Clean Power Now-The Whole City Stands To Benefit If This Passes City Council

Posted on July 23rd, 2010 in Bridgeport, Chinatown, Green Housing, McKinley Park, Pilsen, South Loop, West Loop, West Town.

What if you could pick up the phone, call you Alderman/woman and influence them to move 872,000 cars from the streets of Chicago?

What if you could help stop 41 deaths a year in Chicago from air pollution?  What if you could help 18,000 cases of Asthma be relieved in Chicago?  What if you could help stop two of the largest single carbon monoxide pollution sources in Chicago by lobbying your Alderman?  Those of you on the North Side may not know that the power plants at Fisk and Crawford are polluting your air.  Your bad days of breathing, well, just blame the plants in Pilsen and Little Village.  If you have asthma, all of a sudden, thank Midwest Generation.  These plants are from 1914 and are not anywhere near the state of the art technology.  They are old, dirty coal burners dumping fine particulates all over our city that can immediately enter your blood stream they are so small.  They are smog producers and climate warmers.  There is both a health issue here and a climate warming issue.  And intertwined is an environmental justice issue.

If these plants were located in Wicker Park do you think they would still be open?  I think not.

Well this is your time.  The Chicago Clean Power Ordinance is before the city council and it’s growing in support and we must continue the momentum.  Call your Alderman, because chances are out of the 13 that have signed on as of July 21st, yours is one of the 37 who have not signed on.

If your Alderman is one of the “bad” ones like Dick Mell, Aldreman Solis or Munoz call them and ask them, How can you be on the wrong side of history and environmental justice on this one?

My office is literally 5 blocks east of Fisk station at 2202 S. Halsted.  I was diagnosed with Asthma this year.  I carry my trusty inhaler with me.  I honestly believe that my eight years in Pilsen have caught up with me.  The environmental injustice this community is treated with, has now impacted me directly.

I don’t know how Alderman Solis can have a clear conscience, not being a leader out-front on this issue.

Now I can understand Dick Mell, the rules committee chair who is sitting on this ordinance.  Or Ed Burke, who is likley upset that he didn’t get to sponsor this one like the one that went down in flames in 2002.  But how can you rationalize Alderman Solis’ opposition?  He lives here.  His family does.  His friends.  His community inhales this pollution first, they are the closest to it. And they have a lower median income than most other communities, which means he should be working that much harder to make sure they have a healthy environment and not a dirtier one.

Fisk and Crawford  coal power plants are two of eleven in the state.  What’s amazing is that these two coal power plants are the closest to this large of a population!

Other cities have built them farther away.  Others have closed them.  Not only are these two plants still operating, they  are completely outdated!

How they have been allowed to continue to dump their pollution on Pilsen, Bridgeport, McKinley park is a secret I would like to know.

Let’s try and put some daylight on that.  Could it be that Charlie Parnell, Midwest Generations lobbyist who is a co-host for Alderman Solis’ (25th ward Alderman) upcoming fundraiser, has gotten Alderman Solis and other Alderman like him so much money that they have just lost their minds?  Could it be that community groups like the Resurrection Project who rely on the Alderman to give/get them free city land to build affordable units on doesn’t want to upset the hand that feeds them?  How does the Resurrection project cry foul about “gentrification” and not about the single largest pollution source in their community!  They are not signed onto this ordinance as sponsors.  This is a group of churches and community leaders in Pilsen.  This is not right.  Someone needs to put some daylight on the connection between where the Resurrection project gets its funding/support and why they are not supporting the Fisk stations regulation and closure.

I know Alderman Solis.  I like him personally, so much so that I supported him in his last election and think he’s a thinker not a order taker.  He has been involved with UNO (which by the way what’s their position on the Clean Power Ordinance).  But you would think that driving around Pilsen each day the Alderman goes down Cermak and eyeballs those smokestacks and is concerned that the asthma rates are so high here.  You would think he has those 50,000 lungs on his mind under the age of 15 that live within a mile of this plant!

You would think that he would balance that 41 deaths a year that are caused by the power plants surrounding his community and might outweigh the 180 jobs that will be lost if these plants close (Midwest threatens this if they have to update the plants).