Event co-organizer Christina Martinez, right, introduces 12th Ward candidates Pete DeMay, left, Martha Rangel and José Rico at the Green New Deal rally on February 23, 2019, in McKinley Park.

Green New Deal Draws 12th Ward Candidates, Residents to March and Rally

Published February 23, 2019

The Green New Deal March and Rally, held in the McKinley Park neighborhood on February 23, 2019, drew dozens of attendees and local political candidates to a march through the neighborhood and a rally in McKinley Park. The focus by speakers remained targeted on local environmental issues, and often included criticism of local industry, including HILCO developments in the Little Village Neighborhood and the new MAT Asphalt plant, sited across the street from the rally location.

"We stand united in our hopes for the 12th Ward community," said candidate Pete DeMay. He, along with fellow 12th Ward aldermanic candidates Martha Rangel and José Rico, participated in the march and spoke at the rally, which attracted more than 60 attendees.

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Event co-organizer Theresa Reyes McNamara spoke on the importance of addressing the area's pollution and led the crowd in chants of Sí se puede ("Yes we can"). Her work with co-organizer Christina Martinez led to the formation of Neighbors for a Better 12th Ward, the sponsoring organization for the march and rally.

In her speech, Rangel highlighted the area's status as one of the most-polluted in Chicago. "We pay for that pollution," Rico said in his speech.

Candidates and speakers at the rally were critical of the environmental status quo in Chicago and criticized current 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas for not doing enough to protect the environment in his role as alderman and chairman of the City of Chicago Committee on Health and Environmental Protection.

As for a Green New Deal? "We demand it," Rangel said.


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