December 2022 Newsletter

The holiday season is officially here! I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying this special time of year and all it has to offer. Here’s a look at what’s happening in the 12th district this month, including ways to give back to the community:

Lincoln Park Zoo is hosting their annual Zoolights event until January 1st! The one-of-a-kind experience is free on Mondays, or purchase tickets here for other days of the week.

Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Shoppers Extravaganza and Holiday Treat Stroll on Saturday, December 3rd. Purchase gift cards on Saturday at the Lakeview East Chamber office from a variety of small businesses in the area for 25% off and afterwards partake in the Holiday Treat Stroll! For more information, including a list of participating Lakeview East businesses, visit the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce website.

The North Dearborn Association is hosting its annual “Joy of Toys” event on Saturday, December 3rd from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm at Mario’s. If you would like to donate toys prior to the event, my office (3223 N Sheffield Ave, Suite A) will be accepting donations until Friday, December 2nd. To find more information, including recommended gifts and different ways to participate, visit here.

I’m teaming up with State Representative Lakesia Collins and the 018th District Office of Community Policing for their annual Holiday Toy Drive. We will be accepting new toys, school supplies, and winter clothing until December 15th. Drop off locations include my office (3223 N Sheffield Ave, Suite A) and the 018th District lobby (1160 N Larrabee).

In the Community

IPA Principal for a Day

The Illinois Principals Association’s “Principal For A Day” initiative creates a bridge between principals and other administrators and their local elected officials to build and strengthen relationships. I had a wonderful time participating in the program at LaSalle Language Academy. The 12th district is lucky to have such a great school full of amazing faculty and students!

November Small Business Shoutout

My office and I visited our November Small Business Shoutout, Cocoa + Co, and met with owner Kim Hack. Over drinks, we discussed what it’s like to be a business owner in the 12th district and how we can best support our small businesses. Be sure to check out this cafe for perfect holiday gifts and warm drinks for the season!

43rd Ward Shred Event

My office attended the 43rd Ward Shred Event hosted by Alderman Knudsen. Despite the chilly and snowy weather, there was a great turn out. Thank you to all who came out!

Old Town Tree Lighting

Secretary of State-Elect Alexi Giannoulias, Alderman Brian Hopkins, and I joined the Old Town Merchants and Residents Association for their annual Old Town Tree Lighting at Burton Place Park. Be sure to check out the decorated area throughout the holiday season!

Grant Opportunities

Illinois Travel and Tourism Grant Program

The Governor recently announced a new grant opportunity for marketing Illinois destinations, attractions, and events. The Illinois Travel and Tourism Grant Program will support costs like media production (digital, TV, print, radio, etc), billboards, brochures, visitor guides, website development, and trade show registration. Nearly $3 million is available with a maximum grant award of $100,000. Applications will be accepted through 5 pm on December 12th, 2022. Learn More.

Connect Illinois Broadband Grant Program

Connect Illinois seeks to achieve ubiquitous broadband access for homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions. Allowable costs include network design, project planning, equipment, construction, and deployment of middle mile and/or last mile infrastructure. Potential applicants include businesses, nonprofits, cooperatives, school districts, and local governments. Proposals covering unserved and/or underserved areas are eligible for Connect Illinois grant funding. There is $350 million total available with a maximum grant size of $10 million. Preference given for a 50% match, but it is not required for an application to be competitive. The application process will roll through 2024, or until funds are depleted. Learn More.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Terrorism Task Force

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA)/Illinois Terrorism Task Force is announcing the State Fiscal Year 2023 Illinois Not-for-Profit Security Grant Program (NSGP-IL). The State will award up to $150,000,000 for security upgrades to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations located in Illinois who are deemed at high-risk of a terrorist attack by a terrorist organization, network or cell. Applications will be accepted through 5 pm on January 16th, 2023. Learn More.

Community Updates

I would like to hear your thoughts and concerns on the Redefine the Drive project. Although no plan has been approved, I want to make sure that your input is taken into consideration. Please email my office at with any questions or comments.

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. Learn More.


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. Apply Here.

PAWS Chicago Partnership

We have a new PAWS Chicago pal to introduce for December: Meet Sadie!

Sadie is a sweet, affectionate girl who needs some time to build trust. She enjoys playing with other dogs who are respectful of her space and don’t push her too hard. Sadie would thrive in a quiet home and neighborhood with no kids, and a family that is committed to positive training to teach her that the world isn’t so scary.

If you are interested in adopting Sadie or any of her other friends, check out PAWS Chicago for more information.

Small Business Shoutout

Every month we highlight a small business in our district. For December, we are excited to feature Chez Moi!

“Chez Moi is an amazing French restaurant here in District 12 where the food is authentic, the service is simple, and the atmosphere convivial.”

The owners of Chez Moi also own French Quiche, a business featured as a Small Business Shoutout last year. Chez Moi is open at 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and is open for brunch from 11 am – 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to check out this taste of France right here in the 12th District!

If you have a favorite store, restaurant, or other business in the district for future Small Business Shoutouts, let us know.

As always, please reach out to my office with any questions or concerns.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful holiday season and a happy New Year!