With the Illinois General Assembly taking a two-week break before the month-long sprint to the end of the legislative session on May 19, it’s clearer to me than ever that getting more people involved makes all the difference in protecting our environment. Progress can be slow or not move as far as we’d like, but your actions matter, and we need you to keep it up.
I am sharing a couple of stories from this session demonstrating the importance of grassroots involvement in our work.
Banning Toxic Foam Foodware – Illinois is on its way to becoming the next state to ban polystyrene (aka foam foodware/styrofoam) because Illinoisans who care decided to take action for significant change. IEC has been a proud founding member of the Coalition for Plastic Reduction. Frustrated by the General Assembly’s lack of momentum on reducing plastic pollution in recent years, the coalition decided to flex our people power, scheduling constituent meetings with influential legislators over the last year. This individual contact has paid off, and HB2376 advanced in the House and is now headed to the State Senate. I am confident that this progress wouldn’t have been possible without the direct involvement of these concerned Illinoisans.
The Illinois State Senate will be a significant hurdle to cross. Click here to let your state senator know that you want them to vote YES on this important piece of legislation to move us in the right direction on tackling our single-use plastic crisis.
Weakening the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan – A lawmaker, frustrated with challenges faced by a constituent whose solar project lost siting consideration points, attempted to rectify the situation with a bill that would prevent conservation opportunity area designations established in the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan from being used in decisions made by any local or state government. This didn’t sit well with conservationists, who filed over 350 witness slips opposing the bill in less than 24 hours. Thanks to the folks that took action, the lawmaker backed down and worked with us on a plan that didn’t weaken the wildlife action plan.
Constituent action combined with the lobbying and the relationships of IEC and our affiliates is what makes our movement strong. While we don’t win every time, your involvement has made our movement a powerful force within the Illinois State Capitol.
Please continue taking action when we alert you by filling out our action alerts, calling your lawmakers, filing witness slips when directed, and above all – be sure to join us for our in-person Environmental Lobby Day on April 19 in Springfield by registering here.
Thank you for all you do, and let’s keep up our efforts to build power for people and the environment together!
In action together,