Hundreds Turn Out to Support Clean Power in Chicago
The Sierra Club helped turn out an estimated 250 citizens on February 14 for an ad hoc hearing at Chicago's City Hall to support the Clean Power Ordinance, proposed by Alderman Joe Moore to address air pollution from the city's aging Fisk and Crawford coal-burning plants. Below, the Crawford plant.
Representatives from the health, environmental, and social justice communities gave testimony before a packed chamber of supporters. "It was amazing," says Sierra Club Beyond Coal organizer Christine Nannicelli, below. "The work to pass this ordinance in has brought together a broad coalition of community groups under the banner of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition."
Among the groups testifying were NRDC, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, Greenpeace, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Blacks in Green, and local groups Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization. Below, 20-year Sierra Club activist Rose Gomez, who grew up near the Crawford plant.
Tony Fuller, chair of the Chicago Sierra Club's Air and Energy Committee, also testified and helped organize the event. "The Clean Power People's Hearing allowed hundreds of people to show their support for clean energy and tell the City Council and the public at large how the ordinance would benefit them," says Fuller, below at right with Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.
Nannicelli says the Sierra Club and the Clean Energy Coalition are committed to not only cleaning up the Fisk and Crawford plants, but helping empower the communities that are most affected. "This is about the right to breathe clean air, she says. "If this ordinance passes it will have a domino effect and encourage other cities to take responsibility for their air pollution."
Nannicelli also gives a shout-out to Chicago Group activist Ryan Baker, "another key volunteer leader on this project."
Learn more about what the Sierra Club is doing to help Illinois move beyond coal.