Among my first priorities as a legislator would be to ensure that the Clean Energy Jobs Act is implemented and that the funding for training people in clean energy jobs is appropriated. I agree with the call for Illinois to be 100% renewable energy by 2050. I will work with environmental advocates to sponsor and support legislation that ensures Illinois meets that goal. I would like to see training for clean energy jobs be implemented in Illinois prisons so that when individuals return to society, they bring with them marketable skills to improve the living conditions of people within their communities.
I believe that a clean, abundant water supply is the lifeblood of public health and the economic vitality of the entire metropolitan area. Yet our infrastructure is, in some cases, more than 100 years old. We have to match the vision and wisdom of those planners and revamp our water infrastructure for the 21st century. This will create thousands of new, important and well-paying jobs. I would support Water 2050: Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply/Demand Plan, which is the official water supply/demand plan for the 11-county northeastern Illinois planning area. We have to recognize that our infrastructure is insufficient and in need of immediate attention. I have been concerned about lead exposure for many years, specifically the impact that it has on children and their ability to develop and learn.
As I anticipate increasing my travel to Springfield from Chicago, I look forward to the completion of high-speed rail, recognizing that the current work does not truly meet high-speed rail standards. Nevertheless, higher speed rail should be subsidized and encouraged to ensure reductions in greenhouse gasses from automobiles and enhance the economies of cities connected by rail improvements.
I believe that the principle of environmental justice requires that no segment of the population, regardless of race, national origin, age, or income, should bear disproportionately high or adverse effects of environmental pollution. I will support strengthening the Illinois Environmental Justice Commission’s role to ensure vulnerable communities are not adversely impacted.