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Mayoral trio honored by Michigan League of Conservation Voters

They are thinking globally and acting locally to bring positive change
The Michigan League of Conservation Voters (Michigan LCV) honored three Michigan mayors—Mayor John Hieftje of Ann Arbor, Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids, and former Mayor Rob Sisson of Sturgis—with the 2008 Environmental Leadership Award on June 12, 2008.

Michigan LCV awards lawmakers who make protecting and enhancing Michigan’s environment a top priority. In previous years, state senators and state representatives were recipients of this prestigious award. This year though, all three of the award recipients are mayors.

“Instead of honoring state legislators for good work behind the scenes in Lansing, we decided to go to a level of government where a lot of REAL work was being done,” said Michigan LCV Executive Director Lisa Wozniak. “It is no surprise that the Michigan Legislature has been woefully slow in moving legislation that would ensure protections of our land, air and water. These mayors have decided to think globally. But even more importantly, they are acting locally in offering real solutions that help Michigan’s environment and economy.”

The three honorees all have committed to investing in and protecting Michigan’s greatest natural resources.
  • Mayor George Heartwell has helped Grand Rapids go green by focusing on energy conservation, renewable energy use, and improving water quality in the Grand River. He also helped Grand Rapids gain the designation as a “Center of Expertise” in sustainability by the United Nations.
  • Mayor John Hieftje has been instrumental in implementing various measures to make Ann Arbor more eco-friendly, including purchasing hybrid bio-diesel city buses, LED bulbs for streetlights, and setting a goal of 30% renewable energy use by 2010.
  • Former Mayor Rob Sisson was responsible for creating Sturgis’s first curbside residential recycling program and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency both at the city level and throughout St. Joseph County.
All three mayors signed the U.S. Conference of Mayors Agreement on Climate Change, affirming their commitment to reducing global warming pollution and ensuring long-term protection of Michigan’s families, Michigan’s Great Lakes and Michigan’s beautiful open spaces.

Past winners of the Environmental Leadership award include State Senators Bruce Patterson, Raymond Basham, Patricia Birkholz and Liz Brater as well as State Representatives Andy Meisner, David Law and Marie Donigan.
-Michigan League of Conservation Voters
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