Dear Neighbor:

As the weather starts to heat up again in late summer, we should be mindful of ways to keep our homes energy efficient. Those of us who get our energy bills from ComEd are probably familiar with their reminders indicating our wasteful energy habits. Whenever I don't get a "smiley face" for my energy usage I have to wonder how I could possibly be consuming more electricity than the other folks my block. I decided it was time to scratch an item off of my bucket list and get an energy assessment.

So earlier this week ComEd engineers headed to my house and to local small business Roscoe's, where owner Jim Ludwig agreed to compete with me to see who could make the greatest energy usage reduction. Following our assessments we decided to make a commitment to reduce our energy consumption by 10% over the next month.


Both homeowners and small business owners can benefit from these assessments. There are some small things we can all do every day -- from closing the blinds to shutting off the air conditioning when we leave -- to keep our homes cool and our energy costs down. ComEd engineers will help you identify more long-term solutions to to improve energy efficiency and reliability. If you're a local business owner looking to improve your bottom line, this is a great opportunity to drive down expensive overhead costs.

In this e-letter you'll also find information about our upcoming Ventra educational event, our ongoing school supply drive, and and a list of end-of-summer community events. Our monthly Legislative Update discusses the dropped Fire Marshal proposal, the medical marijuana bill signing, and an appearance I made on CBS This Morning to re-visit the birth certificate access legislation for adult adoptees we passed three years ago.

Please feel free to contact me or a member of my staff if we can ever be of assistance to you on any state matter. You can also follow my office on Facebook and Twitter. As always, I will continue to keep you updated on Springfield and I hope to see you soon at one of my upcoming summer events.

Very truly yours,

Sara Feigenholtz
State Representative
12th District

  • In the News
  • Save Money, Save Energy
  • School Supply Drive
  • Legislative Updates
  • Learn More About Ventra
  • Gill Park Back to School Bash
  • End of Summer Community Events

  • Save Money, Save Energy

    Home Energy Auditing Certification

    North Branch Works (NBW) is launching a new, FREE training and certification course in home energy auditing. The successful trainee will earn the Building Performance Institute's Building Analyst Certification (BPI BA). The BPI BA is essential to become a Home Energy Auditor. The certification is valued at $2,500, but is free to participants. NBW will offer 8 classes between August 2013 and May 2014. 4 daytime classes are scheduled for individuals with moderate experience in the building sciences, construction or related fields. 4 "fast track" classes are scheduled 2 evenings per week and Saturdays for experienced individuals in construction and building sciences. The 1st daytime class begins August 12th. The first "fast track" class begins in late August.

    ComEd Energy Assessment

    Residential customers have opportunities with ComEd to reduce the energy usage in their home. To bring you both electric and natural gas savings, ComEd has partnered with your natural gas utility on several programs. Residential customers who live in single-family homes that are jointly served by ComEd and Nicor Gas may qualify to receive a $49 assessment (valued at $500*) of their home's energy use to improve its energy efficiency and receive up to $1,250 in instant rebates.

    School Supply Drive

    The proposed CPS spending plan for the upcoming school year will cut $68 million from the budget to address the system's $1 billion structural deficit. My staff and I have been closely monitoring schools throughout the district, listening to parents who are concerned about increased school fees and eliminated classes. We've launched a school supply drive so that students in local schools can have the tools they need this year to succeed. Some of my colleagues and I have also reiterated our call to the mayor encouraging him to direct TIF surplus funds to schools across the city. This may only be a stop-gap measure, but it will help schools avoid devastating classroom cuts that greatly harm our children's quality of education.

    Legislative Updates

    State Fire Marshal Proposal: Earlier this month the State Fire Marshal officially withdrew his sprinkler mandate proposal from consideration in the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. I want to once again thank everyone who wrote letters and made phone calls expressing their opposition to the proposed regulations. Your voices were heard loud and clear. Our team effort was successful and the Fire Marshal pulled his proposal off the table. My staff and I will continue to monitor any activity from the Fire Marshal and update you accordingly.

    Illinois Adoption Laws: Last Monday, CBS aired the story of a brother and sister who were reunited in large part due to the state law allowing Illinois-born adoptees to obtain a copy of their original birth certificates. The law, enacted in 2010, made Illinois the largest and most populous state to enact such legislation, and the adoption community has had its eyes on Illinois' implementation. Many people don't know that 39 states deny adult adopted persons access to their original birth certificates. This can prevent biological relatives who may possess life saving medical information from connecting with each other.The story of Cletus Lynch and Barbara Mapes is just one example of the many benefits that come from lifting the veil of secrecy from adoption by allowing adopted adults access to an original copy of their birth certificate. Those of you who have been following Illinois' journey towards providing adult adoptees access to their birth certificates know how much work there is to do in other states. For more information on the law, visit the adoption page of my website.

    Medical Marijuana: For the past several years my colleagues and I have worked hard to establish a safe and responsible medical marijuana bill that would help patients with severe illnesses better address their pain management. On August 1st, House Bill 1, which I co-sponsored, was signed into law, officially creating a four-year pilot program to treat individuals who suffer from a specific set of serious medical conditions with medical cannabis. The law will take effect January 1, 2014.

    Learn More About Ventra

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    Gill Park Back to School Bash

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    End of Summer Community Events

    Lincoln Park Zoo, Locally Sourced at the Patio
    Wednesdays through August, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
    Lincoln Park Zoo
    Immerse yourself in Chicago culture at Lincoln Park Zoo's scenic Patio at Cafe Brauer. Every Wednesday in July and August we'll feature local music, local artists, produce from local farms and drink specials from Lagunitas Brewing Company, who'll soon be opening their own brewery right here in Chicago.

    Buena Park Neighbors, Concert in the Park
    Thursday, August 22, 7 pm
    Buena Circle Park, Buena and Kenmore
    Mark your calendars for the summer's second free concert in the park in Buena Circle Park, at Buena and Kenmore avenues. Gin and Tonic, a well known, high-energy Chicago cover band, will perform. Food trucks, a bouncy playground for the kids, the FIDO van for four-footed friends and more will be on hand.

    Lincoln Park History and Monument Tour
    Saturday, August 24, 10 am
    Lincoln Park Conservancy, 2391 N. Stockton
    Learn about the men that inspired the monuments and the history of South Lincoln Park. Join Krista August, author of "Giants in the Park" and the Lincoln Park Conservancy for this fun and informative 2-hour walking tour. The tour begins in front of the Lincoln Park Conservatory & Gardens and ends at North Avenue and Astor Street. Advance registration is required and admission is $20 per person. For more information, email info@lincolnparkconservancy.org.

    Lake View Sidewalk Sales Spectacular
    Saturday, September 7, 11 am - 5 pm
    Shops throughout Lake View East are participating in this annual 3 day sidewalk sale. Pedicabs will be available to transport shoppers. Click here for a list of participating stores.

    In the News

    phone: (773) 296-4141