On April 22, hundreds of citizens from across the state descended on the Capitol in Springfield to celebrate Earth Day. The Sierra Club partnered with dozens of allies to hold the 2015 Environmental Earth Day Rally and Lobby Day. Some of the biggest successes of the day were:
– 500 citizen activists marching for clean energy and the climate
– 4 new co-sponsors added to the Illinois Clean Jobs bill that day, and many more in the days since!
– 800+ hand-written letters delivered to legislators
– 1000+ petitions delivered to legislators
– Our hash tag #CleanJobsIL trended on twitter in Illinois
– Dozens of press hits including some great television coverage
The main event was a huge rally on the Capitol steps in support of the Illinois Clean Jobs legislation. Emceed by Pastor Booker Vance, Policy Director at Faith in Place, the rally featured inspiring speeches from our bi-partisan bills’ chief sponsors in the Senate and House as well as many of our co-sponsors. Also on the speaker lineup was Jack Darin, Sierra Club Illinois Chapter Director; Michele Knox, owner, Wind Solar USA; Laura Asher, mom and Chair of Piasa Palisades Group Sierra Club; and high school junior at Northside Prep in Chicago, Maria Sanchez.
Between the rousing and impassioned speeches, rally participants, clad in green t-shirts and carrying colorful signs, kept things energized with spirited chants demanding Clean Jobs and Climate Action NOW! Meanwhile, the Solar Beatz van kept the tunes rolling and the microphones amplified all with the power of the sun.
The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill:
– prioritizes energy efficiency to save consumers money while creating thousands of new jobs;
– ramps up renewable energy from the sun and wind, also creating new jobs;
– authorizes the Illinois Environemental Protection Agency to develop market mechanisms to limit carbon pollution.
The benefits from the Clean Jobs bill will be immense: 32,000 new clean energy jobs each year, consumer savings, improved public health, and greater climate stability. For more information about the Clean Job bill visit the Clean Jobs Coalition website.
For more press about the rally and the Clean Jobs Bill, see:
WCIA-TV Springfield (IL) – Earth Day protestors call for Clean Jobs Bill
WAND-TV Springfield (IL) – Supporters Rally for Illinois Clean Jobs Bill
WBGZ-AM Alton (IL) – Alton Group Lobbies For Clean Jobs
WMBD-AM Peoria (IL) – Peorians Rally For Clean Energy
WBEZ-FM Chicago (IL) – Interview with Illinois Environmental Leaders
Illinois Radio Network (IL) – CUB Touts Clean Energy Bill
Champaign News Gazette (IL) – Happy Earth Day