2017 Election 7th Ward Candidate Survey Responses
Alderman, Ward 7
1. What have you done in your personal life to reduce your environmental impact?
My husband and I built (and live in) a very “green” home; our solar PV system makes about 75% of the electricity we consume, including powering our 100% electric car. I was a founding board member and president for four years of Citizens’ Greener Evanston, working to make Evanston a more sustainable community. And I chair the Climate Change Task Force of the League of Women Voters of the US.
2. With “1” being most important and “5” least important, how important are environmental issues relative to the many other issues faced by the City of Evanston?
Local action on environmental issues is especially important at this particular moment, given the current leadership at the federal level, but I would give a higher priority to addressing issues of economic opportunity and affordability so that Evanston becomes “the most livable city” for all our residents.
3. Evanston is on track for 20% greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction from 2005 to 2016. Would you support revising the Evanston Climate Action Plan to reflect the Compact of Mayors target of 27% by 2020?
4. Community Aggregation with 100% renewable energy has been the biggest single factor in reducing Evanston’s greenhouse gas emissions. Do you support continuing this program?
Our current aggregation contract will expire this summer, and signing a new contract for 100% green power will be one of the first major decisions that the new Council will be asked to make. Retaining 100% green power is essential to positioning Evanston to achieve its next climate action goal.
5. Would you support a local PACE or other financing initiative to fund energy efficiency and solar investments for Evanston homes and businesses?
Many home- and business-owners need help with the upfront costs of making energy efficiency improvements and installing renewable energy systems. The savings they realize from these PACE-financed improvements can then be used to repay the cost of the projects.
6. Most North Shore communities protect trees on both public and private property. Would you support an Evanston ordinance that would protect trees in a manner comparable to these other communities?
Trees contribute significantly to Evanston’s sustainability. I would support a process that engages the community in learning how to manage and enhance our urban forest and in deciding what additional protections are needed.
7. Would you push for local regulation of pesticides, such as neonicotinoids, and help Evanston pass an ordinance regulating them?
Pesticides such as neonicitinoids are harmful to bees and other beneficial insects. Non-toxic and effective alternatives are readily available.
8. Do you support the full implementation of the Evanston Bike Plan?
The Bike Plan provides a thoughtful and detailed set of recommendations to expand the network of bicycle-friendly corridors, enhance the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, encourage more people to engage in this healthy mode of transportation, and promote alternatives to the private automobile.
9. Despite significant sewer improvements and drainage regulations, continued development and unpredictable rainfall patterns are expected to intensify future flooding. What city incentives do you recommend to promote private rain gardens, green roofs, porous pavement, and other such steps? How should the city proceed to implement such steps on public land?
The City could do a better job of providing information to residents about such programs as the Green Alley program — on the City website and through other communications means. The City should continue to pursue grant funding to support green infrastructure projects on public land as well as (co)-sponsor educational events about ways in which residents and business owners can incorporate green infrastructure features in their properties.
10. The Evanston Producemobile program suggests that as many as 14% of Evanston residents may be food insecure. What will you do to be sure all people in Evanston have enough food, and healthy food, to eat?
The City can help make people aware of programs like the Evanston Producemobile as well as local nonprofits (e.g., Talking Farm, Edible Evanston) that work with residents to expand local food growing and food sharing options.
11. In your past experience, what have you done to support environmental justice? How might the City promote environmental justice?
Until I became 7th ward alderman a year ago, I served on the Environment Board’s Environmental Justice Committee, working to develop an environmental justice policy for Evanston. When this policy is finalized, I will urge the City Council to adopt it. The Council should also allocate a portion of the fees collected from the Waste Transfer Station to assessing and mitigating any environmental impacts from the WTS.
No additional comments.