Covid-19 Update: September 2020

COVID-19 positivity rates are on the rise. Numerous communities on Chicago’s Northside are experiencing positivity rates greater than 6%, with some areas significantly above the current statewide average of 4.5%. While you may be experiencing pandemic fatigue, please do your part to keep others and yourself safe.

Help us stop the spread of COVID-19. Remember to avoid large gatherings, wear a mask in public, stay six feet away from others, wash your hands often, and stay home when you are sick. Proactive efforts now may help avoid additional future restrictions.

English Resources

One-Minute Video About Preventing Infection and Help Line Info (English)

Testing Handout (English)

Spanish Resources

One-Minute Video About Preventing Infection and Help Line Info (Spanish)

Testing Handout (Spanish)

Housing Blueprint: Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA)

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is pleased to announce that it is developing a new statewide plan for housing and community development in Illinois. This plan, called the Housing Blueprint, is a large-scale planning endeavor that will collect information on local housing needs throughout the state, develop a vision for the future of housing in Illinois, and establish locally tailored plans for achieving that vision. 

Perspectives and feedback from a diverse group of residents, community leaders, and organizations is critical to this process, and that is why we are reaching out to you – our community partners – to help engage and raise the voices of all Illinoisans as we plan to meet our current and future housing needs. 

Primarily, we are asking that you help us share the Statewide Resident Survey – an anonymous survey that asks Illinoisans their needs, perspectives, and hopes for the future. The results of this survey will add context and help to shape the goals of the Blueprint. You can access the survey via the link to the Blueprint’s website, or by downloading and sharing the survey copies included below:

Statewide Resident Survey – PLEASE SHARE:

Additionally, please use and share the marketing materials included below to help us publicize the Blueprint and its Statewide Resident Survey. In addition to the digital materials included in this email, we have printed flyers available and are asking that you consider volunteering to distribute these throughout your community. If you are willing to help with flyer distribution, please reach out to Emily Mueller at or (312) 836-7460.

Marketing Materials – PLEASE SHARE

IHDA is also partnering with organizations across the state to host a Listening Tour comprised of community meetings that provide a chance for residents throughout Illinois to meet and discuss their vision for the future of housing (all meetings are currently being hosted virtually). If you would like to learn more about the Listening Tour, attend a meeting, or learn about other ways to take part in the plan, please visit the Engagement page of our Blueprint website. If you are interested in co-hosting a Listening Tour meeting for your community, please reach out to Emily Mueller at or (312) 836-7460.

Housing is the foundation of growth for individuals, families and entire communities, and it is critical that we understand the realities and needs of our state to effectively address them. Thank you in advance for sharing the information and links included in this letter, and for your feedback and recommendations regarding the Housing Blueprint. If you have any questions or suggestions about this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact our Blueprint team directly at

Here is the official website:

Flu Shots 2020

According to the CDC, during the 2017-2018 flu season, more than 45 million people were sickened, 810,000 were hospitalized and 61,000 people died of flu.

Get a flu shot.

Thursday, September 3, 2020 from 9:30-11:30am

Where: All northside regional and satellite senior centers (except Edgewater Satellite Senior Center)

Who: Jewel-Osco will be providing the shots

How: Individuals should bring their insurance cards, wear a mask and wear easy access clothing for vaccine administration.

In addition, participants will earn a coupon to save 10% (up to $20 value) on their next grocery purchase at Jewel-Osco.

Hello Animal Lovers

I know this is a difficult time for many of us; it may seem like it’s crazy to ask. The reason I’m reaching out is because Friendship Pet Food Pantry would like you to simply tag us in a post and send this along to anyone else who might do the same. We’re doing this in conjunction with National Dog Day, which was Wednesday, August 26. We also happily provide food and litter to close to 200 cats a month.

Vet Clinics and other businesses haven’t been able to run pet food drives, events where we volunteer in order to raise funds are cancelled. Yet the need grows. The number of pets we’re providing food for has grown over 20 percent since March. 

A simple tag and sending this along to others or posting on Facebook and Instagram is all we’re asking. Donations are always welcome, as well.

– Dara Salk
Friendship Pet Food Pantry
on Facebook: Friendship Pet Food Pantry

“Redlined”, a memoir by Linda Gartz

Many of us have a vague idea of redlining, Chicago’s racist lending rules that refused mortgages to anyone living in neighborhoods with even one Black resident. Linda Gartz’s parents, Fred and Lil chose to stay in their integrating neighborhood in the ‘50s and ‘60s overcoming prejudices and forming relationships with their new Black neighbors. As their landscape sank into devastation, so did their marriage. Linda’s memoir delves into personal and political archives to tell her coming of age story against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement and the turbulent fracturing of her redlined community. 

Join us as Linda Gartz recounts her experience and outlines Chicago’s continuing housing crisis. There will be time for Q&A.

Thursday, August 20, 2:00-3:00 pm (Central Time)

Register in advance:–grD0pG9zV6uSO3hGsH6at1te4q94u

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Linda Gartz: Six-time Emmy-honored Linda Gartz is a documentary producer. Her documentaries and TV productions have been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and Investigation Discovery, syndicated nation-wide. Her educational videos include Begin with Love, hosted by Oprah Winfrey and Grandparenting, hosted by Maya Angelou. Gartz’s articles and essays have been published in literary journals, online, and in local and national magazines and newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune. Born in Chicago, she studied at both Northwestern University and the University of Munich, and has lived most of her adult life in Evanston, IL. She earned her B.A. and M.A.T. degrees from Northwestern. To learn more, go to

Hosted by Skyline Village Chicago and Forward Chicago.

Comments from our members regarding Redlining in Chicago:

It’s simply my recollection of Lakeview in the days of red-lining and how the community lived in those times.

In the early 1970’s, my husband and I purchased an 1899 asphalt-sided Victorian in Lakeview, owned by a dear woman widowed years ago who was a member of the same church we attended. She continued to live in the “English basement,” we on the first floor, and my parents on the dormered second floor. A lovely garden lot, planted by the deceased spouse, lay alongside the house. The neighborhood was considered “iffy” because of gang activity, noted in the public school playground across the street, and absentee landlords who neglected their properties, just raking in the rents or leaving buildings abandoned until property values increased. We had neighbors from various national origins, Asians, and Latinos, so one could assume this area was ripe for redlining. But my husband had grown up and attended school in this neighborhood, my parents knew the area because of their Swedish associations with stores, restaurants, clubs, and church. It was in this community that brought forth the Independent Movement in city politics under the leadership of newly-elected alderman, Dick Simpson. With energy and vision from throughout the Lakeview community, from the more professional “white collar” segment along Broadway and Lake Shore Drive, westward to the more blue collar neighborhoods, building neglect and redlining became issues tackled by the ward office, the 44th Ward Assembly, and the community organization known as the Lakeview Citizens’ Council. The organizations within the community brought absentee landlord cases before the courts. Parental involvement in the local public schools raised awareness of underfunding, in addition to recognizing outstanding devotion to teaching ignored by the media. Volunteers knocked on doors, informing neighbors of local and city candidates running for office.  Candidates themselves showed up at community meetings, sharing their positions on issues affecting neighbors and neighborhoods…mayoral candidates like Richard J. Daley, Jane Byrne, Harold Washington. This was 1983, when, in that mayoral race, Harold Washington won with an 82% turn-out in voters. The residents of Lakeview had energy, organization, and vision to challenge the same-old, same-old ways to bring about change and renewal. Those efforts and the changes which time brings have brought a very different neighborhood into being, with perhaps a different concept of red-lining.
– Jean Anderson

Forward Chicago Presents Eating Healthy to Support a Healthy Immune System with Heather Ritter

Heather Ritter, one Swedish Hospital’s wonderful Clinical Dietitians, will give a presentation on “Eating Healthy to Support a Healthy Immune System.”

Thursday, September 3, 2020 from 10:00-11:00 am

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 341 600 860
Password: 023514

America 2020

During this time of Covid, I’m living with some free-flowing anxiety about going out. But there are two extremely important things we all can, and should, accomplish as Americans, while staying safely at home.

One is filling out our Census. It’s written into the Constitution! It takes two minutes online, and it is vital for countless reasons. Two of these are:
Congressional Districts are allocated by population, as is funding for schools.

Please fill out your Census, whether you’re a citizen or not, for the good of us all.

The second is voting, also in the Constitution. People all over the world struggle and have died for the right to vote. Even in our own country folks stand in line for hours, sometimes in terrible weather to exercise their right to vote. Plan ahead for the November 3, 2020 election.

If you want to vote by mail, request the form right now. Ballots will be mailed beginning September 24, 2020.

Please remind friends and family how vital these two simple things are for every one of us.

By Dara Salk

Here’s more information, courtesy for Pat Wilder

Here’s the new voting information that was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor.

If you voted in the 2018, 1019 or 2020  election, you will receive  a Vote by Mail (VBM) APPLICATION for a ballot (not a ballot) in the mail by August 1.

If you’re registered but did not vote, you’ll receive information about how to apply for it in late July.

If you’re not registered to vote or need to change your address, you can do it online at by October 18.  You can also register in person when you vote or on Election Day.

You’ll be able to apply for VBM ballots online and print them so you can do it from home or other places computers are available, like libraries. This is especially helpful if you registered to vote this summer or fall. 

Actual VBM ballots will be mailed (to those who have applied) after September 24 and must be returned to a secured collection box or postmarked by November 3. The collection boxes are new.  You won’t have to pay the postage to return them. 

Early voting days and hours will be expanded to 20 days before the election. 

Election Day, November 3, 2020 will be a state holiday.

Curbside voting will be available for any reason at polling places and at Early Voting sites so you don’t have to go inside to vote.

Anyone over the age of 16 may serve as election judges.

Games People Play

Hello from Tana. Here is hoping all of you are sheltering in place with cards. Keep up your skills we will resume again someday. If you want to play Bridge here are some web sites to help.

  1. Trickster is a site for several games including Bridge. You can play with others or with the game itself. It is easy to use. You can set up a game with three other friends. You can play with strangers or you can play the computer bots. It is fun.
  2. If you want to play a version of Bridge but are only two, there is Honeymoon Bridge. This is designed for two or three players.
  3. If you want to watch experts play. You can and analyze their games. The BRIDGE PROFESSORS offer a viewable game featuring four expert players and teachers. It costs $25.00 for each session. It lasts two hours. They are experts.
  4. AARP has Bridge on its website. I have not played there.

When the library opens to groups, we will resume our bridge group playing and teaching. Hopefully many of you will want to play face to face again. Whatever you are doing, I hope you are safe and healthy. See you in the future.


Mahjong Players

Lenore sends greetings. There are numerous websites to play Mahjong. Several people from Forward Chicago are playing. There is a site players can go to and play Mahjong. There is a free trial, and then the charge is $5.99 per month.

Whatever you play, games are fun.

By Tana Durnbaugh and Lenore Kimmel