Open Letter to President Obama

February 4, 2009

Dear President Obama,

We urge you and Congress to lead our country and people in developing and implementing a
National Strategy for Sustainability.

Our country and world confront an economic crisis as well as social and environmental trends
that threaten the health and security of citizens today and future generations. We need to
reverse this situation with strategies and actions that will improve the quality of life for everyone.
As you have said, "we can no longer afford to ignore suffering outside our borders, nor can we
consume the world's resources without regard to its effect."

This requires different thinking and methods from those that created these crises. We need
a National Sustainability Strategy -- an approach not based on short-term fixes but on a
long-range vision.

You pledged to us that under your administration the United States will provide global leadership.
During your inauguration you said: "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off,
and begin again the work of remaking America. We will harness the sun and the winds and the
soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and
universities to meet the demands of a new age."

The concept of "sustainability" officially entered the American language in 1992 at the historic
"Earth Summit" Conference. Some of us began our work remaking America then, including through
town meetings across the country hosted by the President's Council for Sustainable Development
during the Clinton Administration. Many families, businesses, cities, schools, churches, and quite
a few states are already taking action to adopt sustainable practices. Yet many of ideas and
activities of government, industry, and everyday consumers remain
fixed in the habits, standards and priorities of the past.

A National Strategy can provide the means to create a sustainable economy that will improve the
quality of life for everyone by establishing a coherent framework for economic, social and environmental
policies. We need your help and leadership to make this happen. Please support our call for your
Administration and Congress to lead our country in developing and implementing a National Strategy
for Sustainability.

Campaign for a National Sustainability Strategy