Where do Politicians Stand on Green Growth Platform?
Seventeen leading environmental groups met today in downtown Chicago to release their Green Growth Platform, a set of 20 environmental questions posed to the city’s mayoral candidates that will help inform Chicago voters about where the candidates stand on important environmental issues facing the city. View the Candidates’ answers to the Green Growth Platform ››
Given that Chicago is the third largest city in the country and has a reputation of being “green,” it is crucial that this city of 3 million continues to be a leader in sustainability and pursue green initiatives that other cities across the nation adopt as their own.
Speakers talked about the need to secure cleaner energy, clean up the Chicago River, increase the amount of open space in the city, make Chicago’s notorious recycling program workable and efficient, and improve and expand Chicago’s public transportation system. Many of these issues are common goals of other cities as well.
In the question and answer portion of the event, one reporter asked how any of these initiatives would be possible considering the huge budget shortfall the city faces. The environmental group leaders responded that addressing most of the problems underlined in the platform were low-cost or no-cost solutions and that addressing many of the issues would help the city government and residents avoid costs and, in some cases, help generate revenue.
Another reporter asked why voters should prioritize sustainability issues among others, such as the economy, jobs and healthcare. Speakers responded that it’s not an either/or situation. Efforts to make the city more sustainable are also efforts to reduce costs in energy use and transportation, create jobs, and improve people’s health.
The 17 organizations involved in the Green Growth Platform include CNT and: The Active Transportation Alliance, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Blacks in Green, Chicago Recycling Coalition, Citizen Action/Illinois, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Environment Illinois, Friends of the Chicago River, Friends of the Forest Preserves, Friends of the Parks, Metropolitan Planning Council, Nuclear Energy Information Services, Openlands, Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago and Sierra Club/Illinois Chapter.
CNT has a complementary set of 22 recommendations for the city’s next mayor and council to make Chicago more economically and environmentally sustainable. While some of the recommendations are specific to Chicago, the CNT report contains many ideas that are viable and needed in any city, large or small. Download “Investing in a Better Chicago” here.