Early Voting Sites Open in Chicago

Chicago voters may use any Early Voting location in the city to cast their ballot for the November 3 General Election.

New this year, there will be secured Drop Boxes at every Early Voting site for any Chicago Vote By Mail voter to submit the signed and sealed Ballot Return Envelope. Ballots can be dropped off at any of the locations listed below and there will be a 24 hour drop box located at 69 W. Washington St. The 24 hour location will remain open through Election Day at 7:00pm.

Voters still have the option of using standard US Mail to return the Ballot Return Envelope. However, Alderman Reilly strongly encourages voters to use the Drop Boxes to ensure their ballot is received before Election Day.

Every voter is encouraged to wear a face mask that covers the mouth and nose, whether visiting for in-person Early Voting or to use a Secured Drop Box. Voters in line must practice social distancing with 6 feet (2 meters) of space between persons in line.

To be eligible to vote in the General Election individuals must be:

• A U.S. citizen and,
• born on or before Nov. 3, 2002, and
• living in their precinct at least 30 days before the election, and
• not claiming the right to vote elsewhere; and
• not in prison/jail and currently serving time for a conviction.
• NOTE: Ex-convicts who have completed their sentences and who meet all other requirements listed above are eligible to register and vote in Illinois. This includes ex-convicts who are no longer incarcerated and who have been released on parole or probation. Additionally, eligible voters who are in jail on criminal charges and who are awaiting trial (pre-trial detainees) have the right to vote.

Furthermore, individuals do not need to declare a political party in order to vote. A standard ballot will be issued to each voter based on the voter’s address and the federal, state and local voting districts where the voter lives.

Any ballots that voters cast in Early Voting are final. After casting ballots in Early Voting, voters may not return to amend, change or undo a ballot for any reason. It is a felony to vote more than once — or to attempt to vote more than once — in the same election.

You do not need ID if you are already registered to vote AND your signature matches the one on file AND there are no questions about your registration. However, there are times when a government-issued photo ID is helpful, such as registering to vote or updating the name or address on your registration in person when you go to vote.

Registration services are available at every Early Voting site. Two forms of ID, one of which shows the voter’s current address, are needed to register for the first time or to file a name change or an address update.

Below is a list of the hours and locations of early voting sites in or near the 42nd Ward. For the full list of locations around the City, please click here.

October 14 – November 3 NOW OPEN

Loop Super Site (191 N. Clark St.)

• Monday-Friday – 8:30 am-7 pm
• Saturday-Sunday – 9 am-5 pm
• Nov. 3, Election Day – 6 am-7 pm

Maggie Daley Park (337 E. Randolph St.)

• Monday-Friday – 8:30 am-7 pm
• Saturday-Sunday – 9 am-5 pm
• Election Day, Nov. 3 – 6 am-7 pm

Ogden Elementary School (24 W. Walton St.)

• Monday-Friday – 8:30 am-7 pm
• Saturday-Sunday – 9 am-5 pm
• Election Day, Nov. 3 – 6 am-7 pm

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please click here. For more information about voting this November, please visit the Chicago Board of Elections website.

Open House Chicago – Architecture Festival hosted by the Chicago Architecture Center

Open House Chicago is back with a reimagined event for 2020. The beloved architecture festival, hosted by the Chicago Architecture Center, will now span 10 days and more than 20 of Chicago’s unique neighborhoods. This year’s event includes both online and outdoor events that showcase the fascinating history, architecture, and culture of the city’s diverse neighborhoods.

The free festival typically offers access to hundreds of sites across Chicago, from iconic locations to under-the-radar architectural gems.

This year, the event has been reformatted for outdoor and online participation to accommodate for social distancing and ensure the safety of all participants. The Open House itineraries will focus less on specific sites and more on larger themes—forgotten or under-celebrated architects, how community areas develop specific architecture styles, and important places for understanding the city’s history. This year’s highlighted neighborhoods include an emphasis on the South and West sides.

Although visitors are prohibited from entering participating sites, the new OHC 2020 mobile app will offer location based experiences to enhance any site. Utilizing the Open House Chicago website and the OHC 2020 app, visitors will explore neighborhoods as never before.

For more information about Open House Chicago and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit their website by clicking here.

Virtual Halloween Costume Contest! Win a $50 Prize! Entry Deadline Extended to 10-31!


The deadline for entry extended to midnight 10-31!

With the health and safety of our neighbors and community partners in mind, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Halloween Family Festival in Ward Park. Instead, the RNRA is hosting a Virtual Halloween Costume Contest so that neighborhood kids and their families can still celebrate and enjoy the fun and excitement of the season.

CLICK HERE to visit the Contest Web Page

CLICK HERE to print a copy of this flyer.

City of Chicago Annual Budget Address – Wednesday 10-21

What:  City of Chicago Annual Budget Address
When:  Wednesday, October 21 at 10:00am

The annual Budget Address will be given on Wednesday, October 21 at 10:00 am, along with the release of the Mayor’s 2021 Budget Recommendation. Facing the largest budget gap in the City’s history due to the overwhelming and persisting impacts of COVID-19, the Budget Address will detail the reforms, efficiencies and investments that make up the 2021 Budget.

To make the 2021 Budget process informative and inclusive even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City expanded its new community engagement and public education process beginning in late August with “Budget Week”, a weeklong series of virtual townhall meetings where Budget Director Susie Park sat down with key City leaders to review the critical functions of each department, update the public on key issues facing the City’s finances and respond to questions submitted by residents through the website portal. Budget engagement efforts also included an online survey also made available physically at Chicago Public Library locations.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the 2021 Budget.  Watch the Mayor’s Address online on Wednesday, October 21.

The Chicago Help Initiative – I Have a Name – World Premier screening – Don’t miss it!







We can make a difference.  Join the Chicago Help Initiative online as they celebrate their 20th anniversary with the World Premier screening of a new documentary film,  I Have a Name. 

When:  Thursday, October 22, 2020 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CT

Where:  online

I Have a Name tells the inspiring story of The Chicago Help Initiative (CHI) and its enduring mission to alleviate homelessness and hunger in Chicago. Written & directed by award-winning filmmaker Lucia Mauro, this 60-minute film, shot in and around Chicago over the past year, gives voice to people experiencing homelessness and hunger, and how we as a community come together to care, nourish and help one another.

Virtual Attendance is FREE.  A suggested donation of $100, or any amount, would greatly help CHI in continuing to serve much-needed meals and services to Chicagoans in need who are facing homelessness and hunger, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whatever you can spare, CHI is grateful for your support and generosity!

The event is FREE and open to the public, but you must register to attend!

 RSVP  or RSVP Donate

CLICK HERE to Watch the Trailer of  I Have a Name

The event will include brief opening remarks from CHI Founder Jacqueline C. Hayes, Executive Director Doug Fraser & Writer-Director Lucia Mauro; and a live, post-screening Q&A with our audience.

National Fire Prevention Month – Change Your Smoke Detector’s Batteries

October is National Fire Prevention Month. This year’s theme, as chosen by the National Fire Prevention Association, is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen.” Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries, and unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen. Help keep your home safe by changing the batteries in your smoke detector this month, and using the helpful tips for both adults and children found on the NFPA’s website.

Support Gilda’s Club Chicago by joining GILDA’S VIRTUAL WALK & RUN

Run at your own pace and in your own place during Gilda’s Club Chicago’s first ever Virtual Walk & Run sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.
Your support over the years has made Gilda’s Club possible. By participating in this new Virtual Walk & Run, this will be another opportunity to stay connected, and give you an active way to help the organization carry on with virtual programming.
The Virtual Walk & Run will be held anytime from October 15th through November 15th. There is also an option for a 5k for dedicated runners or you can walk or run whatever distance you like over those 31 days.
Sign up here and spread the word to help increase Gilda’s Club Chicago’s impact and to support their mission of ensuring that no one has to face cancer alone. Your participation in the Virtual Walk & Run, and by having friends, co-workers and family donate in your name will help keep Gilda’s virtual program thriving.
Registration is $40 and all participants will receive:
• A Gilda’s Club Chicago buff (neck wrap mask)
• Race bib for your at-home 5K or Fun Run
• Special “I Am Running For” race bib to honor your loved ones who have been impacted by cancer
• 5k participants are able to log in their results
Get out and walk or run to support Gilda’s  virtual programs. To learn more about Gilda’s programming please visit www.gildasclubchicago.org.

Celebrate Halloween in Chicago safely – The City’s ‘Halloweek’ guidelines

The City of Chicago announced a plan to safely celebrate Halloween in Chicago that emphasizes social distancing and other safety precautions while allowing trick-or-treating and other fun activities throughout the week.

The City’s ‘Halloweek’ guidelines will allow for a responsible celebration spread out over a full week to minimize congregation, while calling on both children and adults to abide by COVID safety precautions that are keeping all of us protected and limiting the spread of the virus. ‘Halloweek’ activities will include safe trick-or treating along with Halloween-themed programs from the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library and other City departments and partners.

The City is offering specific guidance on how to trick-or-treat safely, including advising that trick-or-treating groups remain limited to six people or fewer and that trick-or-treaters stay on the move without congregating – which means more houses visited and more candy for all! People passing out candy are asked to try to socially distance while doing so, perhaps by using a tube or pipe to drop candy into trick-or-treaters’ bags from a distance. More guidelines can be found below:

• Masks aren’t just for trick-or-treaters this year! Everyone—including candy givers—should wear a face covering (multi-layered, covering the mouth and nose, without gaps around the face).
• Leave a light on or hang a Halloweek sign in your window to let others know your house is giving out candy safely.
• Handing out candy? Please socially distance and have hand sanitizer, too.
• Trick or treating? Stay on the move! Less congregating means more houses and more candy.
• Ensure there’s all treats and no tricks. Please don’t reach into candy bowls while trick or treating, and eat candy only at home after washing your hands.
• No Haunted Houses. They are truly spooky and dangerous this year.
• Keep your candy crew small. Trick-or-treating groups should be 6 people or fewer.
• No house parties large or small this year.

Is your business or organization doing something special for Halloween? Fill out this form prior to October 18th, and the City will share your event with parents and families who are looking to make a plan to celebrate Halloween. Events can be in-person or virtual but must follow the Halloweek Safety Guidelines and occur between October 26th and 31st.

Additional Halloweek details will be announced in the coming weeks – visit ChicagoHalloweek.org to stay updated!

Halloween Candy Donations Needed! Help our 18th District CAPS make a difference with kids in domestic violence shelters.

Around this time each year our 18th District CAPS office usually asks if anyone is willing to help donate any Halloween Candy and/or Costumes for kids and families that are living in Domestic Violence Shelters. Unfortunately, they are unable to Trick Or Treat like everyone else because of fear of running into their abusers. With the help of the Domestic Violence Office at Headquarters and The Women in Lodging Group, CAPS typically has/hosts a Halloween party full of activities, facepainting, and donated both new/used costumes that the kids choose to wear. This year unfortunately, due to COVID/pandemic, they are unable to do that for the kids.

As an alternative, our CAPS has organized a way to still give those families in shelters, an opportunity to enjoy Halloween with their children. With the help of the community and other organizations, CAPS is going to decorate and create boxes/bags, fill them with candy, games, and gifts, with the expectation of helping these kids and families still feel the enjoyment of the holiday. Instead of bringing them in for Halloween, Community Policing is going to take Halloween to them.

DONATIONS NEEDED:  CANDY ONLY. The donation will go to filling the gift boxes for the children and families.

A donation box will be located in the lobby of the 18th District at 1160 N. Larrabee.  Donations will be accepted until Monday, October 26th.

We can make a difference!  Please join RNRA in helping our 18th District Community Policing help our kids in need.

To Print a copy of this flyer to post in your building or give to your friends, CLICK HERE.

Alderman Reilly’s COVID-19 Update on September 28th, 2020

Modified Phase Four Reopening Guidelines Go Into Effect on Thursday, October 1 

Our downtown and neighborhood businesses are central to what makes our city great. These modified reopening guidelines will be a lifeline for thousands of businesses, but we must continue to follow critical health and safety guidelines while we move towards a reopened economy that works for our businesses and workers.

I introduced an ordinance last month that would have extended hours of operation for bars and restaurants from 11:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m., and would increase indoor capacity limits, allowing Chicago’s hospitality industry much-needed relief during this very challenging time.

The hospitality industry alone employs nearly 100,000 Chicagoans, and most of these businesses – whether downtown or in the neighborhoods – are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and closure.

These modifications will benefit business owners and their employees across all 50 wards of Chicago: offering these neighborhood bars and restaurants two additional hours to flip an additional table service, and to allow the liquor sales needed to help establishments simply break even again.

Restaurant and bar operators have told me that ending liquor sales at 11 p.m. is not profitable – they are losing money. By simply adding just two hours of liquor service (until 1:00 a.m.), these operators could actually turn a modest profit. Giving this industry just 120 minutes of additional liquor service can be the difference between survival and bankruptcy.

I am pleased that the City has proactively modified these guidelines and my ordinance is no longer required. Due to our continued improvement on COVID-19 health metrics, Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health have announced that the following changes will become effective Thursday, October 1st, at 5:00 am:

Increased Indoor Capacity: Restaurants, health and fitness centers, personal services, non-essential retail and all other establishments that have been limited to 25% indoor capacity will now be able to increase their maximum indoor capacity to 40%. The limit of 50 total customers within one room or space at restaurants, venues and other establishments will remain in place, as will the limit of no more than six people per table.
Reopening of Bars: Breweries, taverns, bars and other establishments that serve alcohol without a food license may reopen with indoor seating, at 25% capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer. Service remains limited to no more than two hours per party, and customers must be seated when eating, drinking or ordering – patrons cannot walk up to the bar to order.
Extended Hours for Bars and Restaurants: Bars, restaurants and other establishments that serve alcohol will now be able to sell alcohol for on-site or off-site consumption until 1:00 am and may remain open until 1:30 am. Liquor stores, grocery stores and other establishments that sell alcohol to-go through a Packaged Goods license must continue to cease alcohol sales at 9:00 pm.
• Increased Group Size: Maximum group size for health and fitness classes and after-school programming will increase from 10 to 15 people.
Expanded Personal Services: Facials, shaves and other personal services that require the removal of face coverings will be allowed.

While enough progress has been made to ease certain restrictions, Chicago remains in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and calls on all businesses and customers to continue following the phase four guidelines.

These changes build on Chicago’s status as one of the most open large cities in America and are possible due to continued improvement on crucial COVID health metrics, including a declining number of new daily cases, a test positivity rate now below 5% and the lowest rates of hospitalization and death in months.

Chicago is now seeing around 300 new COVID cases per day whereas in late August the city was over 350 cases per day and rising. Test positivity (the percentage of COVID tests with a positive result) has fallen to 4.5% and severe outcomes have also improved, with hospitalizations from COVID lower than they’ve been since March and deaths at an average of 2-3 per day, when they were around 50 per day at the peak of the pandemic.

In order to continue the significant progress, the following additional guidelines will also come into effect on Thursday, October 1st:

• When dining out at a food service establishment or bar, customers must always wear face coverings while seated, except when actively eating or drinking. This protects employees that may interact closely with patrons.
• Patrons at indoor bars, taverns and breweries must order from their seats – they cannot walk up to the bar to order.
• Bars, taverns and breweries that are reopening indoors must partner with a food establishment so that food is available to patrons at all times (e.g., making menus available and allowing delivery, allowing patrons to order from third-party delivery services).
• When taking reservations and seating walk-in customers, restaurants and bars should retain an email and/or phone number for possible contact tracing.
• Personal services that require the removal of face coverings are recommended to be kept under 15 minutes, and the employee conducting the service must always wear a face covering.
• All places of business should provide hand sanitizer for patrons and employees to use upon entry.

These new health and safety regulations are in addition to existing guidelines, including the requirement for diners to continue wearing face coverings when interacting with staff and for residential property managers to limit guest entry to five additional people for single-member households such that total indoor gatherings and parties do not exceed six people. BACP will continue enforcement of these guidelines.

To prepare all business owners for the new phase four guidelines and for the cold weather regulations, the City of Chicago will be hosting a series of webinars this week. To register and learn more, visit chicago.gov/businesseducation.

These restrictions, as part of Phase IV guidelines, are in effect until further notice. Continue checking the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 website for the most up-to-date information.


Brendan Reilly

President Pro Tempore

Alderman, 42nd Ward