VIDEO: Leila Mendez, a member of the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO), speaking at todays press conference on the closure of Chicago's dirty coal plants.
Today, dozens of Pilsen and Little Village residents, along with members of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition gathered across the street from the Fisk coal plant to celebrate the news that two archaic coal plants in Chicago will soon shut down.
It was an emotional day.
Reading blogs and news stories, its sometimes easy to lose sight of what phrases like these plants contribute to 42 premature deaths per year really mean. Or what standing up to a corporate polluter entails. These arent just statistics or turns of phrase. These words represent real struggle and sacrifice families losing loved ones, or family time interrupted because a parent needs to march in the street or speak in front of her city council member.
And then theres that moment when you realize that your actions and words changed the world.
The above clip captures that moment.
Kelly Mitchell is the Energy Campaign Director for Greenpeace, based in Chicago. Since 2006, she has worked with activists and organizations across the country to confront corporate polluters and transform U.S. energy policy. She currently leads Greenpeace's campaign for an economy powered by 100 percent renewable energy, pushing some of the largest companies in the world to embrace wind and solar and working alongside communities to develop a just and democratic energy system.