While the Biden/Harris Administration is taking the United States back into a leadership role on combatting climate change and promoting clean sustainable energy, Phoenix and Tucson Mayors Kate Gallego and Regina Romero launched new Electric Vehicle Initiatives on Earth Day.
Mayor Gallego forms a Citizen Committee headed by Councilwoman Ansari to Compose an Electric Vehicle Roadmap for Phoenix.
At an Earth Day announcement at the newly upgraded electric vehicle charging stations at the Burton Bar Public Library, Mayor Gallego, accompanied by recently elected Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari announced the creation of a citizen committee to create a roadmap for future electric vehicle use in Phoenix.
Councilwoman Ansari would chair this committee.
In announcing this initiative, Mayor Gallego said:
“I’ve created a new citizen committee charged with creating an electric vehicle strategy and have asked District 7 Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari to chair this effort. We know that to have a significant effect on climate change, we must reduce the number of gasoline-powered vehicles on the road. This group will map out a plan to create the conditions necessary for the people of Phoenix to confidently make the switch.”
“We’ve already implemented the city’s Climate Action Plan which moves up our net-zero emissions goal from 2060 to 2050 or sooner. Our budget proposal also includes a first-in-the-nation Office of Heat Response and Mitigation which will oversee our cool corridors, our programs to increase the tree shade canopy, and the cool pavement pilot program. By coordinating our work and using multiple strategies – including EV adoption – we are poised to make a real, lasting difference.”
Councilwoman Ansari relayed:
“The committee’s mission will be to develop an ambitious and equitable roadmap on vehicle electrification in the City of Phoenix. Not only will we be looking inward at our own city fleet, but we will work to remove barriers to electric vehicle adoption for working families. This will be an important step toward combating deadly air pollution and protecting public health. Phoenix can and will be a global leader on this front. It’s no secret that more and more people are moving to Phoenix every day. We need to build the city of the future, and sustainable infrastructure is key to getting us there.”
Mayor Romero and Councilwoman Uhlich present an Electric Vehicle Roadmap and Tree Equity Score.
The day before Earth Day, Mayor Romero, along with Councilwoman Karin Uhlich unveiled Tucson’s Electric Vehicle road map and the Tucson Tree Equity Score.
The Tucson Electric Vehicle Road Map would:
- “create a path for the City of Tucson to rapidly advance the adoption of electric vehicles within City operations and community-wide.”
- “outlines a series of strategies and actions to increase EV technologies and innovation locally, and promote greater access to EVs and EV charging infrastructure for Tucson residents.”
The Tucson Tree Equity Score would:
- serve “as the primary tool to prioritize investments for the City’s Tucson Million Trees initiative and green infrastructure projects from the Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Fund.”
Commenting on both the Electric Vehicle Road Map and the Tree Equity Score, Mayor Romero said:
“This Roadmap presents a vision for how we can rapidly electrify our city fleet, increase access to EV infrastructure, and advance our city’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan presents the city with an amazing opportunity to advance electrification initiatives that will help keep our air clean and make our city more climate-resilient.”
“Climate change is an issue of racial and environmental justice, with communities of color and lower-income areas experiencing lower tree canopies and higher temperatures. In Tucson, some neighborhoods can experience temperatures as much as 10 degrees higher than other parts of the city. This tool will allow us to focus green infrastructure projects and climate mitigation efforts in the communities that are disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change.”
Councilwoman Uhlich commented on the Electric Vehicle Roadmap:
“With over 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in the Tucson area coming from transportation, the EV-Readiness Roadmap will chart a path in mitigating climate change and improving air quality for Tucson and Southern Arizona. With help from President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, I believe Tucson can grow green jobs and green technologies to aid our shift to renewable energy. This EV-Readiness Roadmap sets us up for success.”
For more information on the Tucson Electric Vehicle and Tree Equity Score Programs, please click on the below links.
It is not surprising that mayors like Gallego and Romero are taking the initiative in revitalizing and modernizing local infrastructures. If the American Jobs Plan does pass, it will largely be the responsibility of mayors and governors to implement the infrastructure projects that will move states like Arizona and the country forward into the Twenty First Century.