Working towards a greener Illinois ...

GTC-150903-tn.pngOK, I've got a couple of things "in progress" which should have come between this and the previous post, but "it's an imperfect world", and all, so here's a post based on September's "The Current" event down at Coalition: Energy. This time it was featuring the Illinois Environmental Council's Young Professionals Board, and their fund-raising efforts to support the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill.

In all, the speakers represented a number of organizations, and here's a bit from the websites of each. From the Illinois Environmental Council:

The Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund engages in education and outreach and provides a forum for environmentalists. The Illinois Environmental Council serves as the environmental community’s eyes, ears and voice in Springfield. The two organizations – collectively known as IEC – work together to ensure a more healthful environment for Illinois residents.
Since its founding in 1975 by a group of dedicated grassroots environmentalists, IEC has sponsored issue advocacy campaigns and projects by allowing environmental organizations to pool their resources and create a higher profile for environmental issues. Today, IEC represents 60 environmental and community organizations and nearly 300 individuals from throughout Illinois.

From the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition:

The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is made up of Illinois businesses and organizations representing the state’s environmental, business and faith communities. Coalition members are working to improve public health, help consumers, better the environment, and create tens of thousands of new clean jobs across the state.
Members of the coalition are joined in this effort by representatives from labor and industry – including business owners and representatives of the 100,000 people across the state who are employed in the clean energy sector, including the wind, solar and energy efficiency industries.
The coalition supports raising energy efficiency standards to 20% by 2025, and renewable energy standards to 35% by 2030.

And, from The Environmental Law & Policy Center:

The Environmental Law & Policy Center is the Midwest’s leading public interest environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization, and among the nation’s leaders. We develop and lead successful strategic advocacy campaigns to improve environmental quality and protect our natural resources. We are public interest environmental entrepreneurs who engage in creative business dealmaking with diverse interests to put into practice our belief that environmental progress and economic development can be achieved together. ELPC’s multidisciplinary staff of talented and experienced public interest attorneys, environmental business specialists, public policy advocates and communications specialists brings a strong and effective combination of skills to solve environmental problems.

I got a chance to sit down with Sarah Wochos, who is both the Midwest Co-Legislative director of the ELPC, and the President of the Young Professionals Board of the IEC. She gave me a general over-view of what these groups are working towards:

One thing that I found interesting in the actual presentation (that I, perhaps understandably, did not find written out on the sites), was that the proposal for the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill that is supported by the IEC and ELPC is significantly different from those being supported, separately, by the Electrical and Gas industries ... and that those bills were promoted to "benefit the shareholders" of the supporting corporate entities, while the ICJC's version was intended to promote the general welfare of Illinois' citizens.

I was surprised to find that, in the case of each of these groups, there were opportunities for the average person to get involved ... including doing bus trips down to Springfield to show support for the legislation ... do check out their web sites for more information on those programs. Of course, one of the main focuses of the presentation was on fund-raising and the Illinois Environmental Council’s Young Professionals Board has a number of things upcoming that you can participate in, including a half-marathon in late September, and a Dinner in early December ... short of signing up for these organizations, I'm guessing the best way to keep abreast of the various events would be to follow their Facebook page (hey, and while you're over there, follow ours as well!).



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