(written by UCAN member, Angela Li)
Last Wednesday, Februrary 15th, several UCANers joined an effort at Chicago’s City Hall to pressure Mayor Emanuel to take action with the Clean Power Ordinance to shut down Fisk and Crawford coal plants. Also present were activists from the Pilsen Alliance, Chicago Respiratory Health Association, and the Southside Steelworkers Union. During a press conference attended by local TV stations, activists (including Grace Pai, UCAN’s very own Assistant Director!) spoke about the harmful impacts of coal plants on human health and Chicago communities. Grace emphasized the importance of our generation taking action to improve conditions for the future.
After the press conference, activists continued their efforts by sitting in on the City Hall meeting, where Alderman Daniel Solis (25th Ward) made an announcement about the Clean Power Ordinance. During the meeting, 42 activists wearing red T-shirts stood up in a gesture to represent the 42 deaths caused yearly by air pollution from Fisk and Crawford, according to the Clean Air Task Force.
Our efforts really paid off: this week, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mayor Emanuel is pressuring Midwest Generation (owner of Fisk and Crawford) to find a solution to clean up the coal plants by next week. If Midwest Generation fails to do so, Emanuel’s allies in the City Council will push an ordinance that could close down the coal plants within two years.
See also: UCAN’s City Hall Action featured in the Chicago Maroon!!
Update: Thanks to our efforts, Fisk and Crawford coal plants will be shut down! Several UCAN members attended a party in Pilsen last Saturday, where Mayor Emanuel made an appearance. Story in The Maroon: http://chicagomaroon.com/2012/03/02/activists-declare-victory-over-closure-of-coal-plants/