'Issue fatigue' makes environment a hard sell in Pilsen

It’s always a treat for us when the Chicago Journal rolls out its weekly articles. The community newspaper covers a variety of neighborhoods on the West Side, and we’re pleased to see this item from Paul Dailing (via the Medill News Service).

Pilsen and Little Village are home to the city’s two aging coal-fired power plants, but the environmental impact from these operations ranks low on the minds of many longtime residents.

In low-income, minority Chicago neighborhoods such as Pilsen, Englewood and Little Village, neighborhood-based environmental groups are finding it hard to bring their issues to the fore. Concerns about gangs, violence, poverty, joblessness, a lack of services and gentrification are competing for weary residents’ attention.

“I would almost describe it as ‘issue fatigue’ in these communities-that there are so many issues in these areas and so much to work on,” said [Dorian Breuer, of the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization].

So here’s the question: will the continued gentrification of these neighborhoods (especially Pilsen) help to fill the blocks with socially-conscious, environmentally-aware residents?

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