48th Ward Weekly Update – January 8, 2021

Weekly Update from Your Alderman
View this email in your browserJanuary 8, 2021
Dear Neighbor,Wednesday, January 6, was a dark day in our country’s history, with the seditious attack on the US Capitol. This action was perpetrated and incited by President Donald Trump, as he invited his supporters to Washington DC and led them to attack our nation’s Capital. This treasonous incursion, aimed at disrupting the constitutional function of counting Electoral Ballots and confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, undercuts and attacks the foundation of democracy of our country. I join with elected leaders and Americans across the country calling on Vice President Mike Pence and members of the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Donald Trump from office immediately. We cannot wait another day with him in the White House, as he has proven throughout this term that he is destructive and, now, intent on creating more destruction on his way out. I also join in calling for the US House of Representatives and the US Senate to file articles of impeachment against him and to call for a vote next week, so that he is impeached for his role in leading this unprecedented vile attack on our Capitol. Those who chose to criminally attack the US Capitol — which led to five deaths, elected officials in fear for their lives, the capitol of our country being desecrated and vandalized — should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. 

Like you, I was shaken, angry, and saddened while watching these events unfold on Wednesday. The stain of this day will stay with our country for many years to come. We have many neighbors in our community who come from war-torn countries, including Vietnam, Iraq, Bosnia, Serbia, Ethiopia, and others. These neighbors and their families came to the United States fleeing violence, persecution, and unsafe conditions caused by dictatorships and mob rule. We cannot have this happen in our country. Unfortunately Wednesday’s siege was witnessed by the entire world, which further undercuts our place as a global leader for democracy.

Wednesday’s attack of the capitol also represented a total failure in a coordinated police and public safety response, further highlighting the racial prejudices and disparities that exist in our country. This summer Black Lives Matter activists and protesters were met with military police and at times violent aggression during their peaceful protests calling for an end to systemic racism. The predominantly white individuals, a number of them armed, at the Capitol on Wednesday were met with passive resistance. I have no doubt that if those involved were BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) they would have been met with lethal force. This further highlights the urgent work our country must undertake on racial healing and unity for an equitable country. These safety failures have to be fully investigated to ensure our Capitol is safe. As someone who served in the State Capitol Building in Springfield and who currently serves in City Hall, it is critical that these buildings are safe and secure for those who work there, as well as those who visit to see their government work in an open and transparent way. Many people were heroes on Wednesday, including elected officials and their staff, security officers who protected them, reporters covering the events, and others including the two young staffers who secured the ballots when the Chambers were evacuated. I applaud the courage of these young women, other staffers, and our local representatives Senator Tammy Duckworth, Senator Dick Durbin, and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, as well as their peers. They worked through a terrible and frightening day to ensure the mob’s actions wouldn’t take them away from their constitutional duty.

Wednesday’s horrific attack also further demonstrates how fragile our democracy is, and how we each have a role, through our actions and words, to preserve our democracy and the values of our country. As we move into a new year it is something we all must commit to. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in on Wednesday, January 20, along with a newly elected Democrat-majority Senate and House that can focus on the needs of American people. Thank you to everyone who voted in November, and let us all remember that each citizen has a role in bringing our country together and looking out for our neighbors.

This morning Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools CEO Dr. Janice Jackson held a press conference confirming plans for CPS schools to reopen beginning on Monday. Click here to view this morning’s address. I spent much of my time this week speaking with and listening to our local school administrators, educators, and parents and took their concerns about the CPS Reopening Plan to heart. As I shared earlier this week, I joined more than 30 of my City Council colleagues in signing a letter to Mayor Lightfoot and Dr. Jackson voicing concerns about the reopening plan. I have already begun, and will continue next week, visiting the CPS schools in our ward to observe their preparedness, and will continue to talk with parents and educators about how reopening is going. Thank you to the many parents and educators who have reached out to my office this week to share your perspectives. The City Council Committee on Education will hold a Subject Matter Hearing about the CPS reopening plan on Monday, Jan. 11, 10am. This meeting will be livestreamed on the City Clerk’s website.

Residents and staff at long-term care facilities and nursing homes in the 48th Ward began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations this week and will continue next week. It is critical that each of us takes the vaccination as they are made available to our age group, occupation, and other determining factors. I recommend spending some time reading through the information available at chicago.gov/covidvax to learn more about the safety of the vaccines and the City’s plan for distribution. Like many things related to Coronavirus, this information is being updated regularly, and that website is the best place to find the most up-to-date information about vaccines in Chicago.

As we enter the long and cold months of winter, it is important that we take care of our mental health and that of our loved ones. There are free mental health resources available for those in need of counseling. In addition to seeking professional care, making sure we stay connected socially and that we get fresh air and exercise can also go a long way toward maintaining our mental and emotional wellness. Please continue to check in with your neighbors and friends via text, phone, video call, or socially distanced walk in the neighborhood. If you or someone you know in the community are looking for connection to community during this time, please email harry@48thward.org with name, address, and contact information and we can have a volunteer from our Community Response Team reach out.

Another way to feel connected and show neighborhood support during this time is by continuing to choose local businesses over Amazon when you’re able. My office will continue to encourage neighbors to participate in Takeout Thursday this winter, as a way to support our local restaurants. Additionally, remember to shop local as your family stocks up on books, puzzles (pictured puzzle from Enjoy in Andersonville), board games, and craft supplies this winter. Consider starting a book and puzzle swap on your block this winter to keep things fresh and build bonds among your neighbors. My office will be looking for ways to continue facilitating community during our first full winter season of the pandemic. I welcome your ideas on how to keep us connected in a safe way.

This has not been an easy week, but we continue to prove our resiliency as a community, a city, and a country through persistently challenging times. I am grateful for each of you — those who have reached out to my office to share your concerns and ideas; those who are giving of time and resources to neighbors and critical community organizations as we navigate a global crisis; our community leaders at our schools, houses of worship, businesses, and social service agencies; and everyone who has stepped up over the last year to help their neighbors in ways big and small. There is plenty to be hopeful for in the coming year, and our community will continue to show up for one another.

Have a peaceful weekend and stay safe. 

Harry Osterman
Alderman, 48th WardHoliday Tree Recycling with Chicago Park District

The City of Chicago’s annual holiday tree recycling program will run from Saturday, January 9 through Saturday, January 23, 2021, at 25 locations city wide. Live holiday trees can be dropped off inside tree corrals set up at any one of the 25 designated Chicago Park District locations. The holiday tree recycling program is not able to accept wreaths or garlands. Ornaments, lights, tinsels, and tree stands must be removed before the tree is dropped off and trees should be removed from any bags when placed in the tree recycling corrals. Trees recycled through the program are turned into mulch, wood chips for use at Chicago Park Districts and materials for use by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

The 48th Ward tree recycling site is located at Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine Drive. Click here for more information and other participating locations.Traffic Court Cases Update

All Traffic Court cases will be scheduled for Zoom appearances unless a case is specially set for an in person Trial or Hearing. Please look for the date, time and room number on the citation so you will know the correct Zoom information. Please click on this link to see Zoom information for the Traffic Court Rooms in the Daley Center.  Online Community Emergency Response Team Training

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is announcing a first-time virtual Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program.  The training is free of charge to all interested participants, this new course engages users through an online platform utilized to complete 12 hours of virtual CERT training followed by 16 hours of in-person, hands on training sessions. Due to COVID-19, hands-on training will be scheduled in Spring/Summer 2021. Chicago residents can sign up for this class by visiting the following website to create a free account: https://cert.hazready.com/HazReady/Home. Once you have created an account please register for the following class: ONLINE TRAINING – Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) 2020.1.3. Courses are also available in Spanish.  CTA Job Opportunities

Click here for all available opportunities with the CTA. Annual Women’s Toiletry Drive
Jan 4 – March 15
Click here for donation drop-off sites and more information

Join Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer in collecting personal care items to support incarcerated women. Items needed, travel sized only:Shampoo/ConditionerDeodorantSoapShower GelBody LotionWinter Walk: A Mile in Her Shoes

This walk highlights the harsh reality of women’s homelessness during the deadly cold of Chicago’s winters. Your support can make the difference between a woman struggling to survive alone on the street and a woman who is safe and warm in her own bed.  The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on society, especially those most vulnerable. We are anticipating a greater demand for our services as evictions and lay-offs continue. Funds raised through Winter Walk are critical in meeting the demand of Sarah’s Circle’s services.  You can help by signing up to fundraise or by making a donation at this link: bit.ly/WelcomeHomeWalk 

Learn more about Sarah’s Circle and Winter Walk: A Mile in Her Shoes here.Swift School Solidarity Fund 
Click here to donate

As our community comes together during the pandemic and its related impacts on the economy, the Swift School (5900 N. Winthrop) community is banding together and forming a Swift Solidarity Fund. 100% of funds donated will be distributed to Swift families in need, and they will be able to use the money however best suits their family. Donations can be made via Venmo. Click here for the flyer with details on how to donate. If you have any questions or need help donating, please email swiftsolidarityfund@gmail.com.48th Ward Youth CouncilThis year our youth council will go virtual and have a lot of projects planned for this school year! The purpose of this council began with our desire to make a difference in the way youth engage, learn, and participate in the community they call home. The council plans community initiatives and projects that others in the community will enjoy. They get the opportunity to meet with other leaders in our community. If you are a youth in middle school or high school and want to learn more or have any questions contact Alan at alan@48thward.org.Chinese Mutual Aid Association Winter ProgrammingAll CMAA winter term classes will start January 11th and finish March 27th. Offerings include a wide range of ESL classes, a healthcare literacy class, and citizenship classes, all online. Prospective students can contact our Senior Coordinator of Adult Literacy at christinaj@chinesemutualaid.org or (312) 380-0647. In addition, we are always looking for volunteer tutors who can offer adult learners individualized ESL instruction. Prospective tutors can contact our Literacy Associate at tutoring@chinesemutualaid.org.

Click below for flyers about CMAA Winter Programming:Online English TutoringCitizenship ClassVolunteer Opportunity — English TutoringFree English ClassesHealthcare & English Job Readiness Class GET FIT! GET YOUR WORKOUT IN @ HOME WITH GUS! 

TUESDAY’S @ 5:30pm
January 5, 12, 19, 26

Fun & easy follow along!
THURSDAY’S @ 6:30pm
January 7, 14, 21, 28

Visit guslegacy.org
Use code “GETFIT” to pay only $5!Blood Drive
Sunday, January 17, 9am-2pm
Emanuel Congregation, 5959 N. SheridanOne blood donation can save up to three lives! Emanuel Congregation is hosting the Vitalant Blood Mobile Coach on Sunday, January 17th. If you are interested in donating blood, please make an appointment at www.vitalant.org, click “Donate” and search by group code J221. Appointments are recommended, walk-ins are welcome!The mobile coach will be parked at the Thorndale extension (at the corner of Thorndale and Sheridan). To check-in, donors should go to the Emanuel entrance at Thorndale Ave. Temperatures will be taken before you enter the building. Wear a mask and bring your id. Normal check-in procedures will be practiced on the mobile coach.Swedish American Museum Events

Cooking Class Online

Register hereOur popular cooking and baking classes are back this spring. We are now meeting online so it doesn’t matter where you live, you can join us from anywhere.Feel free to either join in with a notepad and your questions or we will send you the list of ingredients before the class so you can cook and bake along if you want. Note that there are times when we have to shorten actual cooking time to fit the class into one hour.Here is what is cooking:Jan. 11, 4 p.m. & Jan. 27, 6 p.m. – Yellow Pea Soup and Pancake MuffinsFeb. 8, 4 p.m. & Feb. 24, 6 p.m. – Spinach Soup and SemlaMarch 8, 4 p.m. & March 24, 6 p.m. –  Potato Soup and Quick BreadGenealogy Session Online
Saturday, Jan. 23, 10 a.m. – noon
“Lesser Known Records in ArkivDigital” by Kathy MeadeResearching further in ArkivDigital. Discover the value of researching in lesser known record collections!ArkivDigital is an online site that provides access to Swedish historical records. While many people are familiar with the Swedish church books, there are many additional types of historical records in ArkivDigital. This presentation will point out some of these records such as the seamen records (similar to merchant marines), prison records, orphanage records, internal passports and other lesser known records and how they can help you gain a deeper understanding of your Swedish heritage.Cost is free for the Swedish American Museum’s Genealogical Society members; non-member cost is $10. Reservations required, click here.COVID-19 ResourcesChicago Department of Public Health COVID-19 page (Comprehensive information, one-stop shop)
48th Ward COVID19 Resource Guide
Small Business Resources, for Business Owners, Employees, & Consumers – Chicago BACP
Small Business Resources – Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
Guidance: What to do when COVID-19 Has Been in Your Establishment
Guidance for Older Adults & Others with High Risk
Cook County Health Guide to Walking & Biking 
Cook County Health Transit Guide48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman*We are operating remotely*

Ward Office                                                          City Hall Office
5533 N. Broadway,                                                121 N. LaSalle Room 300,
Chicago, IL 60640                                                  Chicago, IL 60602
773-784-5277                                                         312-744-6860
Office hours: Monday-Friday 9 am – 5 pm;
Evening hours available by appointment
www.48thward.orgCopyright © 2021 Harry Osterman – 48th Ward Alderman, All rights reserved.