Local Leaders Council members Mayor James Brainard and Mayor Ralph Becker (center) at a meeting of the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience last week. Photo via the Office of Governor Neil Abercrombie.
Congratulations to the five members of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council who have been appointed to President Obama’s new Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, a group of 26 state, local and tribal leaders from around the country charged with advising the Administration on how the federal government can respond to the needs of communities dealing with the impacts of climate change.
Task Force members were chosen based on their leadership in building climate preparedness and resilience in their communities through policies and projects designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve stormwater management and achieve other climate-related objectives.
Appointees from Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council include Mayor George Heartwell of Grand Rapids, MI; Mayor Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City, UT; Mayor James Brainard of Carmel, IN; Commissioner Kristin Jacobs of Broward County, FL; and Mayor Madeline Rogero of Knoxville, TN.
Mayor Brainard of Carmel, IN—one of four Republicans on the Task Force—pointed out that resilience to climate change is more than an environmental issue. It is also an issue of protecting the nation’s communities.
“For our cities, this is about the need to address global warming’s impact on our electrical grids, our emergency response in the event of natural disasters,” said Mayor Brainard in a recent editorial in the Indianapolis Star. “This is not only an issue of cleaning up our air and water. It’s a matter of quality of life.”
Members of the Task Force will have the opportunity to use their experiences to inform the Administration’s priorities around climate change and resiliency. The Task Force convened for the first time last week in Washington, DC, and will meet with President Obama three more times in the upcoming months.