Our election for the ICLEI Regional Executive Committee is underway. The Regional Executive Committee, or RexCom, provides an international platform for city and county leaders to drive organizational strategies for ICLEI’s North America region. RexCom members represent ICLEI North America at regional and international meetings and provide input to ICLEI’s Global Executive Committee, our highest level of global membership representation.
I served on the Boulder, CO, city council for 18 years and as mayor for five. Boulder is known internationally for innovative and aggressive programs and policies related to sustainability, energy, and resilience, including our ongoing efforts to “municipalize” our electric power system to greatly increase the use of renewable energy. Boulder’s local efforts are important, but even more essential is the role we play by developing best practices that can be shared. To that end, I and many colleagues have spoken at meetings and conferences worldwide, spreading our knowledge, learning from others, and making invaluable contacts. I’ve served one term on the Board of Directors of ICLEI USA and seek to serve another beginning this fall — there is an obvious alignment between that position and our RexCom. I’ve also served one term on the North America RexCom, attending all three ICLEI Council meetings and speaking at numerous sessions at ICLEI’s World Congress, COP21 representing NLC and environmental organizations, and Habitat III. Nationally, I’m on the National League of Cities’ Board of Directors, previously serving on and chairing NLC’s Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources committee. I’m also on the steering committee of the WaterNow Alliance, which partners with NLC to help cities understand and effect sustainable water solutions. Given that national governments — sadly, including ours — are doing little if anything substantive regarding sustainability and climate change, it is essential that cities worldwide take bold action and demonstrate how to effectively address these crucial issues.
I am currently serving my fifth term as the Mayor of Des Moines. Since the beginning of my public service, I have spent much of my time in leadership roles on the national and international stage representing issues that I am most passionate about: local control, green initiatives, jobs and the economy. In 2005, I was one of only 11 U.S. mayors chosen to travel to Israel as a member of the International Council of Mayors. I was also chosen to formulate regional environmental policies for American cities through my work with ICLEI USA. I have served on the ICLEI USA Executive Committee as Treasurer and helped with the development of the STAR Community Rating System with the U.S. Green Building Council. I am proud to say that Des Moines was one of the original 10 cities in the beta testing group. In addition, I was an early signer of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and was engaged in the COP21 Paris Agreement. I am actively engaged in the U.S. Conference of Mayors serving as a Trustee and this year as the Chair of the Nominating Committee. I am on the Steering Committee for the Mayors Innovation Project. Furthermore, I currently serve on the ICLEI Global Board. My wealth of experience leading on sustainability issues, paired with my passion, makes me an excellent fit for this position.
Brigid Shea, Commissioner, Precinct 2, of Travis County, TX
I came to Austin in 1988 to start the Texas chapter of Clean Water Action after a career as a journalist for NPR stations in Minnesota and Philadelphia. I then served on the Austin city council from 1993 to 1996 and championed consumer, electoral, and environmental reforms. As the co-founder of SOS, Austin’s historic law to save Barton Springs, I have been an advisor to LCRA, Seton, the City of Austin, and others, and my work with a client won the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Environmental Excellence Award. In additon to my role as Board Chair for ICLEI USA, I serve on the national board of Clean Water Action. I’m a 2001 graduate of Leadership Austin and a member of the Chamber of Commerce Clean Energy Council. Today, I proudly represent Travis County as Commissioner since 2014. I’m a native of North Dakota, have two sons, and am married to John Umphress, Green Building specialist with Austin Energy.