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