As disrespectful text messages surface, environmental groups back Southeast Side residents
CHICAGO – Yesterday, reporting by the Chicago Tribune uncovered an alarming series of text messages between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Alderperson Sue Garza regarding the ongoing fight for clean air on Chicago’s Southeast Side.
In response, the Illinois Environmental Council and the Sierra Club Illinois Chapter released the following statement:
“Clean air is never too much to ask for — or demand — particularly in a community systemically overburdened by generations of toxic pollution and negative public health outcomes. It is appalling to see Chicago’s Southeast side residents scorned by public servants entrusted with the power to determine their health and wellbeing. This community is rightly frustrated by years of disinvestment and environmental racism.
“Our organizations are called to rise in solidarity with communities of color and our partners fighting for environmental justice. We will not sit on the sidelines while Chicagoans on the Southeast Side gasp for clean air and as elected officials belittle their cries for a fundamental human need.
“We are calling for a higher standard of leadership when it comes to choosing people over polluters. After years of ignoring the concerns of the community, it is past time for the city of Chicago to do right by its residents and prioritize public health — starting with the denial of General Iron’s requested permit.”