(Antonio Perez/ Chicago…)
February 29 is a victorious day for Pilsen and Little Village residents as the announcement came that Fisk and Crawford Coal Plants are finally closing. Crawford is set to shut down in 2014, but Flisk, which is scheduled to be shut down by December, is closing much sooner than the anticipated date of 2018--that’s six less years of cancer and respiratory problems in the Pilsen and Little Village communities.
I have lived in Pilsen for almost eight years and am fortunate enough to not have any known health problems--yet. But, living near Dvorak Park the entire time, I have been especially close to the pollution and am overjoyed that residents will now be able to breathe clean air.
The coal plant debate became especially heated in 2010, when Alderman candidate Temoc Morfin began to further educate residents on the deadly effects of the coal plant while pushing to help get the plant closed down.
Environmental organization P.E.R.R.O and Morfin have been on the forefront in the fight to get Fisk shut down. When Morfin lost the race for alderman, he encouraged Solis to do the right thing and hold these companies accountable. Morfin is now running for state rep but still has not stopped fighting Fisk, interviewing residents about their health problems and bringing this matter into the light.
All I have to say is, thank goodness there is someone that uses their power for the good and fights for those who have been impacted by Fisk all these years. And that is what I love about Pilsen--everyone eventually becomes an activist, and we all realize how powerful we can be. Pilseners prove time and time again that the underdog isn’t the underdog anymore.
Fisk is closing and Pilsen will finally have clean air. Yes, it is a beautiful day and truly a day for some Pilsen-style celebration. We did it!