Wednesday, August 4, 2010

PERRO holds "People's Dinner" outside Ald. Solis fundraiser...

About 20 or so people this evening attended a "People's Dinner" outside a fundraiser for Alderman Daniel Solis of the 25th Ward. While campaign contributors inside the event paid a minimum of $150 a plate to influence the Alderman, attendees of the free People's Dinner called on the alderman to place the health of residents of the 25th Ward above the influence of corporate donors, including Midwest Generation, which owns and operates the Fisk coal-fired power plant on Cermak. Stay tuned for more news coming very soon that illustrates the depth of the relationship between Solis and Midwest Generation.

You can find pictures of the event here...

Here is the press release issued earlier today for the People's Dinner...

Pilsen Residents Push Alderman Solis to Stop Coal Soot

“People’s Dinner” Held Outside Alderman Solis Fundraiser calling for Ordinance Support

CHICAGO, August 2 – Pilsen residents are gathering outside Alderman Danny Solis’ (25th Ward) exclusive fundraiser to demand that he co-sponsor the Clean Power Ordinance. The measure would clean up harmful coal soot emissions from the local Fisk coal-fired power plant, the second largest single source of pollution in Chicago. On Wednesday, August 4, the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO) and residents will hold a free “People’s Dinner” where their demands will be made.

Alderman Solis has stated he opposes the ordinance, joining the plant’s owner, Midwest Generation (a major campaign contributor), in opposing provisions of the bill that would clean up coal soot (called Particulate Matter- PM) from falling near local residents despite the evidence of the harm that PM is known to cause.

The “People’s Dinner” will be free to the public and will include a people’s agenda for discussion of policies in the best interest of the residents of the 25th Ward, such as passage of the Clean Power Ordinance and demanding that Alderman Solis co-sponsor the bill. This is in stark contrast to the expected discussion inside Alderman Solis’ fundraiser related to the interests of Solis’ campaign contributors.

"Chicago is supposedly one of the 'green-ist cities,' however, not one, but two coal-fired power plants operate within the city limits,” says Sarah Finkle, a local resident and member of PERRO. “We want a response from Alderman Solis as to why he has not co-sponsored this ordinance. It is his responsibility to maintain the welfare of this ward."

The Clean Power Ordinance would regulate PM and carbon dioxide emissions from all coal-fired power plants operating in Chicago. Studies have shown that the pollution from Chicago’s plants cause over 40 premature deaths per year and 550 emergency room visits. Furthermore, population densities surrounding the Fisk and Crawford power plants are higher than for any other power plants in the U.S. and Chicago’s two coal-fired power plants are the largest single sources of CO2.

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