Dear Neighbor:

In this e-newsletter you will find information on legislation recently passed in Springfield, my satellite office hours and other upcoming events, opportunities for local holiday giving, holiday safety tips, winter weather information and other events happening in our community.

As always, please feel free to contact my office if we can ever be of assistance to you. "Friend" us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for daily legislative and community news.

I wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday and new year!

Very truly yours,

Sara Feigenholtz
State Representative
12th District

  • In the News
  • Recent Legislation
  • Coffee & Conversation
  • Satellite Office Hours
  • Holiday Giving
  • Holiday Safety
  • Winter Weather Preparedness
  • Shop Local
  • Community Events

  • Recent Legislation

    Corporate Tax Relief:

    Last week, the legislature passed Senate Bill 397 to provide tax relief to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), Sears and Champion Labs.

    Senate Bill 397 changes the way CME sources revenue to Illinois; CME will now only be required to source a percentage of its electronic transaction revenue to Illinois rather than 100%. Sears and Champion Labs will be able to use the EDGE tax credit against the withholding tax liabilities of its employees with provisions regarding job retention, job creation and investment.

    In addition, tax credits that had been set to expire in 2011, 2012 and 2013 will be extended for an additional five years. Senate Bill 397 reinstates the R&D tax credit until 2016, creates a Live Theatre Production Tax Credit, and increases the exclusion amount of the estate tax from $3 million to $3.5 million in 2012 and to $4 million in 2013 and thereafter.

    I did not support Senate Bill 397 although I believe that the state should seriously consider ways to support business. I am very concerned that this bill does little to address the overall issue of improving the state's business environment for the small and medium-sized businesses that make up most of Illinois' and the 12th District's business community.

    Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 397 into law on Friday.

    Earned Income Tax Credit & Standard Exemption:

    The legislature passed Senate Bill 400 to provide financial relief and support to low-income working families.

    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) allows eligible working families to claim a tax credit currently worth 5% of the federal EITC. Senate Bill 400 raises the state credit to 7.5% of the federal EITC in 2012 and 10% of the federal EITC in 2013 and thereafter.

    Senate Bill 400 increases the standard exemption from $2,000 to $2,025 in 2012. After 2012, the exemption will be indexed to the increase in the Consumer Price Index.

    I supported Senate Bill 400. Although I remain concerned about the decreased revenues resulting from this bill, low-income, working families pay a disproportionate amount of their incomes in taxes. These programs help families that need the most help during these difficult times to pay for food, utilities and housing.

    Coffee & Conversation

    Coffee and Conversation

    Satellite Office Hours

    Satellite Office Hours/>

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    Holiday Giving

    This holiday season, please remember local not-for-profit organizations that serve our neighbors in need each and every day. Below is only a sampling of the not-for-profit organizations serving 12th District residents. If you are involved with an not-for-profit organization that is giving back this holiday season but not listed here, please email me and we will be happy to put the details on our social media and website.

    Lake View Citizens' Council's Operation Mitten
    Lake View Citizens' Council is collecting donations to be used to purchase mittens, gloves, scarves and hats for children in need. LVCC provides the items for the holiday parties at the 19th and 23rd Police Districts for children from financially challenged homes, as well as for beat officers to pass out to children they see in need while on patrol. Donations may be sent to LVCC, 3355 N. Clark, Chicago, IL 60657.

    Lakeview Pantry
    3831 North Broadway
    (773) 525-1777

    Our mission is to eliminate hunger in our community by: providing food to fill the basic need of hungry people, increasing the independence of our clients through self-help initiatives and other innovative programs, and raising awareness of hunger and poverty and work towards solutions to eliminate them. We provide on-site food distribution, a home delivery service for the homebound, distribute free clothing and have a case management program in order to help clients connect with other services they may need to address the causes of food insecurity.


    4101 North Ravenswood
    (773) 572-5500

    Thresholds provides a comprehensive, individualized program of mental health services that include psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery programs, outreach programs, housing, educational advancement, social opportunities and employment services. The organization is committed to the use of "Evidence-Based Practices" - techniques and services that are validated by the most up-to-date research. Most programs are covered by Medicare and Medicaid or private insurance. Those seeking services must meet certain eligibility requirements for various programs, and not all people are eligible to receive services.


    The Night Ministry
    4711 North Ravenswood
    (773) 784-9000

    Since 1976, The Night Ministry, a non-denominational, non-profit organization, has served Chicago's most vulnerable. We accept people where they are regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or social status. The Night Ministry is not affiliated with one particular faith tradition. Our staff and volunteers come from a wide variety of faith traditions or no faith tradition, as do the youth and adults we serve. We provide our services to all, regardless of their religious beliefs. We offer services in a welcoming and affirming environment. Our "ministry" is one of serving others, being present with them.


    Center on Halsted
    3656 North Halsted
    (773) 472-6469

    Center on Halsted has become an exciting and highly visible symbol for the LGBT community of Chicago, serving diverse social, recreational, cultural, and social service needs of youth and adults in a safe, inviting and nurturing environment. It has office and meeting space for community organizations, drop-in space for youth and for older adults, gallery space, cultural programming and recreational space including basketball and volleyball courts along with parking, ground level retail and a rooftop memorial garden. The Center offers support networks and programming to meet the cultural, emotional, social, educational and recreational needs of the LGBT community and friends. Current services include support groups for youth and seniors, mental health services, an info line for LGBT individuals and a hotline for HIV and STD concerns, prevention, treatment, and advocacy related to domestic violence, community technology center providing internet access and technology training and a range of life-enrichment programs.


    Counseling Center of Lakeview
    3225 North Sheffield
    (773) 549-5886

    The Counseling Center of Lake View is a private not-for-profit organization committed to the provision of quality, comprehensive, mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence services for the residents of the Lake View and adjacent communities. The Center is especially concerned about the development of services for population groups traditionally underserved by mental health and substance abuse providers. As an agency, the Center has developed programs for Spanish-speaking individuals, substance abusers, children and adolescents, homeless youth, older adults, post-hospitalized psychiatric patients, and persons with a long term mental illness. The range of services includes: prevention, diagnostic evaluation, case management (community support), counseling and therapy, psychiatry, advocacy, and networking.


    Howard Brown Health Center
    4025 North Sheridan
    (773) 388-1600

    Howard Brown Health Center is one of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) healthcare organizations. With an annual budget of over $18 million, the agency serves more than 36,000 adults and youth each year. Its diverse health and social service delivery system focuses around the following programmatic divisions: primary medical care, behavioral health, research, HIV/STD prevention, case management, social services, youth services, elder services, and community initiatives. Howard Brown's multi-site operation includes a main health and research center in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, Triad Health practice at Illinois Masonic Hospital, the Broadway Youth Center, and three Brown Elephant Resale Shops.


    Anixter Center
    6610 North Clark
    (773) 973-7900

    The mission of Anixter Center is to enhance the ability of individuals living with or at risk of disabilities to live, learn, work, and play in the community. Having merged with three nonprofits (CALOR, Chicago Hearing Society, and the National Lekotek Center), Anixter Center is now the 13th largest nonprofit in Chicago. Each year, at dozens of locations across greater Chicago, Anixter Center provides an array of effective, innovative services to more than 5,000 children and adults. These services include education, employment, life skills, communication, recreation, health care, counseling, and support. Most of the people who receive services have a significant disability - physical, intellectual, developmental, sensory, psychiatric, or HIV/AIDS-related - and many have more than one disability. Most, about 90 percent, also have low incomes. In addition to providing services, Anixter Center advocates for the rights of people with disabilities to be full and equal members of society. The agency was founded in 1919.


    St. Vincent de Paul Center
    2145 North Halsted

    St. Vincent's provides care for over 440 children, ranging in age from three months to 13 years. The program includes early childhood education programs, kindergarten programs, and a before/after-school/summer camp program. The program is NAEYC accredited, which is the mark of high-quality early childhood education. The Center provides outreach, assistance and case management for more than 100 low-income, isolated and mobility-limited Chicago seniors. St. Vincent's master's-level social workers provide support and services for both children and families. The program offers services to homeless individuals and those in danger of becoming homeless through preventive measures, provides basic needs items and services to clients, and connects clients with programs and services, such as housing and job training, that will improve their situations.


    Christopher House
    2507 North Greenview
    (773) 472-1083

    Christopher House is a catalyst for strengthening and empowering low-income children and their families. We provide a web of support that helps families become self-sufficient and allows communities to become stronger. We help children through programs that enhance their cognitive, social, physical, and emotional development enabling them to succeed in the classroom and in life. We work with their parents to provide educational, financial, and emotional support to help them to build strong families. As an emerging national leader in the nonprofit sector, we provide low-income children and families with equal access to tools and opportunities. Our programs are dynamic, innovative, creative, and designed to improve the quality of family and community. Christopher House's best practices will be replicated across the country because of our clear and measurable impact toward strengthening families and communities.


    Deborah's Place
    (773) 722-5080

    Deborah's Place is Chicago's largest provider of supportive housing exclusively for women and is recognized as an innovative leader among homeless service providers locally and nationally. Since our founding in 1985, we have worked collaboratively with our participants, offered a range of high quality services and tried new approaches - putting Deborah's Place at the forefront of agencies making a difference to those in need in Chicago. Deborah's Place breaks the cycle of homelessness for women in Chicago. Through a continuum of housing options, comprehensive support services and opportunities for change provided by dedicated volunteers and staff, women succeed in achieving their goals of stable housing, sustainable income and greater self-determination.


    Lincoln Park Community Shelter
    600 West Fullerton
    (773) 549-6111

    The Lincoln Park Community Shelter (LPCS) is a comprehensive social service agency serving adult men and women who are experiencing homelessness. Located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, the LPCS has been providing shelter and other basic needs to our homeless neighbors for 25 years. Today, the LPCS provides interim housing, meals, and a targeted array of social services to over 300 people each year.


    If you are planning on giving this year, there are several websites available to help you choose a charity that is reputable and spends a significant portion (75% or more) of its funds on programs and services. Some of these websites include Charity Navigator, the Better Business Bureau and Give Well.

    Holiday Safety

    These holiday safety tips are provided by the Chicago Police Department:

    Be alert: Walk confidently, with your head up, and stay in well-lighted and well-traveled areas. Pay attention to people walking in front of and behind you. Pay particular attention when you are in crowded areas, such as buses and trains or malls and stores that are filled with other shoppers. Places with large crowds are favorites for thieves and pickpockets. If you carry a purse, keep it in front of you and close to your body. You can do this by covering the flap or clasp with your hand or forearm. Never leave your purse in a shopping cart or on a counter while you pay for your purchases. Remember not to carry open-weave bags or purses without zippers or flaps. Those items are easy marks for pickpockets. If you carry a change purse or wallet, keep it in your front pants pocket or in the inside breast pocket of your coat. Always be alert when opening your purse or wallet. Try to shop with friends or relatives. Not only is there safety in numbers, but shopping in a group will give you a chance to catch up on things and renew friendships.

    Be discreet: Never carry large amounts of money. Whenever possible, use credit cards or checks instead of cash. When using credit cards, make sure that only one credit slip is printed with your charge card. Also, be sure to tear up any carbons that may be used to complete the transaction. Credit card fraud can ruin your holiday season. Thieves and pickpockets are more likely to be attracted by expensive clothes and jewelry. When you are out doing your holiday shopping, dress comfortably and casually.

    Secure your car: Cars can be an easy target for criminals. Park your car as close to your destination as possible and in a well-lighted area. When you do your shopping remember to store your packages in the trunk of the car and not on the back seat. Also, if you take packages to the car but plan to return to the store or mall, drive your car to a new location within the parking lot. Criminals can be on the lookout for unsuspecting shoppers who simply drop their purchases into the trunk and then return to keep shopping.

    Secure your home: When you are out shopping, leave some lights on at home. You may also want to let a neighbor know that you will be out of the house for a short time, so they can watch your house for you. If you plan to be away for a longer period to visit friends or family over the holidays, make sure to tell a neighbor or friend who can keep an eye on your house. Have them check periodically to make sure packages that may have been delivered while you were gone aren't sitting on your porch.

    If you plan to shop for children, make sure the toys you buy are safe. Attorney General Lisa Madigan's annual Safe Shopping Guide is out and is a great resource for avoiding purchasing recalled products. You can find the guide here.

    Additionally, I encourage you to attend your local CAPS meeting and stay involved in your neighborhood's public safety efforts. To locate your CAPS Beat and find upcoming meetings, visit the Chicago Police Department's website, my website, or call 311.

    If you would like a Neighborhood Watch sign with valuable safety information and phone numbers for your home or business, please contact my office at (773) 296-4141 or sara@staterepsara.com.

    Winter Weather Preparedness

    Winter Storm Preparedness Guide: The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) teamed up with the National Weather Service (NWS) and American Red Cross to develop the Winter Storm Preparedness Guide and provide winter weather safety tips. IEMA and NWS also recommend stocking up on emergency preparedness kits for homes and vehicles with items ranging from batteries to non-perishable foods. Visit www.ready.illinois.gov for more information on emergency preparedness.

    Parking Restrictions: The city's overnight winter parking ban went into effect on December 1. On streets affected by the ban, parking is restricted between 3:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. until April 1, 2012 and is in effect whether or not there is snow on the ground. A map of the overnight parking ban can be found here. In the 12th District, Cannon Drive south of Diversey is affected by this ban, but many of our main roads are only affected by the 2" snow ban. A map of the 2" snow ban can be found here.

    City Warming Centers: City warming centers operate between December 1 and March 1 or when temperatures are below 32 degrees. Hours are generally 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Additional locations and extended hours may be announced when needed. The city warming center closest to the 12th district is located at 4740 North Sheridan. As always, you can call 311 to locate additional warming centers or to request a well-being check for a friend, family member or neighbor.

    City of Chicago Weather Relief: Sign up for alerts through the Extreme Weather Notification System and you will be notified when dangerous weather conditions exist. Sign up online.

    Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): LIHEAP helps low income households with home energy costs. For more information or to learn how to apply, visit the US Department of Health and Human Services website or the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website.

    "Share the Warmth": Share the Warmth is administered by the Community and Economic Development Association and helps low-income natural gas customers by providing matching grants for heating bills. More information can be found here.

    Shop Local

    Consider shopping local this holiday season and keep your hard-earned dollars in our community. The 12th district is home to countless unique boutiques, shops, and restaurants. Visit a local chamber of commerce to find exactly what you need this holiday season!

    Business Partners, the Chamber for Uptown

    Central Lake View Merchants - Bring in receipts from CLMA businesses totaling $200 or more and get a special Monopoly board game featuring central Lakeview and CLMA merchants!

    Lakeview Chamber of Commerce - "Shop Lakeview" and get $50 in Shop Lakeview dollars when you spent $300 - visit their website for more details!

    Lake View East Chamber of Commerce - LVECC is offering a $50 gift card when you spend $300 at LVECC businesses through their 15th annual Giver's Gift Program - visit their website for more details!

    Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce

    Northalsted Business Alliance - Purchase a Northalsted Holiday gift card online and get an additional 20% added value for free!

    Old Town Merchants & Residents Association

    Community Events

    Buena Park Neighbors, Holiday Party
    Monday, December 19
    7:00 p.m.
    World Gym, 909 West Montrose

    This year's event will feature hors d'oeuvres, seasonal drinks (nonalcoholic), music, gym membership specials, and a brand new Buena Park Neighbors coupon book for everyone in attendance. So come on out, meet your neighbors, and share the spirit of the season! And if you can find it in your hearts (and your closets), please bring some warm clothing to donate. We will be collecting coats, hats, gloves, and mittens for Alyissa's Angels Coat Drive.

    South East Lake View Neighbors
    Monday, January 9
    7:00 p.m.
    Wellington Avenue Church, 615 West Wellington

    South East Lake View Neighbors (SELVN) is the local neighborhood organization encompassing the area bounded by Diversey, Halsted, Belmont, and the lake. All residents, associations, and businesses are welcome to join. General meetings are open to everyone to attend. You must be a member in good standing two weeks prior to a meeting in order to vote.

    Triangle Neighbors, Meeting
    Wednesday, January 11
    7:00 p.m.
    23rd District Police Station, 850 West Addison

    Triangle Neighbors covers the area bounded by Clark, Halsted, Belmont and Addison.

    Central Lake View Neighbors
    Thursday, January 12
    7:30 p.m.
    Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Clarke Auditorium, 836 West Wellington, 7th Floor

    Central Lake View Neighbors is a community based and funded non profit volunteer organization. CLVN represents the residents within the boundaries of Belmont to the north, Halsted to the east, Racine to west and Diversey to the south. The organization was formed to provide residents a forum to discuss issues ranging from development proposals, zoning, liquor license, street fairs and other community matters. The Alderman recognizes this group and refers local issues to this organization for comment, review and approval.

    Buena Park Neighbors, Litter Patrol
    Saturday, January 14
    10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Meet in KFC parking lot, Buena and Broadway

    In the News

    Lakeview Newspaper
    November 2011
    Lake View YMCA Going Smoke-Free

    Lakeview Newspaper
    November 2011
    Rep. Feigenholtz Announces Food Drive and Volunteer Event to Benefit Lakeview Pantry

    Lakeview Newspaper
    November 2011
    Workshops Help Senior Citizens Learn About Transit lssues, Scams

    Chicago Now
    November 2, 2011
    Temperatures dropping. Will the state restore funding for homeless shelters?

    Press Release
    November 2, 2011
    Rep. Feigenholtz Sides with Consumers on Utility Rate Hike Legislation

    Skyline, Letters to the Editor
    November 2, 2011
    Feigenholtz helps adoptees open past

    Addison Press
    November 5, 2011
    Budget, gambling, pensions top state lawmakers' to-do list

    Press Release
    November 7, 2011
    Budget, Pension Reform Top Resident Concerns at Rep. Feigenholtz Coffee Session

    Illinois Statehouse News
    November 8, 2011
    Medicaid payments to hospitals to take longer

    Press Release
    November 9, 2011
    Quarter of a Million Illinois Adoptees Born After 1946 May Begin Requesting Original Birth Certificates on November 15th

    November 11, 2011
    Illinois adoptees will have access to birth parents' names

    Evansville Courier & Press
    November 12, 2011
    Illinois law opens access to biological parents

    Chicago Sun-Times
    November 14, 2011
    Birth certificates of Illinois adoptees available starting Tuesday

    ABC 7
    November 15, 2011
    Law to allow adoptees to apply for birth certificates

    ABC 7
    November 15, 2011
    Ill. adoptees can now get birth certificates

    Lake County News-Sun
    November 15, 2011
    Adoptees seek birth certificates under new Illinois law

    Chillicothe Times Bulletin
    November 15, 2011
    Adoptee requests for original birth certificates accepted for the first time today

    WBEZ 91.5
    November 15, 2011
    Adoptees seek out their original birth certificates

    WUIS - My Source for News
    November 15, 2011
    Adoptees Can Now Request Birth Certificates

    Chicago Tribune, Voice of the People
    November 15, 2011
    New adoption law

    Chicago Sun-Times, Letter to the Editor
    November 16, 2011
    Unlocking adoption secrets

    Roscoe View Journal
    November 16, 2011
    Celebrate National Adoption Day By Getting Your Original Birth Certificate

    November 16, 2011
    Lawmakers to consider facility closures after Thanksgiving

    Rockford Register Star
    November 17, 2011
    Letter: New law for Illinois adoptees

    State Journal-Register
    November 18, 2011
    Letter: Good news for adoptees

    Press Release
    November 18, 2011
    Workshop Helps Local Business Owners Lower Utility Bills and Access State Loans

    ABC 7
    November 19, 2011
    Fall food drives fill growing need in Chicago area

    Windy City Times
    November 23, 2011
    OPALGA honors its own, civil-union advocates at gala

    Review Atlas
    November 29, 2011
    Lawmakers reprieve facilities targeted for closure

    Chicago Tribune
    November 30, 2011
    City homeless services restored

    November 30, 2011
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel praises lawmakers for $4.3 million boost to homeless shelters

    November 30, 2011
    Feigenholtz: We focused Illinois budget priorities on the needs of the 99%

    Illinois Issues Blog
    November 30, 2011
    Lawmakers say budget deal fixed mistakes

    December 12, 2011
    Part I: Rep. Sara Feigenholtz Discusses Illinois Fiscal Year 2013 Budget

    Quad City Times
    December 15, 2011
    Illinois busy complying with new adoption law

    December 16, 2011
    State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz warns of more Illinois budget austerity next year

    December 16, 2011
    Brown Elephant unveils new visual campaign with State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz

    ABC 7
    December 16, 2011
    Adoptees seeking original birth records z

    Chicago Phoenix
    December 16, 2011
    Feigenholtz and Edwards reveal new Brown Elephant campaign

    Illinois Observer
    December 16, 2011
    Video: Next Year's Illinois Budget Faces Turbulence, Says Top House Budget Lawmaker

    Chicago Sun Times
    December 16, 2011
    Thousands of adoptees - like state rep - finally get birth certificates

    phone: (773) 296-4141