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Protesters Want Mayor, City Council To Pass ‘Clean Power Ordinance’

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Fisk Power Plant

The Fisk Generating Station, 1111 W. Cermak Rd. before its shutdown in 2012. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Demonstrators sang outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office at City Hall on Tuesday to make their case for passage of an ordinance that could force the closure of coal power plants in Chicago.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports that activists from the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods who want to get rid of the coal power plants in their neighborhoods sang Christmas carols altered to their cause, like “Clean Air Is Coming To Town.”

Kimberly Wasserman, director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, said the protesters are calling for passage of the “Clean Power Ordinance,” which would likely force the Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants in Chicago to switch to natural gas or close.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

“We’re here today with our “nice list,” the local aldermen who have co-sponsored or are voting yes for the Clean Power Ordinance,” Wasserman said. “But we’re also here today with our “naughty list,” those aldermen who have chosen not to vote in favor of the Clean Power Ordinance.”

Emanuel and a majority of aldermen have expressed support for the ordinance, but Wasserman said it still hasn’t received a City Council hearing.

“The problem is getting our hearing and getting this heard on the City Council floor,” she said.

Wasserman said the protest was to remind the mayor and everyone else that they want a hearing on the ordinance and they’re not going away

“What we’re asking for on behalf of our communities, what we’re asking for on behalf of our children, what we’ve been fighting for the last 10 years is clean air in Chicago,” she said. “And we think that the holiday season is a good time to remind the mayor and the aldermen of the city of Chicago of what it is that we’re asking for and how long we’ve been asking for it.”

The ordinance remains in committee and has yet to be brought up for a vote.

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