Sierra Club Helps Illinois Get Cool
By a resounding 58-0 vote, the Illinois Senate passed the Illinois Cool Cities Act of 2007 on March 20. Under the act, the state will provide technical assistance to communities trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and recognize them as Cool Cities once they've adopted a reduction plan. The bill originated in discussions between Illinois Sierra Club Legislative Director Jack Darin and then-Senator-elect Linda Holmes. As Holmes began developing her legislative agenda, she asked Darin to help identify ways the state could help local governments reach their reduction goals. A meeting ensued at which Club organizer Colleen Sarna outlined the Sierra Club's Cool Cities campaign, and Holmes asked Darin to help her draft a Cool Cities Act. Illinois Chapter staff and volunteers have been lobbying for the bill ever since, and their efforts paid off in spades this month. A vote on the House version of the bill is pending.