Official Hearing: Thursday, April 21st
Students Rally for Clean Power in Chicago
Over 60 students from Colleges and Universities across the Chicago land area came together on Thursday, April 21st to show their support for the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance. ISEC was joined by other members of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition, a group of over 50 organizations dedicated to passing the ordinance.
Supporters of the ordinance arrived to find about 300 employees of Midwest Generation (wearing matching blue shirts and hard hats printed with the Midwest Gen Logo) already waiting outside of the Council Chambers. The employees were brought to Chicago from suburbs as far as Joliet by their union, the IBEW. As a result, union members packed the Council Chambers, relegating supporters of the ordinance to the hallway outside of security. Over 200 supporters of the ordinance rallied throughout the day, asking to be let in to the hearing. Although the students and other supporters were frustrated that they were unable to make their presence known in the council chamber, they made sure that the media heard both sides of the story by leading chants in the second floor lobby, and by holding a die in to represent the over 40 premature deaths that the plants cause each year. Those few who did make it inside one of the hearing rooms listened to hours of testimony by the City of Chicago, attorneys from Midwest Generation, and representatives of local environmental organizations.
The Ordinance was not brought up for a vote at the hearing, which means that this legislative effort will continue into the new administration and city council. However, it’s clear that public support for, and awareness of, this Ordinance is stronger than ever.