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Great Lakes Article:

Racine mayor, area leaders to sign pledge to save Great Lakes
By Tom Kertscher
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published November 30th, 2004

Racine Mayor Gary Becker plans to join other mayors, governors and federal officials in Chicago on Friday to sign the Great Lakes Declaration, an intergovernmental pledge for collaboration on preserving the Great Lakes.

Some 600 officials are expected to attend the signing ceremony and a meeting to launch the development of a strategy for protecting and restoring Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes.

Among the attendees expected are Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, the governors of Illinois, Ohio and New York, congressional representatives and federal officials.

The regional collaboration effort was begun in May when President Bush signed an executive order recognizing the Great Lakes as a national treasure and calling for work to preserve them. What emerged, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration, which brought together a cabinet-level federal task force on the Great Lakes as well as the states and local communities that border the lakes.

Becker became one of the leaders in the effort last year when Daley chose him as the only Wisconsin mayor to serve on the steering committee of the Great Lakes Cities Initiative. The opening of the Chicago office of that organization was funded by a $250,000 grant from the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation.

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