Illinois Holds First Environmental Justice Commission Meeting

September 3, 2013

2013 Goldman Prize recipient Kimberly Wasserman has been hard at work since winning the Prize last April. In addition to her work with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), Wasserman is chairing the newly formed Illinois Environmental Justice Commission, which held its first meeting last month.

According to a press release, the commission is charged with “advising state entities on environmental justice; analyzing the impact of state and local laws and policies on environmental justice and sustainable communities; developing criteria to assess whether communities in the state may be experiencing environmental issues and recommending options to the Governor’s office and legislators for addressing these issues.”

Part of the panel’s mission is to ensure that low-income communities are not disproportionately affected by environmental issues, a goal similar to that of 2011 Prize recipient Hilton Kelley, who works to protect marginalized Gulf coast communities from industrial pollution.

“We are excited to take best practices from the coal fight and follow up and see what we can do on a state level. We are looking at what other states have done too to learn from them,” said Wasserman, won the Goldman Prize for her role in shutting down two of Chicago’s oldest and dirtiest coal fired power plants.