I've shed a lot of digital ink talking about the Obama Administration's Livable Communities initiative, and you'll no doubt hear even more from me on this partnership between DOT, HUD, and EPA down the road.
The idea that housing, transportation, development, and sustainability & environmental protection must be coordinated is picking up steam.
An example of an effective partnership dear to me and closer to my home of Peoria is the 12th annual Conference on the Management of the Illinois River System.
That conference opens today and showcases the work of the Integrated Management Plan for the watershed and other collaborative efforts. It also offers a public forum for discussion as well as panels on:
- Improvements in the River Corridor
- Water & Sediment Management in the Watershed
- Agricultural Land-Use & Conservation
- Sustainable Economic Growth
- Citizen Involvement & Community Action
- Utilization of Ecosystem Services
Now, I recognize that the Illinois River--though central to the history of my hometown and crucial to the economy and environment of my home state--may not be that interesting to all of you. And I didn't list those panels to entice you to Peoria for the conference (though you should visit!). There is a larger point here.
When I was a Congressman, I spent a lot of time working to protect and enhance the Illinois River with many different organizations--state, local, and federal. And I also spent a lot of time working very successfully on river matters with Democratic then-Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn even though I am a Republican.
Cooperation--that's the larger point. Bipartisan, collaborative, interagency, intergovernmental, citizen-community organization-business, public-private cooperation.