Building an Environmentally Sustainable Future
Pat Quinn’s Speech
Pat Quinn: Abraham Lincoln would be pretty proud with Niagara Foundation
Since its foundation, Niagara Foundation dedicated itself to establish peace and dialogue condition, to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue and to build ever-lasting and strong friendship and relationship among Chicago’s very diverse set of religious, ethnic and cultural communities. Having determined to non-stop work in this aspect, Niagara Foundation again hosted a very significant player in Chicago, Lt. Governor of Illinois, Mr. Pat Quinn. Niagara Foundation hosted Pat Quinn to discuss the opportunities and challenges of building an environmentally sustainable future. Quinn basically delivered the keynote address at Thursday’s forum, followed by a question and answer session as well as lunch and conversation with audience.
The Niagara Foundation Luncheon Forum series provides a regular venue for nonpartisan discussions designed to foster friendship and deepen inter-cultural awareness and understanding among the many diverse ethnic and civic communities in the Greater Chicago Area.
Protecting the environment is a top priority for Lt. Governor Quinn. As Chairman of the Illinois delegation to the bi-national Great Lakes Commission, Quinn understands the importance of working with other states and other countries to ensure a more sustainable future.
Quinn also serves as chairman of the Illinois Biofuels Investment and Infrastructure working group, the Illinois River Coordination Council, the Mississippi River Coordinating Council and the Illinois Green Government Coordinating Council.
Kemal Oksuz, the Executive Director of Niagara Foundation welcomed everybody and thanked the audience for joining us today for the luncheon forum. After watching a brief history of luncheon forum series at Niagara Foundation and reading Pat Quinn’s résumé, Kemal Oksuz, invited everyone to welcome Pat Quinn to the tribune.
Pat Quinn thanked everybody for being here today and expressed that he is looking forward to having very sincere and interesting discussions with the audience. “I really appreciate the invitation and it is very inspiring to see all of your previous guests at the Niagara Foundation’s Luncheon Forum series speaking on various important topics.” Pat Quinn had said that he was going to discuss energy issues today. He also paid a special attention to the Monday’s landmark decision of the Congress on carbon emissions. According to the law, carbon emissions should be regulated by environment agencies. “All of us, across the world should address all these environmental problems in 21st century”. He also contended that it was 37 years ago when we were re-drafting the constitution and trying to put a special article on environmental consciousness. “We wanted to put in our constitution an environmental article to show that we do care about environment.” The article claims that it is a fundamental right to have a healthful environment for citizens of the state of Illinois. “It is every person’s duty for future as well” emphasized Pat Quinn. He also told that we work with Canada closely in energy issues.
He told that representative body in Washington D.C. adopted a law on having more sewage systems for drinking water in Lake Michigan. “We ask you to protest and block IPA using internet democracy and e-mails. At the same time, there is also a new law about free fire zones on Lake Michigan. “We also need to protest this law, because government violated our agreement with Canada in 1812 by launching this initiative” said Pat Quinn.
“I prefer promoting good ideas like sustainability and we want to be the greenest state in America” said Pat Quinn. He also talked about green roofs and how all these roofs have been designed by Soya Bean. “We have green roof in Chicago and like to encourage in our state though it is expensive. Our state is number one is growing Soya beans and we are going to have sustainability and we are going to replace oil with Soya beans. And we can make it a white paint.” Shed aquarium has Soya bean roofs. The roof makes building hotter in non-Soya bean roof. Shed Aquarium, however, is cooler.
“It is all saving to us too. We can protect our state, city and economy. We need to have green way of thinking. Reducing use of energy and save on money and create new jobs. I was voted by the Soya bean as the man of the year for these initiatives” added Pat Quinn.
“Governor of Illinois appointed me to be the director of black-out-solutions environmental agency” last year. “This is important” he added. For example, there were problems in New York and Canada where 50 million people lost their electricity and this certainly affected the Illinois, too. There were people in bad situation. They couldn’t use anything in New York. Many other people were severely inconvenienced. He emphasized the electric infrastructure in Illinois. “The electric infrastructure is the most complicated machine in human history” said Pat Quinn. It is important to have energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. “More efficient, more workable. We try to come up with all kinds of projects regarding this issue” said Quinn.
Pat Quinn also said that they are working with universities like Benedictine University and Northwestern University. According to Pat Quinn, they signed a joint contract with Benedictine University on dealing with energy efficiency and sustainability. He also put that Northwestern University is the only one in the nation buying wind and solar power.
He also said that we have number of sights that is suitable for wind and solar power. He told that we have less cloudy days and we are less polluted that Los Angeles, for instance. Also we have to pay attention to CTA, Metra, and Amtrak. We want to have wireless in Amtrak wherever they go.
Pat Quinn also talked about museums about Abraham Lincoln and kindly invited everyone to Springfield to see all those museums. After addressing the questions, Kemal Oksuz gave a gift to Pat Quinn with the harmony of Pat Quinn’s name and Ottoman Sultan’s Seal. Kemal Oksuz explained the wonderful three lines representing peace, dialogue and love and the circle representing the world and the “Pat Quinn” within the world.
While having delicious Turkish food, in his interview to Niagara Foundation’s Media Department, Pat Quinn thanked Niagara for giving an opportunity to him to talk.
“What a great opportunity to have a dialogue with variety of different people from our state and elsewhere. The best way to work out problems everyday we face is to gather together and have lunch and have the good speaker and ask questions and I really enjoyed the whole process. I recommend luncheon series to anybody. If you have few minutes, you can learn a lot in these few minutes and I did a lot today. And on behalf of 13 million people of land of Lincoln, I want to thank the Niagara Foundation for hosting this, organizing it, bringing people together and I think would be pretty proud for this and this is the best government.”
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Reception: 12:00 p.m.
Luncheon: 12:30 a.m.