This is a Moms Clean Air Force exclusive interview with Highland Park Councilwoman Kim Stone from Illinois:
What is unique about protecting your city’s resources?
Highland Park is within the Lake Michigan watershed. The Great Lakes are the largest source of fresh surface water on the planet, and the source of drinking water for millions of people. What we do in Highland Park impacts the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Highland Park is also a municipality that others look to as a leader, so we can have a greater impact by providing examples for others in the area of environmental stewardship. Ravines are a unique part of our environment here. Formed by the glaciers, these topographical features of our landscape require special care to protect them from erosion and invasive species. Highland Park has specific steep slope building regulations that apply in ravine areas and bluffs along the lakeshore.
Why is a bipartisan effort so important to you when working on issues of air quality?
Environmental issues like air quality and climate change impact all residents of the planet equally. To address these issues effectively we need support from a range of people – Republicans and Democrats, young people and old, men and women. We cannot successfully improve air quality or reduce the risk of climate change without a broad-based coalition.
As a parent are you worried about any specific effects of climate change on your children and the children of your city?
Yes, as a parent I am very worried about climate change. In fact, this was one of the reasons that I chose to run for office. I hoped that by acting locally to reduce our carbon emissions, we could help to slow climate change enough to leave a livable world to our children. Part of my work at the local level is to show others what we can do to reduce our impact on the planet.
Kim Stone has served as a member of the Highland Park City Council since May 2013. She previously served on the Highland Park Transportation Commission, the Board of Directors of Highland Park Community Nursery School and Day Care, and the Active Transportation Alliance. In addition, Kim has over 20 years of environmental and management experience, including as Associate Director of the Chicago non- profit Safer Pest Control Project. She has served on the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists since 2005. Kim graduated from Middlebury College and received Masters degrees in Population Planning and Public Policy from the University of Michigan. She lives in Highland Park with her husband Ken, and their two sons.
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