Carmel mayor participates in bipartisan meeting of mayors


During the end of January, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard traveled to meet with mayors from across the United States at a bipartisan conference hosted by President Barack Obama and the White House.

After dealing with a long list of city council business Jan. 18, Brainard traveled to Washington D.C. for three days as a part of the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting. More than 250 U.S. mayors met at the White House to report on the economic progress that each city has made since Obama took office.

While there, he participated alongside other mayors at the conference and presented the annual update and report from the Energy Independence and Climate Protection Task Force, of which he is a member.

Throughout the week, senior White House officials and members of the president’s cabinet participated in sessions and panel discussions about various topics including veteran homelessness, community policing, criminal justice reform, climate change, affordable health care, immigration, transportation and manufacturing.

Other Indiana mayors in attendance included: John Hamilton of Bloomington, Tom Henry of Fort Wayne, Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Joe Hogsett of Indianapolis, Jeff Gahan of New Albany and Pete Buttigieg of South Bend.

Brainard, speaking to Current in Carmel over the phone at the conference, said conferences like these are useful to not only learn about new practices to build innovative cities, but also to make connections that can benefit Carmel down the road. Brainard said he has a list of public infrastructure projects he’s addressing with more than $200 million in council-approved bonds. He’s hoping state and federal funding will be available for many of these transportation projects.

After meeting in D.C., Brainard is traveling to Salt Lake City at the request of the White House to participate in the 2016 Salt Lake County Innovation Summit. While there, he is presenting a speech entitled, “Leading a 21st Century Government.”

The spring meeting of the 84th Annual Conference of Mayors will be held June 24 to 27 in Indianapolis. Brainard plans on attending, and he said he’s hoping to take advantage of the close proximity to hold an event in Carmel at that same time as well.