Photo: The Convergence featured a special panel of leaders who talked about how they helped to pass the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act. From left: Jack Darrin; Juliana Pino; Bob Hattier; Theresa Yoon; Scott Marshall (affiliations listed below). Credit: Katherine Bomboy, IATSE Local 600, @katboybna.

A special plenary panel on local and state action described the partnership that has formed among organized labor, the environmental community, social justice advocates, the faith community, and businesses to enact bold clean energy and climate action goals that will drive quality job creation, lift up communities, and protect the environment in the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois.

The panel, moderated by Susan Hurley, Executive Director of Chicago Jobs with Justice, explained how this partnership passed the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act. This compromise agreement was supported and championed by the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition and organized labor. It included substantial renewable energy and energy efficiency provisions, and ratepayer support for two economically challenged nuclear reactors. Key components included:

  • $12 Billion in renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Powers one million homes by 2021 with solar and wind energy
  • Brings “Illinois Solar For All” to disadvantaged communities
  • More energy savings and lower electric bills through expanded energy efficiency programs
  • Zero Emission Credits to support two nuclear reactors championed by the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition and organized labor

Photo credit: Edgar Franks, Community to Community Developmet, @edgarfranx

The panel listed (in photo from left to right), included a cross-section of union and environmental leaders throughout Chicago:

  • Jack Darin, the Director of the Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter, which includes 100,000 members and supporters in Illinois and is committed to building a bigger and more diverse environmental movement. Jack helped lead the negotiating team during the development of the Future Energy Jobs Act, and serves on the Steering Committee of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition.
  • Juliana Pino, the Policy Director at the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, a community-based frontline group that organizes to accomplish environmental justice and self-determination of immigrant, low-income, and working-class families and is a local, regional, and national leader on transformative, justice-focused environmental, social, land use, workforce, and economic policies. Juliana’s work includes advancing energy democracy and just transition in regulatory and policy arenas, and she was the lead negotiator for low-income programs in the Future Energy Jobs Act.
  • Bob Hattier, Business Representative with IBEW Local 134 focusing on renewable energy and energy storage. As the Master Trainer for the Illinois IBEW Renewable Energy Fund, Bob facilitates instructor and hands-on training for programs funded through the Future Energy Jobs Act.
  • Scott Marshall, Director of Steelworker Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) in Illinois and Indiana. His long ties to Steelworkers and to United Mineworkers in the South where he grew up inspires his fight for a just transition.
  • Theresa Yoon, a Strategic Researcher at SEIU Local 1, which has been on the cutting edge of building the power of low-wage workers in service industries and fighting for economic, racial, immigrant and environmental justice. SEIU Local 1 unites 50,000 workers throughout the Midwest, including janitors, security officers, airport workers, and others.