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Announcing Our New Policy Platform!

A policy platform is a new initiative for EEC. As we work together to bring a green voice to local challenges, one of our strategic intentions is to serve as a community voice on environmental issues. Specifically, our intention is to maintain an advocacy agenda to advance and support key issues through a policy platform.


Why now

As part of our strategic intention implementation work, and with the opportunity of the 2023 local elections, we created our first ever policy platform. The practices and principles outlined are not new. They are a reorganization, refresh, and publication of what this organization has stood for since its creation in 2008. This policy platform informs our positions and efforts, shows what we stand for and support, and tells what we want our elected officials to support and do.


Since EEC and our members support the following specific practices and related legislation, we want the future Alder to support the environmental principles outlined in the platform.


We built this together

Our policy platform took input from our history, current strategic plan, past accomplishments, focus areas, guides, past and recent workshops, events and meetings. Volunteer members then created a working document and over a few months received feedback and refined the document to its current version. We received feedback in small group meetings at a local brewery, in our public monthly meetings, and through direct engagement with those interested in helping. Our platform will continue to evolve and continuously improve over time in this way; as new issues arise and we join additional coalitions and campaigns.


A big thank you, first and foremost to John, and also to Monica, Renee, Tricia, Pearse, and Katherine for leading the organizing and completing the admin work to make this real!


View our policy webpage and supporting document for full information, the main platform categories are:


THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
  • Conserve And Expand Natural Areas

  • Maintain And Improve Water Quality For All

  • Ensure Good Air Quality

  • Expand Green Waste Treatment

  • Increase Green Energy

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
  • Make Neighborhoods Green

  • Prioritize Streets For People

  • Promote Good Urban Design

  • Retrofit And Build Green

  • Make Edgewater's Economy Green

THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
  • Solidarity

  • Sustain A Just And Tolerant Neighborhood

  • Keep Edgewater Safe

  • Grow A Better Future

  • Maintain The Health Of The Community

  • Champion Economic Equality

  • Good Governance, Transparency, And Accountability



 

Policy Platform in Action:

Campaigns we support


Aligned with our platform, the following are campaigns and initiatives that EEC has signed on to and supports by membership vote. We ask that the future alderpeople (48th & 40th) join EEC in supporting - and when applicable voting for, these campaigns and policies.


City Policy & Ordinances


  • Every Chicago household deserves access to affordable, democratic, equitable, transparent and just water service.

  • Chicago’s contract with Commonwealth Edison — better known as ComEd, Chicago’s electric utility — has expired and is up for renewal for the first time in 30 years. Instead of resigning to decades more of the same, Allied organizations of this coalition believe that there is a better way forward. We’ve launched theDemocratizeComEd campaign to let the City and ComEd know that we want a future where we are in control and our power serves our City, our communities, and our people.

Building Decarbonization
  • More than two-thirds of all Chicago emissions come from our buildings, according to Chicago’s 2022 Climate Action Plan. By decarbonizing buildings we will save residents money, protect our health, and do our part to combat climate change, all while creating good jobs for Chicagoans.

Chicago 2024 Budget


  • A decade ago, the City of Chicago under the Emanuel administration dissolved its Department of Environment, leaving a broad range of environmental issues to be dealt with across scattered and, at times, understaffed City departments. It’s long past time to reestablish Chicago’s Department of Environment

  • We strongly endorse ash tree conservation in Chicago. Ash tree conservation is a cost-effective, environmentally sound approach to maintaining a fundamental component of Chicago’s green infrastructure. It has been used by the Bureau of Forestry from 2012 to 2018 to significantly reduce the rate of loss of Chicago’s ash trees which represent a substantial portion of the urban tree canopy.

Ward Actions and Policy


  • Participatory budgeting (PB) is democracy in action: with PB, community residents directly decide how to spend part of a public budget, for wards, menu money. Municipalities, counties, and cities across the globe have adopted PB, and the United Nations has promoted it as a best practice of democratic governance.

Community Zoning Process
  • A community approval process for zoning and land use changes. This process must be followed by any business owner, building owner, and/or developer seeking a change significant to the use and/or zoning of a specific site including special use permits, change of zoning, zoning variations, alley access for new developments, approval in a designated TIF area, or are Planned Developments or developments covered by the Lakefront Protection Ordinance.

Promote and support climate and environmental policies and action with the mayor’s office, city departments, and city/county/state/federal agencies.


  • Chicago continues to work toward creating resilient and sustainable communities across the city. Joining 96 cities around the world, the City of Chicago updated its Climate Action Plan in 2022 to reflect the bold action needed to protect and strengthen communities- locally and globally. The updated climate goals reduce carbon emissions while also increasing household savings, advancing environmental justice, and improving community health. Chicago is ready to strengthen partnerships and programs across the city to expand access to green space, reduce carbon emissions, and connect residents to meaningful resources and services.

  • The City of Chicago released the 2021 City of Chicago Waste Strategy, a comprehensive waste and materials management plan that overhauls the City’s waste system with the goal of decreasing waste disposal and associated negative environmental impacts; reducing costs and increasing efficiency; maximizing economic investment and workforce development opportunities; and addressing social and environmental justice inequities.

  • Thousands of Illinois residents support Indigenous Peoples' Day replacing the holiday formerly known as Columbus Day.

  • The Last Four Miles Plan would add almost 500 acres of new parks and beaches, which provide recreational and health benefits for urban dwellers. The plan would complete a single lakefront-long park to knit the city together and extend the lakefront trail for walkers, runners, and cyclists—to Evanston on the north and to the Indiana border on the south.

  • The proposed project involves improvement of seven miles of the 8-lane Lake Shore Drive boulevard, including the 12 highway junctions. Junctions are those locations where major cross streets intersect Lake Shore Drive and access is allowed to and from the Outer Drive. The project will evaluate the condition of the 22 bridges and tunnels along the Outer Drive as well as the operation of the Inner Drive.

  • We don’t want to see the continued alternatives for the revisioning of North Lake Shore Drive presented to the Edgewater community in 2019 by Refine the Drive (IDOT, CDOT, and CPD) that prioritize private vehicle flow over users of transit, cyclists, and pedestrians.

  • We support the project conditions for a complete street design on Broadway and do not support creating more road space or removing green infrastructure.

  • A plan with priority to cars over people on bikes, walking, and on public transit is in direct conflict with the values and vision for a safe and clean Edgewater.



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