Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Sustainable Washington Advisory Panel Meeting
September 18, 2002
Good morning. I am pleased to join you for this first Advisory Panel meeting. I appreciate your willingness to serve on this panel. I know you are all busy people with many obligations.
I recognize that the schedule—only four half-day meetings—is an aggressive one for meeting our goals. But I am confident that you will be successful.
One reason for the limited schedule is make membership on the Panel possible for you. Most of you, like me, have over-committed calendars. The compressed schedule also reflects some of the budget limitations we face across state government. We know your work can be far more effective with intensive staff and consultant support. Our budget constrains our ability to fund that support.
I am counting on you for a practical action plan. A plan that we can start to implement in early 2003. This may entail interim sessions between Panel meetings for some of you. I hope you’ll be willing to do that.
I’d like to review what we are already doing, and what I will count on you to provide.
Today I will be signing an Executive Order at a press conference immediately following this meeting. That order will direct state agencies to institute sustainable practices in their “business operations.” This includes environmentally sound purchasing, energy and water conservation, waste reduction, and the use of efficient, low-pollution vehicles.
While some agencies are already moving in that direction, I know that much more can be done. This Executive Order will push us forward. Some of your organizations are already taking major strides. I want state agencies to learn from your example. And perhaps set some examples for you and others to follow.
Following the Press Conference, I will be giving awards to business and government groups that are leading the way in sustainability. You are welcome to join me in honoring and congratulating those organizations, here in the Convention Center at 1:00.
The action plan this group creates will show what a sustainable Washington will look like 10 or 15 or 20 years from now. It will also tell us what we need to do now to get there. I need you to address how – in a time of severe budget constraints – we can make the investments necessary to move us toward that sustainable future. It will not be enough to say that we should find the funds. We will need your recommendations about sources and mechanisms to put them to use.
Many of you in the private sector are already well along on the path to sustainability. I will welcome your suggestions about effective partnerships that will help us work together for maximum benefit.
Thanks again for taking on this challenge. I look forward to reviewing your plan later this year.