April 2024 Newsletter

Spring is finally here! This season is one of optimism and new beginnings, with the additional hours of sunlight, warmer weather (fingers crossed we see more of this soon!), and plants blooming throughout our beautiful neighborhoods. Whether it be the classic spring cleaning, working in your home garden, or just returning to spending time outdoors, I hope you spend this transitional season out in the district. Here are a few springtime activities in our community:

The Green City Market is hosting a 25th Anniversary Opening Day Ceremony to celebrate the early launch of their outdoor farmers’ market this weekend, Saturday, April 6th at 9 am! The ceremony will feature remarks from Green City Market members, community leaders, a cake cutting ceremony, and free food samples from Green City Market vendors.

We are co-hosting two Shred Events this month:

Senator Feigenholtz, Alderman Hopkins and I are hosting a Drive-Thru Shred Event on Sunday, April 7th from 10 am – 12 pm. The event will take place in the Gold Coast Parking Lot (1258 N State Pkwy). Each household can shred up to three bags of physical paper OR can recycle electronic documents. To prepare for the event, please check out the flier here.

Senator Feigenholtz, Alderman Knudsen and I are hosting a Spring Paper Shredding & Electronics Recycling Event on Sunday, April 28th from 10 am – 1 pm at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (2430 N Cannon Dr.). Each household will be limited to two boxes/containers. To prepare for the event, please check out the event flier here.

Looking for plans for Earth Day weekend? Join Alderman Knudsen, the Old Town Triangle Association, Lincoln Central Association, many community groups, and me for an Old Town and Lincoln Park community clean-up and beautification of our parks and neighborhoods. The event will take place on Saturday, April 20th. There will be a morning shift from 9 – 11 am and an afternoon shift from 11 am – 1 pm. All are welcome and supplies and refreshments will be provided. To register for a shift, please visit here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office at (773) 348-8974 or by email at info@repcroke.com.

Legislative Update

It’s hard to believe we have less than two months left in this year’s spring session calendar! As I look back over the past few weeks, I want to acknowledge how great it has been to split my time between the district and Springfield, representing all of you. These moments become even more memorable when I’m able to bring my children to work with me! My daughter Hattie joined me for a brief period of time, sitting in on committee meetings and even making her debut on the House floor!

For the next few weeks, members will be working on getting bills passed out of the House and over to the Senate and vice-versa. We will also continue to negotiate this upcoming year’s budget.

I’m delighted to share that since the last time we spoke, several pieces of legislation that I am championing have moved out of their respective committees with either unanimous or bipartisan support! Among these bills are:

  • HB4112, which guarantees private insurance coverage for additional rounds of IVF.
  • HB5313, which eliminates “ghost networks” by mandating insurance companies provide accurate provider directories, ultimately eliminating barriers to care.
  • HB4175, which prohibits corporal punishment in private Illinois schools.

Diaper and Baby Wipes Donation Drive

Thank you everyone for your continued support of the Diaper and Wipes Donation Drive! My office, in partnership with the Old Town Triangle Association, is again extending the drive due to the shortage of supplies for migrants and those in need.

If you are able to make a donation, please consider doing so by visiting our Amazon Wish List or by dropping off items in-person at one of the drop-off locations. Donations will be accepted until further notice.

NOTE: Please select the Old Town Triangle Association’s Gift Registry Shipping Address during check out.

Constituent Services Highlight

With Tax Day coming up this month, I want to remind you that my office is happy to assist constituents with any questions or concerns you may have in the months to follow. We can help you with any questions or concerns related to state programs, including those pertaining to the Illinois Department of Revenue. Other state-related programs and common constituent inquiries include:

If you are not sure who to contact regarding an issue pertaining to government affairs, my team is always happy to connect you with the appropriate resource.

Grant & Scholarship Opportunities

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is accepting applications for its Tourism Incentive Grant Program until May 1st! The program will provide grant funding for the establishment of an incentive grant program used by eligible entities to attract new out-of-state events to Illinois when competing with other states’ destinations. It may also be used to retain existing business when documentation is provided that the entity is competing against other states’ destinations to retain the business in Illinois. Eligible applicants include local governments, not-for-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, etc. For more information, please visit here.

The Governor, in partnership with DCEO, is providing direct relief to families across Illinois through the State’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The energy bill assistance program assists eligible families with natural gas, propane, and electricity bills. Applications will be taken on a first come first serve basis through August 15, 2024, or until funds are exhausted. To learn more about this program, please visit here.

DCEO Grant Training Information Sessions
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is conducting information sessions and office hours designed to help entities seeking grants. The training session topics will detail the pre-qualification process, as well as other critical information. Click here to sign-up for an upcoming session.

Do you want to stay up-to-date on active state grant opportunities? Subscribe to Illinois NOFO Notifications to receive a weekly digest of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) offered by state agencies.

To subscribe, send a blank email (subject and body) to subscribe-omb-gata-grants@lists.illinois.gov.

Community Updates

44th Ward Property Tax Workshop

Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer and Alderman Bennett Lawson are co-hosting a Property Tax Workshop on Friday, April 12th from 10 am – 3 pm at the 44th Ward Office (3223 N Sheffield Ave., Suite A). They will be holding 15-minute meetings with constituents to determine if they are eligible for any property tax exemptions. If you would like to reserve a time slot, please visit the QR code on the flier or email district10@cookcountyil.gov.

Cook County Sheriff’s Office Tracked Vehicle Partnership

The Cook County Sheriff’s office recently introduced a new program which allows the public to give consent to law enforcement to access their vehicle tracking information through the manufacturer in the event their vehicle is stolen. Access to this information will help local law enforcement immediately track and recover a stolen vehicle. If you’re interested in registering your vehicle for this program, please fill out the vehicle consent form.

REAL ID Information

A REAL ID from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office or a valid U.S. Passport will be required for Illinois residents who fly domestically beginning May 7th, 2025. For information on other types of identification accepted by TSA, please visit the TSA website. To view which documents you need to apply for a REAL ID, visit the REAL ID Interactive Checklist.

REAL ID applicants have the option to make an appointment at one of the 30 appointment facilities, or they can visit a walk-in facility. To determine which facilities require an appointment, or to make an appointment, please visit Secretary of State Facility Appointments.

Illinois State Treasurer’s ICash Program

Illinois State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs ICash Program allows residents to access unclaimed money from forgotten bank accounts, uncashed payments, or deceased family members’ life insurance. Roughly 1 in 4 people learn they have unclaimed property when they visit the ICash website. To see if you have property to claim, please visit this link: https://icash.illinoistreasurer.gov.

In the Community

Junior League of Chicago Legislative Process Presentation

In order to play a constructive role in the legislative process, one must first understand how this process works. I had the honor of being invited by the Junior League of Chicago’s Illinois State Public Affairs Committee to speak to members ahead of their upcoming advocacy day about the realities of the State’s legislative process and how to be an effective advocate. Engaging with this group of women leaders was such a pleasure, and I look forward to seeing them in Springfield!

Happy Hour with Your Elected Officials Event


The Lincoln Central Association, Alderman Timmy Knudsen, and I hosted a happy hour at one of our community’s iconic establishments, Marge’s Still, to speak with constituents and share legislative updates. Thank you to everyone who attended, and I look forward to future opportunities to gather together!

April’s Small Business Shoutout

This month’s small business shoutout is Wicked Plants Chicago!

Since March of 2023, Wicked Plants has been a staple plant shop within the Lakeview East community. This woman-owned shop features an array of exotic and unique plants that are sure to make a great addition to your home. Stop by and visit their store to learn more about their selection and get tips on how to best care for your plants.

Wicked Chicago is also hosting a Bingo Night on Saturday, April 13th starting at 6 pm. The night will feature plant prizes and 20% off all in store purchases during the duration of the event. For more information on Wicked Plants and to purchase tickets for their Plant Bingo, please visit their website at https://www.wickedplantschicago.com/.

PAWS Chicago Partnership

We have a new PAWS Chicago pal to introduce for April: Meet Crunch!

Crunch is a smart and energetic pup eager to find a forever home! This smart boy has an ear for commands. He already knows Sit, Stay, Down, Wait, and Shake. He will even wait for his food until you say “Okay.” While Crunch loves to play with teenagers and meet new people at noisy backyard parties, he can also be alone at home in his crate for up to three hours at a time. He has experience living with other canines and will be a joyous addition to an active, lively household!

If you’re interested in adopting Crunch or another furry friend, visit PAWS Chicago for more information!

I look forward to connecting with you at one of the many community events happening around this district this month. As always, please feel free to contact my office for any questions or concerns.