FOCUS ON 49

For my first term, the community identified many priorities they wanted me to take on in order to improve our ward and the city. First and foremost, however, alderpersons are the chief advocate for city services for our constituents. That’s why I spent my first 6-8 months in office focused solely on constituent services. Being a new alderperson, I wanted to make sure that my staff had sufficient training to handle all of the service requests that would be coming in. Now, more than 3 years in, my team and I are still working hard to make sure we put the 49th Ward first, even as we tackle legislative efforts.

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MAKING SCHOOLS SHINE IN 49
  • $25 million renovation of Sullivan High School replacing the roof, windows, doors, abating asbestos and adding an elevator to create more accessibility.

  • New roof for Kilmer Elementary School and plumbing fix for the playground to address the drainage problem.

  • International Baccalaureate program for Kilmer Elementary, the first special program for Rogers Park schools in more than 28 years.

  • Funded a new running/walking track at Willye B White Park to support recreation activities at Gale Community Academy and the surrounding area.

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FOCUS ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Set up extra support systems for small businesses to provide direct access to City recovery funds and economic development opportunities during the pandemic.

  • Created initiatives like the Alderwoman’s Table and On the Map to help promote local businesses.

  • Worked with business attraction groups to fill vacant storefronts along our commercial corridors.

  • Completed community planning process for Howard/Ashland site and secured a local development partner to bring new development to Howard Street.

RAPID COVID RESPONSE
  • Set up the Rogers Park Community Response Team which together with community orgs and over 200 volunteers, organized 100s of weekly free food and medicine deliveries, wellness checks for seniors, raised over $65,000 for direct cash aid to ward residents, and created a hotline for aid and covid information.

  • Organized multiple covid testing and vaccine events for our ward when the City wasn’t yet serving our neighborhood.

  • Provided multiple rounds of PPE and information to ward businesses, community organizations, schools and our most vulnerable residents, and advocated for more public resources for continued support, particularly for our schools and senior living facilities.

ORGANIZED DISASTER RECOVERIES
  • Secured $3M in shoreline stabilization and erosion protection for our most impacted beaches during the 2019-2020 winter season to protect against further damage due to the high lake levels and climate change driven storm damage.

  • Managed response, recovery and restoration efforts from the 2020 Tornado, a first for our ward.

  • Organized relief and rehousing efforts for dozens of residents after multiple building fires.

ACCOUNTABILITY AND COMMUNITY VOICE
  • Created a community-based zoning process, moving development decisions from a small group of developers behind closed doors to an open process for all.

  • Established regular updates and more language access for our community through the weekly newsletter in English and Spanish and making all community meetings bilingual.

  • Expanded access to community participation through virtual meetings in addition to in-person options.

  • Created the 49th Ward Youth Advisory Council to give high school aged youth a place to engage with their elected representative during their remote learning year.

  • Created the Climate Action Task Force to identify and implement climate solutions for the 49th Ward.

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