the weekend. I encourage you to watch that on the CPD's Facebook page and provide feedback if you'd like before Friday's meeting.

Please follow this newsletter for our announcement of an upcoming 43rd Ward public safety forum.
City Council Progress on Business-Friendly Measures
Work Still To Be Done

Last week, the City Council passed several major ordinances including a pro-business package that now allows businesses to do many things we have been advocating for over several years, along with an extension of the food delivery cap at 15%.

We tried to pass reforms to the Public Right of Way signage process that would have cut weeks or even months off the waiting for business signs as the process wends it way through aldermanic offices. The reforms would have been a substantive change but were separated from the main business package vote. Alderman have abused the system in the past and held up simple licenses of restaurants in alleged extortion schemes. I'm hopeful we can pass this reform at our next City Council meeting. I'd like to thank my colleague Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward), who has been a leader for years on these reforms.

The ordinance also allocates $10 million in federal relief to offer targeted grants to businesses impacted by the Covid pandemic, and clarifies the minimum wage ordinance so chain businesses do not undercount employees. This was a very good business package overall and supported by groups like the Illinois Restaurant Association, the SBAC-IL and our local chambers of commerce who have been working for years on these reforms. Click here to see an overview of the whole package.
Water in your basement? Take these steps

As the weather continues to change and we experience more intense storms, residents should take precautions to avoid situations could lead to basement flooding. 
 
Here are some steps homeowners can take to help prevent water from backing up into their basements:
 
  • Disconnect downspout connections from the sewer system. 
  • Make sure to direct downspout flow to areas with permeable surfaces that can properly absorb the stormwater or use rain barrels to collect the water directly from the downspouts. 
  • Avoid running a dishwasher or washing machine during storms.
  • Clear the area around downspouts to allow water to flow freely away from your foundation.  
  • Clear drains and sewers of debris to allow for drainage.
  • Do not dump fats/oils/greases in private drains or public catch basins.
  • For better resistance to flooding in the future, it can be helpful to install rain gardens, green landscaping, or stormwater trees in your yard to help retain rainwater.
 
Our sewer system also handles rainwater removal. The Chicago Department of Water Management is working closely with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to increase the capacity of our drainage systems. 
 
For more information, visit here.
Virtual Community Meeting
1948 N. Halsted Rezoning Proposal
Wednesday, July 7th, 2021
6 p.m.
Register here.

You are invited to join my office and the RANCH Triangle Association at a virtual meeting regarding the proposed rezoning of 1948 North Halsted St., a one-story commercial building currently occupied by the Manhandler Saloon and adjacent parking lot.

Even though this has been a commercial property for decades, it is zoned RT-4 (Residential Two-Flat, Townhouse and Multi-Unit District), and the applicant seeks to rezone the parcel to B3-2 (Community Shopping District) to allow for the redevelopment of and the establishment of a new business use at the location. The proposal calls for a new three-story mixed-use building containing ground-level commercial space and three residential units above.

This will be a virtual meeting via Zoom Webinar. The development team and their representatives will provide an overview of the project, as well as to answer questions from the audience regarding this proposal. My office will conduct the discussion, take notes and record your comments. 

Register for the webinar using the link above. 

After registering for the webinar, you will receive an email within an hour of the meeting with the link and instructions on how to access the Zoom meeting.  Please plan to log into Zoom and access the meeting 10-15 minutes before the official start time, so that there is enough time to troubleshoot any technical problems and familiarize yourself with its features.
Virtual Community Meeting
2658-70 N. Lincoln Rezoning Proposal
Thursday, July 8th, 2021
6 p.m.
Register here.

You are invited to join my office and the Wrightwood Neighborhood Association at a virtual meeting regarding a new proposal for 2658-70 North Lincoln Avenue, the site of the former Lincoln Park Gas Station.  This proposal seeks approvals for a five-story mixed-use building and a zoning change from the present B3-2 to a proposed B3-3 designation. It falls within a transit served location, which allows for reduced parking under Transit Oriented Development (TOD) guidelines.  

Prior public meetings were held in 2017 and 2018, but we rejected the proposals based on community feedback and concerns. The revised proposal includes 36 residential units, 18 parking stalls, and 1721 sq.ft. of commercial space on the corner of Seminary and Lincoln Avenue.  

This will be a virtual meeting via Zoom Webinar. The development team and their representatives will provide an overview of the project, as well as to answer questions from the audience regarding this proposal. My office will conduct the discussion, take notes and record your comments. 

Register for the webinar using the link above. 

After registering for the webinar, you will receive an email within an hour of the meeting with the link and instructions on how to access the Zoom meeting.  Please plan to log into Zoom and access the meeting 10-15 minutes before the official start time, so that there is enough time to troubleshoot any technical problems and familiarize yourself with its features.
Join Our 43rd Ward Team

Our wonderful office manager and scheduler Mari is heading off to graduate school, and we are seeking her replacement. Ideal candidates will have a college degree and work experience, preferably with customer service. Candidates should have knowledge of the Lincoln Park and Gold Coast Community and must be customer oriented as well as empathetic listeners. Strong communication skills, including verbal and written, are required. Candidates must have basic computer skills including Word and Excel, as well as basic social media skills. This is an entry level job, with a salary of $30,000, plus full City of Chicago benefits.

Responsibilities will include but are not limited to:
• Office Management (invoices, inventory, hardware, software, etc.)
• Scheduling (primarily for the alderman)
• Management of intern program (recruitment, training, mentoring, etc.)
• Other duties as required

All candidates must be current residents of the City of Chicago. Please direct all resumes, cover letters, and questions to Erik Wallenius at Erik@ward43.org
43rd Ward Shredding, Recycling, & Prescription Drug Takeback Event
Saturday, July 10th
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 N Cannon Drive
(in the brick paver lot)
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Senator Feigenholtz, Representative Croke, Commissioner Gainer, Commissioner Du Buclet Alderman Tunney and my office are pleased to announce an upcoming Shredding, Recycling, & Prescription Drug Takeback Event at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

There is a limit of two bankers boxes of paper per person.

Masks are required and social distancing will be strictly enforced.
Holiday Refuse Schedule
No Refuse Collection
Monday, July 5th

Please note these important changes to the refuse and recycling schedule due to the Independence Day holiday.

There will be no refuse collection on Monday, July 5th. All city-collected refuse will be service Tuesday thru Friday. Residents should ensure all black refuse carts are accessible throughout the week of collection, not solely on their regular day of collection.
Community News
Celebrate Independence Day with the Chicago History Museum
Free Admission to the Museum
Sunday, July 4
12:00 - 5:00 p.m.

The Chicago History Museum's beloved Fourth of July celebration is not being held this year due to construction, but the Museum will be open all day for free!

Activating Freedom:
With Liberty and Justice for All  
Sunday, July 4, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Register Here

Attend a FREE virtual, family-friendly event filled with conversations, a show-and-tell of early items from our archives, Hands-On History activities, sounds and songs, and more!   
Free Brookfield Zoo Tickets

Enjoy a day at The Brookfield Zoo! Please contact our office at yourvoice@ward43.org with your name, address, and number of tickets needed.. Limit four per family. Reservations must be secured by going on the Brookfield Zoo's website prior to your visit. Tickets are available on a first come first served basis.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to Reopen
Thursday, July 8th, 2021
2430 N. Cannon Dr

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum building will reopen to visitors Thursday, July 8! Come visit the animals and exhibits, and experience the tropical paradise of the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. For more information please visit here.
Chicago Advisory Redistricting Commission

The Chicago Advisory Redistricting Commission, a group composed of pro-reform advocates, is inviting you to submit proposals, testimony, or general feedback on how you believe your community should be reflected.

A "community of interest" is a geographic area or population that shares cultural, historical, demographic, or economic interests. Communities of interest do not necessarily share the same political viewpoints or support for certain candidates or political parties. They can include your neighborhood, or an area you live in, the people you would like to choose representatives with, or a local group that is brought together by a common interest, like a theater or community center.

You can learn more and submit your feedback at https://chicagoswards.org/your-submissions.

There will also be a series of virtual public meetings beginning July 1 - click here to see the schedule and sign up.
Summer Sundaes in Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce
Lincoln Common- 2335 N. Lincoln
Sunday, July 11th, 2021
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

The Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce and Lincoln Common invite you to celebrate summer at Lincoln Park Summer Sundaes.

This Lincoln Avenue-centered family-friendly celebration will feature free ice cream for the first 100 people who mention "Summer Sundaes." There will be live music, retail promotions, summer brunch, and cocktail specials along the street.
37th Annual Taste of Lincoln Avenue
Wrightwood Neighbors Association
Lincoln Ave & Fullerton Ave
Saturday and Sunday, July 24th-25th, 2021
12 p.m. - 10 p.m.

It's almost time for the 37th Annual Taste of Lincoln Avenue. This year's event will be Saturday & Sunday, July 24th and 25th. Mark your calendars.

Wrightwood Neighbors has hosted Taste of Lincoln Avenue to raise money for neighborhood improvements and local charities for 37 years! You can help make the Taste a success by volunteering. Fill out the online sign-up form or call 708-357-2980.

Due to Covid 19 protocols, only fully vaccinated individuals will qualify for volunteer positions offered.
Holiday Ward Office Hours

Our Ward Office will close at 12:00 p.m. Friday, July 2nd for the Independence Day Holiday.

Our office will reopen Tuesday, July 6th at 9:00 a.m.

As a reminder, the City Clerk's Office has made some changes to make it easier to purchase City Stickers and guest permit parking stickers online. Please go to the EZ-Buy website to learn more and purchase what you need. Our office will continue to be open till 2 p.m. this week for parking passes purchases.
Support Local Restaurants
Support Local Businesses
Congratulations to Bill Bransfield

Our Streets and Sanitation team, led by Ward Superintendent Marty Casey (right) work hard for us in keeping are streets clean and garbage and recycling collected, as well as many other duties. Bill Bransfield (left) has meticulously swept the streets of our ward for the last 13 years and has worked for the city for many years. We want to wish him well on his well-earned retirement this week. His hard work will be missed greatly.
Have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend.
43rd Ward Virtual Office Hours: M - F 9 AM - 5 PM 
 2523 N Halsted | 773-348-9500 yourvoice@ward43.org www.ward43.org