- Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday the launch of the Chicago Works Community Challenge and the Mayor’s Reimagine Chicago and a $10 million “community investment award” that is set to give up to $1.5 million in seven awards to the city’s seven planning regions. “Awards will be issued to fund community-identified enhancements to city-owned properties including, public parks, schools, libraries, or city-owned vacant lots in residential zones through the Chicago Works capital plan,” according to a news release from Lightfoot’s office. Applications will be available June 1 through Sept. 1 and city officials “will aim to break ground on many of the projects in 2022,” according to the news release.
Ald. Sophia King (4) in her most recent newsletter included a photo of herself and the Grand Boulevard Advisory Council at a ribbon cutting at Sumac Park.
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) tweeted “African Americans & Latinos STILL lag behind in getting vaccinated. Plenty of money wasted in poorly managed outreach. And this administration REFUSES to use aldermanic offices as vaccination sites.”
Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33) tweeted “2 years ago we took office and we’ve done so much! From protecting undocumented neighbors from ICE and tenants from eviction, democratizing zoning & ward budgeting, treatment not trauma legislation & so much more. Wear your support for our work! Pa’Lante”
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35) tweeted “Block parties, they're back. #MissionAccomplished”
Ald. Matt Martin (47) tweeted about his ward’s 2021 Participatory Budgeting winners including a new painted bike lane near Welles Park and additional tree plantings.
Ald. Maria Hadden (49) tweeted “It’s been 2 years! Happy 2nd anniversary to my team. We started off with an amazing crew and have grown from there. The 49th Ward Staff is committed, creative and resilient. I couldn’t do this work without you.”
- The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it had recently awarded a $1 million grant to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and the Village of Robbins. The grant will be used to help mitigate flooding, improve water quality and restore a creek in the Little Calumet River Watershed.
Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) tweeted “Child care is a necessity for employees returning to work— and for our economy as we bounce back from the pandemic. The #AmericanRescuePlan included $1.3 billion to keep daycares up and running for the working families who need them.”
Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) tweeted “One thing I'll be sad about with the redistricting process is that I always thought my district looked awesomely like a lion (specifically the Detroit Lions logo lion). Once I get a new map we're gonna have to figure out a new mascot. Prepare yourselves.”
Sen. Win Stoller (R-East Peoria) tweeted “S.A.L.T. Bill update! SB 2531 has passed the full House and will be returning to the Senate for concurrence on a small technical change.”
Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) tweeted a photo of himself wearing a Foo Fighters mask “on the floor of the Illinois House of Reps.”
Sen. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) tweeted that this week is National EMS week and wrote, “Perhaps more than ever this past year, we celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation's communities. We honor and will always remember their places on the front line of the pandemic.”
Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) tweeted “The time is now. The opportunity is here. We must pass a comprehensive clean energy bill this month that addresses climate change. We must use this opportunity to make an impact on the future of our planet. I support a #FossilFreeFuture!”
Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) tweeted “Yesterday, the Illinois Senate took a moment to honor fallen officer Chris Oberheim, who was killed that morning while on-duty. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Officer Oberheim.”
Pace Bus announced Wednesday that Rick Kwasneski, the chair of the agency’s Board of Directors, is now an at large director for transit on the American Public Transportation Association Board of Directors. Kwasneski will hold the post for a two-year term. Kwasneski is a currently member of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee. In a statement, Kwasneski said his objective in his new role would be “to elevate the policy and advocacy work of the MPO Policy Committee to the national discussion on infrastructure while bringing the nation’s best public transportation practices back to our region.”
Ald. George Cardenas (12), Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30) and Ald. Felix Cardona (31) joined Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Iris Martinez and former U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez at an event to “oppose school board proposals that exclude non-citizen participation,” according to a news release.
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) tweeted about a redevelopment project for a design studio and visual art spaces, writing "a great project gets the green light from the Budget Committee! Thank you to Mayor Emanuel for awarding this grant previously and to this administration on working with Bridgewater in securing the city’s first local hire reimbursement grant!"
Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20) retweeted her endorsement of the recently formed Experimental Station Union in Woodlawn: “The Experimental Station does some great work in the community. I love what they do with young people. But do we do it at the cost of workers feeling intimidated and feeling like they’re not appreciated?”
Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25) tweeted a video of himself speaking at a rally for a $15 minimum wage for McDonalds' workers.
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35) knocked Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a Twitter thread about the Empowering Communities for Public Safety ordinance, writing "Mayor Lightfoot says she doesn't want meaningful civilian oversight or community control of police because "she wears the jacket" for public safety. This is a major departure from what she said while running for mayor."
Ald. Andre Vasquez (40) tweeted, "The Mayor, watering down and obstructing Police Oversight and Accountability yet again. Many thanks to @ChicagoOIG for speaking truth to power, especially when it’s needed."
Ald. Michele Smith (43) promoted an event discussing the legislative landscape around abortion, writing “Are you worried about what happens if the Supreme Court overrules Roe v Wade? I am. Join this event tonight and learn more.”
Sen. Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) and Rep. Will Davis (D-Homewood) on Wednesday announced the formation of the Illinois Statehouse Taiwan Friendship Caucus. Speaking on the Senate floor, Aquino said the new caucus comes after Illinois established Taiwan as a “sister state” in 1992. Separately, Davis said on the House floor the caucus seeks to “continue to build relationships” with Taiwan. The newly formed caucus has bipartisan participation, with Sen. John Curran (R-Downers Grove) and Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) among those involved.
An earlier version of a story published on Wednesday about a Senate committee’s vote on ground-based sparklers incorrectly stated the committee's final action on the bill. The Daily Line regrets the error.
Sen. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) tweeted a video of herself talking about her concerns with the Illinois Parole Board.
Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) celebrated the passage of SB 139 in a tweet, writing "SB139 creates a unified standard across IL for couples to acquire updated marriage certificates free from gendered language. Today marks a step towards progress & equality in IL."
Sen. Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) tweeted about her measure SB 633, which passed the Senate Wednesday. "To root out the cause of violence between students and work against it, we need to know what we’re dealing with," she wrote. stronger reporting requirements will help us understand the depth of the problem in our schools."
Sen. Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles) is publicly backing a $20.7 billion investment in roads and bridges funded by the Rebuild Illinois plan, per a press release. In a statement, the senator said he was "pleased to see that maintaining and improving our roads and bridges remains a priority through this new multi-year plan."
Sen. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) passed a measure establishing the Birth Center Licensing Act, which would make it easier to found a birth center in Illinois, out of the Senate Health Committee Wednesday. “Lifting the licensure cap for birth centers will be an immense help for Illinoisans seeking a certified nurse midwife to help them bring their child into the world," Fine said in a press release.
Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) tweeted a statement from the Legislative Latino Caucus on its "unconditional support" for a fully elected school board.
Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) tweeted about her resolution calling on the state to “invest Illinois's transportation and infrastructure dollars as promised under the Rebuild Illinois program.”
Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) announced her measure that would assign survivors of sexual violence a card documenting their orders of protection (HB 3485) passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee Tuesday. In a statement, Morrison said “the Hope Card will equip survivors with a much easier way to communicate their situation with others.”
Sen. Mike Hastings (D-Frankfort) passed HB 3865 through the House Veterans Committee Tuesday. The bill would require “any advertisement for veteran and military service benefits must include that these services are available free of charge from federal, state and county veteran service offices.”
Sen. Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) passed a measure addressing racial bias in state hiring practices out of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday. According to a press release, tHB 3914 "would require the Illinois Department of Central Management Services to identify policies that make it harder for minorities and marginalized people to get hired by the state of Illinois.”
Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) passed a bill (HB 3097) requiring drivers education curricula to include material on interacting with law enforcement out of the Senate Public Safety Committee Tuesday. In a statement, Hunter said, “When getting pulled over, it is easy to panic, especially if you don’t know the proper protocol. The more you know about the law, the more it could help you in a potentially stressful situation.”
Sen. Suzy Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs) moved her bill promoting collaboration between the Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership and the Illinois State Board of Education out of the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee Tuesday.
Ald. Daniel La Spata (1) tweeted about the new guidance around masking, writing “The mix of clarity and ambiguity on mask wearing can make your head spin. Even as a fully vaccinated Chicagoan, I’ll probably keep asking this question first: is this building or business asking me to wear a mask?”
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) tweeted to promote the new Smart911 service from thee Chicago Office of Emergency Management, writing “I have been working with the city on this since the beginning of the year. Though I am (shockingly) not mentioned, I fully support its implementation. Sign up today!”
Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22) tweeted about his Guest Commentary in The Daily Line: “We support a fully elected school board and a trailer bill sponsored by State Senator Celina Villanueva that would allow all CPS parents to vote in school board elections
Ald. Rossanna Rodriguez-Sanchez (33) tweeted in praise of a push to replace Cook County’s Columbus Day holiday with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, writing “Proud of my brother Cook County Commissioner @BrandonCCD1 for his work to get this done at the County level.”
Ald. Harry Osterman (48) boosted WBEZ’s reporting about housing inequality in Chicago via a tweet, namechecking his colleague Ald. Pat Dowell (3) for her advocacy on the issue earlier this year.
- The Chicago Department of Public Health moved Indiana to its “yellow” classification in its Emergency Travel Order alongside 10 other states and Puerto Rico. As of Tuesday, only seven states are classified as “orange” under the order: Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, West Virginia and Washington. Travelers arriving in Chicago from the other 42 states and territories will not need to quarantine or obtain a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival in Chicago. Travelers arriving from an Orange-classified state will need to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival or obtain a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hourss before they reach the city. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to follow these guidelines regardless of where they are traveling from.
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Tuesday that the Lollapalooza music festival will take place from July 29 to Aug. 1, 2021. The festival will be held in Grant Park, and patrons must have either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have tested negative for the disease within 24 hours of each day they plan to attend the festival. Tickets will become available starting on Wednesday, May 19 along with the year’s roster of performers.
- The Chicago Department of Housing will open applications at 9 a.m. Monday, May 24 for the next round of its federally backed Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Eligible renters can apply at chicago.gov/renthelp.
- Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday he would revise his emergency executive order mandating masks in Illinois to comply with the most recent guidance from the Center for Disease Control. Fully vaccinated people — those who have received one shot of Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses oof the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at least two weeks ago — will no longer need to wear masks in many public situations. There are exceptions to this rule, namely in health care settings, on public transit and in large “congregate facilities.” Illinois has vaccinated 64 percent of its eligible residents, according to state health officials. Cities, towns and counties still may require masks in particular settings, and businesses may choose to continue with their mask policies.
Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) encouraged constituents to provide feedback on HB 3447, which passed the House in April. Batinick opposed the bill, which changes sentencing for people who possess controlled substances.
Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) tweeted about the passage of HB 2877, which creates the COVID-19 Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program Act: “sending a huge shoutout to @Delia4StateRep for her hard work on HB 2877!”
Sen. Chris Belt (D-Centreville) tweeted about infrastructure grants funded through Rebuild Illinois, writing “I’m pleased to see funds being spent to improve transportation needs that will make a difference in people’s daily lives. Investing in local governments improves our state as a whole.”
Sen. Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) tweeted about abortion access: As a proud co-sponsor of the repeal PNA bill (SB 2190), I can’t stress enough how critical it is to protect the right and access to abortion care in IL, especially for our young people.
Sen. Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) posted to Facebook about population loss in Illinois, writing “amazing what one party rule can do in a little less than 20 years. The juggernaut of the Midwest, a vibrant economy of business startups and plentiful quality jobs...to being one of only 3 states that actually lost population over the last decade.”
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new My CHI campaign, “Rediscover Summer,” Monday. Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson said the initiative would “help address the academic and social and emotional needs created by the pandemic and ensure thousands of CPS students have a strong foundation of support when returning to the classroom next fall.” The program’s offerings will include Day Camp programming beginning June 28, track and field competitions “to find Chicago’s fastest,” increased capacity at the city’s public libraries and arts-themed programs, the GreenCorps Chicago Youth Program, fishing lessons, career coaching for youth 16 and up and a range of apprenticeship programs. In a statement, Lightfoot said the “200,000 summer opportunities,” would give the city‘s young people “the nurturing, out-of-school environments they deserve and need in order to develop their talents and reach their highest potential.”
- Cook County Health announced Monday it will return to distributing Johnson & Johnson vaccines at its Des Plaines mass vaccination site. The one-dose vaccine will be one choice, with the other option being the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine administration was paused briefly in April after reports of blood clots among some recipients; however, public health officials later determined that the vaccine is still safe and effective for the vast majority of people who receive it.
- Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia will host a virtual mini-summit called “Secure Your Self & Rights” at 5 p.m. Tuesday. According to a press release, the event “will provide space for an open dialogue with young womxn, girls, trans, and gender non-binary youth on how to protect themselves from discrimination and inequality.” Participants will include U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Lt. Gov. Julianna Stratton, other Chicago and Cook County officials and high-ranking officials from companies based in Chicago. Online registration is required.
Ald. Pat Dowell (3) promoted The City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management & Communications’ new privacy feature, Smart911, to ward residents in an email. The feature allows residents to opt in or out of sharing home surveillance video footage with Chicago Police.
Ald. David Moore (17) posted to Facebook about rental assistance with a page from the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25) retweeted a press conference covering the signage of HB 2877 and upcoming state rental relief.
Ald. Matt Martin (47) reminded residents to file their taxes and promoted the new federal Child Tax Credit.
Ald. Harry Osterman (48) sent a newsletter about an arrest that occurred in his ward over the weekend alongside other violent incidents that had occurred in the area over the preceding days, writing “safety in our community is a responsibility we all share. Please stay vigilant, look out for your neighbors, and report any illegal activity.”
Ald. Matthew O’Shea (19) tweeted about National Police Week, writing “On behalf of a grateful community, we thank the men & women of the Chicago Police Department for their sacrifice, commitment and dedication.”
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32) shared an interest form to “help find Chicago Public Schools next CEO” and an opportunity to apply for a Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Grant in his weekly newsletter.
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35) tweeted, “Chicago is losing our greatest source of naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH), particularly NOAH with family-size units. In Chicago the fight for housing affordability is the fight to protect two- & three- flats from demolition & deconversion.” The alderman also got engaged late last week, which he announced in a tweet.
Ald. Harry Osterman (48) asked residents to be patient as Chicago and Illinois enter the “bridge phase” of reopening in his weekly newsletter: “As we all emerge from winter and begin to support our favorite local Andersonville, Edgewater, and Uptown businesses, I encourage you to be patient as staff members adjust to new guidelines.”
Ald. Brendan Reilly (42) reminded constituents in his latest newsletter that Crescent Heights’ proposal to build a 47-story, 413-unit mixed-use building at 640 W. Washington St. is set for approval by the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday.
Ald. Maria Hadden (49) promoted the Indian Boundary Lines Marker Survey, which is meant to gauge community opinions about what the future of colonial landmarks should be, in her newsletter.
Ald. Debra Silverstein (50) announced an upcoming vaccine clinic and wished residents a happy Shavuot, the Jewish festival commemorating the giving of the law to the Jews, in her weekly newsletter.
Sen. Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles) shared a recent opinion piece he wrote in The Chicago Daily Herald via an email newsletter, discussing his frustration with Democratic lawmakers’ transparency practices in the COVID-19 era.
Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) posted to Facebook about a bill he is sponsoring to lower the trailer license fee, writing “There is bipartisan support from a majority of House members to roll back the outrageous $100 fee increase to license a small trailer in Illinois.”