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Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced he has appointed a committee of consumer and sustainability advocates to assist with the screening of potential bidders for the City’s electricity aggregation program. The four-member panel will lend independent voices and oversight to the process of evaluating responses to the City’s RFQ for electivity aggregation supply services, ensuring that bidders adhere to the highest standards of consumer protection and promote sustainability and clean energy. The committee will advise City staff in the review of responses to help ensure that the City selects a qualified pool of bidders to ensure that the City obtains the best deal for Chicago residents and small businesses.
“It is critical for Chicago taxpayers that the screening and selection process is done in an open and transparent manner that leads to the best savings possible,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This panel of experts will help guide and navigate the vendor screening process with that goal at the top of their minds.”
The Emanuel Administration will continue its open and transparent approach by working with the City Council to hold two additional public hearings on the program, building off of the four public meetings conducted by the City before Election Day. On December 5th and December 10th at 10:00AM, the City Council Committee on Finance will hold public hearings regarding the proposed municipal aggregation ordinance, draft supply agreement, and draft Plan of Operation and Governance in City Council Chambers at 121 N. LaSalle Street.
“I commend Mayor Emanuel for selecting a diverse and highly talented group of professionals to screen potential bidders and safeguard the interests of Chicago electricity consumers,” said Alderman Edward M. Burke, the Chairman of the Committee on Finance. “The goal must be to achieve real savings while ensuring that the public is actively engaged in this process.”
The Evaluation Committee includes environmental, community and legal experts including Wendy Walker Williams, Executive Director of the South East Chicago Commission; Nilda Esparza, Executive Director of the Little Village Chamber of Commerce; Jack Darin, Director of the Sierra Club; and Matthew Link, Legal Counsel to the Chicago City Council Committee on Finance.
Evaluation Committee Members
Wendy Walker Williams, Executive Director, South East Chicago Commission (SECC)
Wendy Walker Williams was named executive director of SECC in early 2010 as the organization began to broaden its geographic scope to include the Woodlawn and Washington Park neighborhoods. She is an experienced city planner who has worked on economic development projects on the South Side and throughout greater Chicago. The SECC serves as a change agent within the community by working with key stakeholders. Founded in 1952 by the University of Chicago, the SECC was created to enhance the quality of life in the Hyde Park-South Kenwood area by tracking crime, documenting city ordinance violations, and sharing information of public concern.
Nilda Esparza, Executive Director, Little Village Chamber of Commerce (LVCC)
Nilda has served as the executive director for LVCC since September 2010, where she has worked to promote and support the growth and success of businesses in Little Village and to leverage the community’s unique cultural identity to generate new opportunities. The Chamber works closely with business and community leaders, government agencies, law enforcement, corporate partners, elected officials, and others to address the issues that affect the community and the commercial area. Previously, Nilda worked as an Executive Assistant at the La Salle Network, a Project Manager at Dot Press, and an Executive Assistant at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Nilda is a 2010 graduate of the Metropolitan Leadership Institute, a year-long training program aimed at engaging young Hispanic professionals in the public arena, including political, corporate, governmental and non-profit spheres. She received a B.S. in Management from DePaul University.
Jack Darin, Director, Sierra Club Illinois Chapter
Jack Darin has worked for the Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter since 1989, and been its Director since 1992. His position entails working with citizens, volunteers, public officials, business, and labor across Illinois to find and advocate for solutions to environmental problems threatening Illinois communities, and leading efforts to strengthen the membership and work of the Sierra Club in Illinois. He has worked on a wide variety of conservation and pollution issues, with federal, state, and local agencies with environmental responsibilities, and with private sector stakeholders. Darin has worked cooperatively with a wide range of stakeholders to clean up pollution, protect natural areas for future generations across Illinois, and promote smart energy policies. He has been appointed to numerous study, advisory, and working groups and task forces by various public agencies seeking to craft strategies to protect Illinois' environment. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Matthew Link, Legal Counsel, Chicago City Council Committee on Finance
Matt has served as Legal Counsel for the Chicago City Council Finance Committee since 2007, where he has advised the committee on a wide range of legislative, administrative, and other legal matters. Previously, Matt was an associate at Dowd & Dowd, Ltd., a law firm that provides legal counsel to clients in commercial litigation, transportation law, insurance coverage, appellate practice, products liability, workers' compensation, professional liability, and municipal law. Matt received his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law, cum laude, and his undergraduate degree from Loyola University of Chicago, magna cum laude.
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