The Ready For 100 Chicago Collective has announced their formation as a new community coalition working to move Chicago to a 100% clean, renewable energy future, according to the Sierra Club.
The coalition is made up of dozens of community and state-based organizations, including Illinois Sierra Club, IBEW Local 134, People for Community Recovery, The Climate Reality Project Chicago Chapter, SEIU Local 1, Citizens Utility Board, and other environmental, education, youth, labor, and justice groups across Chicago.
In April 2017, the City of Chicago announced a plan to power all municipal buildings with 100% clean energy by 2025. Municipal operations constitute 8% of the city’s total electricity use. The Ready for 100 Chicago Collective was formed to advocate jointly for a just and equitable transition to a full 100% clean energy commitment for all of Chicago’s energy uses.
In a 2018 poll conducted by the Forward Illinois coalition, 92% of voters expressed support for this citywide transition to 100% clean energy.
“The Ready for 100 Chicago Collective stands ready to advocate for bold policy that will bring the greatest economic, environmental, and social benefit to communities across Chicago,” said Kyra Woods, Chicago organizer with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Action campaign. “A new energy economy can create jobs, save money through energy efficiency and phasing out fossil fuel, and empower our residents to participate in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of strategies that will most effectively address our communities’ needs. We are here to address how we power this city and who has power in this city.”
At the coalition launch this week, community members discussed how Chicago can lead on health, equity, and sustainability by powering all residences, businesses, and transportation entirely with renewable sources of energy. As the country’s third largest city, Chicago’s commitment to an equitable clean energy transition will be monumental for environmental and social justice progress.
The coalition is rising to the challenge of not only advocating for clean energy but ensuring that the transition is steeped in community values of equity and justice.
“The Ready for 100 initiative offers Chicago a community-led vision of equitable clean infrastructure modernization while prioritizing public health and workforce development,” said Frank Bergh, an electrical engineer with JustDesign Cooperative.
“SEIU Local 1, which unites 50,000 workers throughout the Midwest and 35,000 in Chicagoland, knows that without achieving environmental justice and providing clean air and water to our most vulnerable members and their communities, we cannot move forward in our fight for real economic justice. That’s why SEIU Local 1 supports a just transition to 100% Clean Energy to expand opportunity for all communities, black, white and brown,” said Theresa Yoon of SEIU Local 1.
Chicago would join 100 other cities across the U.S. already committed to an equitable transition to 100% clean, renewable energy community-wide. Chicago would be the largest city yet to make a commitment.