Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA)

The Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) aims to dramatically increase investment in clean energy across Illinois, driving equitable economic development, fossil fuel divestment, and energy efficiency. CEJA is not the only energy legislation proposed in the Illinois General Assembly this fall, but it is unique in building upon a “grassroots movement of ideas from everyday people across Illinois.” As the lead, I facilitated the community conversations to inform residents on the current landscape of clean energy in the state, the major pillars of the CEJA bills, and collect their feedback. The feedback was the key and after collated all feedback…

CSLN Memo to the Mayor

As the facilitator of the CSLN Policy Team I led the initiative to submit a CSLN Memo to newly elected Mayor Lightfoot on May 21 2019. The memo is focused on holistically sustainability and based on five key principles, seven “practical and tangible ways” for the City of Chicago to incorporate them, and “reasonable, and catalytic” actions the administration could take in its first 100 days. To start the process I worked with a subgroup of the Policy Group to update the network’s Suggestions for Citywide Sustainability Programs, Partnerships, revised with the full Policy Group, and then used a network…

Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS)

As a multi-site conference, INSS encompassed seven different regions across the US and UK. The intent of the conference was to convene academics and practitioners working across the broadly defined arena of social sustainability. Over 80 people participated at the Chicago site, and 150+ were engaged across all the sites. ​​ The conference sessions included on-site presenters as well as cross-site virtual presentations. The format for the on-site sessions was informed by the Permaculture flower design. Each session highlighted unique perspectives from academics, policymakers, and community practitioners on one of the 7 domains, or petals, of the flower. By giving a platform to…

Faith & Sustainability Forum 2015

I was the main organizer of the Faith & Sustainability Forum where over 85 participants from communities ​​across the Chicagoland area gathered at the ICA GreenRise to meet like-minds and share approaches on faith based sustainability projects. Eco-Justice/Policy Urban Ag/Native Plants Energy Spirit Sharing Approaches That Work Tracks Event activities included: Hearing upcoming opportunities to increase sustainability in faith communities Seeing how local congregations are currently engaging in sustainability efforts Connecting with resources through organization and peer-to-peer sharing  Gaining new understanding of the challenges facing our earth Developing a personal or congregation action plan

ICA GreenRise Solar Launch

On Wednesday, September 24, ICA GreenRise celebrated the launch of 485 solar panels. We organized the event, ‘GreenRise Goes Live,’ included over 30 Uptown organizations, local food trucks, and the Old Town School of Music’s jam band. ​ This event was a more localized version of the Sharing Approaches that Work Conference, gathering Uptown organizations to connect with one another. Over 30 organizations spanned various services, including health, social justice, intentional community, and more. Prior to the event itself I also worked with ICA Staff to install raised beds on the rooftop. The installation was a joint effort with Greenroof Solutions.

The Future of Chicago’s Energy: Building Community Energy Strategies

This forum looked to bridge the gap in dialogue between grassroots community based organizations, resource providers, and policy makers. The day began with an imaginal exercise around energy. Participants then broke up into three different tracks: reduce, reinvent, and transform. Each track engaged participants through panels, ignite sessions, and facilitated dialogue around those three key themes. Read the Agenda here.  The event ended with a remarkable speech from keynote listener Jamie Ponce of the City of Chicago and C40 initiative, capturing what transpired throughout the day, followed by a conversation reflecting on what participants felt were the key emerging energy…

(Sharing Approaches that Work) Share Fair 2012

The culmination of 18 months of exploring and uncovering sustainability initiatives was a Share Fair event that aimed to both showcase and connect initiatives, organizations, and individuals from each of the 77 communities. In this day-long event at Truman College, participants were able to network, learn about local and city-wide resources available to them, and learn about the city’s plan to promote sustainability. Over 400 people attended the event with over 150 local organizations and initiatives showcasing their work.  Sharing Approaches That Work​community interaction to learn from each other’s experiences Keynote Address​Karen Weigert, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Chicago Connection…

accelerate77 Map

The accelerate77.net/map was built using Google Fusion Tables. This free technology allowed for collaborative data entry and maintenance. The original team wanted to host on GIS, which while an extremely sophisticated tool, it also has a steep learning curve. Google Fusion Tables was the best option for a small, collaboratively run nonprofit. I presented this technology at numerous conferences including the Sharing Approaches that Work (2012) and GreenTown (2013). My mapping solution and database, designed to help community-based sustainability initiatives connect with each other, won the Delta Emerging Leaders Boost Award. Unfortunately, Google depreciated Fusion Tables at the end of…