With the Democratic and Republican Conventions just a few weeks away, WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger is urging the two political parties to include investment in water infrastructure as a plank in their 2012 campaign platforms. In letters to Democratic Platform Committee chairman (and former Ohio governor) Ted Strickland and Republican Platform Committee chairman (and incumbent Virginia governor) Bob McDonnell, Eger points out that spending on water infrastructure creates jobs, in addition to protecting public health, driving innovation, and improving the quality of life in local communities.
Past party platforms have failed to mention water and have instead focused on other public works infrastructure such as roads and bridges. In addition to the Eger letters, WEF is spearheading an effort to enlist support for water infrastructure platform language from Members of Congress and other elected officials, including Mayors and others who will be serving as convention delegates. The platform committees will be meeting in mid-August and the final platforms will be approved at the Republican National Convention to be held August 27-30 in Tampa, FL and the Democratic National Convention to be held September 4-6 in Charlotte, NC.
The platform effort is one part of a larger bi-partisan campaign that WEF has mounted to generate visibility and support for water infrastructure investment during the fall political campaign, and in Washington once the election is over. WEF is working with Member Associations in key states to promote a general educational message about the value of water and generate discussion in traditional and social media. Messages and materials developed as part of the Water’s Worth ItTM campaign will be used in this effort along with new materials tailored to specific states.