Skip to content

Time to shovel the snow, Chicago

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


It’s the coldest it’s been in Chi this winter — and it’s snowy, too. It’s on all of us to clear the sidewalks, but one group is trying to change that. 

A city ordinance requires owners of the property adjacent to the sidewalk to shovel ASAP after snowfall. Better Streets Chicago is circulating a petition for the city to shovel sidewalks and alleys, an effort that started in February after 20 inches of snow fell over the month. 

The transit advocacy group says the current system leads to uneven snow removal, affecting people with disabilities and older Chicagoans most. Other cities from Toronto and Montreal to suburban Forest Park and Wilmette do it.

The group hopes the municipal plan will be adopted by December, so until then, here’s what you need to know about shoveling snow

▪️ City code says residents are responsible for clearing a five-foot path. 
▪️ But property owners aren’t liable if someone slips and falls, under state law. (You can still get fined.)
▪️ If you need help shoveling, call 311 or My Block My Hood My City

We know you’re clearing your parking spots, too. Yep, it’s dibs season. How are you saving your spot? Let us know your dibs item of choice — lawn chairs, stolen traffic cone, holiday decorations, etc. — email!

👉 Need inspo for how to call dibs? Comedian Max Thomas has some ideas.
📸 Send us pics of dibs in your neighborhood! Email
🛰️ See the snow blanket hugging Chi from the International Space Station
🥶 Stay clear of the cold: Check out warming centers, libraries, and more.


When Ariana Alejandra Gibson was growing up, she didn’t have an outlet to talk about her father who had schizophrenia. She felt shamed and stigmatized for her father’s illness, and figured others probably did too. 

She created the Stigma app, which allows users to share their personal struggles and stories, and even ask for a message of hope. 

The app partners with BRAVE, a care coordination service that connects users with mental health professionals. Gibson tells us about the app’s origins and how a social experiment in her neighborhood, Logan Square, helped her decide she needed to create it.

👉 Sign up for the app.

A banner of a virtual event about Carbini-Green this Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Register here.


▪️ You should be able to get free N95 masks at CVS, Walgreens, and other Chicago pharmacies starting this week. [NBC Chicago]

▪️ CPS defended its COVID-19 reporting after parents and alders questioned the district’s quiet changes to its tracker. [Chicago Tribune; City Cast Chicago]

▪️ Evanston selected 16 Black residents to be the first recipients of the city’s new reparations program. [WTTW]

▪️ After COVID-19 delays, construction for the $6 million Lincoln Yards megadevelopment is set to start this summer. [The Real Deal]

▪️ Help make Lawndale litter-free! [Block Club Chicago]

▪️ Want to take a stepping lesson like City Cast’s Simone Alicea? Follow along as she learns the moves and discover the history of the Chi dance.


Ever want to ask a Supreme Court justice a question? Chicago kids can. 

Sonia Sotomayor is coming to the Chicago Public Library virtually to promote her newest children’s book, “Just Help: How to Build A Better World.” On Feb. 2, she’ll be joined by author Eve Ewing to talk about the justice’s life and work, and how kids can make a change. 

Children can submit questions for Sotomayor to answer through Friday, and can email with their name and age. 

👉 Register for the event. Get a signed copy from the Book Cellar.

Not subscribed yet? Fix that 👇

Group 12 Copy 2