Devoted people, active organizations and informed local leaders—they’re all needed to make a difference in our world. As the 1 Mississippi campaign now includes over 17,000 dedicated people who are working to protect the River, the next step is to reach out to people in unique leadership positions within our communities.
Already, many River city mayors are engaging on these issues simply because the River is so intertwined with their city’s identity and economy. Mayors of River towns know the issues, care about the River and their communities. In other words, they are the ideal River Citizens. Already, our ranks of River Citizens include 17 River mayors!
Mayor Thompson says, “I’m proud to be a Mississippi River Mayor and consider it an honor to be a River Citizen. The efforts of the Mississippi River Network support and enhance the efforts of our city to promote, protect and restore our ‘Sacred Trust,’ the Mississippi River.”
That’s why this year we are encouraging River mayors to join the 1 Mississippi campaign as River Citizens. It’s a win-win: 1 Mississippi strengthens our unified voice, and our mayors will have more opportunities to connect with the people they represent on River issues.
As the mayor of a large population, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay explains the importance of leading a River city this way:
Cities have a significant impact on America’s greatest waterway. Mayors are in the best position to treat the River the way it should be treated – as an essential resource of our economy, environment and culture. The Mississippi and its tributaries supply drinking water to over 18 million people in the central U.S. Annual revenue from recreational uses on the river exceeds $1.2 billion in the Upper Mississippi River alone.¹
Your local leader may not yet know about the 1 Mississippi campaign. That’s where you come in. Let’s make sure each mayor receives a personal invitation from River Citizens to join the campaign, since we share a common understanding that the Mississippi River deserves and badly needs national attention and protection.
Send your mayor a note and ask that he or she becomes a River Citizen today!
Here is what you can do:
1) Find your mayor on this list of River mayors. We have a list of all River mayors whose contact information is available to the public. They are listed by state, geographically north to south. Email addresses are the primary method of communication, but if it is not available we have provided phone numbers and a street address for snail mail letters.
2) Copy this provided letter into the body of an email, address it to your mayor and send it off! The letter provided is meant to be sufficient by itself, but please feel free to personalize it. You could mention why you are a River Citizen or what you believe the River means to your town. We encourage you to copy firstname.lastname@example.org on your email or drop us a note on Facebook so we can keep track of how many letters are sent.
Thank you for your dedication to the River and for taking action to preserve what you love.
¹St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, quoted on the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative website