The I Will Stay If... campaign is a project of GLUE, the Great Lakes Urban Exchange. GLUE is a growing network of young leaders who are committed to the revitalization of the cities of the Great Lakes region, through building a constituency, sharing information, telling our stories, and advocating for what our cities need.

Since November of 2007, GLUE has gotten to know thousands of people across the region, from Milwaukee to Buffalo, and from Flint to Pittsburgh, and we've learned that what people care about isn't just cooler coffee houses and music venues. Rather, it's a long-term, sustainable and equitable vision for your city.

But it's not enough for GLUE to tell our city and state leaders what we're finding. We have to show them.

The I Will Stay If... campaign will collect, analyze, and disseminate images of people who live in Great Lakes cities holding a poster that finishes the sentence "I will stay if..." We expect diverse, thoughtful, and forward-thinking responses, in line with the impressions that GLUE has informally been collecting since its inception.

We will use the images collected in a variety of ways, including advocacy efforts run by GLUE and our partners. But most importantly, the IWSI images will allow GLUE to elevate the voices of our cities' residents about what they want our cities to be. When people ask, "What do people want? How do we keep them here?" GLUE will have a catalogue of powerful answers.

We look at each of the photos we collect as mini-stories. And we want your voice to play a role in shaping the larger stories of our cities.

Please join us. Tell your story, share your idea, in your words. What will make YOU stay?

How can you help? Throw a campaign launch party in your city. Or maybe you'd rather put together a smaller house party. Or run around your city with a camera, a whiteboard, and some markers, and ask folks on the street what would make THEM stay?

At the least, get a couple of friends together, and snap photos of each other completing the commitment statement, "I will stay if..."

[Please try to collect the approximate age and the zip code of the people in your photos. These demographics will help GLUE advocate for what we need.]

Email photos, questions, or requests for more info to iwillstayif@gluespace.org