Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted two aldermen. One of the aldermen is a former colleague in the Progressive Caucus who was indicted by the DOJ for misusing "Progressive Caucus funds". As chair of the caucus in 2019, I informed the proper authorities at the State of Illinois regarding the illegal use of caucus funds. I have worked to address this disappointing situation with the same commitment to integrity and transparency that has guided me throughout my time in office.
The City of Chicago issued a Request for Information (RFI) concerning the City’s electric utility franchise presently held with ComEd. The public utility system is set up to operate and manage the electric distribution system that serves residents and businesses in the City. The last agreement is decades old, and the Mayor is opening the RFI to create an agreement focused on safe and reliable service, greater transparency, ways to reduce electric bills for Chicagoans, and address climate change issues. If the agreement is with ComEd again, it must also address ongoing accountability and corruption problems created by ComEd, Illinois elected officials (list of involved parties) and lobbyists. As you may know, ComEd pled not guilty in August to federal bribery charges and agreed to eventually pay $200 million in fines, while reforms at the state move along.
The Chicago Public Schools will provide 100 paid summer internship opportunities to students in a summer career readiness program. The application link is listed below. If you are a Chicago youth, don't forget to apply for One Summer Chicago jobs - see below for details and deadlines- don't wait to apply!
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce Membership Meeting. If you are an existing or new business in Logan Square and interested in the Logan Square Chamber, reach out to Executive Director Nilda Esparza at email@example.com. Nilda is working to expand the Chamber membership and business services.
This Arbor Day, the Mayor has made a commitment through city departments to plant about 7,580 trees in 2021. The City has seen a further decline in the past year of Ash trees due to the ongoing Emerald Ash Borer pest and the region has seen an increase in the invasive Buckthorn species. (Morton Arboretum report via WTTW). Thanks to tree canopy advocacy by Openlands and Logan Square Preservation, dozens of trees were planted in the ward this year, with more to come. Everyone appreciates the community group efforts to plant more trees. I am also continuing work with Openlands on our effort to create the Urban Forestry Advisory Board, with the assistance of the Bureau of Forestry and Mayor's Office. The UFAB puts experts and advocates together to discuss ways to better care for the City’s public trees and support rebuilding of the City's tree canopy.
Stay healthy, wear a mask, and check below for vaccine locations and process to get your vaccine.
Happy Arbor Day!
Alderman Scott Waguespack