Archive, Editorial

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

The following is the email I sent in response to a letter that I received from a group of distinguished CEOs from some of the most influential businesses in the water sector.  In their letter, the CEOs describe an effort they have launched to seek a more collaborative and coherent effort to present the case on the value of water to the public we serve.  To put it mildly, I agree:


To the Water CEO Group,
I appreciate very much receiving a copy of the letter that you
have authored on advancing the interests of our industry.  I
wholeheartedly support this direction and am prepared to invest both my own
personal time and the resources that DC Water can bring to the
If anything, I would go farther than what the letter
contemplates.  Perhaps due to my location in Washington, DC combined with
my background as an advocate, I am disheartened by the multiplicity and
complexity of voices and organizations that jockey for visibility and
consequence in our arena.  Unfortunately, this reality reminds me of the
challenge faced by the thirteen colonies as they marched into the revolution –
united we stand, divided we fall!  I sense that although almost every
group is well run and consists of good people with good ideas, the industry as
a whole is so fragmented that we seem divided and weak, rather than unified and
strong.  Given the stakes at hand, a combination of a vital service and
enormous needs, this reality must change.
On the other hand, I am absolutely thrilled by the potential
that is before us – because we are an industry that touches virtually every
person in the country – often with a written bill and message on a monthly
basis.  We can naturally tailor a unified national message with a local
focus and flavor, linked to requests from political leaders and others for
outcomes that matter to the very lives of their constituents (and our
customers.)  I agree that we need to persuade the public about the value
of water – and want to also emphasize what needs to be done to secure this
resource as well.  We are investing an enormous amount of time, energy and
money into this effort in our fair city, but are acutely aware that a better
national effort would make all our local work far more effective – and then
connect back to a broader success on issues of national significance.
Please let me know how I can help, I am ready and raring to
Warm regards,

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