Happy PRIDE Month! I can’t think of a better way to kick-off Chicago summer than celebrating PRIDE in the 12th District’s Northalsted neighborhood.
My team and I started the month by attending the ribbon cutting for the AIDS Memorial Garden at Belmont Harbor. This new gem of the district was funded through the Chicago Parks Foundations, the City of Chicago, and $1.4 million from the State of Illinois. The garden will serve as a memorial to the lives lost to the AIDS epidemic and a reminder that the City of Chicago is a safe and welcoming place for our LGBTQ+ community.
We’ve seen across the country that the fight for equality is not over. This last year I was proud to introduce legislation that would expand insurance coverage for fertility treatment to LGBTQ+ couples and I promise to continue to fight like hell for this community, no matter which way the Supreme Court pushes.
Crime and Safety
The Illinois General Assembly added more than $200 million for additional public safety and law enforcement measures. $124 million of that amount will go directly to measures that support local police in reducing violent crime. This includes funding for body cameras, automatic license plate readers, ballistics testing and forensics, and non-lethal equipment to subdue suspects.
There is also funding for mental health screenings for local police departments, a co-responder pilot program to bring crisis management and emotional support to victims, and law enforcement retention grants. $48 million is allotted to prevent carjacking by providing funding to local safety councils, youth summer jobs programs, YouthBuild Illinois, Teen REACH, Youth Redeploy Illinois, Parents Too Soon, and Comprehensive Community-Based Youth Services.
We also passed new laws that make organized retail theft or “smash-and-grab shoplifting” a Class 3 felony, outlawed ghost guns, and addressed expressway shootings.
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain awareness month! Governor Pritzker signed into law the bill I proudly championed during this Spring’s legislative session to require EMTs and paramedics to complete one hour of training on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Read more here.
The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) recently introduced the Private Sector Camera Initiative. The program will allow homeowners, condominiums, and businesses to link their private exterior cameras with OEMC and Homeland Security Directors to create additional points of contact during an emergency throughout Chicago.
The City of Chicago launched the Home and Business Protection Rebate Program to provide any Chicagoan, business owner, or anyone who leases/owns a vehicle registered within the city to receive reimbursement for security technology. The program will cover a portion of the cost of outdoor security cameras, one year of video cloud storage, outdoor motion sensor lighting, and vehicle GPS trackers.
In the Community
Patrick, PJ, and I attended the 60th Annual Wellington Oakdale Old Glory Marching Society Parade on Memorial Day (WOOGMS)! We had such a great time celebrating the start of summer with South East Lakeview residents and the Jesse White Tumblers!
Belmont Sheffield Fest
We welcomed the start of summer with the Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest! Come by and say hello at the upcoming Pride Festival taking place on June 18th and 19th!
My office participated in the Drive Up Shred Event with Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, Comm. Bridget Degnen, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, MWRD Comm. Chakena Perry, Rep. Ann Williams, Ald. Michele Smith, Comm. Bridget Gainer, and Ald. Tom Tunney!
Fergie Jenkins Statue
This month Wrigley Field unveiled a statue in honor of Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson “Fergie” Jenkins! The sculpture is part of the “statue row” that includes various former Cubs players. You can now visit the Fergie Jenkins statue right outside the third-base gates.
In celebration of National Police Week, my office and I delivered cookies from (previous Small Business Shoutout) Sugar Daddy Patisserie to the 18th and 19th Chicago Police District offices!
PAWS Chicago Partnership
We have a new PAWs Chicago pal to introduce for June: Meet Cobbler! Cobbler is a one-year-old Hound mix who loves being active just as much as he loves stuffed toys!
If you are interested in adopting Cobbler (or any of his friends), check out PAWS Chicago!
Small Business Shoutout
Every month we highlight one small business from our district. For June, we are thrilled to feature Ann Sather!
“Nearly 70 years ago, Ann Sather decided Chicago needed a restaurant where people could come for generous homemade meals, warm hospitality and friendly faces. Featuring a menu filled with Scandinavian dishes punctuated with an abundance of American breakfast and lunch favorites, Ann Sather is a favorite spot for a quick breakfast or a relaxed brunch with family and friends.”
If you have a favorite store, restaurant, or other business in the district for future Small Business Shoutouts, let us know!
Join My Office and Walk in the 2022 Pride Parade With Us!
Next month is Pride Month! It’s been two years since the Pride Parade graced the Northside, and we’re putting together a list of folks to walk with us. We’d love to have you! Join me June 26 from 12pm-3pm to walk in the 2022 Chicago Pride Parade (t-shirt included)!
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Wishing you a safe and relaxing rest of your spring!