2019 General Municipal Election Recap

By Mary Kay Minaghan, MKM Services

The February 26 election may be over but ballot counting continues. Mail-in ballots postmarked by election day can be counted until March 12, one week before the Board of Elections must certify the election results.

While there were more than twice the number of mail ballots requested this year, turn out on election day was lack luster. The staggering number of candidates running for Mayor contributed to the low voter turnout. Not since 1901 had Chicago voters been presented with so many choices for Mayor — 14 in total.

The April 2 election will feature run-offs in the races for Mayor, Treasurer and eight, or possibly nine, Aldermen.

In the 6th Ward, incumbent Alderman Roderick Sawyer is hanging on by just four votes. Mail ballots are still being counted and may force Alderman Sawyer into a run-off yet.  Run-offs will also take place in four wards where the incumbent opted not to seek re-election.  

Lori Lightfoot placed first in the February 26 Mayoral election with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle 8,280 votes behind her. William Daley, viewed by many to be the candidate of business, was 7,051 votes behind President Preckwinkle. Daley was the most well financed candidate, raising about $3 million more than President Preckwinkle did. The fourth place finisher, Willie Wilson, was the only other candidate to get into double digits with 10.61% of the vote.  In fact, he won more African American wards than President Preckwinkle did.

The top two candidates are already busy trying to secure Wilson’s support, who is expected to decide in a week or so. Whoever receives his endorsement will enjoy a big boost to their campaign. Suzanna Mendoza secured a significant majority of the Latino vote, despite the fact that another Hispanic, Gery Chico was in the race. On election night, President Preckwinkle’s speech signaled that this mayoral race will not be for the faint of heart. It is too early to predict who may win this contest, but one thing is for certain, on April 2 the first African American female will become Chicago’s next Mayor.

Less watched was the race for Treasurer.  This was an open seat due to the retirement of Kurt Summers.  Finishing in first place was State Representative Melissa Conyears-Ervin who received 44.3% of the vote. Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th Ward) retired from the City Council to run for this seat and placed second with 41.57%.

Representative Conyears-Ervin, with an MBA in Finance, is focused on protecting the City’s $7 billion in assets, as well as the four pension funds.  Alderman Pawar has advocated turning the City’s $7 billion in assets into a public bank of sorts to bank hard to bank commodities such as marijuana and to provide low interest loans for homes, cars and other items to low-income residents. Alderman Pawar’s plan takes the City in a very different and perhaps ill-advised direction considering the City’s current fiscal condition.

RUN-OFF RACES
SUMMARY ELECTION NIGHT RESULTS

MAYOR (OPEN SEAT)
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Jerry Joyce 7% Lost
Paul Vallas 5% Lost
Willie Wilson 11% Lost
Toni Preckwinkle 16% Run-Off
William M. Daley 15% Lost
Garry McCarthy 3% Lost
Gery Chico 6% Lost
Susana Mendoza 9% Lost
Amara Enyia 8% Lost
LaShawn Ford 1% Lost
Neal Sales-Griffen 0.3% Lost
Lori Lightfoot 18% Run-Off
Robert “Bob” Fioretti 0.8% Lost
John Kenneth Kozlar 0.4% Lost
CITY TREASURER (OPEN SEAT)
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Melissa Conyears-Ervin 45% Run-off
Ameya Pawar 42% Run-off
Peter Gariepy 14% Lost

ALDERMANIC RACES

5th WARD
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Leslie A. Hairston 49% Run-Off
William Calloway 27% Run-Off
Gabriel Piemonte 24% Lost
15th WARD
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Joseph G. Williams 9% Lost
Rafael “Rafa” Yanez 22% Run-off
Raymond A. Lopez 49% Run-off
Berto Aguayo 16% Lost
Otis Davis, Jr. 4% Lost
16th WARD
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Stephanie D. Coleman 44% Run-off
Latasha M. Sanders 9% Lost
Kenny C. Doss, II 6% Lost
Toni L. Foulkes 32% Run-off
Jeffrey L. Lewis 2% Lost
Eddie Johnson, III 7% Lost
20th WARD
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Jeanette B. Taylor 29% Lost
Nicole J. Johnson 23% Run-off
Maya Hodari 11% Run-off
Jennifer O. Maddox 5% Lost
Andre Smith 8% Lost
Dernard D. Newell 1% Lost
Quandra V. Speights 2% Lost
Kevin M. Bailey 16% Run-off
Anthony Driver, Jr. 5% Lost
25th WARD
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Hilario Dominguez 21% Lost
Alexander “Alex” Acevedo 22% Run-off
Troy Antonio Hernandez 9% Lost
Byron Sigcho-Lopez 29% Run-Off
Aida Flores 19% Lost
30th WARD
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Jessica W. Gutierrez 47% Run-Off
Ariel E. Reboyras 48% Run-Off
Edgar “Edek” Esparza 5% Lost
39th WARD
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Robert Murphy 29% Run-off
Samantha “Sam” Nugent 34% Run-off
Casey Smagala 27% Lost
Joe Duplechin 10% Lost
40th WARD
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Ugo Okere 15% Lost
Dianne Daleiden 17% Lost
Andre Vasquez 19% Run-Off
Patrick J. O’Connor 34% Run-Off
Maggie O’Keefe 15% Lost
43rd WARD
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Derek Lindblom 28% Run-Off
Michele Smith 38% Run-Off
Leslie Fox 13% Lost
Jacob Ringer 13% Lost
Steven McClellan 2% Lost
Rebecca Janowitz 5% Lost
46th WARD
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Marianne Lalonde 18% Run-Off
Erika Wozniak Francis 17% Lost
Justin Kreindler 4% Lost
James Cappleman 43% Run-Off
Angela Clay 16% Lost
Jon-Robert McDowell 2% Lost
47th WARD
Name % of Vote Won/Lost/Run-Off
Eileen Dordek 18% Lost
Angela “Angie” Maloney 5% Lost
Heather Way Kitzes 5% Lost
Michael A. Negron 21% Run-off
Matt Martin 39% Run-Off
Gus Katsafaros 2% Lost
Thomas M. Schwartzers 2% Lost
Kimball Ladien 1% Lost
Jeff Jenkins 8% Lost

 

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Governor Pritzker Delivers Budget Address

By Stephen S. Morrill, Principal of Morrill & Fiedler LLC (M&F), with contributions by Curt Fiedler

On Wednesday, February 20, Governor Pritzker delivered his inaugural budget address. According to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Governor Pritzker’s Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget totals $77 Billion in spending including state and federal funds – of that, the FY20 budget estimates receiving $38.9 billion in general state taxes and spending $38.75 billion. According to the OMB’s budget outline, the FY20 budget spends $1.49 billion more than the FY19 budget – an increase of 4%.  The Governor outlined his FY20 spending priorities, including:
  • $100 million increase in early childhood block grant
  • $375 million for K-12 education
  • $2 million to fund AP testing fees for high school students
  • $52.2 million increase for public universities and $13.9 million for community colleges
  • $30 million increase for Child Care Assistance Program
  • $250 million for homelessness prevention
  • $65 million for support services for seniors
  • $2 million for community-based violence prevention programs
  • $46.2 million to maintain Joliet and Elgin treatment centers
To pay for the increased state spending, Pritzker outlined how he plans to increase state revenues by $1.1 billion, including:
  • Sports betting ($212 million)
  • Recreational marijuana ($170 million)
  • Statewide plastic-bag tax ($20 million)
  • State vaping tax ($10 million)
  • Cigarette tax hike from $1.98 to $2.30 ($55 million)
  • New tax on medical care organization (MCO) assessment ($390 million)
  • Closing corporate tax loopholes ($94 million)
  • Phasing out private-school scholarship credit ($6 million)
  • New progressive tax rates for video gaming ($89 million)
  • Placing a cap on retailers discount ($75 million)
According to OMB’s budget summary, without the additional revenue identified above, the alternative would be to reduce state operational spending by 4% in order to have a balanced state budget.
Governor Pritzker also indicated that he will partially address the State’s pension funding issue in the FY20 budget advocating the General Assembly pass legislation to reduce pension costs, including: (a) issuing $2 billion in pension obligation bonds; (b) extending the “pension ramp” by seven years (from 2045 to 2052); and (c) selling state assets and use one-time and ongoing revenues for pension liabilities. Governor Pritzker stated in his speech that the long-term solution to the State’s funding issues is to restructure its income tax by approving a new graduated income tax, and dedicate a significant portion of that new revenue to provide additional funding for pensions. Both Democrat legislative leaders have announced support for the passage of a constitutional amendment during the 2019 spring session to have citizens vote on whether to change the Illinois Constitution in favor of a graduated income tax structure.
The full FY20 budget was filed this week in the House by Majority Leader Greg Harris – filed as 78 separate appropriations bills (HB 3717 through HB 3795; including bills for the expected capital infrastructure program). The filing of separate budget bills for each agency is a customary practice for legislative budget hearings; however, it is more likely the FY20 budget will be condensed into three to five total budget bills (appropriation of funds and implementation bills).
Not included in Governor Pritzker’s address was any indication of what revenues will be identified and used to pay for the envisioned $36 billion capital construction program.  On Thursday, February 21, the Senate Transportation Committee held a subject matter hearing to take testimony on the State’s current infrastructure needs. Within that testimony, it was determined that the State currently has $39 billion for “horizontal” infrastructure needs (roads, bridges and transit – not including airports, locks, and dams) and $23.9 billion in “vertical’ infrastructure needs for maintenance and repairs of state agencies buildings and fleets – totaling a minimum of $53 billion in identified capital infrastructure projects. It is rumored that the Governor is currently looking at the following funding options: (a) increasing the motor fuel tax; (b) increasing license and user fees; (c) creating a new “mileage” tax; (d) imposing user tax on electric vehicles; (e) broadening the state sales tax to apply to certain services – while also lowering the rate; or (f) a combination thereof.
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Save Money and Energy with the Peoples Gas Commercial and Industrial Program

The Peoples Gas Energy Efficiency Program can help your building save money and energy. The program’s energy advisors will meet with you to discuss natural gas savings measures for your building and perform a free energy assessment. In addition, you will be provided with a customized recommendation report to help identify additional energy-saving improvements that qualify for program rebates and incentives.

The quickest payback incentives available in cold weather include steam trap testing and replacement, insulation and boiler tune-ups for buildings with gas-fired heat. Steam trap projects often have a payback of less than one heating season due to the savings in natural gas, water and chemical treatment. Combined with program rebates, the payback can be as low as one month. These rebates also help insulation and boiler tune-up projects pay back in less than a year.

For steam trap testing, pre-approval is required for all projects. Before applying for steam trap testing rebates, contact the program to verify eligibility. The contractor you decide to use needs to be pre-approved by the program before work can begin. Steam traps can be tested every 36 months, so if you know that you’ve had steam trap testing done in the past, they may be eligible to be tested again. Get steam traps tested now to ensure you’re running at peak efficiency for the rest of the winter months.

Rebates are available for steam trap testing completed before March 31.

Customers can get prescriptive rebates when they install qualifying steam traps, pipe, valve and fitting insulation, boiler reset controls, demand-controlled ventilation, commercial kitchen equipment and other natural-gas-saving measures. Only new products that meet the energy efficiency specifications listed on the prescriptive application qualify. Complete terms and conditions can be found on the prescriptive application form.

Custom incentives available

If you’re interested in energy efficiency upgrades not covered by the prescriptive rebate offering, you can apply for custom incentives. Energy advisors and engineers will work with you or a contractor to calculate potential energy savings for proposed projects. Financial incentives will be offered for individual projects based on projected energy savings. Customers must receive pre-approval before equipment is purchased and projects begin.

The Peoples Gas Energy Efficiency Program can also help you optimize your systems to maximize your energy savings. The Study program is a new initiative designed to help customers identify and implement no- and low-cost measures to increase system performance.

Customers that use at least 500,000 therms annually for steam plants and/or process heating qualify. This offer is available to customers with buildings 75,000 square feet or larger seeking to optimize central heating plants and/or air handling systems equipped with building automation systems (direct digital controls systems preferred).

To learn more and start saving today, please reach out to jkimsey@franklinenergy.com or vperkins@franklinenergy.com, or visit peoplesgasrebates.com.

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Two Years In With OSHA’s Rope Descent Systems Rule Change — What We’ve Learned

By Terry McDonald, S.E., P.E, Klein & Hoffman

Across Chicagoland it’s a common sight to see window washers perched on the sides of the city’s buildings, sometime hundreds of feet above the street, at work cleaning the windows and glass façades of the city’s skyline. For the past 18 months, building owners and managers first learned about and then implemented the changes in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Final Ruling for Façade Access Equipment for General Industry — as it related to window cleaning.  What issues have surfaced as the rules were implemented?

As BOMA members learned, the ruling contained numerous regulatory updates but two sections impacted nearly every building in the Chicagoland area.  The first was the requirement  for owners to provide compliant anchorages to allow for rope descent systems (RDS), also known as bosun’s chairs, which is the most common technique for window cleaners (OSHA 1910.27(b)). This owner requirement is not stipulated for anchors used for construction purposes.

The second update was defining when fall protection is necessary along edges of low-slope roofs (OSHA 1910.28(b)(13)).

In brief, the key rule changes are:

  • Requirement of anchorage and certification of anchorage.
  • Establishment of zones based on a worker’s proximity to a roof edge and the stipulated safety measures of that zone.

What are some of the issues that building owners and property managers have encountered since implementation of the rule began?

  1. Qualified Consultants.  While difficult to find, it is recommended that owners and property managers identify qualified consultants who understand the various nuances of OSHA and can provide practical solutions.  The consultant will need to understand the design load requirements and the behavior of the existing building structure to develop the proper anchorage design.  The design should include anchors that provide adequate coverage for both rope descent and fall protection, while maintaining efficiency for the end user.
  2. Qualified Installers. Qualified installers are a must and those installers need to be prepared to deal with a range of issues.  Sometimes the rooftop conditions are not as expected.  In addition, older buildings may not have a complete set of the original structural drawings.  Once the roof is opened to install the anchor points, thick insulation or topping slab may be discovered.  To avoid surprises, some exploratory work may be needed to determine what is required to ensure a proper installation and avoid costly change orders.
  3. Inspection/Testing. For some building owners and property managers, the frequency of inspection and certification of the anchors is confusing.  A qualified consultant must certify each anchorage at least every ten years, usually by a physical load test of 5,000 pounds.  Additionally,  OSHA states a qualified person must visually inspect each anchorage annually.  Proof of certification in writing is to be submitted to the vendor prior to usage. If your building does not have compliant anchorages — or no anchors at all — new anchorages will need to be designed, installed and certified.
  4. Unbudgeted Expense. The lack of compliant anchorages, underperforming anchorages or no anchors is not uncommon especially for older buildings.  Addressing the issue can require a significant expenditure that may not be budgeted.  In that scenario, some building owners and property managers have suspended the window cleaning and live with dirty windows until the funds for the project can be allocated.

In our experience, there has been a quick and widespread response from Chicago area building owners to comply with the rule changes while other regions have not acted as rapidly.  As more of these systems are installed, updated, upgraded and certified, it’s hoped that the days when a window cleaner tied off to an air conditioning condenser, a vent, a gate or even conduit have passed into forgotten history.

Terry McDonald, S.E., P.E.  is an associate principal and a senior structural engineer at Klein & Hoffman, structural engineers and architects, and BOMA/Chicago member.

 

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BOMA/Chicago Education Committee Profile

By Susan Hammer, BOMA/Chicago Education Committee Chair and Vice President/General Manager at AMA Plaza

EC Photo 1 (10)

The BOMA/Chicago Education Committee

Sir Isaac Newton once said: “What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.”  This philosophy is what drives BOMA/Chicago’s Education Committee to develop diverse and engaging education programs for BOMA/Chicago members.

BOMA/Chicago’s Education Committee is made up of a group of seasoned professionals – both Building and Affiliate Members – who are committed to education and professional development.  The group’s mindset is that education creates value for the real estate industry and serves as the foundation for future leaders, innovators and teachers. Education also increases personal satisfaction and is a tangible way to measure achievement, while providing avenues for personal and professional growth and increasing credibility, respect and acceptance.

With a focus on designation courses, educational scholarships, Lunch & Learn programs and professional development, the Committee is always seeking out ways to encourage continuing education of building professionals on all experience levels. Over the last year, the committee has promoted designation programs to industry leaders to share the benefits of investing in designation programs for their employees.

In 2018, five RPA/FMA/HP designation courses were offered, along with the Foundations of Real Estate program. Due to our renewed promotional efforts, we experienced an average increase in enrollment this year for RPA/FMA courses of 92 percent.

Even as the committee is committed to encouraging building owners and other decision makers to support RPA/FMA programs, it is still a work in progress.  In the meantime, there are so many emerging professionals who have shown a love for real estate and property management who want to keep increasing their knowledge and professional profile but are unable to pay for the courses personally.  By offering designation scholarships, a worthy applicant can receive a full RPA along with all of the recognition of receiving the scholarship.

Over the years, applications for the designation scholarships have increased as more people have become aware of the benefits. An average of eight applications were reviewed in each of the last six years. In total, we have awarded eight Full Designation Scholarships, in addition to awarding fourteen Single Designation Course Scholarships since 2008. The Ollie Scholarship, which started in 2006, has been awarded to sixteen people. Several past recipients of this scholarship are leaders in their firms and in the Chicago real estate community, including chairing BOMA/Chicago committees.

Our Lunch & Learn programs, hosted by Affiliate Members, provide opportunities for important interactions between affiliates members and property managers and leverages the expertise of the affiliates to bring awareness of new technologies, trends, strategies, regulations and best practices. These programs are free for all members to attend and allow Affiliate Members an opportunity to share best practices and industry knowledge with our Building Members.

This year, we hosted nine Lunch & Learn programs, and experienced a 10 percent increase in attendance compared to last year. Two of our Lunch & Learn programs – BOMA 2017 Building Measurement Standards and Construction Drawings 101 – each drew over 70 attendees. Other topics included Workplace Violence Prevention, Parking repair programs, a BOMA 360 seminar and emotional intelligence.

Another Lunch & Learn seminar and regular favorite is the TOBY Best Practices program that encourages participation in the TOBY Awards Program. Over 300 people have attended this seminar since its inception in 2012. This seminar was also recognized by BOMA International and presented at the BOMA Conference in San Antonio this past year with over 80 people in attendance and will be reprised at the Conference in Salt Lake City in 2019.

All Affiliate Members are encouraged to apply to host a Lunch & Learn seminar. The Committee reviews every application to ensure the topic is relevant and the material is relatable to the audience. We also provide recommendations to the affiliates about ways to improve the presentation and help to customize the material to the audience.

The committee also makes efforts to grow our offerings year after year. This past year we have expanded from traditional presentations to providing seminars in relationship management and promoting new courses and designations such as the High Performance (HP) courses. And in May 2018, the committee launched a voluntary mentorship program for enrolled RPA/FMA designation students. The program matched four RPA/FMA students with RPA/FMA recipients with the following goals in mind: keeping students on track, working through challenges, maintaining program engagement and knowledge sharing.

EC Photo 1 (5)

Susan Hammer, BOMA/Chicago Education Committee Chair

As we all look to 2019, we are reaching out to BOMA/Chicago Board members and other industry leaders to solicit feedback about additional hot topics of interest for members. One such topics we hear about often is the development of curated programs for tenants. In the perpetual goal to retain and attract tenants, commercial real estate appears to be moving beyond the amenities race to finding unique ways to engage and involve tenants. Building occupants are becoming a community in and of itself and innovative programming is driving the culture.

Other future topics may center around how the current political climate – local, state, national and international will impact operations and investment activity. Finally, there will always be a new technology, idea, or service that will arise that will help property management teams operate buildings more efficiently and safely – even though it is not yet apparent, we need to be on the alert to present it to our members as quickly as it becomes known.

The Education Committee welcomes new ideas and feedback from all of our members. What topics are you interested in learning more about in 2019? Leave a reply below to tell us more.

 

 

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Illinois Legislative Preview

By Stephen S. Morrill, Principal of Morrill & Fiedler LLC (M&F)

Policy decisions made in Springfield greatly impact the commercial office industry and BOMA/Chicago members have an ongoing interest in Illinois election outcomes.  As a follow up to last week’s blog about the 2018 Illinois election results, this discussion will provide insight into how the election outcomes will shape the Illinois General Assembly’s agenda and future political landscape.

Veto Session Update

The first week of 2018 fall veto session began on Tuesday, November 13 and ran through Thursday, November 15; the second week will be held from November 27 through 29.  In 2018, Governor Rauner issued a total or amendatory veto to 83 pieces of legislation.  Legislative leaders and senior staff previously suggested that the veto session would focus on its key purpose of considering gubernatorial vetoes, which proved correct in its first week, where 39 vetoes were overridden either the House or the Senate.  Overrides will now “switch” houses to be voted on by the second chamber.  Substantive legislation may be taken up on a case-by-case basis, but the majority of new substantive legislation is likely to be delayed until either the January “lame duck” session (expected to be scheduled sometime between January 1, 2019 and the inauguration of the 101st General Assembly on January 9, 2019) or the 2019 spring session.

Governor-elect Pritzker will be focusing his transition into the Office of the Governor.  Pritzker has announced his Transition Committee and his administration’s Chief of Staff.  Serving as his Transition Committee Chair is Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton and campaign manager Anne Caprara will serve as Chief of Staff.  As part of the process, the Transition Committee will likely begin vetting potential candidates to serve as new state agency heads (which require Senate confirmation), members of state boards and commissions (many of which require Senate confirmation), new administration and agency general counsels, and policy and legislative staff, among other personnel decisions.  The Transition Committee will also advise on budget issues and relationship-building in the legislature.  We will continue to monitor key personnel identified by the Pritzker Transition team for key roles in state agencies and the administrative cabinet.

Lame Duck Session Preview

The “lame duck” session refers to legislative session that occurs after new legislators have been elected, but before they begin their terms in a newly convened General Assembly.  New legislators will be inaugurated at 12 pm on January 9, 2019.  If scheduled as anticipated, a “lame duck” session will occur sometime between January 1, 2019 and the inauguration on January 9, 2019, and it will be the last time that out-going legislators will vote on legislation.  The primary difference between the fall veto session and the lame duck session is that all legislation advanced during the lame duck session (including those with an immediate effective date) only requires a simple majority vote for passage (bills with an immediate effective date advanced during the veto session require super-majority votes to advance).  With at least 36 lame duck legislators able to be “free agents” regarding legislation, it is anticipated the 100th General Assembly may consider major legislation on multiple issues – the most likely being a capital infrastructure program with an associated source(s) of revenue.

2019 Spring Session Preview

While the four legislative leaders are likely to remain the same, there will be significant changes in the make-up of the leadership teams given the significant legislative retirements in all four caucuses.  Further, both chambers will need to revise the rules for each chamber, determine the number of substantive committees, and the chair/spokesman for each committee (the House will have a more difficult adjustment given the greater shift in membership).

Additionally, it is anticipated that the issues likely to dominate the 2019 session include, but are not limited to: (a) the FY20 budget – Pritzker’s initial state budget – and whether it includes any new income or sales taxes; (b) a capital infrastructure program – targeted to be significant in size, but also requires a stable funding source; (c) gaming expansion/sports betting; (d) legalization of recreational marijuana; (e) pension reform; (f) energy procurement standards; and (g) a constitutional amendment to authorize a graduated income tax.  Governor-elect Pritzker recently stated that he will not, in 2019, seek to enact a “pseudo graduated income tax” via state legislation – instead focusing on the constitutional amendment.  It is also expected that Governor-elect Pritzker and the Democratic legislative leaders will begin initial discussions on the upcoming legislative redistricting map process that must be adopted in 2020.

BOMA/Chicago’s legislative team will be involved in the General Assembly at every stage and during every session.  Members, be sure to follow the Advocate e-newsletter for updates from Springfield.

M&F has represented BOMA/Chicago before Illinois state government for many years and of counsel at Barnes & Thornburg LLP.  Also contributing to this article are Curt Fiedler, Gary Hannig, Chuck Hartke and Hannah Smith, Morrill’s colleagues at M&F. 

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Help Us Fight Hunger this Holiday Season

Make a Food or Financial Donation through December 7
By BOMA/Chicago

Each year, the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) provides meals for 1 in 6 residents living in Cook County. This translates into 810,000+ men, women and children.

GCFD_WrapperFor those of us in the CRE industry, food insecurity may be a distant thought. Many of our business discussions, meetings and transactions occur over meals. But for many people across the Chicagoland area, planning the next meal is a stressful thought. Food is weighed on a scale of importance – the question is not which restaurant to try next, but whether or not to pay for food or utilities instead.

BOMA/Chicago helps the food insecure of Chicago answer that question by rallying behind the annual GCFD Holiday Food Drive. This year marks the tenth anniversary that we have partnered with the GCFD on this initiative. During these ten years, we have collected over 740,000 pounds of food. This year, 155 BOMA/Chicago buildings have united to reach of a goal of collecting 120,000 pounds through physical and financial donations. Our generous members and their building tenants demonstrate a passion year after year to help feed Chicagoland – and because of this, we expect to exceed our 120,000-pound goal.

Civic Opera (1)

The JLL property management team at the Civic Opera Building (20 North Wacker).

We are only two weeks into the food drive and many buildings have already emptied their large donation barrels multiple times. This is the case for the Civic Opera building at 20 North Wacker (managed by JLL). Other BOMA/Chicago buildings are encouraging their tenants to host unique games and competitions to drive donations, such as the Harris Bank Building at 115 South LaSalle (managed by Hines). The Hines management team has shared great ideas with their tenants as a way to increase donations, such as Denim Days and hosting a lottery.

You can lend a helping hand by making a donation through December 7. If you want to make a physical or financial donation, visit this webpage to find a list of participating locations. You can drop of food donations at building lobbies or click on a building link to make a financial donation ($1 =3.6 pounds; $1 = 3 meals). Financial contributions are recommended, as the GCFD is able to buy nutritious food in bulk at lower prices.

For more information about the drive, including tips to engage tenants, please visit our website: https://www.bomachicago.org/get-involved/gcfd-food-drive

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