Finding the Light in the Fog
Clean, fresh water is integral to our transition from “The Rust Belt” to a world leader in innovation, economic prosperity, and sustainable growth. Our water differentiates us as a region. We need the President working with us, not against us, on this journey.
Next week is Great Lakes Week in Washington, D.C., a week designed to educate the Administration and members of Congress on a strategy developed by a broad coalition of leaders committed to restoring and protecting the world’s largest body of fresh surface water. For the last thirteen years, leaders involved in the development and implementation of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration strategy have travelled to our nation’s capital during a week in March to outline progress, share learnings, and ask for continued support.
It is disheartening the President made decisions that impact the Great Lakes two weeks prior to their visit. Just as the misty cold stiffens an arthritic body, so, too, can despair trigger political paralysis.
The answer to both is to keep moving.
And so, I am writing the President, requesting he set aside time next week to meet with the leaders of the Great Lakes region . . . that he listen . . . that he be open to modifying his earlier decisions. We don’t have to choose between jobs and fresh water. We can have both. We must have both.
It is the first time I have written a letter to a President. Copies will go to my elected officials. They, too, —Democrats and Republicans—have called the decisions “alarming.” And because challenging a new leader in any organization the first 100 days in office takes courage, I want them to know I have their back.
Lastly, March 15th, Great Lakes Day, has historically been called “The Ides of March.” Several readers notified me of a grass roots movement to send postcards to the President that day—a peaceful campaign designed to engage people in “a simple, cheap, and easy way to show up and be heard.” Called “#The Ides of Trump,” or “The Postcard Protest Campaign,” the movement encourages people with diverse experiences, knowledge, opinions, and priorities to reach out to our new President. His challenge, as our leader, is to help us find ways to bridge our differences, to negotiate respectfully with those of opposing views, to search for solutions in which we all feel like winners.
It is a tall task during a time of such polarity. That is why I, too, am sending a postcard on the 15th. It is a request that he lead by example, that he further our journey as a nation by working with us—not driving us further apart.
I hope you will join me.
President Donald Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
To find the address of your elected officials, visit:
Letter to the President
March 7, 2017
Dear Mr. President:
Please support the people in the eight Great Lakes states and our elected officials as we rebuild our economy based on clean water and air. Be a part of our journey as we transition from “The Rust Belt” to a leader in innovation, economic prosperity, and sustainable growth. We need your help in:
These and other initiatives are part of a larger strategy developed in 2004 by a broad coalition of mayors, governors, tribes, business and industry leaders, scientists, and environmental and conservation organizations. Many will be in Washington, D.C. the week of March 13th for Great Lakes Week—to report on progress implementing the strategy and to ask Congress and the Administration for continued support. Please carve out time to listen.
Name and Address to include full zip code
cc: Congressional Representative and Senators
#TheIdes and Great Lakes Day in Washington, D.C.
Dear Mr. President,
Please support the people in the eight Great Lakes states and our elected officials as we rebuild our economy based on clean water and air. It is a delicate balancing act—one that necessitates finding ways to bridge our differences, to negotiate respectfully with those of opposing views, to search for solutions in which we all win. Please join us on our journey—leading by example as we come together to build a prosperous and sustainable economy. Thank you.
cc: Congressional Representative and Senators
To Learn More:
Mary Ellen Miller
3/7/2017 04:28:25 pm
I was one of those "alarmed" by last week's news. Thank you, Mary, for providing us who feel this way a concrete way to respond. I will write not only a letter to the President, AND a postcard, but also CC our State officials. Julius Caesar was killed on the Ides of March; let's make sure the Great Lakes do not encounter the same fate.
3/7/2017 04:49:06 pm
Indeed Mary and Mary Ellen. Taking action feels right. A way to change the outcome on a momentous day.
3/7/2017 07:10:44 pm
Mary, I am heartened by your plan. We must indeed keep moving, and we must shine a light on executive and legislative actions that might otherwise pass by the public in the shadows of the distractions that seem to darken the news each night. Thank you for the templates, but more importantly, thank you keeping all of us informed. We must let the President know that our resolve is as deep as Superior!
3/8/2017 07:48:08 am
Your words ring heartfelt and true, Eric. I would copy and paste them for my response, quoting you, with your permission.
3/8/2017 09:28:54 am
Groups and Networks for defenders of the Great Lakes and democracy:
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