Statement from Mayor Emanuel on Paris Agreement
Reports that President Trump is ready to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement are alarming. We cannot afford to ignore the consensus of 194 counties and the entire scientific community. Reneging on the Paris Agreement is shortsighted and does not make climate change any less real. From reducing our energy use to expanding public transit, Chicago will not skirt our responsibility to act. We will work with cities around the country to reduce our emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, and urge President Trump to keep our nation’s commitment as well.”
Mayor Emanuel Announces EPA Climate Change Information Now Available on City Website
Mayor Emanuel announced the creation of a City of Chicago “Climate Change is Real” website, putting information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Change Website on the City of Chicago’s servers after the Trump administration unceremoniously removed it from the federal government’s website on April 29th. The new site, www.cityofchicago.org/climatechangeisreal, ensures the public has ready access to information the EPA has developed over decades of research to inform the public about the impacts of climate change. Mayor Emanuel is calling on other mayors to follow suit.
“The Trump administration can attempt to erase decades of work from scientists and federal employees on the reality of climate change but burying your head in the sand doesn’t change the problem,” Mayor Emanuel said. “We are going to ensure Chicago residents remain well informed about the effects of climate change and I encourage other cities, academic institutions, and others to voice concerns and to follow suit to ensure this important information does not disappear.”
Mayor Emanuel Kicks Off the Summer Season of Programming at Chicago Riverwalk Opening Celebration
Mayor Emanuel joined Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Mark Kelly to kick off summer programming along the Chicago Riverwalk during a day-long celebration. The Riverwalk programming will run through October with a number of activities, including “Dance of the Bridges,” Chicago Park District Fishing at the Jetty, and parades with puppets. The opening celebration will include Chicago Architecture Foundation walking tours, a traveling music cruise, and a pyrotechnic display.
“The Chicago Riverwalk will be bustling with activity this summer, offering a variety of venues and spaces for residents and visitors to experience the City’s next recreational frontier,” said Mayor Emanuel. “With a backdrop of our city’s iconic architecture and brides, the activities along this urban river provide a uniquely-Chicago experience for people from all walks of life to enjoy.”
Lakefront Trail Separation Construction Continues from Fullerton to North Avenues and from Oak to Ohio Streets.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael P. Kelly and Kenneth Griffin gathered to break ground on the next segments of the Lakefront Trail Separation project that separates bike and pedestrian paths. Construction will begin from Fullerton Avenue to North Avenue and Oak Street to Ohio Street. This project is made possible by a generous gift from Kenneth Griffin.
“This is an important next step in continued efforts to make the Lakefront Trail safer and more accessible for the thousands of cyclists, runners, and walkers that use the path each day,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Trail separation does more than address issues of overcrowding; it builds a better future for one of the city’s greatest assets by ensuring Chicagoans and visitors are able to experience what the lakefront has to offer.”
Mayor Emanuel Announces Major Increase in Wheelchair-Accessible Transit Options for Residents and Visitors Throughout Chicago
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a major increase in the availability of wheelchair-accessible transit options for Chicago residents and visitors. Since the Mayor took office, the city has tripled the number of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) from 91 to 298, with 130 WAV taxicabs added since January 1, 2016. This progress keeps the city on track to reach the Emanuel Administration’s goal of 400 wheelchair-accessible taxicabs in 2018.
“Every Chicagoan deserves access to safe, reliable, transit,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Major innovations are taking place in the public passenger vehicle and transportation network provider industries, and the city of Chicago recognizes the hard work of the industry, advocates and alderman to make this a reality.”
Mayor Emanuel, Chicago Park District Kick Off 5th Summer Season of ‘Night Out in the Parks’
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO Michael P. Kelly, together with local arts organizations, performers and community members, today announced the fifth summer season of Night Out in the Parks at Ellis Park.
The 2017 Night Out in the Parks series will bring over 1,200 world-class events including movies, concerts, and theater performances, to every one of the city’s 77 community areas. Over 1,700 Chicago-based artists will be involved as part of the family friendly park events, and will feature 125 neighborhood arts organizations and artists. Nearly all events are offered with free admission.
“Night Out in the Parks brings world-class culture, entertainment and art to every neighborhood across Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel. “From returning programs like Movies in the Parks and Theater on the Lake, to new events like the Chicago River Float, our parks are bringing vibrant and diverse activity to every neighborhood.”
Mayor Emanuel Announces Chicago Plan Commission Passage of Innovative Framework to Guide Future North Branch Development
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the Chicago Plan Commission’s unanimous approval of the North Branch Industrial Corridor Framework. The plan is expected to generate billions of dollars in private community investment, hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenues, and tens of thousands of jobs benefitting the entire City of Chicago. The plan is designed to generate significant resources to support commercial projects and economic opportunities in neighborhoods that need investment.
“This plan represents countless hours of community input and thoughtful planning designed to balance the needs of community members and local businesses while paving the way to a bright future for the north branch industrial corridor,” Mayor Emanuel said, “In addition to building a new future for the north branch area, this framework will also generate revenue from this thriving area to support industrial businesses throughout Chicago. Now we move forward to the next step in the process, which will bring together the north branch stakeholders to turn this plan into concrete progress for the community.”
Chicago Park District Board Approves Plans to Restore North Branch of Chicago River
The Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners approved a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to restore parts of the north branch of the Chicago River. The project is estimated to cost is $14,539,000 and is to be completed by 2022.
The scope of the project includes restoring approximately one acre of stream bed, 29 acres of savannah habitat and 14 acres of river bank in and adjacent to River, Legion, and Ronan parks. The project would also include replacing the dam at River Park with a grade control structure to allow for passage of fish and paddle crafts, which will allow for new recreational opportunities.
“I am very excited that the board has given us a green light to move forward with this project,” said Mike Kelly, General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District. “Upon its completion that section of the Chicago River will not only be more aesthetically pleasing, but also provide many more opportunities for recreation activities to visitors and residents of the area.”