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ComEd Award Celebration for Powering Safe Communities and Green Region programs

ComEd Award Celebration for Powering Safe Communities and Green Region programs

Award Celebration

On October 13th, ComEd celebrated the winners of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Powering Safe Communities and Openlands Green Region programs. The 2017 Green Region and Powering Safe Communities luncheon was hosted by ComEd President and CEO, Anne Pramaggiore. 

The luncheon celebration was held at Cantigny Park (Le Jardin) in Wheaton. 

Powering Safe Communities

In order to ensure the protection of citizens against threats to their well-being, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus has partnered with ComEd to administer the Powering Safe Communities Program for a second straight year. ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus will award grants to 25 communities with each grantee receiving up to $10,000 for their public safety project. For a full list of the 2017 grantees, please click here.

Green Region

ComEd and Openlands awarded grants to 25 recipients, ranging from municipalities to forest preserve districts, throughout northern Illinois. Grantees will each receive up to $10,000 for open space projects that focus on conservation, preservation, and improvements to local parks and recreation and resources. For a full list of the 2017 grantees, please click here.

Mayors Climate Forum: Global Threat. Local Action.

Mayors Climate Forum: Global Threat. Local Action.

August 31, 2017
University Club, 76 East Monroe Street, Chicago, IL
Mayors Climate Forum Agenda

“The poet, Robert Frost, once wrote, ‘The worst that you can do Is set me back a little more behind.’ I think of that admonition when I consider the obligation that elected officials of today have to their constituents as regards the environment. Whether by design or by accident, those who have gone before us made many decisions that today cause terrible consequences. Our beautiful Earth has been set behind in ways that have turned our ecosystems upside down: scientists tell us that the preponderance of our planet’s warming has been manmade, and that warming subsequently has caused changes in our climate that are devastating. It is incumbent on the elected officials of today, therefore, to take the necessary actions to right the wrongs of yesterday. To make right decisions, however, elected officials must have proper understanding of the ills and their causes, and that is the reason events such as the ‘Mayors Climate Forum’ are so very important. We must learn from our mistakes and then find the proper path forward both to remedy the wrongs and to foster new behaviors that will have positive impact for tomorrow.”

– John Ostenburg, Mayor, Village of Park Forest; Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Environment Committee Chairman and Executive Board Secretary

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus convened mayors, key municipal leaders and climate and policy experts for a robust discussion about the science of climate disruption; its impacts on communities and residents; federal and local climate policies; and the role of mayors in leading communities towards solutions that mitigate pollution and manage risks.

Mayors, municipal staff, and environmental leaders listen to opening remarks from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Environment and Energy Committee Chairman, Mayor Ostenburg of Park Forest.

Mayors, municipal staff, and environmental leaders listen to opening remarks from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Environment and Energy Committee Chairman, Mayor Ostenburg of Park Forest.

The following expert panel presented information about climate change:

  • Mayor Ostenburg, Village of Park Forest, Environment and Energy Committee Chairman, Opening Presentation & Closing Presentation
  • Tom Skilling, Chief Meteorologist, WGN-TV, Presentation, Video
  • Bill Foster, Congressman, 11th District, Illinois
  • Adele Simmons, President, Global Philanthropy Partnership, Comments
  • Seth Darling, Director, Institute for Molecular Engineering, Argonne National Laboratory, Presentation
  • Doug Sisterson, Research Meteorologist, ARM Climate Research Facility, Argonne National Laboratory, Presentation, Video
  • Mary Gade, President, Gade Environmental Group, LLC; former US EPA and Illinois EPA executive
  • Chris Wheat, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Chicago, Presentation
  • Bob Perkowitz, President, ecoAmerica, Presentation

See the full Mayors Climate Forum Agenda

Climate change is an urgent threat facing local governments, the economy, community safety, and individual well-being.  Increasingly, mayors are viewed as vital leaders in effective global climate action.  The Forum connected local governments and examined the strategies to overcome the threat of climate disruption.

Seth Darling explaining Illinois power plant emission pathways at the Mayors Climate Forum

Seth Darling explaining Illinois power plant emission pathways at the Mayors Climate Forum.

While many global cities are pledging to take bold action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 58 Caucus member-communities and all councils of governments have already adopted the consensus sustainability goals of the Greenest Region Compact 2. In fact, 65% of Caucus members have collectively reduced CO2 emissions by 76 million pounds through simple building energy efficiency in the past few years. Strategies for meaningful local climate action are clear, achievable, and sustainable. The GRC2 offers a solid framework for meaningful climate action suited to communities of all sizes and strengths in the region.  Adopt the GRC2 through municipal resolution and report adoption to the Caucus.

The Chicago Community Trust generously supports the Greenest Region Compact 2.

Future climate forums may include mitigation strategies; adaptation and resilience; measuring and reporting climate action; and public engagement.
Pictures and a video of the Mayors Climate Forum will be made available shortly. Stay tuned on our Twitter @MayorsCaucus for updates.

Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Committees

Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Committees

Mayors are invited to join Caucus committees to advance important regional issues; connect to other municipalities addressing these issues, and access resources to help them take local action.

ADA Coordinators Group
This group convenes professional municipal staff coordinating compliance with the American with Disabilities Act to share information and best practices.

Meetings occur quarterly.

Chairman: David Robb, Disabilities Services Coordinator, Village of Arlington Heights, drobb@vah.com
Staff: Brian Tomkins, Project Assistant, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, btomkins@mayorscaucus.org  

Diversity Issues Task Force  

This committee helps municipalities adapt to the changing demographics in their communities by engaging in productive discussions with their peers, sharing successes and learning from each other.

The Task Force usually meets the first Tuesday of every other month. Elected officials and municipal staff are invited to attend.

Co-Chairman: Rodney Craig, President, Village of Hanover Park and William McLeod, President, Village of Hoffman Estates.
Staff: Dave Bennett, Executive Director, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, dbennett@mayorscaucus.org

 Environment Committee

This committee guides the implementation of consensus sustainability goals articulated in the Greenest Region Compact 2 (GRC2). In collaboration with partnering organizations the Committee addresses policy and regional program development for GRC2 goals most impactful for municipalities. It has recently focused on clean energy policy, especially solar energy; protecting water resources; green fleets; electronic waste disposal; and climate.

The Committee meets about 10 times a year, usually on the third Tuesday, in various locations. Elected officials and municipal staff are invited to attend.

Chairman: John Ostenburg, Mayor, Village of Park Forest, jostenburg@aol.com
Staff: Edith Makra, Director of Environmental Initiatives, emakra@mayorscaucus.org

Energy Subcommittee

The newly-formed subcommittee engages municipal leaders and energy experts and to discuss the impact of new energy policies and laws on municipalities and constituents. It was specifically convened to address the Future Energy Jobs Act, sweeping legislation that will change policies and investments related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The committee meets in response to energy policy demands, at convenient times for members, usually downtown.  Elected officials and municipal staff are invited to attend.

Chairman: John Ostenburg, Mayor, Village of Park Forest, jostenburg@aol.com
Staff: Edith Makra, Director of Environmental Initiatives, emakra@mayorscaucus.org

Housing Committee

The Housing Committee brings together mayors and municipal staff from throughout the region to address housing issues impacting community sustainability and vitality.  The committee has recently launched a Regional Housing Solutions website; collaborated to strengthen the effectiveness of housing codes and policies; considered land-banking; and many other important housing policy issues.

The committee typically meets on the second Tuesday every other month in downtown and suburban locations.  Elected officials and municipal staff are invited to attend.

Chairman: Jeffrey Sherwin, Mayor, Village of Northlake
Staff: Dave Bennett, Executive Director, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, dbennett@mayorscaucus.org

Legislative Committee

In concert with member councils of governments (COGS), the Committee recommends the Caucus’ annual legislative priorities and monitors activities in Springfield and Washington to determine whether Caucus action is required. The committee meets as needed.

Chairman:  Gerald Bennett, Mayor, City of Palos Hills
Staff: Dave Bennett, Executive Director, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, dbennett@mayorscaucus.org

Regional Economic Development Committee

This committee interacts with various economic development organizations and agencies in the region and makes recommendations on actions or policies the Caucus and its members ought to consider.

The committee meets as needed.

Chairman: Karen Darch, President, Village of Barrington
Staff: Dave Bennett, Executive Director, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, dbennett@mayorscaucus.org

Service Delivery Task Force

The committee is investigating innovative and efficient ways to deliver local government services.

Meets as needed.

Chairman: open
Staff: Dave Bennett, Executive Director, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, dbennett@mayorscaucus.org

Transportation Committee
This committee develops the Caucus’ strategy on federal and state transportation issues and alternative funding mechanisms.

Meets as needed.

Chairman: Jeffery Schielke, Mayor, City of Batavia
Staff: Dave Bennett, Executive Director, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, dbennett@mayorscaucus.org

2017 Powering Safe Communities Grants Awarded

2017 Powering Safe Communities Grants Awarded

ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Award Grants to Advance Public Safety Initiatives in 25 Northern Illinois Communities

ComEd and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus have come together to award Powering Safe Communities grants to 25 Illinois municipalities – each receiving up to $10,000 to fund local public safety projects.

In the program’s third year, ComEd has increased both funding and the number of projects supported through their Powering Safe Communities Program.

“ComEd serves nearly 4 million customers throughout northern Illinois, and our dedication to these customers goes beyond providing energy to power their everyday lives. Keeping our communities safe is ComEd’s number one priority, and therefore, we knew it was essential to expand the program this year in order to help communities maximize the impact of their public safety initiatives,” said Fidel Marquez, Senior Vice President of Governmental and External Affairs, ComEd.

These grants will provide additional resources to help each winning municipality improve the efficiency and delivery of public safety programs, increase community resiliency, and address unmet safety needs. The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus reviewed all of the applications, and grants of up to $10,000 were offered to support the most innovative, impactful, and essential public safety projects.

“From purchasing life jackets at a community pool to installing a new emergency tornado siren, all of the municipalities receiving grants through this program have proposed innovative ideas to help enhance safety for the people they serve. We commend them for championing this important effort,” said Marquez.

“Municipal governments throughout the area are resourceful in their efforts to keep their communities safe. We applaud the tireless work of our public servants who are dedicated to assuring the safety and well-being of their community members,” said Bob Nunamaker, Mayors Caucus Executive Board Chairman and Mayor of Fox River Grove. “Thanks to ComEd’s generous partnership, over two dozen municipalities will be able to address unmet safety concerns, thereby protecting both public servants and the residents they serve.”

The 25 Powering Safe Communities grant recipients for 2017 are:

Village of Ashton

The Village of Ashton’s grant will support the purchase of information display signs that will protect the lives of residents, guests, and those passing through the Village in emergency situations and during festivities.

Village of Beach Park

The Village of Beach Park’s grant will help support the purchase and installation of an outdoor early warning siren system. The funding received will be used for the research and bidding process, purchase of the controlling equipment and two sirens, and the installation of the sirens. The Village currently has no outdoor warning siren system.

Village of Brookfield Police Department

The Village of Brookfield Police Department’s grant will fund the purchase and installation of high-quality HD video cameras in selected locations throughout the Village. The cameras will enhance public safety efforts in the community, giving residents a sense of security and allowing law enforcement to follow-up on incidents that may jeopardize public safety.

Village of Buffalo Grove Police Department

The Village of Buffalo Grove Police Department’s grant will be used to fund the installation of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in patrol vehicles, increasing the chance of survival for those who experience cardiac arrest. The Police Department’s goal is to add one AED to their patrol fleet each year.

Village of Burr Ridge

The Village of Burr Ridge’s grant will fund the installation of two new flashing beacons adjacent to the existing Wolf Road pedestrian crossing. The crossing is located between Pleasantdale Middle School and the Walker Park Recreation Center. The beacons will be placed to provide increased pedestrian visibility and advanced warning to motorists that pedestrians will be entering the crosswalk.

DeKalb Park District

The DeKalb Park District’s grant will fund two public safety initiatives at Hopkins Pool. The first will purchase personal floatation devices (life jackets) that will be made available at no charge to pool users during open swim, as well as for educational programs during swim lessons. The second initiative will overhaul the public address system at the facility for making safety and evacuation announcements.

Village of Elmwood Park

The Village of Elmwood Park’s grant will fund the purchase of a radar speed/traffic collection device and LED traffic control signs to post around the neighborhood’s parks and schools. The device and signs will keep drivers attentive of their speed as they enter areas populated with children.

Fox Lake Police Department

The Fox Lake Police Department’s grant will fund the purchase of three Aluminum Custom Ford Interceptor Mobile Command Centers that will be installed in the trunks of command cars and can be utilized as tactical operation centers during multijurisdictional police activities.

Village of Franklin Park Fire Department

The Village of Franklin Park Fire Department’s grant will fund the replacement of two Thermal Imaging Cameras (TICs). The TICs will allow the Fire Department to conduct faster searches in order to locate possible victims for rapid removal, maximizing the survivability of those victims. In addition, the TICs can be a vital tool in the identification of live power lines located near fallen trees, especially during severe weather.

Village of Glencoe

The Village of Glencoe’s grant will fund the purchase of multiple solar powered, pole mounted vehicle activated message displays that will provide a cautionary reminder to drivers. The displays will be placed throughout the Village in areas with higher concentrations of traffic, with particular attention paid to park and school district facilities.

Village of Hawthorn Woods

The Village of Hawthorn Woods’ grant will support the purchase of Livescan Technology for the Hawthorn Woods Police Department. Livescan is an inkless, electronic means of capturing fingerprints in a digitalized format and then transmitting them to the Illinois State Police and/or the FBI. The technology will eliminate the Police Department’s use of costly, outdated, and less secure alternatives.

City of Highland Park

The City of Highland Park’s grant will support the purchase of 45 voice amplification units which will attach to respirators used by firefighters during atmospherically hazardous emergency responses. These units will replace existing voice amplification units which are failing, and they will allow the firefighters to communicate with one another, especially in emergency conditions with loud ambient noise.

Lake Forest Fire Department

The Lake Forest Fire Department’s grant will support the replacement and expansion of Thermal Imaging Cameras (TICs) for department operations. The acquisition of new TICs will allow the Fire Department to conduct faster searches in order to locate possible victims for rapid removal, maximizing the survivability of those victims. In addition, the TICs can be a vital tool in the identification of live power lines located near fallen trees, especially during severe weather.

Village of Lincolnshire

The Village of Lincolnshire’s grant will fund the purchase of four LED “School Speed Zone” signs and two LED school crossing signs.

Village of Lincolnwood

The Village of Lincolnwood’s grant will fund the purchase of two patrol bicycles so the Police Department can ensure safe passage for residents and visitors utilizing the bike paths that were constructed in late 2016. The grant will also fund the purchase of a panic button and automated external defibrillator (AED) to be placed inside of the vestibule in the public area of the Police Department. The device can be utilized by visitors during emergency situations when the building is not staffed.

Village of Lyons

The Village of Lyons’ grant will support the installation of four flashing LED pedestrian crossing signs at the intersections of Ogden Avenue/Shakespeare Avenue and Lawndale Avenue/42nd Street. These intersections receive heavy pedestrian traffic because of their proximity to the Cook County Forest Preserve Salt Creek Trail System and various public parks. These beacon signals will use pedestrian activation buttons to engage pedestrian traffic and keep drivers aware of hazard signs.

Village of McCullom Lake

The Village of McCullom Lake’s grant will support the purchase of a new emergency/tornado siren. The Village’s current siren was damaged beyond repair by a lightning storm in the spring of 2015.

Orland Park Police Department

The Orland Park Police Department’s grant will help fund the Village’s Residential Burglary Reduction Program through the acquisition and placement of ten surveillance cameras. The cameras will aid in the identification and apprehension of felonious offenders by allowing investigators to view encrypted video from reported burglaries in real time.

Palatine Police Department

The Palatine Police Department’s grant will fund the acquisition of electronic display message boards that will assist the Village in directing substantial pedestrian and vehicular traffic at over 30 major outdoor events throughout the year. The message boards will free police officers from informational posts, allowing them to be placed at more critical safety/security or busy traffic direction assignments.

Village of Richton Park Police Department

The Village of Richton Park Police Department’s grant will fund the purchase of Crime Fighter BEAST, a current day, user-friendly and widely accepted property/evidence inventory system. Crime Fighter BEAST will replace an outdated records system that makes the process of evidence collection and documentation complicated and time-consuming.

Village of South Chicago Heights

The Village of South Chicago Heights’ grant will support the purchase of a 12 Lead Cardiac Monitor, a life-saving cardiac monitor/defibrillator, for their Fire Department. The vital tool will be used in the Department’s Advanced Life Support ambulance to perform life-saving procedures on patients in critical condition and send vital patient information to the transporting hospitals.

Village of Steger Police Department

The Village of Steger Police Department’s grant will support the purchase of a handheld thermal imaging camera. The Village is surrounded by Forest Preserve and heavily wooded land, making searching for victims and/or offenders difficult at night. The camera will enhance officers’ ability to serve and protect the community, as well as help officer safety-related issues.

Village of Summit

The Village of Summit’s grant will fund the purchase of life-saving smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for seniors in the community. In addition to providing the aging population of Summit with the detectors, the Fire Department plans to train seniors on how to use them, thereby reducing accidental deaths and injuries.

Thornton Fire Department

The Thornton Fire Department’s grant will support the purchase of a Stryker Power Cot for one of their ambulances. The power cot uses a battery-powered hydraulic system that raises and lowers patients without paramedic assistance. The device virtually eliminates patient drops, greatly enhancing the safety of both patients and paramedics.

City of West Chicago

The City of West Chicago’s grant will help support the installation of a new outdoor warning siren in the area of Atlantic Drive and Illinois Route 64. There are currently seven warning sirens in the fifteen square miles of West Chicago, but none cover the proposed area. ###

Additional information on the Powering Safe Communities Program can be found here: http://mayorscaucus.org/initiatives/environment/psc/

About ComEd
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.9 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.  

GRC2 receives Force of Nature Award

GRC2 receives Force of Nature Award

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus was honored to receive the “Outstanding Regional Impact Project” Force of Nature Award for the Greenest Region Compact 2 from the Chicago Wilderness. The Force of Nature Award recognizes outstanding individuals/agencies for their work in conservation, restoration, advocacy, and/or educational activities that are inspirational examples for others.

Mayor Mancino receives Force of Nature Award 2017

Mayor Mancino of Hawthorn Woods was honored to accept the award. Mayor Mancino said, “The Greenest Region Compact 2 (GRC2) guides municipalities towards sustainable goals and action. It aligns community priorities, builds on existing municipal sustainable best practices, and builds on the collective wisdom of community leaders in the metropolitan region.” Mayor Mancino is an environmental steward of 18 parks for over 170 acres in the Village of Hawthorn Woods. He is also the President of the Lake County Municipal League and the 2nd Vice Chairman of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Executive Board.

Please click here for a full list of the 2017 Force of Nature & Excellence in Ecological Restoration Program Recipients.

If you are interested in learning more about the Greenest Region Compact 2 or how municipalities adopt the Greenest Region Compact 2, please click here.

Environment Committee Energy Policy Meeting

Environment Committee Energy Policy Meeting

15 May 2017 Meeting Agenda
Topic: Energy Policy
Location: Moraine Valley Community College 9000 College Pkwy, M Building, Palos Hills, IL 60465

The May Environment Committee meeting will focus on state and local energy policy.   Implementation of the Future Energy Jobs Act,  Public Act 099-0906  will make sweeping changes in current energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Improved investments in renewable energy, especially solar energy, are proposed.  Low-income communities are expected to benefit from enhanced energy efficiency programs.  Plans are being prepared for these changes and the rule-making steps are coming up quickly.

Please join us for in-depth energy presentations by Mark Pruitt, the new energy advisor to the Caucus, and Alexis Cain, US EPA.  Along with the new Energy Subcommittee, they will participate in a discussion of how this new policy will likely impact municipalities. We will also discuss local policies including franchise agreements and solar codes.

All municipal staff and elected officials are invited.

Simplified Sustainability Planning Workshop

Simplified Sustainability Planning Workshop

Sustainability Planning Using the GRC2 Framework

Registration and more information here.

Tuesday, April 18, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
2121 Lake Street, Police Department Community Room
Hanover Park, Illinois 60133

Simplify sustainability planning by learning to use the Greenest Region Compact 2 (GRC2) Framework at this free workshop. The GRC2 Framework is a powerful tool that is scalable for communities that simply want guidance to prioritize their sustainable actions, or it can also be used to create a comprehensive sustainability plan.  Celebrate Earth Day, April 22nd by adopting the Greenest Region Compact 2 or beginning a sustainability plan.

Representatives from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium will introduce the GRC2 Framework; and the communities of Hanover Park, Highland Park and Schaumburg will discuss their experiences using the Framework.

Municipal staff, elected officials, and citizen commissioners are invited.

Advancing Solar Energy in Your Community

Advancing Solar Energy in Your Community

Advancing Solar Energy Development in Your Community

Register here.

January 19, 2017
9:30 – noon*
Prairie Center for the Performing Arts, 201 Schaumburg Ct, Schaumburg, IL 60193

Local governments have an important role in fostering the growth of solar energy. Municipal plans, policies and practices can become solar-friendly while communities can enjoy economic growth, and foster the creation of new, clean-tech jobs in the solar industry.  Local solar energy is critical to meeting future global energy demands and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Environment Committee and the Great Plains Institute invite you to a workshop to learn about:

Session 1 Workshop (9:30 – noon)

Open to all.

  1. Comprehensive plans that describe solar resources and encourage development;
  2. Regulations that explicitly address solar development in its varied forms;
  3. Permitting processes that are predictable, transparent, and documented;
  4. Public sector investment in the community’s solar resources; and
  5. Local programs to limit market barriers and enable private sector solar development.

Brian Ross, AICP, LEED GA, Senior Program Director at the Great Plains Institute, will be the primary workshop presenter.  Brian developed solar best practice toolkits for local government in four states, including Illinois. Also, he helped form the Department of Energy’s “SolSmart” certification program for communities and has provided direct assistance to dozens of local governments across the Midwest on incorporating clean energy, resiliency, and sustainability into local codes, plans, and programs.

Register here.


Open to pilot Sol Smart communities

*Session 2- Sol Smart Community Work Session (12:30 PM – 2:00 PM)

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus encourages municipalities to enroll in the Sol Smart program by January 31, 2017 and will collaborate to provide technical assistance to earn designation.  If you would like to be a part of the cohort working towards Sol Smart designation, please contact Edith Makra, Director of Environmental Initiatives, at emakra@mayorscaucus.org or 312-201-4506. Communities must have adopted or plan to adopt the Greenest Region Compact 2, consensus sustainability goals to participate in the cohort in 2017.

This additional working session to develop Sol Smart applications and satisfy program requirements will follow the Workshop, above.   Contact emakra@mayorscaucus.org to register.