The Stop General Iron campaign of Southeast Side residents fighting Chicago’s environmental racism is demanding their own meeting with Mayor Lightfoot’s administration, just as serial polluter General Iron/RMG have been given special access to the Mayor’s office and the city’s Law and Public Health Departments. This week, Steve Joseph bragged to WBEZ that the polluter had another closed-door meeting with top city officials.
At 11 a.m. on Monday, March 29, 2021, at the Richard J. Daley Center Plaza, Pastor Richard Martinez of the Nehemiah Family Fellowship Church, and a coalition of Black and Latinx residents of Chicago’s far South Side will be holding a news conference calling for the Lightfoot Administration to afford residents the same access to the mayor and City Hall decision-makers as General Iron’s lawyers and lobbyists.
Pastor Martinez, educator Roni-Nicole Facen and nurse Jocelyn Rangel filed a federal suit against the City of Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and the Chicago Department of Public Health seeking a federal judge’s order to prevent the City from granting the final permit for the controversial scrap shredder.
The Chicago Department of Public Health secretly granted one of the final permits for General Iron last fall without providing promised notice to residents of the Southeast Side. Martinez’s lawsuit alleges the city is engaged in a pattern of environmental racism by working with the metal shredder to relocate the operation from predominantly white Lincoln Park to the predominantly Black and Brown community on the Southeast Side.
“This month, Mayor Lightfoot and her administration once again held a closed-door meeting with General Iron and its high-paid lawyers and lobbyists to talk about their permit to open for business on the South Side,” said Pastor Martinez. “General Iron’s operation has been so bad, even the Trump Administration EPA has cracked down on them. But they are always welcome at City Hall.
“Mayor Lightfoot, if you care at all about environmental justice, meet with the people. We don’t have lobbyists, we don’t write campaign checks to your allies, but we live here, and we want to breathe here,” Martinez said.
For more on Stop General Iron, visit their website at https://stopgeneraliron.org/.