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08. July 2015 · Comments Off on Your County is Receiving a Failing Grade. · Categories: Articles

DuPage County map of environmental commissions

By Andrew Van Gorp on 8 July, 2015

Why do I write to you today? It is because I can relate to the laureled DuPage poet Frank Earl Herrick in his description of our County:

A precious plot of Earth

by Nature set apart;

the cradle of my birth,

the homestead of my heart! 

It is because I recognize that the United States of America has long led the world in innovation through times of trouble, and I believe that it should continue to do so.

DuPage County has a rich history, spanning back generations. We have fought to end slavery, to liberate the oppressed in Europe, and we now have a moral obligation to transition our communities away from fossil fuels at all costs before we and our children are doomed to climate disaster. It is an effort worthy of us, a cause that must be taken up by every citizen of this beautiful county.

Sustain DuPage is not interested in the business of patting backs. August 2nd, 2015 looms the two-year-anniversary for the inception of the DuPage County Green Government Council. What has the Council accomplished in its tenure? They’ve signed on to the Sierra Club’s Cool Counties initiative, which is applaudable. However, much remains to be seen for the group’s ability to change the policies which promulgate the unsustainable development we see in our county today. It is unreasonable and unfair to expect such a small board to accomplish the great amount of sweeping change needed on the local level in DuPage County.

Sixty one percent of DuPage County’s municipal governments are operating around the clock without an environmentally-focused advisory commission to guide or inform their decisions. For the municipalities that do have a commission, the model has been proven successful time and again, providing board members a wealthy resource of consultation from a group of experienced sustainability professionals.

At this point in history, there is near to no hope for sound, environmentally-responsible decision making at the municipal level without such a commission in place. Nationally, our system of government is set up to pursue and bolster short-term profit at any cost- often at the sacrifice of our future. (Please do not misunderstand- economic vibrancy and sustainable resiliency are not mutually exclusive). 

However, due to the aforementioned trend, any and all policy that is passed without the input of sustainable development professionals is very nearly sure to be detrimental to the health and wellness of DuPage Citizens and our habitat. Currently, only fifteen out of thirty-eight municipalities have such commissions set up, 39%. This is a failing grade.

We can do better.

Sustain DuPage calls upon the Green Government Council to encourage and facilitate the establishment of Environmental Commissions throughout every DuPage municipality by August 2nd, 2016. 

Sustain DuPage also calls upon YOU to demand the installment of such commissions in your municipality to represent your interests, if one does not already exist. A coalition of dedicated civil servants is needed to meet the needs of such a large county. We cannot be complacent in our desires for a sustainable DuPage. We cannot expect someone up the food chain to solve these problems for us. We must rise up ourselves to create the political structure that will bring about our vision for a safer future.

We are putting out the call for your help.

Will you answer?

Contact Information for Counties Without an Environmental Commission:

Addison: Rich Veenstra, 630.693.7510-

Bartlett: Kevin Wallace, 630.837.0800-

Bloomingdale: Franco Coladipietro, 630.671.5600-

Bolingbrook: Roger C. Claar, 630.212.2200-

Burr Ridge: Mickey Straub, 630.488.5890-

Carol Stream: Frank Saverino, 630.871.6250- (no email address provided)

Clarendon Hills: Len Austin, 630.286.5420-

Darien: Kathleen Moesle Weaver, 630.271.1619-

Elk Grove Village: Craig B. Johnson, (no phone number or email address provided)

Elmhurst: Steven M. Morely, 630.530.3010- (no email address provided)

Glendale Heights: Linda Jackson, 630.909.5302-

Itasca: Jeff Pruyn, 630.773.0835-

Lisle: Joseph Broda, (no phone number or email address provided)

Naperville: Steve Chirico, (no phone number or email address provided)

Oakbrook: Gopal G. Lalmalani, (no phone number or email address provided)

Oakbrook Terrace: Tony Ragucci, (no phone number or email address provided)

Roselle: Gayle A. Smolinski, 630.980.2000-

St. Charles: Raymond Rogina, 630.377.4445-

Wayne: Eileen Phipps, (no phone number or email address provided)

Willowbrook: Frank A. Trilla, 630.920.2234-

Winfield: Erik Spande, (no phone number provided)-

Wood Dale: Nunzio Pulice, 630.595.8545-

Woodridge: Gina Cunningham-Picek, 630.719.4706-

Sustain DuPage can’t operate without your support. Find out here all the ways you can involve yourself!


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