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President Obama’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness

Summary: 
Across America, states, cities, and communities are taking steps to protect themselves from extreme weather and other climate impacts. President Obama signed an Executive Order to establish a Task Force of state, local, and tribal leaders to advise the Administration on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change.

Today, we are excited to announce the members of President Obama’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

The anniversary of Hurricane Sandy reminds us how important it is for all levels of government to work together to protect communities and families.  A year ago this week, communities were shattered, families were torn apart, homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed, and lives were upended. But brick by brick, block by block, these communities are rebuilding to be more prepared and resilient. They will come back stronger and the Federal government will continue to stand right by their side as we continue to recover and rebuild.

In the wake of this disaster, we have learned some valuable lessons about how to prepare our communities and be more resilient to these types of extreme weather events, which are growing more frequent and severe with climate change. Instead of recreating old vulnerabilities during the rebuilding process, we implemented a stronger, uniform flood risk rebuilding standard, and provided resources for more climate-resilient roads and infrastructure, and projects that protect drinking water and buffer communities from flooding.  Much of what we have learned was compiled into the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force report released earlier this year.

In another important step, today we announced the members of a new Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to advise the Administration on how the Federal government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change. The President first announced the establishment of this short-term Task Force on June 25, 2013, as part of his Climate Action Plan.

The Task Force members include bipartisan governors, mayors and tribal leaders from across the country who will use their first-hand experiences in building climate preparedness and resilience in their communities to inform their recommendations for the Administration.

The Task Force will present their recommendations to the President within a year to guide and shape Federal policy. An Executive Order signed by the President today also directs Federal agencies ranging from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Department of Transportation to examine their programs across the board and find ways to make it easier for cities and towns to build smarter and stronger. 

As co-chairs of the Task Force, we look forward to working with the Task Force members, and other local, state, and tribal leaders, to combat the impacts of climate change.

  • State Officials:
    • Governor Neil Abercrombie (HI)
    • Governor Jerry Brown (CA)
    • Governor Eddie Calvo (GU)
    • Governor Jay Inslee (WA)
    • Governor Jack Markell (DE)
    • Governor Martin O’Malley (MD)
    • Governor Pat Quinn (IL)
    • Governor Peter Shumlin (VT)
  • Local Officials:
    • Mayor Ralph Becker (Salt Lake City, UT)
    • Mayor James Brainard (Carmel, IN)
    • Commissioner Paula Brooks (Franklin County, OH)
    • Supervisor Salud Carbajal (Santa Barbara County, CA)
    • Mayor Frank Cownie (Des Moines, IA)
    • Mayor Bob Dixson (Greensburg, KS)
    • Mayor Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles, CA)
    • Mayor George Heartwell (Grand Rapids, MI)
    • Mayor Kristin Jacobs (Broward County, FL)
    • Mayor Kevin Johnson (Sacramento, CA)
    • Mayor Michael Nutter (Philadelphia, PA)
    • Mayor Annise Parker (Houston, TX)
    • Mayor Patsy Parker (Perdido Beach, AL)
    • Mayor Madeline Rogero (Knoxville, TN)
    • Mayor Karen Weitkunat (Fort Collins, CO)
    • Mayor Dawn Zimmer (Hoboken, NJ)
  • Tribal Officials:
    • Karen Diver, Chairwoman, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (MN)
    • Reggie Joule, Mayor, Northwest Arctic Borough (AK)

To learn more about President Obama’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, click here.

David Agnew is Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

Nancy Sutley is Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality