February 7th, 2018


Mayor, Columbia, South Carolina

Mayor, Miami, Florida

Mayor, Houston, Texas


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 U.S. Conference of Mayors, how does he think cities can advance a clean energy economy while also addressing housing, jobs, equity, and other pressing concerns.

Join us for a networking reception with wine and appetizers followed by a conversation about where America's cities are headed.