Do you ever wonder what your 49th Ward Service Office does all day? This weekly newsletter, written by your service office staff members*, will give you a taste of the regular and non-traditional things we work on.
The seven staff team members handle over 150 inquiries each day. Some are routine, like requests for pothole repair, snow shoveling complaints, landlord/tenant concerns, and questions about events we’re hosting. Others require a little more creativity, sensitivity, or persistence. This week we helped someone set up an iPass user account. All in a day’s work!
In this issue:
The value of partnerships: CityKey municipal ID events
Acts of kindness: Neighbors assisting victims of Sunday’s apartment fire
Update: USPS delivery problems
Infrastructure: Annual pothole survey
Save the date: Upcoming events
In case you missed it: Alderman Moore’s emails and events this week
The value of partnerships: Running an event where more than 150 constituents receive a CityKey identification card is truly a challenging team effort. Thanks to our partners – and participants – the January 31st City Key ID event at Pottawattomie Park was a huge success.
An event like this takes many months of planning and coordination with more than half a dozen organizations, including Centro Romero, Heartland Health Centers, Northside Community Resources, Catholic Charities, Pottawattomie Park, the City Clerk’s office, plus our own Cecilia Salinas. This particular event happened to fall on the Polar Vortex, creating an even bigger challenge. Canceling the event wasn’t an option because we are aware of the need in our community for valid, government-issued ID cards, especially for our undocumented neighbors.
Our partners really stepped up, bringing extra staff and volunteers and even staying almost three hours later than scheduled. This teamwork allowed us to exceed our goal; 155 neighbors got CityKey IDs! Thanks to all for making this happen. It shows the true value of partnerships in service to our community.
Acts of kindness: Supporting neighbors after apartment fire. This past Sunday, a fire broke out in a 2-flat apartment building on the 7500 block of Wolcott. Thankfully, nobody was injured. The two families that were the victims of the fire, both of whom have young children attending Jordan School, have been displaced and all their belongings have been destroyed. Our office and others are working with them to find alternative housing, gather their police reports, and restore some semblance of normalcy. We are grateful to the friends and families of the victims who already have assisted.
For those looking for ways to help, each family has a GoFundMe fundraiser to raise money to replace lost belongings and pay for moving. They are not looking for donations of physical items at this time. Here are the links to assist the Frazier/Gabourel family and the Naylor family.
UPDATE: Mail delivery problems. We asked last week about your postal delivery problems, and boy, did you answer! We got more than 300 responses to our form, detailing your issues. Since then, Chief of Staff Kevin O’Neil has been working closely with staffers from U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s office to address these issues with postal managers. They report that:
- Additional carriers have been transferred to the Rogers Park area.
- New hires are being trained and assigned to routes currently without consistent carriers.
- Top managers will be overseeing the area to make sure these issues are resolved.
Postal managers also apologize for the delayed and erratic service. We heard from many of you that things were getting back to normal this week. If you are still missing mail, please complete this form (again, if you have already) so we can give the details to the Post Office.
Infrastructure: Annual pothole survey. Each year, your 49th Ward Service Office literally takes to the streets, driving every block to record potholes in need of repair. This season’s extreme cold has been matched only by our extreme potholes, so last week we went out to note those blocks in need of some help (spoiler: they all do). We entered over 300 sites into 311 for pothole patching, requesting emergency repair for the largest and deepest. Crews have already been dispatched to the neighborhood and were working at Rogers and Ashland yesterday.
We could use your help to make sure every single pothole makes it into the system – particularly alley potholes. Is there a particular location that has been bothering you? Let us know by filling out this form. Thank you!
Events: Save the date.
- Saturday, February 16th, 1:00 p.m. Leone Park Winter Trudge at Touhy and the lake. Join the Leone Beach Park Advisory Council for its second annual Winter Trudge. Explore the unique winter landscape of the Lake Michigan Landscape
- Friday, February 22, 5:00-7:00 p.m. A special two-fer Follow Me on Friday on Devon Avenue. Stay tuned for location announcement.
- Saturday, April 27th, 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. Shred-a-thon! 7356 N. Greenview. Stay tuned for more details.
- Nibbles & Nosh welcomed guests at last week’s Follow Me on Friday with hot cocoa and delicious food. If you missed the event, you can try their signature breakfast and lunch options daily at 6981 N. Sheridan (southeast corner of Lunt and Sheridan) or opt for delivery.
- We are grateful to longtime partners, the New 400 Theaters, for hosting last Saturday’s 29th Annual Valentine’s Day Movie. Thank you for once again making this fun event a huge success!
- We welcomed Rogers Park’s newest bakery, Life’s Sweet Inc. (6621 N. Clark St), with a Valentine’s Day ribbon cutting. Check out their beautiful custom cakes!
- Email: The Juneway Beach sculpture dedication has been rescheduled for this Saturday, February 16th.
- Email: Clark-Estes Apartments began taking applications for their affordable apartments this week
Please let us know how we can more effectively support you. Also, share any thoughts you have about this email by hitting reply. Thanks for all that you do to make Rogers Park the rich, vibrant community that it is.
Yours very truly,
49th Ward Service Office Staff
* Your 49th Ward Service Office Staff is here to serve:
Wayne Frazier (infrastructure issues)
Mike Land (business, zoning, and property tax issues)
Cecilia Salinas (bilingual Spanish/English; Participatory Budgeting coordinator and immigration issues)
Ann Hinterman (housing specialist and Glenwood Sunday Market manager)
Bob Fuller (legislative aide)
Dan Murphy (ward Streets and Sanitation superintendent)
Kevin O’Neil (police and schools issues)