Midterm Elections, Scammers, and the Flu Trifecta

Diverse people lining up waiting for their turn to get shots in modern vaccination center

Photo: Getty Images

Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot

Earlier this month, beginning October 6th, many Cook County residents jumped at the chance to apply for the Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot. Over the course of the two weeks the application was open, over 184,000 Cook County residents applied. Cook County Board of Commissioners president Toni Preckwinkle claims that this program is the largest publicly-funded guaranteed income pilot in American history, and estimated that nearly 36% of Cook County residents would be eligible to apply. Residents eligible for the program must be at least 18 years of age, reside in Cook County, and have a household income level at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. Funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (or ARPA) has enabled Cook County to establish the $42 million Income Pilot and send monthly payments of $500 to 3,250 residents for two years with no strings attached. Today, Cook County is taking one of the first steps in the American guaranteed income movement, and has stated their plan to make this program permanent in the coming years. Payments through the Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot are expected to begin December 2022, and anyone interested in learning more can visit engagecookcounty.com/promise.

Midterm Elections

The state of Illinois will be holding midterm elections this Tuesday, November 8th. Anyone eligible to vote is encouraged to research the hot button races and head to the polls. This week on Chicago Speaks we’re breaking down who’s in the running for each open position, and what voters need to know before making their election decisions. More information on candidates and voting logistics can be found on the Chicago Speaks Midterm Voting Resource Page.

ComEd

This week Chicago Speaks is joined by ComEd, Chicago’s sole electric provider, to speak on the importance of protecting yourself from the risk of scams. ComEd customers are warned to never share account information, such as account numbers or passwords, with any suspicious individuals claiming to be ComEd employees. Scammers and imposters may contact customers to explain that their electric service will be disconnected unless payment is made, calling from a “spoofed” phone number that appears to be a ComEd number. ComEd wants to remind customers that real ComEd employees will never call or come to your home or business to sell you electricity and will never ask for payment over a prepaid cash card or cryptocurrency. If customers are ever suspicious of a potential ComEd employee’s legitimacy they may call 1-800-334-7661 to confirm their employment, and are urged to report any potential scams on the ComEd website.

Flu Trifecta

As days turn colder and we reach flu season, many Chicago residents are getting sick. Reports show that the likelihood of contracting influenza in Chicago has risen in recent weeks, but overall remains low. With the ongoing prevalence of COVID-19 and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) continuing to pose risk for residents, public health officials are encouraging citizens to take precautions against this trifecta of viruses. Vaccination is the best method of protecting oneself against contracting the flu, and thus Chicago residents aged six months and older are encouraged to contact their healthcare providers or pharmacists to arrange a vaccination appointment. Chicagoans without access to healthcare providers or vaccinations may access a schedule of City of Chicago vaccination clinics or call 311 for more information. For the most recent updates on influenza statistics in Chicago, visit the Chicago Flu Update homepage. Stay healthy!

Poetry

This Sunday, Chicago Speaks welcomes legendary poets Nikki Giovanni and Angela Jackson to speak about their art and inspirations. Currently working as a highly distinguished professor at Virginia Tech, Ms. Giovanni’s accomplishments are numerous—7 NAACP Awards, a Grammy nomination, a National Book Award finalist, and 3 books recognized as New York Times and LA Times Best Sellers are just a few of her many achievements. Illinois Poet Laureate Angela Jackson has received numerous honors for her fiction and poetry, including the 2022 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, the Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. We here at Chicago Speaks are thrilled to welcome these esteemed poets and speak more about their incredible work. Be sure to tune in to Chicago Speaks this Sunday from 6-8am on v103!


Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content