For those of you attending the Great Lakes Conference in Detroit, Michigan next week:


As you may have heard, there is a national strike underway by hotel workers, including those at the Westin Book Cadillac—where we are hosting the Great Lakes Conference Oct. 17-18.

Please see below for an update of the situation; what we’re doing about it; and what it means for the conference moving forward.


The situation: 
Hotel workers are currently on strike. Negotiations are underway. We don’t know how long it will last. Based on the best information we have, we are assuming that it will last for the foreseeable future.


What we’re doing about it:
Our goals are to host a wonderful conference, to respect the dignity of workers asking for a living wage, and not put our attendees in a situation where they have to decide whether to cross a picket line. We are working diligently on options to move the conference. Supporting the workers is important because the Coalition and its members support water affordability—a policy that goes hand-in-hand with the need for people to have the dignity of a livable wage.


When you can expect more information:
We will make a final decision about the conference venue, accommodations, and any needed changes by tomorrow, Friday, at 5 p.m. Eastern. At that time, we will be in contact with every conference attendee, sponsor, vendor and funder to let them know what we are doing.


What you have to do now:
Nothing. We will be assessing options over the next 24 hours and let you know the outcome Friday. If you want to connect with Coalition staff in the meantime, please contact Celia Haven at


We will be in touch soon. Thanks for your patience and understanding.


Thank you,
The Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition Team