Ricardo Munoz has been trying for months to persuade his fellow alderman, Danny Solis, to sign on as a sponsor of the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance. Munoz and Solis represent the two coal-burning power plants the ordinance aims to clean up: the Crawford plant, in Pilsen, is in Munoz’s 22nd Ward. The Fisk plant, in Pilsen, is in Solis’s 25th Ward.
The plants are the largest producers of greenhouse gases in Chicago, and are blamed for causing childhood asthma in their neighborhoods. The Clean Power Ordinance would force them to convert to gas or shut down.
Munoz signed onto the ordinance last August. Solis, who has taken $50,000 in campaign contributions from the plants’ owner, Midwest Generation, resisted, even after environmental activists picketed one of his fundraisers. According to Progress Illinois, “Solis insisted that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency was better suited to regulate emissions and noted the federal government may regulate carbon emissions.”
An aldermanic colleague and a protest campaign couldn’t sway Solis, but the voters did. His opponents in the Feb. 22, Ambrosio Medrano Jr. and Cuauhtemoc Morfin, both made the Clean Power Ordinance a pillar of their campaign platforms. Solis missed winning outright by fewer than 100 votes. Now that he’s in a runoff with Morfin, Solis has “changed his position” on the ordinance, reports Early and Often. Munoz and Solis were key sponsors, since aldermen generally defer to each other on ward issues.
Earlier in the campaign, Morfin called the Clean Power Ordinance “one of my priority issues and it should be a priority issue for the current alderman.” Even if Morfin loses this election, his campaign may succeed in cleaning up Pilsen.
Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!