Environmental Justice

Environmental damage historically and presently disproportionately affects impoverished communities and communities of color, and the 11th Ward has long been the victim of reckless and irresponsible corporate and industrial practices. Extractive industry, heavy vehicle traffic, and the burning of fossil fuels have resulted in poor air, water, and soil quality, and results in reduced quality of life in communities adjacent to industrial areas. We have as a city gone without the Department of Environment since 2011 and we need a fully funded department at the city level to work with fully funded agencies at all levels of government. Auto-first infrastructure and policymaking results in increased emissions and congestion in urban centers, so we demand increased funding to our public transportation system. Neighborhoods adjacent to Chicago’s southwest industrial corridor and the stockyards along the Chicago River are contaminated with toxic metals and gases that have entered our water, soil, and air. We demand public funds be made available for soil remediation and the removal of lead pipes, creating green industry jobs for the area. We feel the effects of climate injustice in our homes, and so we support the creation of a green jobs program that focuses on retrofitting existing housing stock to decarbonize and weatherize appropriately. Additionally, we support the decarbonization of local industries, including our local utility providers and believe in holding these providers accountable to Chicagoans by making them democratically controlled and a human right, regardless of ability to pay.