Clean Power Lake County Members March for Climate Action on Trump's 100th Day in Office
CHICAGO (April 29, 2017)--More than 60 people from Waukegan and surrounding Lake County communities joined thousands of people in Chicago on Saturday, April 29, for the People's Climate March to demand climate action and social justice.
Speakers during a rally at Federal Plaza called on Gov. Bruce Rauner to take bold action to address the multifaceted crisis at hand. Their priority demands included committing Illinois to a just transition to 100% clean, renewable energy; ensuring clean energy jobs and resources are available to economically disadvantaged communities, communities of color, and communities economically dependent on the fossil fuel industry; and ensuring that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are well-funded, proactive, and prioritize the health and involvement of communities.
Among the speakers was Octavius Hayes, a Waukegan resident representing Clean Power Lake County, a grassroots coalition working to build a clean energy future for the county.
"[We're here] to send a message to the Trump administration and the world that our climate, our health and our communities are not for sale," Hayes said. "For too long, economically disadvantaged communities of color have had to bear the direct cost and consequences of polluting industries that continue to make profits while contaminating our air, our water, our land and robbing our planet of a healthier future. My fellow community members and I know a better future for our community and our planet exists. It is possible. We--all of us here today and the thousands marching across the country with us--will be the ones to build it."
Adding their voices to those of Clean Power Lake County volunteers were three local officials known as environmental champions.
Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois' 10th congressional district traveled into the city with Clean Power Lake County members and escorted them to the rally point.
Lisa May and David Villalobos, aldermen from Waukegan, attended the rally and marched up State Street alongside their constituents to Trump Tower.
At Trump Tower, demonstrators held hands along the south bank of the Chicago River to symbolize the protection of our air, water, land, and communities.
More than 80 groups supported the local march, one of hundreds held across the country on Saturday.
The Clean Power Lake County Campaign aims to bring community members together to build a just future based on clean air, clean water, and a revitalized lakefront in Lake County. The coalition consists of Christ Episcopal Church of Waukegan, Environmental Law & Policy Center, the Exchange Club of North Chicago, Faith in Place, Father Gary Graf Center, Incinerator Free Lake County, Lake County Bike Project, League of Women Voters-Lake County, Moms Clean Air Force-Illinois, Most Blessed Trinity Parish of Waukegan, NAACP-Lake County Branch, Organizing for Action-Lake/McHenry Chapter, Respiratory Health Association, Sierra Club Woods & Wetlands Group, Tufo Art, and Waukegan Community Church.