For the first time in 30 years, ComEd’s contract is up for renewal—and we have a chance to take control of our energy future. By turning ComEd into a municipal utility controlled by the people, for the people, we can increase clean energy, improve rates, and put profits back into our community, rather than into shareholders’ pockets. As the founder of the Democratize ComEd Coalition, Chicago DSA is leading the fight to transform our energy future. Together with our coalition allies, we seek to leverage the opportunity of the current to secure public power for Chicago and its suburbs.

Chicago has a chance to fight climate change and the rising monopolies that are threatening to define this era while advancing the prosperity of its citizenry in the process. Past efforts have failed to confront this impending dual disaster while also failing to uplift our communities. Utility democratization is a critical step forward for public accountability, pursuing the City’s objectives within the framework of the Green New Deal, and achieving a better deal for all of Chicago. Privately-held utilities—no matter how well regulated—have proven themselves reluctant, if not fundamentally incapable, to tackle the problems we face and of providing more imaginative opportunities to the public. Our energy has been out of our hands for too long and we have lost out on numerous opportunities to leverage our energy for the public good. With goals as wide-ranging as greater public investment, maintaining and expanding union employment, and a cleaner, greener city, these goals can best be achieved with a utility that is not only under municipal control, but under democratic control. Only once our energy is ours can it begin to work for us and our city in the manner and method of our choosing.

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