On Saturday, August 14, 2021, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, and wreaked havoc on the southern region of the country, leaving thousands of dead, maimed, stuck under the rubble, and in desperate need of shelter and bare necessities. It has been two weeks since this cataclysm occurred. Yet, the search-and-rescue mission is still underway. Statistics compiled by the United Nations System in Haiti and the Haitian Office de la Protection du Citoyen have established that 800 thousand people are affected—among them, 2.2K dead, 12.2K injured, 650K needing emergency assistance, 130K of damaged and destroyed homes.

The DuSable Heritage Association (DHA) advises anyone who would like to support Haiti to use Partners In Health "pih.org" and University of Miami Project/Medishare "projectmedishare.org" Both are established organizations that have a long track record on relief work in Haiti.

In addition, some Haitian Organizations in the area have formed the Chicago Coalition for Haiti Relief - 2021 (*) with the dual purpose of providing a rapid response to the stricken populations’ immediate needs and envisioning a permanent vehicle that addresses structural needs and supports a long-term agenda. To that end, a Go-Fund-Me platform was established to receive financial contributions. The Coalition’s coordinating organization will distribute ALL proceeds to organizations that have demonstrably done great work on the ground in Haiti, such as Gaskov Clergé Foundation, Project Ste-Anne, and others.

DuSable Heritage Association urges you to contribute to this fundraising effort by donating to the platform of your choice. If you would rather use DHA’s channels, you are welcome to do so online at www.dusableheritage.com/donate.

Dear Friend,

Stop Anti Semitism 1 FBAntisemitism is here in the United States, it is on the rise, and Jews are scared. Over the past several weeks, we have seen a surge in violent antisemitism in the streets right here in Chicago, and in other major U.S. cities like New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Florida, in addition to many European capitals.

According to the FBI’s latest statistics, anti-Jewish hate crimes accounted for 60.2% of all hate crimes motivated by religion last year, a shocking number for a group that accounts for 2% of the U.S. population.

On top of that, acts of verbal and physical violence against Jews have spiked beyond that in this past month. These attacks are alarming to the Jewish community and amidst this atmosphere of vulnerability and fear, they have felt alone. 

Media attention for this alarming wave of anti-Semitic incidents has grown, but coverage is still insufficient and awareness about the violent nature of these attacks is too low. According to AJC’s latest survey on antisemitism, 46% of Americans are unfamiliar with the term antisemitism and 53% either believe antisemitism has stayed the same or decreased over the past five years, which is the opposite of what is happening. 

The fight to eradicate antisemitism cannot be done by the Jewish community alone. Everyone who believes in combating bigotry, no matter its form or source, should be outraged by the recent spike of antisemitism and to speak out against it. 

There are a number of ways to show support at this time, shared with me by the Chicago Regional Office of American Jewish Committee (AJC):

  • Speak Out: Condemn recent attacks against Jews. Say unequivocally that this hate has no place in Chicago, in Illinois, or in our country.
  • Show Outrage: Join AJC’s international campaign raising awareness about the recent spike in anti-Semitic violence by posting on social media using the #WherestheOutrage hashtag and graphic. You can also print the #WherestheOutrage sign here, take a picture with the sign, and post it on social media. 
  • Listen: Meet with your local Jewish community to hear their concerns. AJC Chicago is standing by to convene conversations at this critical time.
  • Help Educate Your Community: Antisemitism is unique in that it comes in many guises from diverse sources. AJC’s Translate Hate, a glossary of anti-Semitic terms and tropes, is a tool for elected officials, law enforcement, educators, and others to help them recognize antisemitism in their midst.

I stand in solidarity with our Jewish community, and am committed to helping eradicate all forms of racism, bigotry, and xenophobia.

Sincerely,

VanPeltSig

Patricia Van Pelt

State Senator, 5th District

ComEd reports results to Illinois Commerce Commission: benefits continue to outweigh costs

CHICAGO (Feb. 18, 2021) – ComEd this week reported to the Illinois Commerce Commission that residential customers are receiving savings and clean energy benefits from the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) and that these benefits are greater than the costs to customers. Enacted by the Illinois General Assembly in 2016, FEJA is jumpstarting renewable energy and increasing savings through new energy efficiency solutions for less than the caps established by the legislation.

“FEJA is making good on its promise to help our customers and communities gain access to clean and more efficient energy, and the benefits continue to outweigh the costs,” said ComEd CEO Joe Dominguez. “Since the state passed FEJA, energy efficiency investments have saved customers almost as much energy as they saved in the 10 years before FEJA at about half the cost.”

ComEd’s annual reports to the ICC detail the total cumulative average investment costs and benefits in the first four years of FEJA. From 2017 through 2020, residential customers realized average monthly savings of more than $1.30 per month when factoring in the benefits of investments in energy efficiency and solar energy adoption. The net costs and benefits for commercial customers remain below the legislated cost cap of 0.12 cents per kilowatt (kWh). As of 2020, the net costs and benefits for nonresidential customers, who are exempt from energy efficiency programs, remain below the legislated cost cap of 0.078 cents per kWh.

Customer access to renewable energy is gaining traction under FEJA. In 2020, a record 10,250 ComEd residential customers connected energy resources like private solar to the ComEd grid. Commercial and industrial businesses and community supply projects brought the total to more than 10,500 interconnections, representing 183 megawatts of distributed generation. ComEd also connected 20 community solar projects in 2020, and 55 more projects are under construction. The distributed generation rebate program for commercial and industrial customers grew from $8 million in payments in 2019 to $21 million in 2020.

FEJA also is creating opportunities for underrepresented populations, including members of diverse environmental justice communities and returning citizens, through training provided by trade and community groups. More than 1,300 trainees have completed the Craft Apprenticeship Program led by the IBEW Electrical Workers Renewable Energy Fund, as well as the Solar Pipeline and Multi-cultural Job Training programs; more than 25 percent secured jobs in solar panel installation, or serving as energy brokers, site surveyors, training instructors or other positions.

Under FEJA, Illinois utilities, like those in many other states, treat energy efficiency like other utility investments, and amortize them over the course of their useful lives. For example, the cost of ComEd rebates to customers for new LED lighting is amortized over the expected useful life of the new bulbs.

This allows the company to increase customer rebates and make other investments needed to achieve Illinois’ aggressive energy efficiency goals while reducing the impact on monthly bills.

FEJA will be in place through 2031 and is designed to strengthen and expand funding for Illinois’ Renewable Portfolio Standard by establishing a long-term procurement process and providing up to $220 million per year in funding for wind and solar development.

The grants are offered by the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation and United Airlines to support West Side businesses.

 
WEST SIDE — Small businesses owned by people of color on the West Side can apply for a recovery grant through Feb. 28 to help them stay afloat through the pandemic.

The Support West program will award $5,000 grants to selected businesses. The program is organized by the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation in partnership with United Airlines.

Business owners can apply for the grant on the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation website through the end of February. Recipients will be chosen in March.

Recognizing that the West Side was hit especially hard by the pandemic and economic slump, the grants aim to “assist in long-term recovery and elevate the economic corridors of West Side communities surrounding the United Center,” Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz said in a news release.

The grants will target people-of-color-owned small businesses that have 10 or fewer employees. Eligible businesses must have less than $250,000 in annual revenue. Applicants must also demonstrate a 25 percent loss in revenues due to the pandemic.

“We are pleased to partner with the Blackhawks to channel our resources to better ensure that the small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic remain a valuable part of our city when we emerge from this pandemic,” Rahsaan Johnson, director of global sponsorship activation at United, said in a news release.

The Support West grants will be a partner program to One West Side, the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation’s efforts to invest in the West Side’s nonprofit community. One West Side has committed at least $2 million to funding leadership development and neighborhood programs in the area.

Nonprofit grantees from the One West Side program include MAAFA Redemption Project, the Austin Childcare Providers Network and West Side United.

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