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Newark, NJ — Mayor Ras J. Baraka, along with 33 additional new members, have been appointed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to serve on the Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC), EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan announced. The 39-member LGAC will include 20 women, 16 people of color, and representation from 30 different states, Tribal nations, and U.S. territories, representing a diverse cross-section of cities, counties, towns, and communities across the United States.

“I am grateful for the honor to work alongside my colleagues from across the country in solidarity with EPA Administrator Regan on critical environmental issues impacting local governments. Newarkers have been working tirelessly for many decades to combat environmental injustice and ensure public health protections for our residents,” said Mayor Baraka. “I believe environmental challenges should not and cannot be addressed in isolation from the other urgent matters affecting U.S. cities. As such, I am especially looking forward to working with President Biden’s administration to advance its key priorities including bold action to protect families from COVID-19, provide economic relief to American citizens, address our nation’s infrastructure challenges, tackle climate change, and advance racial equity and civil rights.”

“I’m honored to welcome this diverse, highly qualified group of local leaders who will bring valuable insight and experience to the Agency,” said Mr. Regan.“EPA is counting on their input and collaboration to help achieve our mission to protect public health and the environment in every zip code. From tackling climate change to advancing environmental justice, we need local partners at the table to address our most pressing environmental challenges.”

EPA received more than 150 nominations following a solicitation in March 2021. The committee’s first meeting will be planned for this fall.

Appointments to the LGAC include:

  • The Honorable Leirion Gaylor Baird, Mayor, Lincoln, Nebraska (Chair)
  • The Honorable Ras J. Baraka, Mayor, Newark, New Jersey
  • The Honorable James Brainard, Mayor, Carmel, Indiana
  • Mr. Gary Brown, Director of Water and Sewerage Department, Detroit
  • The Honorable Deborah Cherry, Treasurer, Genesee County, Michigan
  • The Honorable Melissa Cribbins, Commissioner, Coos County, Oregon*
  • The Honorable José Carlos Aponte Dalmau, Mayor,Carol̒ina, Puerto Rico*
  • The Honorable Megan Dunn, Councilmember, Snohomish County, Washington
  • The Honorable Mark Fox, Chairman, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations (MHA), New Town, North Dakota*
  • Mr. Brian Fulton, County Administrator, Jackson County, Mississippi*
  • The Honorable Nick Gradisar, Mayor, Pueblo, Colorado
  • The Honorable Evan Hansen, House Delegate, State of West Virginia*
  • Mr. Chad Harsha, Secretary of Natural Resources, Cherokee Nation
  • The Honorable Timothy “Zane” Hedgecock, Mayor Pro Tem, Wallburg, North Carolina
  • The Honorable Deana Holiday Ingraham, Mayor, East Point, Georgia
  • The Honorable Ella Jones, Mayor, Ferguson, Missouri
  • The Honorable Kelly King, Councilmember, Maui County, Hawaii
  • The Honorable Christine Lowery, Commissioner, Cibola County, New Mexico
  • The Honorable Rachel May, State Senator, Syracuse, New York
  • The Honorable Melissa McKinlay, Commissioner, Palm Beach County, Florida
  • The Honorable Julian McTizic, Mayor, Bolivar, Tennessee
  • Mr. Alex Morse, Town Manager, Provincetown, Massachusetts
  • The Honorable Douglas Nicholls, Mayor, Yuma, Arizona
  • The Honorable Ron Nirenberg, Mayor, San Antonio, Texas
  • The Honorable Neil O’Leary, Mayor, Waterbury, Connecticut
  • Ms. Deborah Raphael, Director, Environmental Department, San Francisco
  • The Honorable Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor, Madison, Wisconsin
  • The Honorable Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Councilmember, Philadelphia
  • The Honorable Deborah Robertson, Mayor, Rialto, California
  • The Honorable Michael Scuse, Secretary of Agriculture, State of Delaware
  • Ms. Valinda Shirley, Executive Director, EPA, Navajo Nation
  • The Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor, Houston
  • The Honorable Lucy Vinis, Mayor, Eugene, Oregon
  • Ms. Lisa Wong, Town Manager, Winchester, Massachusetts*

*Indicates reappointment

Chartered in 1993 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Local Government Advisory Committee provides independent policy advice to the EPA Administrator on a broad range of issues affecting local governments. For more information about the LGAC, please visit


IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.