Contacting your lawmakers is an important action you can take to push for key climate priorities and legislation. Calling or emailing your local, state, and federal officials only takes a couple of minutes, and is a simple way to make your voice heard.
Not sure where to start? We’ve assembled resources to help you find your lawmakers and locate key 2022 climate priorities and legislation needing your support:
In Illinois: Ask your State Representative and State Senator to Support Fossil Fuel Divestment by the State.
Building on the momentum of our fossil fuel divestment victory in the city of Chicago, 350 Chicago aims to have the state of Illinois divest from fossil fuel assets. Fossil fuel divestment by the State would further deprive the dirty energy industry of investment income to develop and build fossil fuel infrastructure. This is critical: the International Energy Agency (lEA) has clearly stated that the oil, gas and coal industry can no longer invest in new fossil fuel projects without doing irreversible damage to the planet.
Ask your state representatives to meet with 350 Chicago volunteers to discuss fossil fuel divestment policy.
Want a sample script? You can use this:
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY/TOWN, ZIP]. I’m calling because I’m very concerned about the climate crisis, and want to urge [Representative/Senator NAME] to meet with 350 Chicago’s fossil fuel divestment team about legislation requiring the state of Illinois to divest from fossil fuel assets. I also ask that [Representative/Senator NAME] work to bring the bill to a hearing after introduction. Other states have already committed to divesting from fossil fuels, and Chicago recently did as well. I hope that Illinois will be next. Thank you!
Want to make additional climate-related requests of your state reps?
See the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC)’s 2022 Priority Legislation list and the IEC’s Action Alerts for more ideas.
(Find your State Senator and State Representative contact info here.)
In Chicago: Ask your Alderperson to Support the Transition to Clean Energy in the City.
Chicago has made many climate commitments; let’s help the City move from commitments to action. For example, in 2019, the Chicago City Council passed a resolution committing to a clean energy transition, calling for buildings to be powered by renewable sources by 2035 and for converting Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses to electric versions by 2040. In 2022, the City also created a Climate Action Plan, with a goal to reduce carbon emissions 62% by 2040. Now, Chicago must follow up with actual legislation, turning the City’s clean energy commitments into reality.
Ask your alderperson to pass potential legislation to advance climate solutions, including:
- Legislation focusing on building performance standards, requiring existing buildings to make energy efficiency improvements; making new buildings be constructed for all electric heating/cooling and appliances.
- Legislation mandating that buildings in Chicago be powered by clean energy, including through solar and electricity aggregation agreements between the City and renewable energy suppliers.
- Legislation focusing on transitioning fossil-fuel powered vehicles to clean electric versions, including City fleets, CTA buses, semi-trucks, delivery trucks, and personal vehicles. Among other things, this includes increasing the number of vehicle charging stations in the City and helping small multi-unit and single family homes be eligible for EV readiness programs.
Bring Chicago’s Department of the Environment Back
From the Illinois Environmental Council: “A decade ago, the City of Chicago under the Emanuel administration dissolved its Department of Environment, leaving a broad range of environmental issues to be dealt with across scattered and, at times, understaffed city departments. [ . . . ] From the botched demolition of the Crawford Coal Plant on the Southwest side, to increasingly concentrated industry and warehousing in environmental justice communities, to a broken recycling system, the cracks left behind by the absence of a Department of Environment are still evident and widespread.”
Follow the link below to connect with your lawmakers:
Watch this space for updates on clean energy legislation in Chicago; we’ll continue to add to this page.
(Find your Chicago Alderman/Aderwoman’s contact info here.)