Climate Mayors, in Partnership With the Mayors Innovation Project, Hosts Madison Mayor Rhodes-Conway, Saint Paul Mayor Carter, and Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barnes for Dialogue About a Sustainable and Just Economic Recovery

The livestream panel was the third in the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery, an event series running through the fall with leaders in different regions across the U.S.

Listen to the full discussion HERE.

September 16, 2020 – Today, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, and Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes participated in a panel discussion as part of the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery. The event convened like-minded institutions, partners, and policy makers for a discussion about successful climate initiatives in the Great Lakes and ways that the panelists have collaborated to advance climate action both locally and nationally.

Today’s conversation was the third in a Climate Mayors event series advocating for national leadership to prioritize recovery policies that are environmentally sustainable and socially just in the time of COVID-19. The discussion was moderated by Paul Robbins, dean of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Climate Mayors convened this event in partnership with the Mayors Innovation Project at UW-Madison.

“At this moment in history, all mayors must think about how to reinvest in their communities. This creates a tremendous opportunity to invest not in the status quo, but in what we want – communities that are sustainable, resilient, and just,” said Climate Mayors Steering Committee member Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “I appreciate Climate Mayors and Mayors Innovation Project creating this opportunity for me to talk with other Midwest leaders, and for leaders across the country to share their ideas and their successes.”

“COVID-19 has laid bare the very challenges we’ve fought so hard to overcome for more than a generation, and that’s why it’s critical that we build back better, even stronger, and more resilient communities,” said Climate Mayors Steering Committee member Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “The ongoing work of Climate Mayors across our nation continues to help all of us realize this vision.”

“Over the last several years, cities and states have been leading the way on tackling the climate crisis, and together, we’ve been able to make some significant strides forward,” said Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. “But as we rebuild our communities and continue to respond to COVID-19, we must ensure that equity and sustainability are driving our recovery efforts, and environmental justice is at the center of this conversation going forward.”

The next event in the Climate Mayors series will highlight policies and initiatives undertaken by climate leaders in the Ohio Valley region. A nationally-focused discussion will follow later this fall. Mayors and their partners will highlight how environmental initiatives can help stimulate local economies, create jobs, improve public health, and reduce carbon emissions in the wake of COVID-19. They will also discuss the ways that their sustainability policies prioritize frontline communities and communities of color, who are more likely to be affected by pollution and the negative impacts of climate change.

“From the public health and economic disparities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic to unprecedented natural disasters like the wildfires raging across the West, the past year has made clear that we need more sustainable and just systems,” said James Ritchotte, Director of Climate Mayors. “Climate Mayors in the Great Lakes and beyond are committed to implementing innovative solutions that tackle our climate crisis and simultaneously prioritize racial justice, job growth and public health. With the leadership of mayors and other elected officials, cities and states are making the transition to a more green and equitable economy and, with the right support from our federal government to amplify and accelerate existing efforts, we can ensure a more resilient and sustainable country that works better for all of our communities.”

Earlier events in the series featured Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin, and US Representative Kathy Castor, Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, (watch the Southeast event here) and Texas leaders Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg (watch the Texas event here).

For more Information on upcoming events in Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery, please visit


About Climate Mayors

Representing over 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a peer-to-peer network of 464 U.S. city mayors 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, visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Media Contact: Melody Meyer,; Grace Hemming,