Welcome to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative
Message from Chair Walter Sendzik to our 2021 AGM Attendees
On behalf of our organization, I would like to thank you for being a part of this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). Your continued partnership and support are extremely valuable.
By lending your voice to the cause of strengthening the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, both environmentally and economically, you have helped us move the ball forward on a number of important initiatives.
This year’s AGM was a tremendous success. Close to 200 participants joined us for two days of sessions representing communities in Ontario, Quebec and the United States. Our speakers included Erin Brockovich, former Prime Minister Mulroney, Administrator Regan from the U.S. EPA and many more.
This year’s theme, “Climate Change-2021 and Beyond, Preparing our Communities for the Future”, was well received. Many mayors commented on how useful our programming was in their efforts to prepare for the impacts of climate change.
Thank you again for your help in this endeavor.
Mayor Walter Sendzik, St. Catharines, Ontario
Chair, The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative
Recognizing Cities Initiative's 25th Anniversary
2021 Virtual Annual General Meeting – Presentations by Senator Dick Durbin, The Honorable Brenda Mallory, The Honourable David Piccini, M.P.P. and The Honourable Chantal Rouleau, M.N.A.
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative concludes highly successful virtual annual meeting
CHICAGO, August 26, 2021 — The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative's two-day virtual meeting concluded today, seeing record attendance from regional Mayors, and impactful presentations from a number of governmental and environmental leaders. Read more.
Mayors call for $2 billion over the next five years to combat coastal damages from climate change
We welcome our new Chair of the Board of Directors
Mayor Walter Sendzik of St. Catharines, Ontario. We look forward to protecting the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River under his guidance.
Congressional Briefing on Water Equity Funding Priorities for Great Lakes Cities
On April 29, 2021, the Cities Initiative’s Mayor's Commission on Water Equity convened a briefing for Members of Congress and staff to present a suite of funding priorities to strengthen water equity for Great Lakes cities (see the funding priorities here). The Commission’s key message was that Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure every American has safe, reliable water and wastewater services. A complete recording of the briefing is below along with remarks from mayors from Flint, Mich., Detroit, Mich., and Milwaukee, Wisc.
One thing we know is this:
Lead is a danger to everyone
The Need for Action on Lead in Water
Mayor Sheldon Neeley, Flint, Mich.
There probably isn’t anything in this country
funded more inequitably than water
The Challenges of Water Affordability
Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit, Mich
Building a labor pipeline to rebuild our water lines;
Creating jobs by addressing our water infrastructure challenges
Water Workforce Development Opportunities
Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee, Wisc.
2020 Initiatives – U.S. and Canada
It has been a busy and productive year for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. The Cities Initiative has been fully engaged in a number of initiatives to benefit our member Cities. Please view our 2020 Report Card to see all of the important programs we are working on.
Priorities for Advancing Recovery and Revitalization for Great Lakes Cities – 2021 U.S. Federal Priorities for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative
March 2021 – On behalf of its nearly 100 member mayors, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative calls on Congress and the Biden Administration to provide economic relief for struggling cities and support critical water resources. Read more.
House Oversight and Reform Committee Passes Legislation for Federal Revenue Replacement Funds for our Cities
February 2021 – As many of you know, The Cities Initiative has been actively advocating for federal revenue replacement funds for our cities. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis has been devastating to our communities and the financial stability of many local governments hangs in the balance.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee has passed legislation for federal revenue replacement funds for our cities. The next step is for the legislation to be passed by the full House of Representatives, which is expected next week. With House passage anticipated, the focus now turns to the Senate, where unanimous support from Democrats will be needed for final passage. Read more.
Stimulus Water Restoration Initiative – A campaign to bring stimulus funding to your municipality
Don't forget Great Lakes in the stimulus package, group tells Congress
Tom Henry, The Blade
September 7, 2020
The Chicago-based Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is making a special plea to Congress for communities within the Great Lakes watershed to get more help delivering clean, healthy water as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Read more.
Eager to head back to the lakefront?
Patrick M. O'Connell, Chicago Tribune
June 19, 2020
Lake nearing record high: “The lake is nearly 3 feet higher than usual and approaching the historical high, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.” Read more.
- October 6, 2021 - JAMA Pediatrics study highlights lead in water danger -- 135 Mayors call on Congress to act on the Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bills immediately
- September 29, 2021 - Nationwide tests find lead in more than half of U.S. children
- September 10, 2021 – Coastal Resilience and Water Equity reports from Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative identify significant funding needs and increased federal investment
- August 26, 2021 – Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative concludes highly successful virtual annual meeting
- July 8, 2021 – Great Lakes and St. Lawrence communities to spend nearly $2 billion over next five years combating coastal damages from climate change
- May 24, 2021 - Mayors Commission on Water Equity supports new legislation in Congress providing assistance for water utility bills
- September 23, 2020 - 150 U.S. Mayors Urge Congressional Leaders to Find Compromise on Stimulus Spending to Help Struggling Cities and Towns
- August 6, 2020 – 200 U.S. Mayors Call for Emergency Fiscal Assistance for Municipal Governments in U.S. Senate CARES Stimulus Plan