The Cook County Forest Preserve District contains 70,000 acres of forests, prairies, wetlands, streams, and lakes. It is home to thousands of plants and animals, including over one hundred threatened and endangered species.
The growing threat of climate change means we need to take bold action to protect our natural resources and ensure we have access to clean air and water for generations. That is why I support a Green New Deal (GND) for Cook County.
A Green New Deal for Cook County would seek to preserve and expand the Cook County Forest Preserves' unique biodiversity while creating good-paying, union jobs. It also means ending our reliance on fossil fuels by increasing funding toward sustainable energy and sustainable mass public transportation throughout Cook County.
As Commissioner, I will work toward a Green New Deal by:
- Increasing funding for Forest Preserve Conservation Corps jobs.
The Cook County Forest Preserve District contains 70,000 acres of forests, prairies, wetlands, streams, and lakes. It is home to thousands of plants and animals, including over one hundred threatened and endangered species. We must invest in our future and protect our ecological biodiversity by restoring woods and prairies while creating meaningful, good-paying jobs in underserved communities.
- Increasing mass public transit funding and reduce vehicle miles traveled.
Transportation is the number one source of emissions in Chicago, Cook County, and the United States. Cook County should set a goal to reduce vehicular miles traveled by increasing our transportation budget to support mass public transit and biking.
- Making PACE & CTA bus service faster, more extensive, reliable, and electric.
Cook County should build upon the success of the Bus-on-Shoulder program which allows PACE buses to drive on the shoulder of expressways at relatively low costs by working with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), and PACE to incorporate more bus-only lanes on interstates throughout the County.
I will work with the County Department of Transportation and Highways (DOTH), CTA, and PACE to expand routes with Express Bus service and Bus priority lanes to increase access to jobs from underserved transit deserts throughout Chicago and suburban Cook County.
I will also advocate that we fast-track our transition to a zero-emission PACE bus fleet from the year 2040 to 2030.
- Investing in energy-saving home improvements and renewable technologies.
Cook County should make significant investments in 21st-century energy-saving improvements like solar panel installations, and adding insulation into existing homes throughout Chicago and Cook County. This will help current residents cut down on energy bill costs and afford to stay in their homes and their communities.
- Fighting for environmental justice.
We must confront environmental racism if we are to fight for a safe and habitable planet for everyone. I will lead on efforts to address issues such as lead in drinking water and toxic air pollution caused by industrial pollution and increased truck traffic around warehouses that is causing asthma and other health problems in black and Latino communities.