48th Ward Weekly Update- February 8, 2021

48th Ward UpdateView this email in your browserFebruary 8, 2021
Dear Neighbor,

Please join me in welcoming 7th District State Senator Michael Simmons to his newly appointed role in our community. Following the resignation of Heather Steans, the 7th District Democratic Committee met on Saturday to appoint her replacement. This was a multi-week process with a series of virtual forms held by community and Ward organizations, which culminated in Saturday’s open meeting to consider candidates, viewed by hundreds of residents on Zoom, and a public vote on the appointment of Michael Simmons. Thank you to the community organizations and neighbors who participated in the process.

With this appointment, Michael Simmons makes history as the first Black individual to represent our district in the General Assembly, and first Ethiopian-American and the first openly LGBTQ+ person in the Illinois Senate. Michael is an extraordinary young leader who will be a fresh face and a strong new voice representing our diverse communities in Springfield. Mike was born and raised in the 7th District and he will use his background and life experience to lift up voices and be a unifying leader for us all. His extensive background in community building, policy, government, nonprofit work, addressing racial equity and mentoring youth equips him to effectively transition and succeed in his new role as our State Senator.

I want to thank the five other candidates who sought appointment to the State Senate position, including State Representative Kelly Cassidy. Representative Cassidy has served with distinction as an independent leader representing the 14th District in the Illinois House on many issues that are important to our community. It is my strong belief that Mike Simmons will work side by side with Representative Cassidy and Representative Greg Harris to effectively represent our communities and take on the many challenges facing our State. I look forward to working with these leaders as we look to address issues important to you.

As Senator Simmons establishes a district office, I will share his contact information with you. My staff and I will find ways in the coming weeks to help introduce Michael to the 48th Ward community. 

Yesterday Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson announced that a tentative agreement has been reached with Chicago Teachers Union regarding a phased reopening of in-person learning beginning this week. 
This agreement allows for a phased reopening for elementary and middle school classes. Key issues in the agreement include the prioritization of teachers and school staff for vaccinations, the use of city-wide metrics to determine safety of district-wide in-person learning, and accommodations for teachers who request to work remotely. Click here to read more information about the agreement.

I send my condolences to the family, friends, and Chicago Teachers Union on the news of Karen Lewis’s passing. Karen was a tireless advocate for Chicago’s students and teachers, and she leaves behind a great legacy. I appreciate her efforts over the years as a teacher and as the President of the Chicago Teachers Union.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Chicago through 10pm tonight. Please allow extra time and use caution when driving due to expected hazardous snow conditions. Click here for more information. To keep our community safe and accessible, please clear snow from walkways and use salt to prevent slippery sidewalks.

Be safe and stay warm. 


Harry Osterman
Alderman, 48th Ward
 Copyright © 2021 Harry Osterman – 48th Ward Alderman, All rights reserved.