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Mayors Share Optimistic Perspective From City Halls

At the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, The New York Times interviewed nine mayors from diverse regions and political backgrounds, and among those featured were NewDEALers Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti. They discussed both local and national challenges including youth violence and housing shortages. As NewDEAL has documented, Lucas and Cognetti have established a track record for solving problems, such as through projects to create hundreds of affordable housing units for vulnerable residents in Kansas City and investing in small businesses through a wage boost program in Scranton.

The mayors also emphasized to the Times that the national political discourse does not reflect the views of most Americans and how they have been able to find consensus within their communities. Read more about the impressive work of other NewDEAL Mayors here.

Emphasizing the Economic Benefits of Clean Energy Efforts

Recent polling conducted by Third Way found that while most Americans agree on the importance of addressing climate change, messages about clean energy must be tied to other priorities, like economic and health benefits, to resonate significantly with voters. In polls conducted in January and May of this year, many more voters identified as “economy-first” as opposed to “climate-first” voters, motivated by inflation and cost concerns. In fact, despite common perceptions, young people, along with women and Latinos, were more likely than older voters to be identified as “economy-first.”

Messages around energy independence, lower energy costs, good-paying jobs, and healthier air and water were twice as effective as those about environmental protection. Stay tuned for more messaging recommendations on the top issues affecting this year’s election in NewDEAL’s Messaging Guide, to be released later this month.

NewDEALers in the Spotlight

Catalyzing Solar Solutions across Michigan

This week, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Homeowners Energy Policy Act, sponsored by NewDEALer Representative Ranjeev Puri. The law prohibits homeowners associations from banning solar and clears the path for households across the state to generate their own electricity by empowering homeowners association (HOA) members to install rooftop solar and other energy-saving measures. In addition, Puri’s legislation  requires HOAs to adopt solar energy policies within the year and keep installation costs affordable for consumers. It impacts 1.4 million Michiganders, comprising about 10% of the state’s total population, who currently belong to HOAs. “We wanted to find a way to… empower homeowners to make those decisions themselves,” said Puri. “I think that this is an important step for a lot of people.” As the state continues to strive for its audacious goal of net negative greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, this law will expand its renewable energy output and transition more households off of fossil fuels.