18th Ward Alderman
Derrick G. Curtis
"Keeping You Informed"
Community News & Updates !
["BE HAPPY IN THE MOMENT, THAT'S ENOUGH.
EACH MOMENT IS ALL WE NEED, NOT MORE."
~ MOTHER TERESA]
Dear Ward 18,

Today is week 23 of the Census Response Period. As of today, 12,645 households in your ward have responded to the 2020 Census. This means there are about 5,394 households which have not responded!

Your ward has a self-response rate of 70.1%. Overall, 58.3% of all Chicagoans have responded to the Census, and Chicago’s target is a 75% self-response rate. There are about 438,731 households left in Chicago which have not responded.

Here are some additional facts about how Chicago wards are doing:

Best performer *: Ward 18 is at 94.8% of its target 2020 response rate (Keep up the good work, ward 18!)

Most improved: Ward 11 had a 1.8% increase in the number of households responding compared to last week (Your ward's increase was 0.9%).

Remember, for every additional person counted in Chicago, we stand to gain approximately $1,400 that could be used towards parks, schools, and infrastructure!

Find out more in your personalized ward report here. (Please open report in Chrome or Firefox internet browser.)
TOGETHER NOW FUND
The City has reopened the Together Now grant program for small businesses for a second round from Friday, August 21st through August 31st. These will be all operational grants (up to 4k) for businesses who have experienced losses from COVID-19, and not infrastructure grants as were included in the first round. Interested businesses can learn more at chicago.gov/togethernow and register for a webinar at chicago.gov/businesseducation.

MAYOR'S YOUTH COMMISSION

The Mayor's Office is looking for young people between the ages of 14 and 19 to join the next cohort of the Mayor's Youth Commission. Attached find a flier that you should feel free to distribute to youth and youth-serving organizations in your ward. Interested individuals have until August 31 to submit their applications. 

Mayor's Youth Commissioners serve for a maximum of two-year terms and work to amplify the voices of young people across the city. Last year, Mayor's Youth Commissioners...
  • organized events such as the Youth Budget Town Hall and the Rise and Recover Summit to collect and organize feedback around important issues such as the 2020 budget and the city's COVID recovery;
  • advised the Mayor on launching My Chi. My Future.; and
  • created a charter to establish rules and procedures for future youth commissioners.
Eligible applicants must live in Chicago and commit to monthly virtual meetings (during COVID recovery). Interested individuals can apply at www.tinyurl.com/chiyouthcommission

A committee of current Youth Commissioners will notify finalists about group interviews in early September to select new members before October 1st. Feel free to contact J.D. Van Slyke at john.vanslyke@cityofchicago.org with any questions. I have attached a flyer that can be used to advertise the application.

CHICAGO CONNECTED

As the start of the school year approaches, we’d like to reinforce the importance of signing students up for Chicago Connected, a public-private partnership designed to provide high speed internet for eligible Chicago Public Schools (CPS) families at no cost to them. Chicago Connected will provide internet for approximately 100,000 CPS students for up to four years by directly paying for internet service for families that are most in need. With remote learning continuing this fall, signing students up for the program is especially critical over the next several weeks.

To help disseminate this information to as many families as possible, I have attached the following:
  • A summary of program details and instructions for enrolling
  • A flyer that can be distributed to families

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information, you can also visit www.cps.edu/chicagoconnected. To check student eligibility for the program, families can visit www.cps.edu/getconnected.

RENTAL ASSISTANCE BREAKDOWN

The Department of Housing’s (DOH) COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grants, a program that provides grants between $2,000 and $3,000 to low-income renters in Chicago who have been impacted by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic received 12,000 fully completed applications for assistance. Grant disbursals will begin once applicants’ eligibility is approved. Most grants are expected to be disbursed over the next several weeks.

Additionally, a group of community-based organizations continues to assist with the intake of applicants who were not aware of the online application or may have had difficulty gaining access to a computer with Internet access. These grants are expected to be disbursed throughout September.

The Department of Family and Support Services’ (DFSS) Rental Assistance Program (RAP) provides financial assistance to residents who are at immediate risk of eviction. The program is available year-round and is designed to stabilize renters in their existing units. At the close of the housing assistance portal, there were 1,936 completed applications. In the coming days, after prioritization and randomization, completed applications will be forwarded to staff at the City’s six community service centers and partner agencies for processing. 

Because the RAP process may be unique for every resident, assistance will be provided on a case-by-case basis and includes agreed participation from an applicant’s property owner or manager. Renters can receive up to six months of support including payment of rent and rent arrears. 

To improve equity and program access, DFSS is leveraging existing relationships with community-based organizations to expand outreach and awareness of RAP across every neighborhood. DFSS is also partnering with the University of Chicago Poverty Lab to evaluate RAP’s impact on housing outcomes and well-being.

I am attaching a breakdown of grant recipients by zip code. 

BLOCK PARTIES
Following recommendations from the CDC and the guidance of City and State officials to avoid non-essential gatherings and any gatherings larger than 10 individuals, Block Party Permits are not being issued by CDOT through the end of this year. 
Dear Ward 18,

Today is week 24 of the Census Response Period. As of today, 12,772 households in your ward have responded to the 2020 Census. This means there are about 5,267 households which have not responded!

Your ward has a self-response rate of 70.8%. Overall, 58.9% of all Chicagoans have responded to the Census, and Chicago’s target is a 75% self-response rate. There are about 433,024 households left in Chicago which have not responded.

Here are some additional facts about how Chicago wards are doing:

Best performer *: Ward 18 is at 95.7% of its target 2020 response rate (Keep up the good work, ward 18!)

Most improved: Ward 31 had a 1.8% increase in the number of households responding compared to last week (Your ward's increase was 1.0%).

Remember, for every additional person counted in Chicago, we stand to gain approximately $1,400 that could be used towards parks, schools, and infrastructure!

The Office of the City Clerk has decided to designate another senior hour at our satellite office locations next week. Please see details and a short blurb below to be distributed as you see fit.

Details are as follows:
**senior hour for individuals ages 65 and up**

Date: Tuesday August 4th, 2020
Time: 8AM - 9AM
Location(s): 
North Side Satellite Office:
5430 West Gale St.
South Side Satellite Office:
5672 South Archer Ave.
Newsletter/Social Media Blurb: "The Office of the City Clerk is continuously working to ensure residents can obtain city services as safely and efficiently as possible. On Tuesday, August 4th, the Clerk's Office will offer a designated senior hour for individuals 65 and up at our Archer and Gale satellite locations from 8AM - 9AM."
Beginning Wednesday, there have been about 100 electric scooters placed in our Ward to participate in a 4 month pilot.

Scooters will be available everywhere in Chicago except Downtown, the 606, and Lakefront Trail. Read about the expanded program here.

We have many concerns about safety and security about these scooters. In response to our concerns, the city has stated:

  • Each scooter is equipped with a cable lock to secure the scooter to a fixed object.  Scooters can legally be locked to bike racks, street signs, light poles and other fixed object in the public right of way.
  • Based on the information received from the scooter companies, if you cut the lock on a scooter, the scooter can still be operated, but only by renting through the app. The app does give a higher degree of confidence because the scooter companies can verify identities and phone numbers. Because each scooter weighs ~ 50 lbs., it’s not practical for someone to use the e-scooter as a manual scooter.

Scooters MUST be driven in the street, and they are NOT ALLOWED on sidewalks - including in the parks.
The deadline to apply for P-EBT has been extended to August 31. Learn more at http://chicagosfoodbank.org/p-ebt-benefits/.
The Illinois Housing and Development Authority (IHDA) is accepting applications to assist those who have met challenges meeting their mortgage obligations, the process is limited and expected to close early due to high demand. Here are FAQs. Click here to submit your application.

If you are approved, you will receive a grant of up to $15,000 that will be sent to your loan servicer and applied against your mortgage.
 
Eligibility criteria:

  • In Cook County, your household income must have been less than $109,200 before March 1, 2020.
  • You or an adult member of your household has had a loss of income due to COVID-19.
  • Your mortgage was current through February 2020.
  • You have unpaid mortgage payments after March 1, 2020.
  • Your mortgage cannot be in the form of a reverse mortgage.

For more information, and to apply, click here.

Peoples Gas offers support to customers as COVID-19 emergency order ends

 Chicago — Peoples Gas is urging customers who are behind on their energy bills to contact us as soon as possible to avoid disconnection.

Payment support is available for customers as the State of Illinois moratorium on disconnections and late fees due to the pandemic expired. Disconnections will resume August 31.

 Disconnection is always a last resort

 If you are having trouble paying your bill, visit our website or call us at 866-556-6001. We are here to work with you to arrange a payment plan and connect you to financial assistance options.

 Energy assistance is available

Some customers may qualify for energy assistance through LIHEAP, which opened early this program year, July 27. Additionally, income eligibility has been updated to make it easier for people who have been recently laid off.

 Simple ways to manage costs

Additionally, there are many ways to manage your energy costs at home and at work. See our At-home checklist for tips and resources.

As always, if you have questions about your bill or think you might have trouble paying, call us at 866-556-6001.

ComEd Restores Power to More Than 260,000 Customers Following Severe Storm

Customers should prepare for a multi-day restoration

CHICAGO (August 10, 2020) – ComEd crews have restored power to more than 260,000 customers throughout northern Illinois after a derecho with wind gusts in excess of 80 miles per hour, lightning and, in some cases, hail that moved across the region Monday afternoon. Approximately 560,000 customers remain without power.

 This storm caused significant damage across the service territory, including downed poles, broken lines and tree-related damage. ComEd expects that it will take multiple days to restore service to all of the customers affected by the storm. ComEd recommends that customers take whatever steps they feel necessary to keep themselves and their families safe.

 ComEd has more than 800 employees working around the clock to restore energy to affected customers as quickly and safely as possible. Additionally, more than 1,100 mutual assistance workers are coming in from out of state to assist in restoration efforts.

 At this time, ComEd reporting systems are experiencing technical difficulties, making it hard for some customers to report outages and get information. Outages can be reported by calling 1-800EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661). Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800955-8237). For outage updates, ComEd recommends that customers use the ComEd outage map at ComEd.com/map, 

 ComEd has introduced a mobile app for iPhone and Android® smart phones that gives customers the ability to report power outages and manage their accounts; download the app at www.ComEd.com/app.

 ComEd offers the following tips and information for customers to stay safe following severe weather:

 If you encounter a downed power line, immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661) or go to ComEd.com to report the location. Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).

Never approach a downed power line. Always assume a power line is energized and extremely dangerous.
In the event of an outage, do not approach ComEd crews working to restore power to ask about restoration times. Crews may be working on live electrical equipment and the perimeter of the work zone may be hazardous.

ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 100 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
ComEd financial assistance copy for social media

Twitter/Facebook Posts

· As the economy reopens, ComEd recognizes that people may continue to experience financial hardship. We can help find a financial solution that’s right for every family. Learn about available bill assistance options at ComEd.com/Support.

· NEW! To help customers who are past-due on their energy bills, ComEd offers a one-time bill credit of up to $500 for income-eligible households. Available for a limited time. Learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply at ComEd.com/BillAssistance.

· The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps income eligible households by providing a one-time grant towards energy bills. To learn about eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit HelpIllinoisFamilies.com

· Income eligible households may qualify for the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) to help pay energy bills. Participants pay a percentage of their income and receive a monthly credit towards their energy bills. Participants also receive a credit towards the balance due prior to enrollment as long as monthly payments remain current. Visit HelpIllinoisFamilies.com.

· Income eligible customers who demonstrate a hardship may be eligible for ComEd’s Residential Hardship program, which provides a grant of up to $500 towards the past-due balance on their energy bills. Learn more at ComEd.com/ResidentialHardship.

· ComEd offers help to military families who are past-due on their energy bills. The CHAMP program provides grants once every two years to activated members of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard, Reserves and veterans. Must be active or honorably discharged. Learn more at ComEd.com/CHAMP.

· Financial assistance is available for eligible nonprofit organizations through ComEd’s Nonprofit Special Hardship program. Grants up to $2000 are available to help pay past-due energy bills. Learn about program eligibility at ComEd.com/CARE.

United States Postal Service Complaints !
Metra forces will begin work on Wednesday, August 26 to replace the railroad crossing at 87th Street and Pulaski Road on its SouthWest Service Line. The work will close both roads at the crossing to all traffic for a 10-day period.
 
Metra is also in the process of installing a fiber optic network on both the SouthWest Service and Rock Island Lines. The 28.5 million project will improve safety along the rails and at crossings.
 
I would appreciate the 18th Ward assistance in helping us inform your constituents about this important information. Attached is the 87th Pulaski Crossing News Release for distribution.
[773-284-5057]  [ward18@cityofchicago.org]
18 Ward Alderman | 8359 S. PULASKI RD, CHICAGO, IL 60652