Houston and Beverly Mayors Win Top Honors
Washington, D.C. – Today, thirteen mayors are being recognized for their efforts to address the climate crisis as part of the 2021 Mayors Climate Protection Awards. Top honors went to Houston (TX) Mayor Sylvester Turner for the Sunnyside Landfill Solar Project and Beverly (MA) Mayor Michael P. Cahill for the Mitigation and the Clean Energy Transition: EVs & Green Schools.
This year’s mayors are the 15th class of winners to be honored for exemplary city programs that demonstrate how local climate action can reduce energy use and carbon emissions and protect local communities. These annual mayoral awards are made possible through a partnership between the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Walmart.
Starting at 12 noon ET today, the honored mayors will be featured in two Zoom sessions to showcase their local climate initiatives. The events are open to media. The first session at 12 noon ET will feature the large city winners (cities of 100,000+ population). To register, see here. The small city winners (cities below 100,000 population) will be featured at 2 pm ET. To register, see here.
“Mayors Turner and Cahill are again demonstrating how local action is addressing the growing climate challenges before our cities, our nation and the world,” said USCM President Dayton (OH) Mayor Nan Whaley. “Whether it is developing solar energy systems to bring new life and opportunity to blighted neighborhoods or accelerating the transition to electric vehicles in our cities, their efforts are making changes locally that will lead us to a healthier and more prosperous future.”
“The Sunnyside Landfill Solar Project will significantly transform a former landfill in our city into one of the largest urban solar farms in the country,” said Houston (TX) Mayor Sylvester Turner. “For decades, the 240-acre landfill in Sunnyside—one of the oldest African American communities in the city—has contributed to the stagnation of the neighborhood’s economy and presented serious health and safety concerns. This project is an example of how cities can work with the community to address long-standing environmental justice concerns holistically, create green jobs, and generate renewable energy in the process. The City of Houston is honored to receive this award and we thank the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Walmart for their continued leadership as we all work to address the climate crisis.”
“In Beverly, we recently opened a new police station heated and cooled by geothermal energy, took delivery on our second electric school bus as we transition our school fleet to fully electric, have performed energy efficiency work in all our schools and most city buildings, launched a building retrofit campaign, and continue to rapidly build city-wide EV charging infrastructure,” said Beverly (MA) Mayor Michael P. Cahill. “Together with our great partners in neighboring Salem and elsewhere, we are determined to find and scale climate solutions on all fronts for the benefit of our residents, now and in the future. We are grateful to The U.S. Conference of Mayors and to Walmart for their leadership in this effort.”
“We applaud these award-winning mayors for their strong climate leadership and successful local action, showing how we can confront our growing climate challenges,” said Amy Hill, Senior Director for Walmart. “We are especially attuned to the actions of this year’s winners – developing solar energy to power city operations and “electrifying” the transportation sector – which are top priorities for our company in reducing our carbon output.”
“In a year of renewed international and national deliberations over how to reduce our global carbon dependency, it is the mayors who are leading the way and showing us the path forward through local climate action,” said Tom Cochran, USCM CEO and Executive Director. “These mayors remind all of us that local climate action is a difference-maker. The creativity and imagination in crafting theses local initiatives should serve as an inspiration to others, especially for leaders in our nation’s capital.”
LARGE CITY HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu – Electric Vehicle Ride Sharing Pilot Program; Henderson Mayor Debra March – Sustainability Action Plan; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio – NYC Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines; Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer – EV Charging Infrastructure; Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve – Real-Time Energy and Emissions Tracking; San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg – Mayor’s Youth Engagement Council for Climate Initiatives; and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria – Climate Equity Index.
SMALL CITY HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly – Electric Vehicle Charging Ordinance; Salem (MA) Mayor Kimberley Driscoll – Resilient Together: Salem and Beverly’s Climate Action & Resilience Plan; San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter – NorCal Resilience Network; and White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach – Community Solar Project.
Full descriptions of the 2021 Mayors Climate Protection Awards winning programs can be found at: https://www.usmayors.org/climateprotection/2021awards/