48th Ward Update
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March 18, 2020

Dear Neighbor:

As we begin to understand and anticipate the impacts brought to our community by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, my office is working with community partners to launch a Community Response Fund to support our neighbors in need. A majority of funds raised will go to Care for Real, our local food pantry, to help them purchase needed food and supplies. Other funds will be used to supplement other needs that arise for our neighbors during this crisis, with a priority on older adults. There will be a very active effort to make all purchases from brick and mortar businesses located within our community. The intake of requests is being facilitated by a group of community members with expertise in nursing, housing, and social services. Click here to learn how you can support this fund.

Thank you to our fiscal agent Andersonville Chamber of Commerce/Andersonville Sustainable Community Alliance, and community partners Care for Real and the Loyola University Community Nursing program. I encourage you to make a donation if you're able, and to share the link with your neighbors. Additionally, you can give directly to Care for Real by visiting

Today I had a conference call with Mayor Lightfoot and my aldermanic colleagues about an executive order the Mayor issued today in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. This executive order includes:

  • Declaration of a State of Emergency in the City of Chicago due to COVID-19 outbreak
  • Authorizing the Chief Procurement Officer to execute contracts as needed for supplies and services to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Authorizing the Budget Director to use appropriated funds and establish new funding lines as needed for the City to effectively respond to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Authorizing the Commissioner of Assets, Information, and Services to enter into real estate agreements to serve as emergency facilities
  • Adjustments to the City's paid leave policy for employees during this time

City Services will be reduced only to essential services, including Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department, Streets & Sanitation, CDOT, and other needed operations. The Mayor also announced today a temporary suspension of debt collection, ticketing, and towing, click here for details. The Mayor and City officials are working on a local stimulus package for local businesses and employees, understanding the hardships COVID-19 has had on the small business community. Additionally, City officials are looking to take advantage of State and Federal funding that will be coming to Chicago to respond to the crisis.

If you or your loved ones are in need of meals during this time, here are local resources:

With many children home during this crisis, here are some tips to keep them occupied and learning: Thank you to the 400+ neighbors who have signed up to serve as volunteers on our Community Response Team. Our team is diligently working to make phone calls to "meet" each volunteer, so if you have signed up please expect a phone call soon. Some of our volunteers have already begun making daily calls to seniors and homebound neighbors in the community. As we begin to develop a food & supplies delivery strategy, we are looking for someone with experience working in logsitics to join our volunteer team. Please email if you are interested in learning more.

We all have a role in containing the spread of Coronavius, and I really want to reinforce social distancing, staying home as much as possible, and doing all you can stop the spread of germs. Please check in on neighbors by phone and email and continue to look out for one another. Continue to seek updated information and guidance about COVID-19 at If you would like to volunteer to help our Community Response Team, or if you would like to request a daily well-being check from one of our volunteers, sign up at

Be well.


Harry Osterman
Alderman, 48th Ward
Copyright © 2020 Harry Osterman - 48th Ward Alderman, All rights reserved.

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