On December 2, more than 100 volunteers with the Chicago Clean Power campaign converged on City Hall to deliver a wall of photo petitions to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The photographs in the petition featured children, families, and other Chicagoans holding up signs saying, “I have the right to breathe clean air.” Below, ralliers at a press conference outside City Hall before the photo petition was delivered to the mayor.
The Sierra Club is one of the charter members of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition. For the past three months volunteers have been collecting hundreds of photo petitions on college campuses, at local events, and mainly while canvassing on doorsteps and street corners in the Pilsen and Bridgeport neighborhoods of Southwest Chicago.
Pilsen and the adjacent neighborhood of Little Village are home to the city's two dirtiest power plants: the Fisk and Crawford Generating Stations. The Sierra Club and its allies have waged a multi-year campaign to shutter Fisk and Crawford.
"Today we demanded that the Mayor set retirement dates for the Fisk and Crawford plants by the end of the year," says Sierra Club organizer Christine Nannicelli, below, who played a key role in collecting petition photos and putting the event together.
"It was awesome to see the coalition in action," says Verena Owen, a longtime Illinois Chapter clean leader and now volunteer co-lead of the Beyond Coal Campaign, who attended the rally. "This is what people power looks like."