Saturday, November 29, 2008

Government Field, Environmental Category

Emcee: Debra Poneman

It is our great honor to begin the awards by inducting our Lt. Governor Pat Quinn.

Pat Quinn was re-elected Lieutenant Governor of Illinois on November 7, 2006. His priorities include advocating for taxpayers and consumers, protecting the environment, promoting decent health care, and helping soldiers and their families.

Lt. Governor Quinn serves as chairman of the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, which works with state agencies, local governments, and educational institutions to reduce pollution, promote conservation, and incorporate green policies into everyday operations.

One of the Council’s recent accomplishments was the development of guidelines for the Illinois Green Cleaning Schools Act, a law enacted in August 2007 that makes Illinois the second state in the nation to require schools to purchase and use environmentally sensitive cleaning supplies.

Lt. Governor Quinn has launched two sustainability compact programs for educational institutions in Illinois. Forty-nine colleges and universities across the state are members of the Illinois Sustainable University Compact, working to green their campuses by improving energy efficiency, enhancing recycling programs, conserving water, and promoting sustainable transportation. Over 100 K-12 schools have joined the Illinois Sustainable Schools Compact since its launch last January.

Lt. Governor Quinn’s office hosts quarterly sustainability symposiums to share green best practices among local governments, universities and colleges, state agencies, and--starting in spring 2009--elementary and secondary schools. He also highlights exceptional work in sustainability by recognizing committed Illinois community members and organizations with Environmental Hero awards each year.

As chairman of the Illinois River Coordinating Council, Lt. Governor Quinn leads initiatives to protect the Illinois River watershed and provide clean water for future generations. The Council addresses the economic, environmental and recreational viability of the Illinois River and its tributaries.

In October, Lt. Governor Quinn was named Chair of the bi-national Great Lakes Commission. The Commission is dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region and its residents.

Lt. Governor Quinn championed the campaign to save Plum Island in the Illinois River from a developer’s bulldozer, ensuring the preservation of this refuge for nesting bald eagles. Following the announcement last August of the closing of 11 state parks and 13 historic sites, Lt. Governor Quinn launched, which has collected more than 30,000 signatures.

Lt. Governor Quinn is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and holds an international economics degree from Georgetown University. He was elected Commissioner of the Cook County Board of (Property) Tax Appeals in 1982 and served as Chicago Revenue Director. From 1991 to 1995, he served as Illinois State Treasurer. The father of two sons, Lt. Governor Quinn grew up in Hinsdale and now lives in Chicago.

And accepting for the Lt. Governor is his Senior Policy Advisor, Kate Tomford.