Citing numerous environmental feathers in his cap, the Sierra Club on Sunday endorsed Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he seeks a second term in office.
Emanuel has created hundreds of acres of new parkland, championed renewable energy, shut down two coal-fired power plants and fostered one of the largest bike-sharing programs in the country, Sierra Club Chicago Group chair Christine Williamson said at a news conference Sunday at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park.
One notable issue where the two groups do not meet eye-to-eye: the Sierra Club opposes an Emanuel-supported plan for the University of Chicago to build the Barack Obama presidential library and museum on about 20 acres of park space in either Jackson Park or Washington Park.
“Is he perfect? No. Do we think that we can make some progress with him on things like using parklands for these issues? I think we probably can,” said Williamson, who noted the Sierra Club had yet to broach the issue with Emanuel.
As part of the proposed plan, the University of Chicago has promised to replace any greenland it takes for the project. Then again, the museum might not even be built in Chicago. Obama has yet to select which city will house the museum.
The Sierra club supported Emanuel in his first run for mayor and during Congressional elections.
The last Chicago mayoral candidate the Sierra Club endorsed before Emanuel was Harold Washington.
The group’s goal is to ensure a healthy environment for people, plants and animals.
“The greatest city in America, the city of Chicago, will also be known as the greenest city, and I’m honored to have this endorsement,” Emanuel said Sunday.