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Engage in one of our Advocacy Initiatives

Supporting local and state governments is an important part of the work of USGBC-Illinois in achieving its mission of advancing buildings and communities that are sustainable, prosperous and healthy.  Member volunteers play a key part of this work.   Below is a summary of USGBC-Illinois’ 2012 advocacy initiatives.  Please check back in the upcoming weeks for additional information.

1.  Education programming for local government leaders and stakeholders – USGBC-Illinois plans several educational sessions for local governments in 2012:

Building a Sustainable Community
– a four hour session on the tenants of sustainable community and neighborhood development.  Building a Sustainable Community focuses on key principles of smart urban planning; New Urbanism; the goals and point system that constitute the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) rating system; and  the specifics of CMAP’s GO TO 2040 seven county regional plan.  A local case study of a current sustainable neighborhood strategy applied at the municipal level provides context on how to integrate ideas presented in the session at the local level.  The session also covers examples of existing zoning and master plan barriers that often hinder sustainable neighborhood strategies and ideas for implementing such concepts at the municipal level.   Building a Sustainable Community is a collaborative program between USGBC-Illinois and the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) – Illinois Chapter, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), and Farr Associates.   Please see the Chapter’s program calendar for 2012 dates and locations. 
The Green Codes Landscape
– this four-hour program explores the differences between, codes standards, and rating systems.  Specific presentations focus on USGBC’s LEED rating system, ICC’s new International Green Construction Code, and ASHRAE’s 189.1 implementation pathway for the new IGCC.  The session also features a panel discuss on green codes and standards with proactive civic leaders and legal experts and a local case study of a municipality’s experience with green codes and related topics.  The program is a collaborative endeavor with the ASHRAE-Illinois Chapter and the International Codes Council (ICC).   
Municipal webinar series
– USGBC-Illinois also plans a best practice webinar series on green building strategies and financing options later in 2012 for municipal audiences.   Check back later for additional information.

2.  Supporting state legislators – USGBC-Illinois works closely with members of the Illinois General Assembly, various state departments, the Governor’s office, and other advocacy related organizations to support green building and related policy at the state level.   Some of our planned 2012 initiatives include:

Springfield Advocacy Day
– Later this spring, Chapter members from around the state will visit Springfield to meet with state legislators to share with them the important message that green buildings are essential for the health, financial well-being, and resource-efficiency of our state.   Our 2012 date is currently being planned.  We plan in-field follow up visits with each General Assembly member we meet to develop an ongoing relationship with them. Check back soon for additional information.
Illinois Green Schools Caucus
– USGBC-Illinois is working with State Representatives Karen May (58th District) and Michelle Mussman (56th District) to grow and develop Illinois’ Green Schools Caucus; a bi-partisan, broad-based initiative to ensure all Illinois students benefit from green schools within this generation.   The Green Schools Caucus will be an agenda item for our Springfield Advocacy Day referenced above.
Recommendations for Greening Existing Schools
– in the spring of 2011, USGBC-Illinois release the House Joint Resolution 45 Report to the Illinois General Assembly.  House Joint Resolution 45 (HJR 45) was authored by Illinois State Representative Karen May (58th District) and adopted by both the Illinois House and Senate on May 28, 2009 and October 29, 2009, respectively.  The resolution created the HJR 45 Task which was charged with authoring a report to recommend programmatic, financial, and other resources that can foster sustainability initiatives on a larger scale in Illinois schools.   A full copy of the report can be found here.   USGBC-Illinois is currently working with its partners to implement the report’s recommendations. 

3. Other ways to get involved -Local and state government advocacy is a growing part of USGBC-Illinois’ work.   Three of USGBC-Illinois’ state-wide Committees focus on advocacy related projects and initiatives: Green Schools Committee; Residential Green Building Committee, and State and Local Governmental Committee.  Check out the committees web pages (linked above) to learn more about what they are doing and how to get involved or stop by or dial-in to one of their upcoming meetings.  The 2012 Chapter Committee meeting schedule can be found here.

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