Why No to NorthPoint is Marching in the People’s Climate March

Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice on September 8, 2018

This year, we will be participating in the People’s Climate March, which kicks off at O’Connor Park in Elwood, Illinois and marches down Walter Strawn Drive to BNSF on September 8, 2018.  The focus of this march speaks to the very things that we are fighting for — clean air, better jobs, and better working conditions among other things. The event begins with a rally, in which speakers will tell their story and why they are marching.

No To NorthPoint — A Nonpartisan Effort

No to NorthPoint has always been and will continue to be a completely NON-PARTISAN effort that is supported by folks on both sides of the aisle, whether Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Progressive, etc., we are fighting for the same thing when it comes to fighting irresponsible warehouse developments like NorthPoint. Our fight is for quality of life, health and safety, better infrastructure and proper community planning. Period.

STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR SUPPORTERS

We are supporting the People’s Climate March, the Sierra Club and Warehouse Workers for Justice because our concerns and efforts overlap. We help those who help us — it’s in our character and in our nature to lend a hand and to be neighborly. At the end of the day, we are all fighting for the same thing. We all want to better our local community.

During the hearings in Elwood, we received immense support from folks in the Sierra Club as well as from Warehouse Workers for Justice, and we are proud to be a part of this march — not just because the issues overlap for us, but because we can support their efforts as well. It’s a community effort.

Keep reading to learn more about how our efforts overlap:

CLEAN AIR

Here’s reality: diesel particulate matter – what results from the countless diesel trucks servicing the intermodal – will absolutely negatively affect your health if exposed for prolonged periods of time. We are exposed to pollution every day due to the intermodal in Elwood, which is the largest in the country and the third largest in the world. Adding a 2,200 acre warehousing facility that would be serviced entirely by trucks, potentially creating 53,000 trips per day, would only further add to the diesel pollution we have in the area.

Not only would more diesel pollution decrease our quality of life and put our health in jeopardy, but it would also negatively impact wildlife at Midewin given the proximity of the project to that national landmark. We all chose this area for the tranquility and clean air that rural living provides. NorthPoint Development puts this at stake.

This past summer, air quality testing was done on some of our local roads, with diesel particulate matter readings up to 74µg/m³! For comparison, the EPA sets the standard for air quality at 12µg/m³. This is SIGNIFICANTLY more allowable diesel particulate matter than the EPA standards! 

Therefore, with this information at hand, we will march alongside other groups to help put attention on the reality that clean air and our climate matters. It matters to us. We are the ones who have to breathe this air. If we can do something to help prevent further pollution, then we are going to do it.

JOBS

One of the problems that a massive development like NorthPoint Development would bring is low-paying, temporary jobs. These are not the kinds of jobs that enhance a community. These jobs in excess promote poverty and hurt the community. Because of this, we are fighting for better jobs for our community. We do not need more of the same.

Furthermore, NorthPoint Development refused to make any promises about the kinds of jobs that their development would bring – and that is one of the larger problems that we have with this developer. Similarly, the only jobs promised are temporary construction jobs. However, even those aren’t guaranteed. NorthPoint Development has had issues with labor agreements with unions in other projects as reported in the news.

Listen to State Representative Larry Walsh, Jr. speak on this issue at the public hearing for NorthPoint Development in Elwood. He explains why it’s so important to have better jobs.

JUSTICE

In addition to jobs and climate, we are marching for justice. Too often, people are mistreated in the warehouses. Those people are real. They are our neighbors. The folks from Warehouse Workers for Justice came out to Elwood board meetings to stand in solidarity with us. They spoke up for us. So we walk alongside them in solidarity for justice.

Additionally, we as a general citizenry are faced with public officials who don’t hear our concerns or respond appropriately. For example, the planning and zoning commission that ignored nearly 14 hours of testimony opposing NorthPoint development and recommended the project. That’s not justice. That’s not America. And that’s another reason we are marching – for justice.

Overall, we want the People’s Climate March to be a celebrated event in Elwood and for local residents to participate. Please come out and join us. Support our friends who have supported us. March for our own concerns. We need everyone to make change happen.

The March

WHEN: September 8, 2018 @12:30pm

Meet at 12:30pm at O’Connor Park for a kickoff rally and then march to BNSF Rail.

March organizers contacted the local police department and municipalities to secure proper permits and approvals. This march will not put anyone in an unlawful position. It is similar to the farmer’s parade that No to NorthPoint helped orchestrate, but it is on a much bigger scale.

Who: PCM (People’s Climate Movement) works with environmental groups like Sierra Club, 350.org and community groups interested in environmental and worker justice. PCM is working with Just Say No to Northpoint and Warehouse Workers for Justice. Local residents should attend.

Chicago march Demands

Overall, our biggest demand is for Warren Buffett to meet with his neighbors to discuss and work towards solutions to issues caused by trucks utilizing his facility. Because Buffett owns BNSF rail, he is one of our targets for change. He has the power, money, and ability to make our community better. On the environmental side, groups like Sierra Club are calling for a transition to 100% clean, renewable energy.

LOCAL CONCERNS

As a community, we have local concerns that are specific to our needs. These are based around our infrastructure, our community, and our safety. We need real, immediate fixes to our dangerous infrastructure. For example, students have arrived late to school due to semi traffic. People are dying on our highways just trying to get to and from work. This is not right.

Additionally, the intermodal should have adequate waste disposal available. Our communities should not have to deal with bags of feces and bottles of urine littered on our roads.

We also want politicians and big businesses to realize the importance of farmland. It is not vacant land. Our farmland is productive and profitable. It is not a wasteland and should not be treated as blighted. We need to value our farmland and their contribution to the economy instead of giving tax breaks to big developers who have more than enough ability to contribute to our community. No. More. TIFS.

Moreover, we need to better our community. And it starts today. Commit to marching with us at the People’s Climate March in Elwood.

Join us on September 8th!

 

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/488535081565256/

Learn more here: https://actionnetwork.org/events/rise-for-climate-action-chicago

2 Comments

  1. The address of O’Connor Park is the corner of Mississippi Ave and Deer Run at the west end of the Village, for individuals who may be attending and are not familiar with the Village of Elwood. You can enter the Main Street of Elwood and follow our sweet little thoroughfare all the way through the town, past the fire department… and voila! Look to your left! Welcome!

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