The Sierra Club endorsed Toni Preckwinkle when she first ran for President of the Cook County Board four years ago. Since then, she has adopted a new sustainability plan, adopted new energy efficiency measures for county buildings, acquired new open space for our forest preserves and has shown leadership on a variety of issues.
Preckwinkle's aims for the forest preserves are clearly laid out in the recently adopted Next Century Conservation Plan.
This Plan calls for transforming the forest preserves to places that foster diversity of plants, animals and habitats and welcome diverse people. It will require expert conservation leadership and a major infusion of new resources to:
- Restore 30,000 acres to good ecological health.
- Expand the preserves to 90,000 acres (from 69,000 today).
- Dramatically increase the number of volunteer stewards.
- Create a permanent conservation corps to train a restoration workforce.
- Make the preserves inviting and accessible to everyone.
Preckwinkle also recognizes the challenge that climate disruption presents. In addition to making changes to the way the Cook County operates, Precwinkle has stood with elected officials throughout the state and region in support of President Obama's climate action plan.
Preckwinkle is also spearheading the opposition among elected officials to the Illiana expressway, which threatens the Midewin Tallgrass Prairie and will take needed infrastructure dollars away from projects throughout the state.
MWRD: Tim Bradford, Democrat
Tim Bradford will bring local government experience to MWRD. As a township administrator he has had to address local emergencies and difficulties that have arisen as a result of extreme weather events and flooding. He recognizes the need to work with local municipalities to develop programs to address stormwater and flooding problems.
Additionally as a Sierra Club member, Commissioner in the Olympia Fields Park District and through involvement with the Iron Oaks Environmental Learning Center, Bradford realizes the importance of open space in our county. MWRD is one of the largest landowning government entities in the Chicagoland region, and supports maintaining those holdings for habitat and recreation purposes.
MWRD: Cynthia Santos, Democrat
Cynthia Santos as a current commissioner supported the districtís move to disinfect effluent from all MWRD facilities, which is a huge step forward for public health and wildlife. She was also a supporter of the Districtís work to control for flooding.
She is supportive of the District engaging and being part of the solution to address invasive species in the Great Lakes and Chicago Area Waterways System. Santos understands that blocking the Asian Carp and other invasive species can be a part of a restoration of the Chicago River system that improves water quality and reduces flooding in our neighborhoods, and that investing in clean water infrastructure can create thousands of good jobs
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