• Chicago Youth Alliance for Climate Action CYACA

Solar Central: Campaign Update

Earlier this school year CYACA was looking at all the great work going on in the city and noticed Mayor Emmanuel had committed to public buildings using only renewable sources by 2020. We saw this as a great step for the city and as a way to involve all of us at public schools into chicago into the conversation around solar. From there students from around the city have gotten involved in hoping to make their school the next school using solar panels. we also knew that environmental work is more than just about panels, we wanted to know who was installing the panels, both in a corporate and worker aspect and the values the Chicago Youth Alliance for Climate Action held in putting on a project like this.

Two pieces stood apart in our minds as going hand in hand with the environmental benefit of the panels. One of the most important pieces for us was for the panels to not only be environmentally forward but also to let students in our schools increase their knowledge and know how of solar, including surveying, installation, and energy savings and be included in every part of the process. The other was that workers came from sourrounding areas, to use the Future Energy Jobs Act legislation in Illinois to work and take advantage of the benefits of solar installation training and resources the state provides and people(including us) worked hard to pass! People are an essential part of environmental work and we knew that would be central to making it work. Right now we have students at Lindblom, Payton, Northside, Lincoln Park and Whitney Young pushing for a goal that does just that! If you want to join the students working on these campaigns, or interested in starting one at your school, reach out to us at

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