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Ban Bottled Water & Support Local Resources -- the New Mantra of Mayors

Mayors develop support for local water and community programs

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california consumer pollution solutions San Francisco's mayor announced a ban on bottle water at the 75th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors and the nation's mayors passed a resolution looking into potential negative impacts of bottled water on municipalities. The move follows a similar announcement last week, when the Ann Arbor City Council in Michigan announced that it would no longer have bottled water available at city events.

The resolution was introduced by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Salt Lake City Mayor Ross "Rocky" Anderson, and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Saying bottled water costs too much, worsens pollution and is no better than tap water, Newsom also announced that he would sign an executive order banning city officials and contractors from purchasing bottled water with city funds when tap water was also available.

While in L.A., the mayors are also promoting their 10 Point Plan, which describes their collective legislative agenda - Strong Cities, Strong Families for a Strong America.

The first item on the agenda is an Energy and Environment Block Grant that will help fund local initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Other items in the 10 Point Plan include a call for doubling the funding for Community Development Block Grants, strengthening the federal-local partnership on crime prevention, as well as increased funding for emergency first-responders and quality after-school programs for youth.

During the meeting, the mayors will also release a climate protection survey that highlights what over 130 cities large and small are doing NOW to reduce global warming, especially in the absence of federal support.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today, each represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the Mayor.

2007 Mayors' Climate Protection Awards

Mayor Chavez, Albuquerque, NM was recognized for the AlbuquerqueGreen program, which has reduced greenhouse gas emissions citywide by 67 percent since 2000. In addition to converting all newly-purchased city vehicles to alternative fuels, Mayor Chavez established a goal that all new city buildings will be carbon neutral and powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

Mayor Coody, Fayetteville, AR was honored for the City of Fayetteville's Alternative Transportation and Trail Master Plan. The plan created a network of multi-use trails in and around the city that encourage residents to walk or bike to popular destinations, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

Several California cities were among those who received Honorable Mention citations for their environmental achievements:

  • Mayor Marsha McClean, Santa Clarita, California
  • Mayor Richard S. Kelly, Palm Desert, California
  • Mayor Marty Blum, Santa Barbara, California

    The awards were sponsored by Wal-Mart, to support the company's commitment to local communities and to promoting environmental sustainability. Wal-Mart is demonstrating that being an efficient and profitable business and being a good steward of the environment go hand-in-hand.

    SOURCE: U.S. Conference of Mayors

    Edited by Carolyn Allen
    | bottled water | water | urban planning |

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