Environmental Justice

Tying the Green New Deal to Environmental Justice on the South Side

At a meeting in Brighton Park, the growing youth-led national Sunrise Movement made a case to local organizers

Ellen Hao

In 2018, a report from the International Panel on Climate Change warned that averting catastrophic climate change would require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” This February, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced into Congress the Green New Deal, a bold proposal to slash emissions to net zero by 2030, keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), guarantee a job for every American, and “counteract systemic injustices” by ensuring all Americans have access to clean water, air, and healthy food.

Environmental Justice | Interviews

Life in the Doughnut

Cheryl Johnson talks about growing up in Altgeld Gardens and the future of environmental justice

Quinn Myers

Altgeld Gardens and Phillip Murray Homes sit about as far south as you can go in Chicago. Wedged between Lake Calumet, West Pullman, and South Deering, the almost 1,600-unit CHA-owned development is notably isolated, removed from business districts and most public transportation options. Altgeld also lies in what has become known as the “toxic doughnut”; emissions and lingering waste from former refineries and steel mills in the area have been linked to widespread public health issues in the community, including, historically, some of the highest cancer rates in Chicago.

Development | Environmental Justice | Little Village

Tax Breaks for Hilco, Diesel Trucks for Little Village

Aldermen vote to save an industrial developer some $20 million

Eric Allix Rogers

Last Friday, City Council’s Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development voted to recommend that industrial developer Hilco receive a $19.7 million tax break from the Cook County Assessor’s Office for its controversial redevelopment plan for the former Crawford Generating Station in Little Village. The meeting was hastily scheduled—chairman Proco Joe Moreno didn’t file an agenda with the City Clerk’s office until after business hours on Wednesday. (Moreno was ousted by his 1st Ward constituents in last week’s election; his office did not respond to a request for comment about how the meeting was scheduled.)