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Making Ends Meet: A Workshop on Water Affordability

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We are excited to invite Mayors, municipal elected officials, water utility leaders, and advocates to Philadelphia! 
Join us to hear from community and local leaders around the nation, as well as utility leaders, on the depths of the water affordability crisis and learn about the solutions for tackling it in your community. Space is limited - please register no later than Wednesday, May 23.

On the Agenda...

The Philadelphia Story
Philadelphia’s innovative approach to water affordability is  based on an income-based water tariff.   What are the takeaways for your community?

The Affordability Crisis
Rising utility bills have tangible negative impacts on households. We will discuss those impacts and
the ways communities are organizing around them.
 
 Creating Stormwater Fees
Stormwater fees are being used more and more to address runoff. What are communities doing
to keep them fair and affordable?
 
Addressing Affordability
What can utilities and cities do to promote efficiency, develop customer assistances programs 
and/or identify rate based solutions?
 
What Mayors and Utility Leaders need from the Federal Government
Water Affordability is a national crisis. Is there a national solution?
 
Space is limited! Register before Wednesday, May 23.

 

Wednesday, May 30

5:00 - 6:00pm

The Philadelphia Story

Philadelphia’s innovative approach to water affordability is based on an income-based water tariff. What are the takeaways for your community?

Debra McCarty, Commissioner, Philadelphia Water Department

Rob Ballenger, Community Legal Services

Former Mayor Michael Nutter

Location: Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, 4th Floor, Fisher Fine Arts Building, University of Pennsylvania, 220 S. 34th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104

6:00 - 7:00pm

Reception


Thursday, May 31

​8:00 - 8:30am

Breakfast

Location: Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, 4th Floor, Fisher Fine Arts Building, University of Pennsylvania, 220 S. 34th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104

​8:30 - 8:45am

Welcome

UPenn Water Center and Mayors Innovation Project

​8:45 - 10:15am

The Affordability Crisis

Rising utility bills have tangible negative impacts on households. We will discuss those impacts and the ways communities are organizing around them.

Emily Kutil, We The People Detroit

Jonathan Nelson, Policy Director, Community Water Center*

Moderator: Amanda Aguirre, Executive Vice President and COO, GreenLatinos

10:15 - 10:30am

Break

​10:30 - 12:00pm

Creating Stormwater Fees

Stormwater fees are being used more and more to address runoff. What are communities doing to keep them fair and affordable?

Rick Gray, Former Mayor, Lancaster, PA

Alicia Smith, Director, Junction Coalition Toledo

Darryl Haddock, Education Director, Western Atlanta Watershed Alliance

Adam Ortiz, Prince George’s County, MD*

12:00 - 12:30pm

Lunch

12:30 - 2:30pm

Addressing Affordability

What can utilities and cities do to promote efficiency, develop customer assistance programs, and/or rate based solutions?

Debra McCarty, Commissioner, Philadelphia Water Department

Stacey Isaac Berahzer, University of Chapel Hill - Environmental Finance Center

Mohamed Balla, Chief Financial Officer, Atlanta Department of Watershed Management

Roger Colton, Partner, Fisher, Sheehan & Colton

2:30 - 2:45pm

​Break

2:45 - 3:30pm

What Mayors and Utility Leaders need from the Federal Government

Water Affordability is a national crisis. Is there a national solution?

Becky Hammer, Deputy Director of Federal Water Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council*

Richard Lyons, Project Manager, Water Purification District for Albany County NY*

Dan Shapley, Water Quality Program Director, NY Riverkeeper*

3:30 - 4:00pm

Wrap-up & Adjourn

*Invited



Location
 

Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, 4th Floor, Fisher Fine Arts Building, 220 S. 34th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104

 

Cost

This workshop is open and free for Mayors, municipal elected officials, water utility leaders, and advocates only. Space is limited - please register no later than Wednesday, May 23.

 

Hotel

A room block has been reserved at the Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel, 3549 Chestnut St, Philadelphia (a 2 block walk from the workshop) at a rate of $189/night plus tax. Please contact us to book no later than Thursday, May 17. 

 

Travel Support

Travel support may be available for Mayors, City Council members, other local elected officials, and utility leaders. Contact Emily Miota to learn more.

 

Travel
  • Flying: The Philadelphia airport (PHL) is approximately 7 miles from U-Penn campus. Taxi/Uber/Lyft as well as amtrak are reasonable options upon arrival at the airport.
  • Amtrak: The 30th Street station - Philadelphia's main station - is just a 0.9 mile walk from the workshop. 
  • Parking: If driving to the workshop, parking is available at the hotel for $28/night. If not staying at the hotel, parking there may still be possible for workshop attendees - contact us to learn more. Otherwise the closest parking lot to the meeting is the Walnut 38 parking garage, 119 S 38th Street. View map with parking lot options here.

 

Questions?

Contact Matthew Braunginn, 608-262-6585, braunginn@mayorsinnovation.org.

 

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