Sierra Club’s executive director Michael Brune joined nearly 100 children, parents, health experts, and local residents at Pilsen Elementary Community Academy for an asthma screening, clean air rally, and press conference. Accompanied by the Club’s two-story inflatable asthma inhaler, a Mobile C.A.R.E. van tested more than 25 neighborhood children for asthma. Sadly, the majority of the kids’ results indicated the possibility of asthma, and they were referred to a physician. Mobile C.A.R.E.’s medical director Dr. Stephanie Whyte explained that the toxic chemicals emitted by coal plants are "a contributing factor" to high asthma rates in the neighborhood.
"How much longer are we going to let Midwest Generation bully our kids?" Brune asked. "How long are we going to let them make us sick when we have solutions available today?" Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign remains part of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition, a local effort to retire Midwest Generation’s Fisk and Crawford coal plants, two of the biggest air polluters in Chicago.
Chicago’s RedEye, which has a circulation of 250,000, featured our event and clean air efforts on its front webpage (see photo), and Progress Illinois gave the event some great coverage as well.