Category Archives: news

Motor Row Streetscape Construction Begins Monday, April 6, 2020

The Chicago Department of Transportation has announced that construction on the Motor Row Streetscape began on Monday, April 6, 2020.

For the construction schedule, diagrams and community outreach plan, please see the PowerPoint presentation included below.

CPS Guidance for COVID-19 Closures

Chicago Public Schools Closure Notice
The past several weeks have been difficult as we’ve watched the COVID-19 health crisis impact countries around the world, and now our home. Today, Governor Pritzker announced that all Illinois schools, including Chicago Public Schools, will close beginning Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30. Classes are currently scheduled to resume on Tuesday, March 31. School-sponsored activities, events, field trips, and athletic events are also canceled during this time.
I recognize the impact this closure will have on our community, and I know it will greatly burden our students, staff, and working families who rely on our schools. I want to assure you that COVID-19 will not stop our work on behalf of children. We are one family with one goal, and we are here to support you.
Important Information for Families and Staff
All school buildings will be closed for deep cleaning. Schools will be closed to all students and staff beginning Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30. Only environmental cleaning experts will be allowed in school buildings along with essential staff. Families should not send their children to schools.
Healthy meals will be available to our students. We recognize that our schools provide healthy meals to many of our students, and we will be providing free food boxes that will contain three days of breakfast and lunches for every student in the household. All families will be able to pick up meals at their nearest CPS school beginning Tuesday, March 17, between 9 a.m and 1 p.m. daily. Lunchroom staff will prep, bag, and provide meals outside of the school building.
Schools will be sending enrichment resources and materials home with students. On Monday, March 16, school-based staff will send resources home in hard copy and online format. School-based staff members will also help students remember to take supplies, personal belongings, medications, and other materials home with them.
All full-time and regular hourly school staff will be paid throughout this time. School staff will not have access to school buildings during the closure.
Central and network offices will be open only for emergency personnel. Emergency personnel are considered to be those who perform essential district functions. All other central and network office staff will be asked to telework or will be excused with pay. More information for staff will be forthcoming over the weekend.
Polling sites will remain at CPS locations. Deep cleaning at those schools will not begin until after the primary election.
If you have questions, email or call CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437) until 7 p.m. tonight. We are working to update our Frequently Asked Questions, and encourage you to check here for updates later tonight. Specific guidance to principals and staff will be forthcoming.
If you need help locating medical care, please reach out to the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness at oshw@cps.eduor by calling the CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437).
  • If you or your child has a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and did not have direct contact with a COVID-19 positive person, please contact your primary care provider.
  • If you are concerned that you or your child have had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact the CDPH at or call 312-746-4835.
For the most reliable information about COVID-19, please visit:
Janice K. Jackson, EdD
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools
All CPS Schools to Offer Free Meals for Pick Up During Closure Beginning Tuesday, March 17
*Important Information for Families* Families Can Pick Up Free Meals Outside of ALL CPS District Schools During the Closure
CHICAGO – Following the school closure mandate issued by Governor JB Pritzker Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will close beginning Tuesday, March 17. During the closure, all CPS schools will offer free meals for pick up. Important information for families can be found below:
WHAT: Free meals for all CPS students outside of all CPS school locations.

  • Beginning Tuesday, March 17 through the closure, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m, Monday through Friday.


  • ALL CPS district schools will offer free meals for students.
    • Select charter school locations will also offer meals; a link to those locations can be found here.
  • Families can pick up meals outside of their nearest CPS school – they DO NOT need to pick up meals at their school of attendance.
    • Any student (district school, charter school, options school, etc.) can access meals at the location that’s closest to them.
  • Families can find their nearest CPS school at


  • Each child in the household will receive a food bag which will contain three days of breakfast and lunch meals.
  • Enrichment activity packets will also be available for pick up at these locations.


  • For additional information and the latest updates, families should visit
  • Families with questions about meals and other family services can call the CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437) between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email

Chicago Public Schools serves 355,000 students in 642 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.


Utility Company COVID-19 Updates

ComEd Taking Steps to Support Customers
Company suspending service disconnects, providing resources and payment accommodations for those who may have challenges paying their monthly energy bill
CHICAGO (March 13, 2020) – In coordination with work being led by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to protect Illinoisans, ComEd is taking action to help its customers with payment assistance programs and by imposing a moratorium on service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges through at least May 1, as many businesses and institutions are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by taking temporary measures to shut down or limit operations to control the spread of COVID-19.
ComEd is also taking steps to expand awareness of the programs in place to help customers through temporary or extended financial hardship and will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options. “We know this time is difficult for so many of our customers, who may be experiencing health or economic challenges, and we want to be there to help them navigate the support available to them,” said ComEd CEO Joe Dominguez. “Through our own programs, as well as those offered by community and government partners, we’re committed to working with every customer who contacts us.”
“As one of the largest nonprofit community action agencies in the country, we see firsthand the impact that the necessary business slowdowns to slow the spread of this virus has on the people we serve,” said Harold Rice, president and CEO of the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc. (CEDA). “We appreciate the support and partnership of ComEd in stepping in to help people who may now be facing an even greater hardship.”
Payment Options
Customers who struggle to cover their energy expenses have a growing range of assistance options from ComEd. The company offers financial assistance programs and flexible payment options, all of which can help eligible customers reduce budget strain and avoid disconnection of service. Particularly during this time when some customers are facing unforeseen circumstances, ComEd will work on a case-by-case basis with customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills to help them remain in service.
ComEd offers payment options such as budget billing, which averages payments out over a 12-month period to help customers manage their monthly energy bill, and flexible payment arrangements, including individually tailored payment installment plans. Customers who may be experiencing financial hardship should visit or call 800-334-7661.
Financial Assistance Programs
* Under the Residential Special Hardship program, customers who face financial hardship such as job loss, illness or military deployment, or senior or disability hardships, may be eligible for grants based on need.
* The CHAMP (ComEd Helps Activated/Veteran Military Personnel) program enables activated and deployed members of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard and Reserves, and honorably discharged veterans to apply for grants of up to $1,000 once every two years, deferred payment plans, cancellation of late charges and other benefits.
* Under the Nonprofit Special Hardship program, nonprofit organizations that struggle to pay their electric bills may be eligible for grants of up to $2,000 once every two years to help them cover their expenses and continue to fulfill their missions and serve the community.
* The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) enables low-income households to apply for assistance paying for winter energy services. Administered by community agencies throughout the areas ComEd serves, LIHEAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the state of Illinois.
“We make every effort to empower customers who face circumstances that make it hard to cover their energy expenses,” added Dominguez. “The last thing we want our customers and communities to worry about in the current situation is whether they will be disconnected. We are coordinating with state, city and county officials and are here for our customers and our nonprofit community partners, and we will consider additional ways to support them as necessary.”
People’s Gas Update on Coronavirus Response
Extending the winter moratorium
We are committed to promoting health & safety in the #Chicago communities we serve. As a regular business practice, we do not send disconnection notices to residential heating customers during the winter, except in situations with unsafe conditions.
In response to concerns about the coronavirus, we will further suspend disconnection notices until May 1 to ensure the safety of our customers and employees.
Waiving late fees associated with accounts
We understand that some of our customers will face financial hardships due to the spread of the coronavirus. Help is available. We are currently waiving late fees for our customers until May 1.
You might also be eligible for our Share The Warmth grant program. We provide grants (of up to $200) to help with heating bills. Learn more about how to apply:


Comcast is taking steps to implement the following new policies and initiatives for the next 60 days in response to the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
  • Pausing Our Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, we want our customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans.  While the vast majority of our customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, we are pausing our data plans for 60 days giving all customers Unlimited data for no additional charge.
  • No Disconnects or Late Fees: We will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact us and let us know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Our care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
  • Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: As announced recently, it’s even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
  • News, Information and Educational Content on X1 and Flex: For those with school-age students at home, we’ve created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media.  Just say “education” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. To help keep customers informed, we also have created a collection of the most current news and information on Coronavirus.  Just say “Coronavirus” into your X1 or Flex voice remote.
  • 24×7 Network Monitoring: Underpinning all of these efforts, Comcast’s technology and engineering teams will continue to work tirelessly to support our network operations. We engineer our network capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns, and continuously test, monitor and enhance our systems and network to ensure they are ready to support customer usage. Our engineers and technicians staff our network operations centers 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability. We are monitoring network usage and watching the load on the network both nationally and locally, and to date it is performing well.

February 2020 Town Hall Meeting at IIT

On February 11, 2020 Alderman Dowell hosted a Town Hall meeting at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Thank you to everyone that attended for an informative discussion on public safety, restricted cannabis zones, and a proposed development for 51st St. and State St. Below is a link to a copy of the presentation. If you have any questions, please contact the 3rd Ward Public Service Office at 773-373-9273  or

February 2020 IIT Town Hall Slides

Alderman Dowell and Congressman Davis Host CN Town Hall Meeting

Alderman Dowell and Congressman Danny Davis co-hosted a Town Hall meeting on Canadian National’s St. Charles Air Line Bridge Replacement project, which is ongoing and located in the South Loop just north of 16th St. Thank you to Tami Doig and Daystar School for graciously hosting this important discussion.

Below please find a slide detailing the current CN construction schedule (subject to change), as well as the full presentation from last night. Should you have any questions regarding the project, please contact the 3rd Ward Public Service Office at 773-373-9273 or email

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)SCAL Schedule Changes-page-001

CN and SCAL Update January 30 2020

Town Hall Meeting – Cannabis, Public Safety, 2020 Census, 51st and State St. Development

February 11, 2020
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

IIT Town Hall Meeting 2020

CPD Community Conversations on Policies

January 24, 2020
10:00 amto1:00 pm
February 4, 2020
6:00 pmto9:00 pm
February 5, 2020
6:00 pmto9:00 pm
February 6, 2020
6:00 pmto9:00 pm

HQ Community Policy Conversations 2020-page-001

3rd Ward Year in Review

Every January, Alderman Dowell’s newsletter offers a recap of the previous year’s happenings. From new developments, to school updates, park improvements, to important legislation Alderman Dowell has supported, the Year in Review has it all! Follow the link below to see what has been going on in your community.

2019 Year in Review