River Forest Village President Cathy Adduci and the Cross Community Climate Collaborative (C4) were named this year’s recipients of the 2023 Small City Mayors’ Climate Protection Award by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Adduci accepted the award at the conference’s 91st annual meeting in Columbus, OH, last month.
“I am proud and honored to accept this award on behalf of the Village of River Forest and the C4 communities,” she said.
River Forest, along with Oak Park and Broadview, Seven Generations Ahead and Urban Efficiency Group, launched C4 in June 2022. A partnership between the municipalities and other near west suburbs to tackle the challenges of climate change and achieve equity outcomes, C4 now includes 14 communities and is designed to bring together Black, Indigenous and people of color and non-minority (BIPOC) communities across income lines to share ideas, secure resources and drive large-scale projects within and across communities that achieve agreed upon greenhouse gas emissions reductions, equity and sustainability goals.
According to a press release from the mayors group, Adduci was one of 11 mayors recognized for their “distinguished leadership” in addressing threats tied to the effects of climate change that continue to impact cities across the country by taking local actions that reduce carbon use and emissions in their cities.
C4 projects include community solar through Illinois’ “Solar for All” program that provides reduced-rate electricity for low-to-moderate income residents, electric vehicle (EV) Infrastructure plans and funding for C4 communities, workforce development training and jobs for BIPOC residents related to solar and EV project development, residential curbside food scrap collection and school-based Zero Waste Schools programs. Sustainability working groups/commissions in C4 communities were also created to ensure community engagement.
“It has always been our goal to seek private funding and state grants to fund these initiatives,” Adduci said. “It takes this type of local and state leadership to ensure that we don’t rely on municipal property taxes to fund regional projects. That is why our vision for Cross Community Climate Collaborative is so important.”
This year’s winners represent the 17th class of mayors to be honored by the group for local actions that reduce carbon use and emissions in their cities. These annual mayoral awards are supported through a partnership between the mayors’ conference and Walmart, specifically recognizing innovative local climate action by mayors throughout the United States.