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Earth Day 2009 - Letter

April 22, 2009 (Earth Day)

The District of Columbia is critical to our nation’s environment – not just in its role as the nation’s capital, but also in its role as a city. Today, cities are at the core of solutions to our most significant environmental challenges – combating climate change, conserving energy and water , preserving land and habitat, and promoting public transportation or community redevelopment.  All of these goals are advanced by those who live and work in a city.

Those of us who live and work in the District have a special duty that comes from being the nation’s capital. The model we create is meaningful on a national and international stage, at a time when the challenge of climate change and the hope of a green economy have pushed the environment to the top of the global agenda.

We are pleased to release today the Green DC Agenda—the District is one of the world’s most sustainable cities. Going green means we all benefit from cleaner, swimmable rivers; healthier air indoors and out; more beautiful streets, parks, and school grounds; and a vibrant, competitive economy.

The good news is that we are well on our way. The District is a national leader in green building, energy conservation, public transportation, acres of forest and open space, and the presence of green jobs. We are also excited that we have such a strong partner in President Obama, who will help speed our progress with financial support and progressive new policies and programs.

The better news is that we are committed to do more. The Green DC Agenda we are releasing today is Version 1.0–a first step toward making our city sustainable. You’ll see many completed action items and many new commitments.

Most importantly, we look forward to working with you. Our actions as a government are only part of the solution. Your ideas and your efforts at home, school and work will move us forward together to create a Green DC.  Please use our website to give us your feedback, and Take the Green Pledge today.