Contact: David Galin
ALBANY, NY – Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan signed on to a letter sent yesterday by Climate Mayors to Congressional leaders urging bold action to protect our planet and prioritize equitable and sustainable investments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Representing a network of 461 U.S. mayors across the country committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement, Climate Mayors called on Congress to invest in an economic recovery that injects more resilience, equity, and sustainability into our communities.
A full version of the letter can be found here.
“I am proud to join nearly 200 Climate Mayors by calling on Congress to ‘Build Back Better’ after COVID-19 with a focus on equity, improving health outcomes, and creating good-paying green jobs,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “My administration continues to equitably prioritize environmental and sustainability policy by converting more than 10,000 streetlights across the City to energy-efficient LEDs, honoring the Paris Climate Agreement, and ensuring green infrastructure is a component of water and sewer system investments, and we must ensure our Federal Government is doing the same – especially when making the investments needed to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
With the focus squarely on rebuilding the economy and country stronger than ever before, the mayors have advocated for a nationwide transition to a zero-carbon economy -- a step already happening in cities across the country and a bold move that will create good-paying green jobs, lead to cleaner air and lower emissions, improve public health, support resilience, and lift up our most vulnerable residents.
The global coronavirus pandemic has hit communities of color and low-income families particularly hard -- the same families, workers, and neighborhoods who suffer most from the ill effects of climate change, including dangerous emissions, skyrocketing temperatures, intense wildfires, and extreme weather events like floods and hurricanes. Climate Mayors are determined to build a strong, green economy that ensures all Americans are prepared for future health, economic, and environmental shocks.
Recognizing the need to work together at every level of government to move beyond this devastating pandemic, Mayor Sheehan and other Climate Mayors strongly urged federal legislators to work with state and city leadership to build new policies and amplify existing programs that have proven effective.
In the letter, Climate Mayors list several goals that Congress should prioritize as part of the recovery, including:
- Build for a Better Future: Returning to the status quo is not sufficient in meeting the challenges of climate change and inequities in our communities. We must increase our resolve and ambition to reinvest in America’s communities.
- Leading with Equity: Federal investments in our municipalities must prioritize those communities who have been left behind, and frontline communities and people of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change and COVID-19.
- Prioritizing Multiple Benefits: The best investments will create jobs, strengthen communities, and improve health outcomes in our cities and towns.
The letter also includes an appendix with a sample of recommended policies and programs to advance a just, equitable, and resilient economic recovery that will put Americans back to work and create cleaner, healthier, more livable communities. The policy recommendations are accompanied by success stories from Climate Mayors member cities where similar policies have led to community benefit.
About Climate Mayors:
Representing 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a diverse network of 461 U.S. city leaders who have committed to fighting climate change. Originally founded in 2014, the network’s ranks swelled to almost 400 mayors in response to the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Climate Mayors commit to taking ambitious action to meet each of their cities’ current climate goals, while working together towards achieving our national Paris targets. Climate Mayors is founded and Chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Co-Chaired by Mayors Sylvester Turner (Houston) and Martin J. Walsh (Boston). For more information, please visit Climatemayors.org.