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Elevating the power of sustainability at City Hall

David Beach  |  11/13/09 @ 11:32am

In front of a cheering audience in the City Hall Rotunda on September 22, 2009 Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson made three announcements that reaffirmed his commitment to make sustainability and a green economy priorities for the city's future.

First, he promoted the city's sustainability program director Andrew Watterson to Chief of Sustainability, a new cabinet-level position in the mayor's office. This makes the sustainability post one of the most powerful positions in city government.

Second, the mayor named a high-profile, 25-member Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Council to advise the city on ways to follow up on the recommendations of the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit held in August. The council will help set priorities and develop a strategic plan for a sustainable economy. See a list of members and more information about the council here.

And third, as a way of ensuring accountablility, the mayor announced that the city will convene annual sustainability summits to report on progress and design future projects. These summits will be planned by a diverse steering committee and will employ the Appreciative Inquiry process of the first summit. They will be facilitated by David Cooperrider, a professor of sustainable business at Case Western Reserve University.

"We are elevating the profile of sustainability in the city," Jackson said. "In the past, particularly in the 1970s, Cleveland had the opportunity to reinvent its economy, but we failed to act. Today we have the opportunity again, and we're not making the same mistakes."

Read more GCBL coverage of the summit:

For a collection of Plain Dealer stories about the city's sustainability summit, go here.

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