This week, I will return to Springfield when the legislative session reconvenes on May 20. This will be my first time back since the pandemic started, and while our session at the Bank of Springfield Center will feel different than the House floor at the Capitol, my priorities remain unchanged. I’m ready to fight for the core values that bind us together.
Over the past eight weeks, we have watched our community come together with strength, compassion and resolve to meet a public health crisis that has caused hardship and heartbreak for too many. Many of you have reached out to share news and ideas that can help our community through this difficult time. We appreciate you.
During these unprecedented times, I will be working to pass a budget that funds our children’s education and ensures that our first responders, healthcare providers and those on the front lines of this pandemic providing state services have the resources they need. We must also ensure that voters can safely make their voices heard in November.
We face tough choices ahead and much work to do. I’m ready. We will be taking precautions in Springfield to keep legislators and staff as safe as possible. I will wear a face mask and will self-quarantine when I return to protect members of my family with underlying risk factors and our community’s safety. As always, I remain committed to getting through these challenging times together.
While we are all doing our best to adjust to the ‘new normal,’ these continue to be difficult times for everyone. Our office is available to assist constituents access government services like unemployment insurance and to answer your questions. On May 5, Governor Pritzker announced a five-phase plan to reopen the state organized by region and guided by health metrics and with distinct business, education and recreation activities characterizing each phase. Details are available on the Restore Illinois page and metrics used to determine reopen phase benchmarks can be found on the Department of Public Health site here.
It is truly an honor to represent the 17th District – our community is characterized by the willingness to pitch in to get things done. I am amazed, but not surprised to learn of hundreds of residents who are volunteering their time and talents to help others, either with a charitable organization and as an individual or family.
We will continue to share information, provide updates and links to resources and take time to highlight good news. To our everyday heroes who have helped your neighbors and community members, thank you. Whether running errands for people who can’t get around, placing signs or banners throughout the community to lift each other up, or simply calling to connect with those at risk of social isolation, every bit helps.
The sacrifices we have made in the last two months have been and continue to be challenging, but you are saving lives.
Illinois has successfully slowed the spread of the virus, and we are making progress towards the next phase of the Governor’s Restore Illinois plan. What we collectively do now will determine when we can safely move to the next phase.
I’m working closely with public health and industry experts to reopen the economy as quickly and safely as possible.
Stay safe. We are all in this together.
Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz
Glenview is looking for its G.O.A.T.
Glenview wants to recognize its Greatest of All Time community members – the essential workers, those who are making a positive impact or keeping others safe. Read the short list, add a message or image, and your comments using the #GlenviewGOAT hashtag on Facebook or Instagram.
Glenbrook District 225 Takes Care of Caregivers When the GBS Interact Club learned that Glenbrook Hospital would be treating COVID-19 patients, it acted quickly to help those on the front line by donating toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner and lotion. They also wrote cards of gratitude. Thank you @gbs_interact and THANK YOU health care workers!
Food Pantries Make a Difference to Thousands Food insecurity as a result of job loss is affecting more people on the north shore. To meet the growing need, the Niles Township Food Pantry opened a new pop-up location on Lehigh Ave to supplement service at its usual location. Since mid-March, the pantry has served over 6400 people with dozens of volunteers pitching in to pack and distribute boxes of food. And a special shout out to all those Boy Scouts who stocked the shelves earlier this year on their Scouting for Food weekends as well as the Rotary Club of Skokie Valley which donated $2,000 to the pantry. To learn more, donate or volunteer, contact Niles Food Pantry.
New Trier Parents Association Shows Teachers the💔💗💗💗
Teachers in all grades had to quickly adapt to the state’s stay-at-home order in March, and New Trier High School teachers were no different. To show their appreciation the Parents Association hung this eye catching sign on an overpass near campus.
Loyola Alums Make Special Delivery
Young alumni from Loyola Academy raised thousands of dollars and provided pizzas, coffee and donuts to local police departments and a physical rehabilitation center during Holy Week.
Libraries Step Up Their Game and Move Beyond Books
Libraries are the hub of many north shore communities, and their closure due to the stay-at-home order and social distancing requirements can leave people both stir crazy and socially isolated. Area libraries are maintaining book group discussions and bedtime stories on digital platforms so you can still get together (virtually) with other readers. And some libraries are extending their services:
- The Northbrook Public Library is joining with other organizations nationwide to sponsor a village ‘bear hunt’ through June 30. Kids and their caretakers can get some fresh air and look for teddy bears or pictures of bears placed in windows of area homes. Don’t have a teddy bear? Download one here.
- The Morton Grove Public Library is hosting a weekly trivia quiz every Thursday at 7 pm through May 28. Join up on the Library’s Facebook event page.
Wilmette Launches Community Caretaker Program
Vulnerable or at-risk residents who cannot leave their homes can get assistance with essential tasks such as grocery or medicine delivery by submitting a request by calling (847) 853-7502 or emailing email@example.com. A Village employee will follow up to coordinate volunteers to respond. For more information on the program, see here.
Yard Signs Honor the Caregivers and First Responders
You may have seen these signs pop up on lawns across the district in the last month. We still have a few left so request one by filling in the form and our office will deliver one to your door!
Shopping local or ordering take out is one way of supporting your favorite local stores or restaurants, which have been particularly hard hit. Check out restaurants that are making delivery or offering curb-side pick-up in each municipality:
There are opportunities to get some fresh air, even as you maintain social distancing.
Parks and Forest Preserves: Most municipality park district trails, golf courses and outdoor areas (with the exception of pools) are open, as are the Cook County Forest Preserve properties. Check websites to see locations and hours of operation.
Evanston Farmers Market: The Saturday market is open! Click here to learn what has changed in light of Covid-19.
Memorial Day: Most traditional events like parades and memorial services will be postponed. Check municipality websites for new dates and times