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Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative convenes Mayors Water Equity Commission


November 30, 2020
By Ground Water Canada

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Chicago – Eleven mayors from major Great Lakes and St. Lawrence cities in Canada and the United States are coming together to address water equity challenges as part of a new Mayors Water Equity Commission.

Members of the commission are:

  • Mayor Sam Cunningham, Waukegan, Ill. (Commission Chair)
  • Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Chicago
  • Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit, Mich.
  • Mayor Gino Moretti of Saint-Anicet, Que.
  • Mayor Jerome Prince, Gary, Ind.
  • Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Mayor Valerie Plante, Montreal, Que.
  • Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, Toledo, Ohio
  • Mayor Billy McKinney – Zion, Ill.

The commission will convene in December to address a range of water equity issues, including access, affordability, community and economic benefits from water infrastructure investments, and community resilience to climate change.

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In early 2021 the commission will conduct stakeholder listening sessions and policy briefings and explore collaborative partnerships.It will then present to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative membership at the annual meeting in May, outlining issues and proposed solutions to water equity challenges.

“Many residents throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River region lack access to clean and affordable drinking water,” said Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham, chair of the new Water Equity Commission. “While water equity challenges are particularly severe for poor communities and communities of colour, they are relevant for all citizens.”

“As a water-centric city, Milwaukee is structuring water equity through creating an inclusive workforce in water-focused careers,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “Advancing equity in our water workforce will ensure economic, environmental and social benefits that will result in enhanced water stewardship.”

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a coalition of close to 100 U.S. and Canadian mayors and local officials working to advance the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The Cities Initiative and local officials integrate environmental, economic and social agendas and sustain a resource that represents approximately 80 per cent of North America’s surface freshwater supply, provides drinking water for 40 million people and is the foundation upon which a strong regional economy is based.