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Dearborn Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud was one of thirteen mayors recognized on Thursday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), a nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more, for outstanding leadership in combating the climate crisis. The 2024 Mayors Climate Protection Award commends Dearborn’s work in sustainability and climate adaptation, led by its Department of Public Health (DPH).

Mayor Hammoud stated, "Whether by extreme flooding, poor air quality, extreme heat, or higher energy bills, climate change hurts families across the country, including in Dearborn. When we launched the DPH two years ago, we sought to reimagine public health by integrating environmental health into our core mission. This recognition from the U.S. Conference of Mayors underscores our dedication to this vision.” 

In April 2022, under Hammoud's leadership, Dearborn created DPH in line with their commitment to a health-in-all policies approach, which prioritizes health, environmental justice, and climate action in all public policy decisions. With this action, Dearborn became just the second city in Michigan with a formal health department, and the first in the country to voluntarily launch one. Under the leadership of DPH, the department informs municipal policy and programming discussions by advising on the climate and health impacts of individual decisions.

Mayor Hammoud added, “Ensuring our residents have the tools to face this generational challenge is a top priority for my administration. We are committed to working tirelessly to protect our community and create a sustainable future for all."
 

This award builds on Dearborn’s silver certification last month by Michigan Green Communities, which recognizes sustainability efforts and environmental leadership by Michigan municipalities, and participation in two cohorts – one led by the National League of Cities and one led jointly by NLC and the Urban Institute – focused on resident well being and climate action. 

Samir Deshpande, DPH’s inaugural environmental health manager, stated, "A just transition away from polluting fossil fuels prioritizes the livability of our communities. Over the past two years, we have worked across governments to democratize air quality information, protect and expand our city’s urban forest, simplify solar panel permitting, and review city policies that hinder public health and climate interventions, making the 'greenest' choice the easiest choice."

Dearborn was one of six cities with a population over 100,000 to be recognized nationwide by USCM. Full descriptions of the 2024 Mayors Climate Protection Awards winning programs can be found at USMayors.org.


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