Afternoon Edition: What you should know about the city’s heat ordinance

By Chicago 10 Min Read

Good afternoon, Chicago.

You’ve heard the old cliche: Chicago is a city of neighborhoods.

And it’s true in many ways — from the businesses, to the murals, to the people and the accents that make your neighborhood feel like home. It’s also why it’s safe to say that no one knows your neighborhood like you do. 

That’s why we’re teaming up with the Center for Contemporary Photography to get your point of view on your neighborhood — with a focus on how environmental issues have impacted your community. 

Below, we’ll detail our POV project.👇

Plus, we review the city’s heat ordinance, fill you in on the latest trouble at Halas Hall, explain why more Chicagoans are sewing and much more.

Thanks for spending a little bit of your afternoon with us.

⏱️: A 7-minute read

— Matt Moore, newsletter reporter (@MattKenMoore)


What you should know about the city’s heat ordinance

Reporting by Elvia Malagón and Justin Myers

How warm your home should be: For renters throughout the city, your landlord is required to keep the building at 68 degrees between Sept. 15 until June 1. That’s according to the city’s heat ordinance, which spells out a municipal code that regulates how much heat landlords are required to maintain during the cold months.

What to do if your apartment is cold: Document the situation as much as possible. That includes calling the city’s 311 system to report the lack of heat in your building, requesting a building inspection and documenting the reference number for the report. You can also document the temperatures at different times of the day over the course of several days and take photos of the thermometer. Notify your landlord about the issue in writing as soon as possible. 

If you plan to withhold rent: If you’re taking this route, write a letter — which includes citing the city ordinance — and deliver it to the landlord before withholding rent. A reasonable amount of rent can be withheld if the building owner doesn’t remedy the issue within 24 hours of being notified of it by the tenant. The rules governing when a tenant can do this are part of the city’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance.




David Walker had been the Bears running backs coach since 2022.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

  • Bears drop RB coach: The Bears fired running backs coach David Walker as a result of workplace conduct. Walker is the second coach on Matt Eberflus’ staff to leave this season for non-football reasons.
  • Taxpayer watchdog group on city’s migrant plan: The City Council was advised Wednesday by the Civic Federation to develop a contingency plan to bankroll the migrant crisis and a long-term plan — with “additional stable revenue sources” — to support city employee pensions and sustain spending that ballooned during the pandemic.
  • CME trader remembered: Alice Kelley was a pioneer in the male-dominated world of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, someone experienced traders knew and respected. She died last month at age 73.
  • MacKenzie Scott makes another donation: Community health nonprofit Aunt Martha’s received a surprise $9 million donation Tuesday from billionaire MacKenzie Scott. It is one of several major donations Scott has made to Chicago organizations within the last year.
  • Chicago restaurants recognized: Chicago’s restaurant community has five reasons to celebrate today, as the Michelin Guide announced its 2023 recipients of Bib Gourmands — restaurants that “offer a three-course meal at a reasonable price” — in the Windy City. Logan Square’s Cellar Door Provisions and Union are among the new honorees.
  • 3 stars for ‘Priscilla’: The title role should make a star of Cailee Spaeny, subtle in her portrayal of the girl who met Elvis at 14 and fell under his spell, writes Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper.


We want to see the environment through your eyes


A photo of the East Side industrial landscape from the 106th Street bridge on the Calumet River taken by a neighborhood resident.

Jessenia Prado/Provided

Are you passionate about the environment and photography? We invite you to join our community project.

We aim to raise awareness about Chicago environmental issues through the power of photography.

The Sun-Times and The Center for Contemporary Photography are working to shed light on environmental challenges facing our communities, particularly on the South and West sides of Chicago. We’re handing out cameras to residents who want to visually express their daily experiences and how they’re affected by pollution and other environmental stresses.

Here are some examples of what we’re looking for:

View from your window: Show us the view from the windows in your house at different times of the day. Capture how the environment looks and feels through these pictures.

Commute to work: Take pictures from the bus window during your commute to work. Share with us the scenes you encounter.

Impact of nearby industry: Take pictures that reflect how industry affects you during the day. Show us what the source near your house looks like and express your feelings about it through pictures.

Health and pollution: If you or any family members have been sick and suspect it may be related to pollution, you may share pictures of them.

Your POV: Your photos will contribute to a powerful narrative on the environmental health of our neighborhoods. Send us a note with what you think is something that is being overlooked in your community that is harmful to your environment and what you believe can be changed for the betterment of your community.

To get started, sign up here.




Karina Alvarez makes an apron during a class for first-time sewers at Lillstreet Art Center in Ravenswood.

Manuel Martinez/WBEZ

For many Chicagoans, sewing is a new, empowering pastime

Reporting by Anna Savchenko | WBEZ

Anja Lichtenau turned a black, skull-enamored fabric into a trick-or-treat tote bag for her 8-year-old daughter at a Northwest Side sewing class.

Lichtenau, who said the steady thrumming of the sewing machine clears her head “better than any yoga,” is part of a growing community of amateur sewers enrolling in local classes in pursuit of a creative outlet. The final products sewers take home from these classes across the city vary from aprons to cosplay costumes.

Lichtenau takes lessons at the Lillstreet Art Center in Ravenswood, where instructor Nat LaChall said classes have run full for almost two years. LaChall attributes the wave of interest in sewing to the do-it-yourself culture that flourished during the pandemic and an engaged online sewing community.

Seamwork, a community resource for beginner sewers, has seen its subscriptions increase by more than 50% since the start of the pandemic. Founder Sarai Mitnick said she’s noticed more people trying to “build friendships around sewing” through online community groups like hers.

Amanda Dazo and her mother, Donna Co, said they enrolled in the beginner sewing class at Lillstreet to spend quality time together while Co visits from the Philippines. Dazo said learning to make tote bags and aprons has been empowering.

“It’s challenging, but fulfilling,” she said.



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Editor: Satchel Price
Newsletter reporter: Matt Moore
Copy editor: Angie Myers

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