INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana mayors attending a climate leadership summit in Indianapolis Wednesday say local officials can motivate the General Assembly to vote for environmental protection measures. They say that message must begin from an economic perspective.
The Climate Leadership Summit gathered local leaders and environmental organizations and stakeholders. One of those leaders, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, spoke on the importance of action at the local level because, as he put it, the state legislature is “frozen” when it comes to environmental protection.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, a Democrat, said mayors and environmental groups must deliver a message to lawmakers that appeals to what she calls their “most basic instincts:”
“Their desire to save money,” she said. “The desire to help people. Money first.”
And Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, a Republican, said it will take elections, in part, to urge legislators to action:
“Let’s face it – legislators respond to the voters,” Brainard said. “So if the voters start to demand change, the legislature will change.”
Brainard said Republicans like himself must also remind others in the GOP that Republican presidents set aside land for national parks and created the Environmental Protection Agency.