Moving Beyond Dirty Energy

Rafael Hurtado is a student at University of Illinois- Chicago, majoring in Criminology and Urban Planning and Public Affairs. He has been a life-long resident of Little Village, and has been involved with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) on and off since high school. When a bunch of us were in Chicago for the Power Vote training in August, Rafa gave us a version of the Community Asset Toxic Tour he gives of his neighborhood as part of LVEJO's efforts to educate people about environmental justice and the harmful effects of polluting industries in Little Village.

When I spoke with Rafa last week, he had been busy preparing a press release for Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's announcement the next day of redevelopment plans for Midwest Generation’s Fisk and Crawford coal plants. Fisk and Crawford, located in Pilsen and Little Village respectively, have been recently taken offline after years of collaborative local efforts to shut them down. Rafa took the time to explain how he got involved with LVEJO and talk about LVEJO's Urban Land Campaign (which includes both Open Space and Urban Garden campaigns) and Clean Power Campaign, including some important developments.

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Recently the Tar Sands Blockade campaign in Texas has seen first-hand that when ordinary people unite we have the power to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. In the last several weeks we've delayed construction on this toxic pipeline for 2 entire days -- we did it all with good ole fashioned people power. Lets keep the momentum going! We need more people to rise up and help defend our homes.

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