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ICYMI: LCV State Affiliates Host Events with 19 Mayors Across the Country Calling on Congress to Make Bold Investments in Climate, Justice and Jobs

Aug 23, 2021

Courtnee Connon, 727-744-4163, courtnee_connon@lcv.org

Last week, 19 mayors across the country joined regional forums hosted by LCV state affiliates for virtual discussions about the urgent need for Congress to pass a federal economic recovery package that centers climate, justice, and jobs. Local leaders from every corner of the nation are seeing the impacts of the climate crisis on their constituents firsthand, and are seeing the outcomes that come with investing in solutions for a clean energy future. The science in the latest IPCC climate report is clear — we can no longer wait for transformational change, and Congress can no longer wait to make once-in-a-generation investments to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis and environmental injustices in communities already suffering the most from extreme weather and pollution. Congress must meet the moment on climate and environmental injustices and move our economy towards a clean energy future and these mayors want to see action. 

WATCH Mayor Nan Whaley (Dayton, OH) summarize this important week of action and call on mayors across the country to get engaged in this crucial moment for climate, justice, and jobs.

Here’s what the participating mayors had to say:

Midwest Event

  • Mayor Jim Carruthers (Traverse City, MI)
      • “We’re the frontline of defense and I’m really happy to know that I’m working with a great group of mayors across this country to, y’know, support climate action…” 
      • “Our lives are short but we must make sure that we give this world to our next generation and the next, and the best way to manage that is to tread more lightly on our environment and our globe so we have something to give to the next generation…”
  • Mayor Jim Hovland (Edina, MN)
      • “The effects of climate change are not felt evenly across our community members, we all know that, climate change multiples the impacts of other stressors, whether they be age, income, race, and existing health disparities…”
      • “What I’m most proud of is that people are right behind us, and they’re just pushing us along, carrying us along as a government, to try to make sure that we can get our planet back in the shape it used to be…”
  • Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway (Madison, WI)
      • “… Cities really have been leading around climate change… but there are all sorts of pieces where the federal government has to take action because we can’t…”
      • “… we have to, in however we’re spending money, we have to be getting multiple wins for our communities… we have to be reducing carbon emissions, or carbon equivalent emissions, but we also have to be creating green jobs. And we have to be, y’know, improving efficiency, but we also have to be making our communities more resilient…”
      • “I think it’s important that the federal government think about sustaining these investments over many years, and scaling them such that it actually is a sustainable workforce…”
  • Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird (Lincoln, NE)
      • “… what’s at stake? The future we hope for when we look into the eyes of our children, the promise of a stronger and more secure and more equitable future, not just for Americans, but for all of humanity…”
      • “We’re witnessing historic and transformational change today. Cities and states across the country, as you’ve heard from my colleagues, they’re moving towards a really bold and achievable vision, we’re demonstrating that that’s possible, and we’re charting the course for our collective success…”
  • Mayor John Cranley (Cincinnati, OH)
    • “… I believe that Cincinnati will be the first city in America that’s effectively carbon-neutral by the end of the year… we will be putting as much solar energy on the grid as we take out…”
    •  “I believe that clean energy is critical to growth, both in saving our planet, but in enormous job opportunities.”

New England Event

  • Mayor Anne Watson (Montpelier, VT)
      • “… what will it take to move forward, and the short answer is money, and that is why this reconciliation bill is so important.”
      • “We just had a net-zero energy plan come out for the city of Montpelier, and even though we’ve made a lot of progress so far, we still have a substantial amount of work to do, and it’s going to just take money, and that is where this bill could be a significant help.”
      • “… if we can switch habits and practices with this investment from this reconciliation bill, that will be a significant and really important step towards making our planet more livable.”
  • Mayor Jesse Lederman (Springfield, MA)
      • (directly answering a question on the $3.5 trillion dollar reconciliation package) 
        • “… cities like Springfield are the ones that are in the most serious position of needing to respond to increased weather events and global climate change, but also are still having to spend so much money responding to the impacts of them. And so funds like this [are] so critical to help us really get ahead.”
        • “…we know that we are out of time and that means that now is the time to think big and towards the future and that is what these funds will let us do.”
      • (speaking about Justice40) “… the fact that this proposal exists in the reconciliation bill is really a testament to how we have shifted the conversation around environmental justice in the Commonwealth and in this country, and that has to go forward…”
  • Mayor Sarah Nichols (Bangor, ME)
      • “… I am hearing more from our constituents, just on a regular basis… the whole climate emergency, the draft, actually came from a constituent… people are getting more concerned, and actually wanting to know what we’re doing… just on a municipal level.”
      • “… this really does need to pass if we’re going to make any sort of headway in… our half of the state.” 
  • Mayor Joyce Craig (Manchester, NH)
    • “… I’ve been a huge advocate for vehicle charging infrastructure… but we really need, and we want to, do more throughout the city to encourage that.” 
    • (answering a question on the $3.5 trillion dollar reconciliation package 
      • “… I look at this opportunity as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, where we have these federal dollars that could really make a tremendous impact in our community…”
      • “… being able to expand solar to more residents and throughout the city from a business perspective would be fantastic.”
      • “… some of those changes that need to happen will cost more money, but they’re necessary, and we all need to start looking at these major projects in the same way and make those changes now for the future.” 

Mid-Atlantic Event

  • Mayor Gavin Buckley (Annapolis, MD)
      • “We are trying to make people know that although this city is historic, it is on the forefront of dealing with climate change and is innovative.”
      • “We are connecting our city in multiple ways, through infrastructure that will discourage people from getting in their car and encouraging them to get on a bike, electric scooter, or an electric ferry.”
      • We’re using the beauty of this city and its waterfront as a positive thing when we talk about the challenges of climate change that are ahead of us and making sure people realize addressing climate change is not a burden. It is a positive thing, it is a job creator, it encourages ecotourism, it makes people think about this city in a different way.”
  • Mayor Rhavi Bhalla (Hoboken, NJ)
      • “We’ve instituted a very aggressive climate action plan that seeks to meet or exceed the goals of the Paris Agreement. We have made sure that as a matter of policy climate action and climate change is considered in every governmental action we take.”
      • “We cannot do it alone. We need that partnership at the federal level…through infrastructure dollars in order to mitigate the impact of climate change.”
  • Mayor Kathy Sheehan (Albany, NY)
      • “I’ve always been a believer that if you have a plan and a good team on your side that you can find the funding to make the changes that you need in your community and that’s what Build Back Better is all about.”
      • “We know that this is not a problem that is going to go away and so as we think about our resiliency and think about what we need to do in order to address the historic issues and these new normals of big storms.”
  • Mayor Paige Cognetti (Scranton, PA)
    • “We need to make sure that we’re focusing on the future and hopefully with some of this investment we can again be on the forefront in some way.”

Mountain West Event

  • Mayor Lauren McLean (Boise, ID)
      • “We would love to see this reconciliation pass, because resilience investments and infrastructure investments are key to climate action, key to climate mitigation, but most importantly, key to climate innovation.”
      • “We’re optimistic that this will move forward, that this will provide tools that will make real investments in good paying jobs, that keep us healthy, and build prosperity for our community.”
      • “It’s really important we see bipartisanship. Climate investments are investments. Full stop. We need to do whatever we can to work together through this reconciliation process to ensure investments can be made here – not just in Boise, but throughout Idaho.”
  • Mayor John Engen (Missoula, MT)
      • “We have high hopes for the reconciliation and investment in infrastructure to keep us going to meet some of our goals.”
      • “Fortunately, infrastructure as a concept has transcended partisan lines, and there is something here for everyone.”
      • “Rural Montana benefits from urban Montana doing well and vice versa. These conversations are encouraging and will continue.”
      • “This federal investment is so critical. That leadership is so critical. There are lots of us on the ground who are ready to deploy those resources in ways that will have a lasting and meaningful impact for the residents we all serve.”
  • Mayor Jeni Arndt (Fort Collins, CO)
      • “The two largest wildfires in Colorado history were last summer. One was right in my backyard. It was dark as night. In the West, I think we all know what that’s like.” 
      • “Our kids’, and our grandkids’ future should be nonpartisan.”
      • “We are transitioning as fast as we can to a clean energy economy…We can’t afford not to.”
  • Mayor Kate Gallego (Phoenix, AZ)
      • “I was pleased to serve as the President of the Arizona League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, and I understand there are several people who are part of this conversation who have been in leadership roles at state leagues since then so thank you all for your service and for making sure we have a stronger planet to leave behind.” 
      • “When our US government has made transformative coast to coast investments in infrastructure, it has helped us be leaders in innovation and I’m excited about what this will do when we get it to the finish line.”
      • “Perhaps some of those kids who ride to school in an electric bus will be inspired to be the engineers of the future and keep America leading in these technologies.”
      • This moment: “We are blessed to be here at this moment in time where we can really make a transformational investment that we will be proud to tell the next generation about.”
  • Mayor Daniel Corona (West Wendover, NV)
      • “It’s having a major impact. In some ways, climate change has an outsized impact on smaller communities. Especially with the areas where wildfires are happening. The communities that are unfortunately being burned to the ground are smaller, rural communities. That’s something that we face, and we have to live with that fear. But, we can do things to help change that!”
  • Mayor Victor Snover (Aztec, NM)
    • “It’s important we all rally behind the Build Back Better Plan and look forward with an eye on the future.”
    • “People are concerned about their jobs and their families, but there is a lot of fear-mongering instead of having research- and data-based decision-making. The infrastructure and reconciliation bills in Congress can play an important role in a town like Aztec. We have great amenities here that could attract people working remotely or visiting. Federal funding can help clean up oil and gas facilities, clear the air, and provide the infrastructure we need to take advantage of a rapidly growing outdoor recreation economy.”

 

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