May News from the Illinois Green Party
As reported in our last newsletter, we are still in a struggle to defeat Illinois House Bill 1633 in the State Senate. Thank you to all who filed witness slips or contacted your State Senator to urge a “no” vote.
Unfortunately, the fight is not yet over. Proponents of the bill continue to work behind the scenes to extend the deadline for passage. They schedule committee hearings, then cancel them at the last minute, then reschedule them again, in a kind of deliberate “whack a mole” strategy to frustrate opponents of the bill -- who do not have full-time lobbyists living in Springfield. They are maneuvering to have a vote taken when opponents and their spokespeople are not at the hearing.
As of this moment, HB 1633 is set for a hearing before a special subcommittee of the Senate’s Criminal Law Committee, and the full Committee itself, on Tuesday, May 28th, at 10 a.m. If you see your own State Senator on the list of Committee members at the above link, please click on the link for your Senator and contact your Senator right away to express your opposition.
Even if your State Senator is not on the Committee, we ask you to please file witness slips opposing the bill, at both hearings. If you have never filled out a witness slip before, it is best to first create an account by registering here. This is a short and easy process. However, you can also fill out a witness slip as an unregistered user, by following the procedure described beginning on page 21 of this user manual.
Also, the groups opposing HB 1633 are asking constituents to contact the following committee members to urge a NO vote:
It’s possible that proponents of HB 1633 may reschedule the hearing yet again, right up until the end of the session on May 31st. The easiest way to stay on top of the legislation and respond is to continue to track the bill, and the notice of hearings for the committee, on the ILGA website.
Illinois Green Party Endorses HR 763: The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act
During our May ILGP Coordinating Committee Meeting, the members voted to support HR 763, the Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act, just been reintroduced in Congress. The bill would implement a Carbon Fee and Dividend Plan, which the ILGP has included in its platform for years. Although this version is not quite what we had in mind -- we have concerns about the bill’s exemptions for agriculture and military emissions -- it is endorsed by the Citizens Climate Lobby, and the ILGP Coordinating Committee concluded that bill would at least help achieve a small part of what is needed to address the climate crisis.
We also endorsed HB 2040 in the Illinois General Assembly, which extends the current ban in Illinois on private prisons. We are pleased to note that this bill passed both houses of the legislature and is currently awaiting the governor’s signature.
Illinois Green Elected Official Peter Schwartzman Co-Authors New Book: The Earth Is Not For Sale
Our own Peter Schwartzman -- an elected alderman of the City of Galesburg, and professor of Environmental Studies at Knox College -- is out with a new book containing a vitally important message: There are real solutions to life-threatening problems like the climate crisis, world hunger and the collapse of our eco-system. He also maintains that pessimism is uncalled for – what is needed is urgent focused action to transform our social structure, energy systems and food production and distribution systems. Those are some of the central themes of The Earth Is Not For Sale, a book he co-authored with his father and fellow Green David Schwartzman, a Howard University professor emeritus, biogeochemist, environmental scientist and active member of the DC Statehood Green Party.
One reviewer writes: “The book offers a critique of fossil fuel dependent capitalist energy policy which, from its origins in the 18th century through to the present has developed as a system of production which puts profits above all else, with control over labor and the commodification of natural resources as an inevitable result. The consequence of this is both the destruction of the natural environment endangering the biodiversity of our planet and extremes on inequality that force nearly a billion people to live in hunger and want notwithstanding economic growth and levels of food production that could meet all human needs. The Earth is Not for Sale, however, also critiques those who put forward a de-mobilizing pessimism rooted in the notion that climate change has reached the point where there is nothing we can do – or – more to the point, that the future will necessarily entail acceptance of food and energy scarcity, that the vast majority of the world will never be able to enjoy more of life than a struggle to survive. “
To their credit, the authors have not put their book for sale on Amazon. It is, however, available here.
Would You Like to Serve on Our Coordinating Committee?
You, too, can be “the life of the party”! The Green Party, that is. In between membership meetings or conventions, our Coordinating Committee helps set the party’s direction and priorities. Under our By-Laws, if you have been a duespaying ILGP member (see below) for the previous 6 months and submit a formal request for the designation to the Executive Committee, you, too can be a participant. The Coordinating Committee meets by phone conference on the third Sunday of each month, at 8 p.m. To submit a request to become a Coordinator, just send your request in to [email protected] and/or [email protected]
Shawnee Green Party presents The Climate Crisis Worsens: Cause and Effects
When: Tuesday, May 28th, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: The Varsity Center, 418 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale
Join us for an informative presentation and discussion on the topic of climate change by former Green Party Chair, attorney and anti-fracking activist Vito Mastrangelo.
Our current global situation is being referred to as “an emergency", “an extreme catastrophe”, and "a climate crisis". Modern-day prophets---the scientists who study the climate---are in agreement that humans are causing this crisis. Thus far, efforts to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions have not made enough progress fast enough.
According to Bill McKibben, cofounder of 350.org, global warming cannot be stopped, but if we work with “real diligence," we can limit it so that “it doesn’t undermine the stability of our civilizations." The U.N.'s International Panel on Climate Change recently concluded that we only have 12 years to avoid catastrophic results. We humans have already increased the global temperature 1 degree Celsius.
Fossil fuels are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. The transition to renewable forms of energy is underway, but with only mixed results. The United States recently surpassed Saudi Arabia as the largest global producer of crude oil. The wide use of horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", has played a large part in the U.S.'s increased output.
Inform yourself. Learn what you can do.
The Shawnee Green Party hosts public forums or educational events on the 4th Tuesday of every month at the same time and venue. Our regular business meetings are now held on the second Wednesday of each month, at the Carbondale Township Hall, Carbondale Township Hall, 217 East Main St. (back entrance, through the green door), at 6:30 p.m.
When: Monday, June 3rd at 7:00pm
Where: The Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 Lincoln Ave., Chicago
For more info: cookcountygreenparty.org
Let's support Citizens' Climate Lobby on their national call-in day!
The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act has been introduced into Congress, but it needs more co-sponsers! So far, only Dan Lipinsky, Jan Schakowsky and Robin Kelly have co-sponsored from Illinois. Call your Representative on Wednesday, June 5th and ask them to co-sponsor the bill. If they already have co-sponsored, call them anyway and thank them.
The Illinois Green Party endorsed the CCL Carbon Fee and Dividend plan a few years ago. This bill embodies that plan. For more information about it, go to https://energyinnovation.org/
50th Ward Green Party Meeting
When: Sunday, June 9, at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Home of George Milkowski, 3026 W. Chase, Chicago.
For more information, call 773-262-7026 or contact us at [email protected].
The DuPage Greens are finally moving into the 21st century and we need your support and generosity! We are upgrading our conference room to start using a flat panel TV screen to project our meeting information. This will make our meetings much more effective and more green, as we will be able to avoid printing costs.
All we need is another $250 in donations for the flat panel TV screen to make this happen. We have already received donations to cover the cost of the flat panel wall mount, Chromecast, and a long HDMI cable in case a presenter encounters Chromcasting issues. If you can contribute $100, $50, $25, $10, $5, or more or less to help us achieve our goal it would be greatly appreciated! Simply go to our donations page (dupagegreens.org/donate/) and take a pause for the cause to contribute at the level best for you!
Get the latest fundraising results at dupagegreens.org/2019/05/dupage-greens-flat-panel-fundraiser
Contact: Steve Alesch, DuPage Greens Political Director, [email protected], 630-779-8295
Reminder: If you have not already done so, please become a dues paying member of the Illinois Green Party.
Becoming a duespaying member is a requirement for participating in our decision-making. We are a grass-roots party and we rely on member contributions – no corporate funding allowed – to finance our activities. This is the party that fights for you, but we ask you to support it. A political party is only as strong as its members make it, by what they do or fail to do. For “us” to succeed, you need to be an active part of “us.” We are not asking a lot – standard dues are just $60 a year, and only $12 a year for persons of low-income – but we do ask you to make this modest contribution to help our efforts to build a better future for all Illinoisans.
Illinois Green Party Outreach