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Top U.S. mayors on local solutions to fight climate change

Chokwe Lumumba and Erin Mendenhall join Washington Post Live on Tuesday, Dec. 6. (Video: The Washington Post)

From catastrophic rain to massive heatwaves to record-breaking drought, extreme weather is disrupting the lives of millions of Americans and straining the country’s aging infrastructure. Join Washington Post Live for back-to-back conversations with Jackson, Miss., Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall about the impact of climate change on their cities as part of a new, special week-long series, “This is Climate.”

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“The systems we have are the systems we have until we replace them. There are still vulnerabilities within our system. We will not be weatherized in time for the winter months as they are approaching and get into the heart of what our winter is in Jackson, Mississippi. We’ll be praying for a calm winter that is not extremely averse to the city of Jackson and to our systems. But should we experience that, then we are at risk of pipes bursting and interrupting our distribution system and our ability to get water to residents. We will be concerned with how we protect our water treatment facility… from the conditions and the potential equipment failures that could take place. Those are things we are concerned with and we are observing, not only how do we weatherize and protect the current water treatment facility, but we are observing the need for a new water treatment facility that has greater functionality.”- Jackson, Miss., Mayor Chokwe Lumumba (Video: Washington Post Live)
“It is long overdue that we observe the discrepancy in funding. It is troubling to me when state administration, after state administration; legislative session, after legislative session feels that it is ok to deny these basic human needs. Human needs that are not Democrat nor Republican—the water system is non-partisan. This is how we are helping children… the elderly… families and those that are sick and I’ll take care of their basic daily needs.” - Jackson, Miss., Mayor Chokwe Lumumba (Video: Washington Post Live)
“The state of Utah is the fastest growing state in the nation, by more than a full percentage point. We are having a lot of kids, but we have a tremendous net in migration happening here because of the high quality of life that we enjoy. And yet, as Salt Lake City is the hub of that growth, we are growing vertically. Almost entirely, the growth that we’re experiencing is multi-family growth. And we are actually using less water as a city today, than we were in the year 2000 … The way we're growing is actually having a positive impact here locally.” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall (Video: Washington Post Live)
“When it comes down to it, [the] city is where rubber meets the road. You turn on the faucet, it’s probably your city that’s responsible for providing you that drinking water. We can't control the climate in every way, we can't control the federal system that's happening. But we are tenaciously creative about coming up with ways we can make each household's life better. Even if we are praying for snow all the while."- Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall (Video: Washington Post Live)

Jackson, Miss., Mayor Chokwe Lumumba

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall