It’s been 12 years since I joined the Board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) and you’ve watched me, and buoyed me up, on my remarkable journey.
Consider just a few of the achievements I’ve had a hand in, such as:
- Approving installation of disinfection technology at two of the largest sewage treatment plants—Calumet in Chicago and O’Brien in Skokie—that kills bacteria and other pathogens in the treated water before it’s discharged in the Chicago waterways
- Establishing an independent inspector general at MWRD through an intergovernmental agreement with Cook County after many years of advocating (this just happened in April)
- Working with the Cook County Board on an ordinance, passed unanimously in 2016, to expand safe, secure collection and disposal of unused and expired medicines so they aren’t flushed down the toilet or tossed in the trash
- Promoting greater funding for and adoption of green infrastructure techniques—like green roofs, rain gardens, vegetated ditches and permeable paving—to capture rain where it falls and keep it out of the sewers
And sometimes stopping misguided projects or poor planning is also an achievement. I’ve done that by opposing a plan by the Chicago Police Department to construct an outdoor firing range on MWRD land immediately across the Calumet River from Hegewisch Marsh and the site of a long-planned environmental center for city children, and a request to build a road on District land through a flatwoods along the North Shore Channel that would have required removal of many iconic oaks and other trees.
You may know about these and other initiatives because I’ve shared my work with you through electronic newsletters and my annual report. Please know I’d be doing this work regardless, but once a year it’s my turn to ask for your help. Publishing the annual report, hosting a website, designing and sending newsletters costs money—we get no budget for communicating with constituents at MWRD—so once a year I celebrate the summer solstice with a fundraiser to replenish my campaign account.
Won’t you help me do the work to protect Lake Michigan and advocate on your behalf with a contribution? Your support makes ALL the difference!
Summer Solstice celebration
Thursday, June 20
Erie Cafe, 536 W. Erie, Chicago
Free valet parking