A twitter campaign to outsmart “politics as usual” in Chicago.

It’s been a full year since the Clean Power Ordinance was introduced before the Chicago City Council (Chicago Clean Power Coalition). This landmark piece of municipal legislation would require the two old, coal plants within the city to reduce their emissions of health-harming particulate matter and greenhouse gases. Only now, in the waning moments of Mayor Daley’s administration, has the Clean Power Ordinance been scheduled to be heard before a joint City Council Committee.

Two questions loom large for Chicago residents:

  1. Will the legacy of Chicago’s green mayor include two of the nation’s dirtiest power generators?
  2. Will the aldermen of the City of Chicago actually give the Ordinance honest consideration?


On Thursday, April 21st, join Eco-Justice Collaborative and the Chicago Clean Power Coalition as we attempt to open the lid on the workings of the Joint Committee hearing and shine a “virtual” light on the operations that seemly work only with the Mayor’s permission. With humor and creativity, join us as we play WHERE’S MY WALDERMAN?

With your help, and through the power of a dynamic website and Twitter, we will engage in an interactive session to determine:

  1. Where the committee aldermen stand on the issue of protecting the health of Chicagoans from harmful air emissions? and
  • Literally, where are the aldermen on the day of a hearing to consider a critical measure that will protect their constituents?
  • We invite you to join us to “tweet” about the positions and whereabouts of committee members. We’ll make them look good if they show up and cast their vote as promised.

    However, if they DON’T show up – OR if they leave the room at vote time, we’ll embarrass them with tweets as we search for them in the restroom, under the chair, down the drain or wherever. These tweets will be captured on a dynamic website (www.wheresmywalderman.com), which will include their photo if present OR a “Waldo” photo with a big MISSING if they are not. Sleeping? Hiding behind Mayor Daley? Playing games on a smart phone? In the restroom? If missing …. we’ll poke fun and take note for posterity.

    Which alderman would want to be recorded as having decided not to be present to vote on this historic legislation that would protect the health of their constituents? We’ll just have to see, won’t we?


    1. All you need is a computer or a mobile phone.
  • Go online and get a twitter account if you don’t have one. It’s easy and free!
  • Begin to tweet your followers about the hearing to create a good BUZZ and involve others. Using 140 characters or less, send a message including the hash tag “#chicoal” at the end. This hashtag is important, since it will direct traffic to the website.

  • Search “#chicoal” and start to follow others using this hashtag, so that you expand the reach of your messages.

  • Bring your phone with you to the hearing or if you can’t attend, use your phone or computer at home. Then, tweet away about the testimonies, the “Waldo” searches, and the support for the ordinance (or lack of support as applicable) pledged by aldermen serving on each committee. Important: Fun is good. Abuse is not.

  • On the day of the hearing we’ll reveal the website where we will be posting the committee proceedings in real time. Encourage friends and family to watch! We’ll also post a second hashtag to use for each alderman the day of the hearing. You can then use TWO hashtags: “#chicoal” to direct all tweets to the website and a second hashtag comment on specific aldermen.


    Watch EJC’s website for more information as we approach next Thursday’s hearing. Do YOU want to influence the outcome of this hearing? If yes, then … LET’S DO IT! And have fun.

    Follow EJCChicago on Twitter

    Tell us what you think

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.