State Rep. Karen May (D-Highland Park) became the first ever recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award presented Sept. 20 by the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC), according to a news release from the IEC.
The IEC has recognized legislators, individuals, organizations and businesses making achievements each year but has never feted the body of work achieved for a career. May is retiring in January after 12 years in the Illinois General Assembly.
“I was thrilled to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from IEC”, May said in the release. “Protecting our environment for the citizens of Illinois has been my great passion during my years in the General Assembly as I organized and led our green caucus.”
IEC Executive Director Jennifer Walling noted May’s passion and dedication to environmental issues and encouraging sustainability when presenting the award.
“Residents all over Illinois live in a healthier environment because of Rep. May's contributions to environmental policy,” Walling said. “Rep. May's accomplishments on environmental issues span her entire career as a legislator.”
Another achievement which contributed to May’s environmental record was helping Illinois to reduce dependence on coal and embrace clean energy, according to the Sierra Club’s Illinois Director Jack Darin.
“Illinois is cleaner and greener because of Karen's tireless work to protect our environment,” Darin said. “Illinois is moving beyond coal to clean energy, we are protecting kids from mercury pollution and natural open spaces have been saved for future generations (because of her).”