May 2024 Newsletter

The General Assembly is back in Springfield following a brief spring recess. During the short break, I had the opportunity to join in on a few of the spring events throughout the district. It was so great connecting with many of you while seeing our neighborhoods in bloom!

Throughout May, the House will be focusing on bills passed by the Senate that are now on the House floor for consideration. Since my last update, I’m proud to announce that several initiatives I’ve been fighting for have passed out of the House with bipartisan support and are now awaiting Senate review.

One of those pieces of legislation is HB303, a bill that would empower parents and community members to have their voices heard in major decisions about the future of our school system. The measure would prohibit school closures, any school funding decrease that is disproportionately greater than those at schools with similar enrollment levels, and changes to selective enrollment admissions policies until February 2027 when a fully elected school board is in place. Families deserve to make their voices heard and elect school board members before major changes to the Chicago Public Schools system are made. The General Assembly voted to establish an elected school board in Chicago, and it is our responsibility to ensure voters have the chance to elect those members who will dictate the future of our schools. This legislation passed out of the House with bipartisan support and is now in the Senate.

Another important update I have to share with you is that HB4175 passed out of its assigned Senate committee and now awaits being heard on the Senate floor. This legislation would prohibit corporal punishment in private schools in Illinois. While corporal punishment is already banned in public schools, extending this provision to all schools ensures consistency in our commitment to safeguarding the well-being of all students across the state.

Before the end of the month, the General Assembly is tasked with presenting and passing a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. With ongoing legislative hearings, we are committed to crafting a balanced budget that addresses our state’s needs. I am confident that we will conclude this year’s spring legislative session by enacting a budget that serves the best interests of our residents and our state. I look forward to sharing more with you in June!

Constituent Services Highlight

Need assistance navigating the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s (IDFPR) licensure process? My office is here to help! Kelly reached out to our office for assistance with her Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) license application. We were able to ensure Kelly received timely updates and ultimately, her license!

If you or your family ever need help navigating a state agency or program, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at or via telephone at (773) 348-8974.

Examples of 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 Opportunities

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is looking to assist Illinois-based businesses and organizations seeking federal grants through their Federal Grant Support Program! The state-funded grant will help Illinois compete for additional federal funding to strengthen our businesses and communities that align with the State’s economic development objectives. Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to have part of their match covered by state dollars. Applicants can apply for this program while they are preparing an application for a federal grant. More information can be found 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.

Need help navigating DCEO’s grant process? Grantees may contact the Grant Help Desk by e-mail at or submit a question using this form.

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

Community Updates

Recognizing Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The month of May is dedicated to celebrating the achievements, contributions, and cultures of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Discover the diverse cultural offerings of the city while celebrating AAPI heritage by supporting AAPI-owned businesses, attending museums and exhibits, and participating in local events. For ideas on how to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, check out Choose Chicago’s How to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Chicago.

Free Chicago White Sox Tickets for Veterans

The Cook County Clerk’s Office and the Chicago White Sox are teaming up to provide free tickets to Veterans for games throughout the season! Complimentary game tickets for Veterans, Active Duty Military, National Guard and Reserve members are available for Monday-Thursday games (please see exemptions on the flier above) and can be claimed with a Cook County Military and Veterans Discount Card.

For more information on how to apply for a Cook County Military and Veterans Discount Card, please visit:

Lakeview East Chamber Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival

Kicking off summer festival season, the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival will make its return on Friday, May 24th and will run until Sunday, May 26th! This year marks the festival’s 39th annual celebration and will feature lively street dancing, an impressive lineup of bands and a wide variety of local food options. To learn more about the festival and see this year’s music lineup, please visit here.

2024 Miles for Migraines Event

The National Headache Foundation (NHF) is partnering up with Miles for Migraine for a 2 Mile Walk/5K Run/Relax event in Chicago on Saturday, June 2nd at 9 AM.

Headache & Migraine disease impacts over 50 million Americans. Together, let’s make sure that everyone has access to needed screening, diagnosis, care and treatment to achieve optimal quality of life and well-being. Funds raised will benefit The Seymour Diamond Fellowship in Headache Medicine to support local migraine research and fellowship training programs, as well as Miles for Migraine programs & services. To join, email NHF at: to learn more.

2024 Old Town Art Fair

Did you know the Old Town Art Fair has been voted America’s #1 Art Fair for the fourth year in a row?! This is the year to visit if you haven’t had the opportunity!

The Old Town Art Fair will take place on Saturday, June 8th and Sunday, June 9th in the heart of the charming Old Town Triangle Historic District. The Fair draws over 30,000 art lovers and features over 200 nationally acclaimed artists selected by an independent jury of art professionals from the Chicago area. The family-friendly event will also feature a garden walk, live music, a food court and a children’s corner. To learn more about the fair, please visit I hope to see you there!

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.

In the Community

Green City Market’s (GCM) Opening Day Ceremony

PJ and I attended Green City Market’s opening day ceremony and 25th anniversary celebration! We’re so lucky to have this local and sustainable market in the district, and I hope that you and your families stop by to see all the wonderful vendors have to offer. GCM is open every Wednesday and Saturday, May through October from 7 AM-1 PM. For more information on Green City Market, please visit their website here.

Nourishing Hope Volunteer Shift

My team and I volunteered at Nourishing Hope’s headquarters location last month! We enjoyed visiting with their incredible staff and supporting their mission to help feed individuals all throughout the Chicagoland area – and even snuck outside to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse! If you or a group that you are involved in are looking for volunteer opportunities, I highly recommend volunteering at a Nourishing Hope location. To get involved, please visit their website here.

Lincoln Park Conservancy North Pond Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

My office stopped by the Lincoln Park Conservancy’s North Pond Ribbon Cutting Ceremony! It was awesome to celebrate the community coming together to raise over $7.3M for the North Pond Nature Sanctuary five years ago and to commemorate the ecological successes of the project thus far. Herons, kingfishers, egrets, and ruby-throated hummingbirds are just a few of the species that were observed along the restored shoreline this past season. I hope that you and your family get to enjoy this beautiful part of our district this summer and for years to come.

2nd Annual Old Town & Lincoln Park Earth Day

To celebrate Earth Day, my office joined the Old Town Triangle Association, Lincoln Central Association, and other neighborhood groups in an Old Town and Lincoln Park clean-up and beautification event. It was so special to see neighbors of all ages coming together early on a chilly morning to mulch flower beds, plant shrubs, sweep out gutters, and paint lampposts in preparation for the upcoming summer months.

Wicked Plants Visit

We took a trip to our Small Business Shoutout for April – Wicked Plants! It was such a pleasure to meet Megan Awada, the store’s owner, and to learn more about the variety of plants and plant accessories that her store has to offer. If you’re looking to add more greenery to your space or for the perfect gift, be sure to check out Wicked Plants at 3240 N Clark Street!

Spring Shred Event w/ Sen. Feigenholtz & Ald. Knudsen

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Spring Shred Event at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum! Senator Feigenholtz, Alderman Knudsen, and I enjoyed seeing and visiting with so many neighbors. I also want to thank R4 Services and Newtech E-scrap Recycling for providing the services for this event!

Spring Intern Farewell and Good Luck

This spring semester, we’ve been so fortunate to have two amazing interns on our team – Rachel and Julia! Rachel is finishing up her Junior year at Loyola University Chicago, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Women Studies & Gender Studies. Julia is set to graduate from DePaul University in June, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies with a minor in Economics.

These two have worked hard both in the office and out in the district at events and volunteering. We’re so grateful for them and look forward to cheering them on in their future endeavors!

Small Business Shoutout

This month’s small business shoutout is Choc Choc Cosmetics!

Leah Kim was an international student studying in America when she came up with the idea to bring the Korean skincare experience to the U.S.

In November of 2015, Leah Kim opened Choc Choc, a Korean beauty store. The AAPI female-owned small business has grown exponentially over the years. Along with premium skincare, Choc Choc now also offers quality hair care, makeup and apparel. With South Korean brands such as Cosrx, Laneige, and Dr. Jart+, Choc Choc is the perfect destination for all of your skin and beauty needs! Make sure to support local, and check out Choc Choc at 3127 N Broadway or shop online by visiting:

If you know of a small business or nonprofit that deserves a shoutout next month, please let us know!

PAWS Chicago Partnership

We have a new PAWS Chicago pal to introduce for May: Meet Hawk!

Hawk is a two-year-old mixed large breed pup looking for a forever home! He is a very calm and friendly dog who enjoys daily cuddles and going for walks. Hawk would do well as an only dog or with a playful dog sibling. He is scared of elevators, so he’d prefer taking the stairs (he looks at it as helping you get your steps in!).

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

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Wishing you a safe and relaxing rest of your spring!