Just Transition in Chicago's Little Village


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Check out our conversation with our featured guests, Kim Wasserman-Nieto and Nancy Meza of Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, a.k.a. LVEJO.  (Bios below)

Check out this recent article about their work: The Struggle for a Just Transition of the Crawford Coal Plant in Little Village Continues

(From another piece:) "In 2011, the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization gained notoriety for its successful campaign against two coal-fired power plants owned by Midwest Generation, which were then operating in Little Village and Pilsen. A Harvard study had linked more than 40 premature deaths, 550 emergency room visits, and 2,800 asthma attacks every year to the toxic emissions from the two plants. Faced with mounting public pressure, the coal power plants finally closed in the fall 2012. More recently, LVEJO has been part of the ongoing campaign to restore full-service to the 31st Street bus route."
"Little Village now faces another environmental challenge tied to Unilever’s expansion of a new Hellman’s mayonnaise factory and distribution center on a vacant site near 28th Street and Kilbourn Avenue. Other notable Unilever brands are Ben & Jerry’s, Dove, and Lipton."  Read the full article HERE.

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We look forward to learning more from our long time friends and allies at LVEJO:

How is LVEJO organizing for decarbonization of transport in their community?

What attributes would an electrified, modernized rail system such as Solutionary Rail need to include to best serve the health and vitality of communities like Chicago's Little Village? 
 
We are thrilled to add this conversation to our growing collection of diverse insights about the intersections of Solutionary Rail with the great work allies new and old are engaged in across the country.  Check out the Solutionary Perspectives video series HERE

Forward Together!

Bill, Diane and the Solutionary Rail Team

PS - Pitch-in with a tax deductible donation to decarbonize our energy and transportation infrastructure HERE! 


Guest Bios:

KimWASSERMAN-NIETO.jpgKim Wasserman-Nieto is the Executive Director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), where she has worked since 1998. Kim joined LVEJO as an organizer and helped to organize community leaders to successfully build a new playground, community gardens, remodel of a local school park and force a local polluter to upgrade their facilities to meet current laws. As Executive Director of LVEJO, she has worked with organizers to reinstate a job access bus line, build on the recent victory of a new 23 acre park to be built in Little Village, and continue the 10 plus year campaign that won the closure of the two local coal power plants to fight for remediation and redevelopment of the sites. Mrs. Wasserman is Chair of the Illinois EJ Commission. In 2013, Mrs. Wasserman was the recipient of the Goldman Prize for North America. Her biggest accomplishment to date is raising three-community organizers aged 18, 11 and 8.




Nancy-Meza.jpgNancy Meza is the Climate Justice Organizer at LVEJO. She was born in Los Angeles, California and was raised in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. She graduated from Farragut Career Academy High School and continued her studies abroad in Puerto Rico at the University of the 
Sacred Heart for 2 years. In 2013, she began actively volunteering at LVEJO, scaling her way up and becoming part of the LVEJO family officially in 2015.


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