2020 Census Deadline Extended

The U.S. Census Bureau will continue to accept self-responses from Illinoisans only at My2020Census.gov through 5am on October 31st.

Federal courts mandated the administration to keep the count going following the 7-1 SCOTUS ruling.

Take the time today to fill out the 2020 Census to help you Community receive what they need!

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Cook County Community Recovery Initiative

Is COVID Impacting your Business? We Are Here to Assist You

Apply for $10,000 Cook County Recovery Grants for suburban Cook County small businesses before it’s too late. Be sure to check your eligibility HERE and apply via that same website by Tuesday, October 6, 2020, by 5 pm CT!!


Also sign up for group webinars HERE on how to help your business recover from COVID-19 and one-on-one business advising!

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Mail-In Ballot Tracking

Want to make sure your ballot is securely received? Here’s how!

For easy access, click HERE for the Cook County Clerk website, click the “What is My Mail Ballot Status” tab on the left side of the page, and fill in your information.

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Secure Dropboxes for Mail-in Ballots

Make sure you know where to safely drop off your mail-in ballots, Every Vote Counts!

For easy access, click HERE for the Location Map and HERE for more information.

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Become a Chicago State University Rise Scholar Today…..

Chicago State University is now offering The Rise Scholarship to incoming freshman. Benefits include full tuition and fee scholarship, personal laptop, college community group, and advising and workshops.

For More Information please visit  https://www.csu.edu/NIGMS/riseprogram.htm

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Advocacy For The South Suburban Airport

For over 30 years, we have been advocating for the South Suburban Airport. It has been a long, frustrating battle to bring this economic engine to the Southland. In our region, we have seen an explosion of E-Commerce development with Amazon and other logistical companies who would have the opportunity to access the airport’s cargo capabilities. I’m happy to report that we have been joined by elected officials from the south side of Chicago in our advocacy for the south suburban airport. In a press conference on Saturday, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Alderman David Moore(7th Ward), State Representative Mary Flowers, Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller, Mayors Sheila Chalmers-Currin (Matteson)and Chasity Wells-Armstrong(Kankakee), Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Kim Dubuclet and many other business advocates and religious leaders were on hand to support the construction of the South Suburban Airport. It is encouraging that Governor Pritzker has re-allocated over $162 million dollars in the state budget to finally move this project forward. Thank you to Alderman Moore for bringing this Southland consortium together.

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TOLLING 2020 to feature a new approach to unpaid tolls and relief to outstanding fines

DOWNERS GROVE, IL – The Illinois Tollway today announced TOLLING 2020, a comprehensive tolling reform package featuring a significant reduction to the initial costs faced by motorists when tolls are left unpaid. The measures also include steep reductions in fines for those with outstanding violations while formalizing the COVID-19 pandemic relief period during which no violations will be assessed for unpaid tolls.

“From day one, we’ve advocated for a more equitable tolling process, one that works for the customer,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “We have a remarkable tolling system, but changes were long overdue with regard to unpaid tolls.”

Highlights of the changes include:

New Invoice Process – Starting today, customers with unpaid tolls will be mailed an invoice with a $3 fee per unpaid toll for passenger vehicles rather than an initial $20 violation, and as always customers can continue to avoid fees completely for at least 14 days by paying online.

Violation Relief – For the remainder of 2020, the Tollway is reducing all outstanding violations with the Illinois Tollway, and all existing $20 and $50 fines per toll will also be reduced to $3 per toll providing an opportunity for relief to thousands of motorists.

COVID-19 Relief – Any unpaid tolls that occurred between March 9 and June 25 during the stay-athome order will not incur additional fines or fees.

“These changes are long overdue. Pursuing hefty violations is a costly process, and both the Tollway and customers are better served by providing as much opportunity as possible for customers to pay their tolls,” said Alvarez. “That’s why we’re resetting the clock for all outstanding violations as well, to bring them in line with the new rules, and thanks to the Board of Directors, anyone who has unpaid fines will realize significant savings if they pay by the end of the year.”

Reduced Notices – The Illinois Tollway is implementing a more gradual approach to violations by significantly lowering the initial penalties associated with an unpaid toll. Passenger vehicle owners who fail to pay a toll will now initially face a notice with a $3 invoice fee for each unpaid toll rather than a notice with a $20 violation fine, an 85 percent reduction.

Currently, a $20 fine is assessed for each unpaid toll if left unpaid. That penalty escalates by another $50 if the notice remains unpaid for an additional 60 days. For example, a single trip with five unpaid tolls could cost a passenger vehicle owner more than $100. That same customer will now receive an initial notice with only a $15 invoice fee, in addition to unpaid tolls, and will have 60 days to pay before those fees increase.

Illinois Tollway TOLLING 2020 – page 2
Violation Relief – Beginning in July, drivers with current toll violation notices will see each existing penalties reduced to $3 through the end of the year, providing six months for customers to settle violations under the new guidelines. This will include anyone previously sent to collections for outstanding toll violations.

COVID-19 Relief – The Illinois Tollway has also formalized the grace period for unpaid tolls during the COVID-19 pandemic from March 9 through June 25, ensuring customers will not receive violations for unpaid tolls for the previous three months. Following the deadline, any unpaid passenger vehicle tolls will be aligned with the new unpaid toll invoice process.

“Motorists who may have inadvertently missed a toll during this crisis will not face any penalties associated with those unpaid tolls,” said Alvarez.

What do customers need to know?
• Beginning now, customers looking to take advantage of the significant reduction in fines can simply visit the Tollway’s website to review and pay their updated balances through the end of the year, even if they were previously at collections. No special arrangements are necessary.
• Customers with unpaid tolls during the COVID-19 period will receive an invoice for their unpaid tolls only and are able to pay those tolls online as well.
• Since the Illinois Tollway is still operating all-electronic toll collection to prevent the spread of COVID-19, customers should remember to pay their tolls online to avoid any fines and fees.
• The Illinois Tollway’s online payment system and customer service operations will be offline beginning this evening, June 25, through Sunday, June 28, to make the critical system updates necessary to implement the TOLLING 2020 reform and relief package. During this upgrade customers will not incur any violation fines or fees.

Customers looking to pay unpaid tolls and violations or looking to learn more about TOLLING 2020 including the new notice guidelines, should visit the Illinois Tollway’s website at www.illinoistollway.com.

About the Illinois Tollway
The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 294 miles of roadways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) and the Illinois Route 390 Tollway.

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Renaming of Hazel Crest Street, Buttonwood to Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr Way.

Today, I was honored to join Hazel Crest Mayor Vernard Alsberry, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Village Trustees, and the family of US Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr, who was killed in Action, Senator Michael Hastings, and Cook County President Preckwinkle, in a celebration of Flag Day. The most enjoyable moment of the day, was the renaming of Hazel Crest Street, Buttonwood to Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr Way. We thank Army Specialist Mayfield for his service. We thank Army Specialist Mayfield for his service.

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Illinois General Assembly House Resolution 722 to honor the life of U.S. Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr.

It gave me great pleasure to present Illinois General Assembly House Resolution 722 to the Family of US Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr. on Flag Day, June 14th, In recognition of his military service and to honor his memory as he gave his life in the ultimate sacrifice for his country ….in his honor, The Village of Hazel Crest renamed Buttonwood Street to Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr Way.

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