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A Letter from the President

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Special to suffredin.org

 

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Cook County Government - Toni Preckwinkle - Cook County Board President

March 2021: Office of the President

Español Polski

A Letter from the President

This month, I am looking forward to progress being made in Cook County’s COVID-19 vaccination program so we can protect our loved ones and communities. We have continued to launch innovative initiatives and programs to help our residents through this difficult time, including an exciting new partnership to provide support for student loan borrowers.

March also marks Women’s History Month, our annual time of year to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women through our history. Stay tuned on Cook County’s social media channels for some special Women’s History Month content all month long.

Toni Preckwinkle Signature

Toni Preckwinkle
President, Cook County Board of Commissioners

Cook County partners with the Joyce Foundation and Summer to provide free support and assistance for student loan borrowers

Summer logo

President Preckwinkle joined Joyce Foundation Senior Program Officer Sameer Gadkaree, Summer CEO Will Sealy and Summer Head of Partner Impact Ella Saunders-Crivello to announce a new partnership to provide free advice and support for student loan borrowers across Cook County.

Summer, a certified B Corporation, helps student loan borrowers navigate and reduce their debt with innovative tools combined with a team of student loan experts. With Summer, borrowers can find, compare, and enroll in loan assistance and forgiveness programs. Thanks to a generous investment by Joyce Foundation, Cook County residents can now access Summer’s digital platform and advisory services free of charge, providing them with customized loan savings recommendations and enrollment assistance.

Cook County is the latest public-private partner to join Summer. Through partnerships with leading public sector unions, like the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and AFSCME, as well as state governments, including Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, Summer has assisted nearly 30,000 borrowers––achieving a combined total of $30 million in savings to date. All service costs are covered by organizations, employers, and nonprofit foundations.

There are no income eligibility requirements to enroll. Borrowers who were unable to graduate but still hold student loan debt are also welcome to enroll. Residents looking to learn more and enroll should visit www.meetsummer.org/il.

FEMA Vaccine Site at the United Center to open

TP at United Center

In partnership with FEMA, the White House, the State of Illinois, and the City of Chicago, Cook County announced last week that eligible Illinoisans from every part of the state will be able to be vaccinated starting March 10 at a new United Center site that prioritizes access for seniors and equity for the hardest hit populations.

The Biden Administration is opening pilot Community Vaccination Centers across the country. The United Center site will open on March 10 with the capacity to administer 6,000 doses per day, all of which will be provided directly by the federal government and not taken out of the state or city’s allotment.

The site will be by appointment only; seniors will have first access to appointments before the site opens, and if appointments remain available after seniors have had their exclusive registration period, any remaining available slots will be open to any Illinoisans eligible under the state’s guidelines. After the launch on March 10, registration will continue to be open for all Illinoisans eligible in the state’s Phase 1B+.

In addition to the United Center, Illinois has 15 state-supported mass vaccination sites already open across the state. These sites are currently open to any eligible resident via appointment. For more information on how to make an appointment to receive the vaccine, updates on the state’s plan and eligibility, and answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/ or vaccine.cookcountyil.gov

Cook County COVID-19 Vaccine Program

Vaccine program

Phase 1b includes individuals age 65 and older and essential workers such as first responders, manufacturing employees and grocery store personnel. While an estimated 600,000 suburban individuals are eligible for vaccine under Phase 1b, officials warn there is currently not adequate vaccine supply to vaccinate everyone.

Vaccinations at Cook County Health sites will be provided by appointment. Appointments for individuals in 1b can be scheduled at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov. Individuals without internet access or who need assistance scheduling can call (833) 308-1988 (from 7a.m. to 7p.m., Monday - Friday) also starting Monday. Cook County Health will only offer appointment slots based on the amount of vaccine on hand and will add appointments as new vaccine shipments arrive.

In addition to Cook County Health sites, the Cook County Department of Public Health has distributed vaccines to more than 90 partner locations including Jewel-Osco, Mariano’s, Walgreens, Federally Qualified Health Centers and hospitals who are also offering vaccines by appointment. A complete listing of these sites can be foundat www.cookcountypublichealth.org.

Residents not yet eligible for vaccine can also sign up at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov to receive updates on their phase and for information on dozens of additional vaccination sites across Cook County.

Cook County launches Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program to finance

On February 18, the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development and the Illinois Energy Conservation Authority and community partners announced the launch of the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program (C-PACE).

The C-PACE program provides long-term, fixed-rate funding to private building owners for energy efficiency projects to be installed in both existing and new commercial properties across Cook County.

Eligible properties include office buildings, hotels, retail, agricultural, non-profits, industrial buildings and multi-family properties – with five or more units. Projects must be located in Cook County to apply.

For more information or to apply for C-PACE financing, visit the Cook County website at: www.cookcountyil.gov/CPACE.

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