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Past Event

Weathering the Storm: Mayors of Houston, Miami and Columbia

How are cities coping with political and climatic upheaval? Battles over immigration, sanctuary status, federal funding and other hot-button issues are creating tension between local and federal government at a time when the impacts of climate change are hitting home.

Miami and Houston are recovering from epic storms that were amplified by a climate destabilized by burning fossil fuels. Both cities have dynamic mayors advancing economic recovery in a time when the federal government—aside from disaster relief—is providing less money to cities for infrastructure and other projects that have traditionally facilitated civic development. Miami voters reached into their own pockets to fund $400 million in Miami Forever bonds to deal with rising seas and other climate impacts. Newly-elected Mayor Francis Suarez is now tasked with figuring out how to spend that money to prevent his city from more sunny day flooding. Houston is still waiting for Congress to finalize funds to help Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey, which brought unprecedented rain bombs down on a city that largely has been paved over. What is Mayor Sylvester Turner doing to restore its economy, create jobs and prepare for a volatile future?

A Democratic mayor in one of the reddest states in the country, Steve Benjamin blasted Donald Trump for leaving the Paris climate accord and is spearheading a push for cities across the country to run on 100 percent renewable energy. As the vice president of the United States Conference of Mayors, how does Benjamin think cities can advance a clean energy economy while also addressing housing, jobs, equity and other pressing concerns?

Join us for a conversation on where America's cities are headed.

February 7, 2018

The Commonwealth Club
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, 94105
United States

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Steve Benjamin

Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina

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Francis Suarez

Mayor of Miami, Florida

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Sylvester Turner

Mayor of Houston, Texas

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Greg Dalton

Founder and Host, Climate One