Diverse City-wide Coalition Launched to Lead 100 Percent Clean Energy Future for Chicago

Ready For 100 Chicago Collective includes community groups united in moving city to clean energy

Kyra Woods, kyra.woods@sierraclub.org or 872-903-4090

CHICAGO, IL -- On Tuesday, the Ready For 100 Chicago Collective announced their formation as a new community coalition working to move Chicago to a 100 percent clean, renewable energy future.

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 percent clean energy by 2025. Municipal operations constitute 8 percent 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 percent clean energy commitment for all of Chicago’s energy uses. In a 2018 poll conducted by the Forward Illinois coalition, 92 percent of voters expressed support for this citywide transition to 100 percent clean energy.

At the coalition launch on Tuesday evening, 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 Chicago Collective stands ready to advocate for bold policy that will bring the greatest economic, environmental, and social benefit to communities across Chicago. 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,” said Kyra Woods, Chicago organizer with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Action campaign.

“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 percent clean, renewable energy community-wide. Chicago would be the largest city yet to make a commitment.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.