Letter to Residents from Mayor Lightfoot – October 27, 2020

To print a copy of this letter, CLICK HERE.

City of Chicago Virtual Budget Town Hall

As a follow up to Mayor Lightfoot’s Budget Address last Wednesday, October 21, the Mayor’s Office of Community Engagement invites you to participate in an upcoming 2021 Virtual Budget Town Hall.

The Town Halls are scheduled for Tuesday, October 27 and Thursday, October 29 starting at 5:30 pm. Both will be live streamed at Facebook.com/ChicagoMayorsOffice. Please note that you do NOT need to have a Facebook account in order to watch the livestream. Click here to learn more about the 2021 Budget.

National First Responders Day – October 28th! Thank you First Responders!

RNRA extends our sincere gratitude to all of our First Responders who put their lives on the line daily to serve and protect us.  We are grateful and thankful for your service.   God Bless You and Keep You Safe

Support our First Responders

   For more info, CLICK HERE

For more info CLICK HERE







Message from Alderman Reilly – City of Chicago Reinstates Targeted COVID-19 Restrictions Starting Tomorrow  

Message from Alderman Brendan Reilly – October 22, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

As many of you know, earlier this month I introduced legislation to allow for extended hours of operation for bars and restaurants from 11:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m., allowing Chicago’s hospitality industry much-needed relief during this very challenging time.

Today, Dr. Arwady, the Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), announced a re-tightening of COVID-19 restrictions in response to a recent, rapid rise in cases and hospitalizations over the past two weeks. Beginning Friday, October 23rd at 6:00 a.m., a business curfew will be in effect from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. for all non-essential businesses, and bars without a retail food license will no longer be able to serve customers indoors.

I am disappointed in Dr. Arwady’s decision and believe the targeted restrictions introduced today will have unintended consequences. COVID doesn’t care what time you are drinking alcohol. This restriction may encourage individuals, especially young adults, to gather indoors at private parties, rather than controlled small gatherings under strict regulations at our local restaurants and bars.

I am incredibly concerned about what the impact of this temporary restriction will have on our local hospitality industry and if they will be able to recover. 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.

I understand the need for temporary restrictions to curb the spread, however, I believe restrictions should be tied to indoor occupancy, not the hours of operation. Much of the spread we’re seeing in Chicago is tied to private gatherings among friends and family at home. Therefore to help slow the spread of COVID, all Chicagoans are being asked to avoid social gatherings of more than six people and end all social gatherings by 10:00 p.m.

Under the restrictions announced today, businesses that were deemed essential during the Stay at Home Order, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations, may remain open during the business curfew hours. Restaurants may continue operating for take-out or delivery, but indoor or outdoor consumption of food or alcohol must cease at 10:00 p.m.

Additionally, all bars, taverns, or breweries that do not have a Retail Food Establishment License will no longer be able to serve customers indoors at any time. All establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption must end alcohol service at 9:00 p.m. before closing at 10:00 p.m. under the business curfew. All other existing restrictions remain in place, including indoor capacity limits of 40% or 50 people within a room or space.

These restrictions and guidelines will be in effect for at least two weeks and are targeted to help Chicago manage an alarming recent rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Weekly (ending 10/17) Citywide Cases, Deaths, and Tests

Over the past week alone, cases have risen by 54%, to over 640 per day. While daily testing has increased to over 11,000 tests per day, the positivity rate has also risen to 6.4%, which means that that the increase in testing does not fully explain the rise in cases. This is coinciding with a worrying increase in hospitalizations, which for non-ICU COVID patients and suspected cases are up 45% since September 22.

Under the State of Illinois guidelines, the Chicago region will face additional mitigation measures, including reduced capacity of all gatherings and closure of indoor dining, if the positivity rate rises above 8% for three straight days.

BACP will enforce these new restrictions on businesses, with citations leading to fines of up to $10,000 and possible closure in the case of egregious violations. To help businesses understand the new regulations, BACP will hold an informational webinar on Friday, October 23rd at 2:00 p.m. – register at chicago.gov/businesseducation.

I will continue to keep residents informed of ongoing COVID-19 updates and restrictions. Please stay tuned to Reilly Reports for future updates.


Brendan Reilly

President Pro Tempore

Alderman, 42nd Ward

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.

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.

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