TO: Great Lakes Mayors
FROM: Rita R. Athas
Director of Regional Programs
DATE: April 28, 2003
RE: Great Lakes Cities Initiative Update
There are several exciting developments associated with our Great Lakes Initiative that Mayor Daley wanted me to share with you.
First, the Joyce Foundation, approved a generous grant to the Northeast Midwest Institute that will allow us to hire staff and become more aggressive in our efforts to involve Mayors and other local officials in Great Lakes policymaking. A job description is attached and we would welcome your staffing recommendations.
Second, Marcia Jimenez of Chicago’s Department of the Environment recently represented the Great Lakes Cities Initiative at the annual Great Lakes Congressional Breakfast. At that meeting and in subsequent discussions, we have been working hard to ensure a partnership between Mayors and Governors in the advancement of a Great Lakes protection and restoration plan.
Third, Mayor Daley will be hosting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service an Aquatic Invasive Species Summit in Chicago on May 14-15. Experts from around the world will participate. I would be pleased to forward additional information and hope you or your representative can attend. In a related development, the Senate and House Great Lakes Task Forces have introduced the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act to enhance our protection against non-indigenous species, including the Asian carp that is threatening the Great Lakes.
Fourth, we continue to collect endorsements for the Mayors’ Statement on Great Lakes Protection and Restoration. If you haven’t signed that statement, or had your council endorse a similar resolution, I hope you will do so soon.
On behalf of Mayor Daley, thank you for your continued work in having the region’s Mayor’s be more active and effective advocates for the Great Lakes. With the new funding and outreach efforts we should be able to move forward even more expeditiously.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at (312) 744-0208 or