WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo is headed to Washington.
According to the city, he will be in DC representing the Eastern North Carolina Disaster Recovery & Resiliency Alliance, a bipartisan group of more than 50 regional leaders that came together in the wake of Hurricane Florence to advocate for improved policies and other resources that encourage better hurricane recovery and resiliency.
Saffo was reportedly asked to help lead a three-day lobbying effort coordinated by The Pew Charitable Trusts. He is one of more than 250 local and state officials from across the country working with Pew calling on the federal government to ensure that the nation’s infrastructure is flood-ready.
As part of this week’s effort, the city says Saffo is the only local elected official who has been asked to join a meeting with US Rep. Peter Defazio (D-OR), chair of House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He will also meet with several other congressional lawmakers, including members of the NC delegation.
The city told WWAY that Saffo will be submitting a letter from the alliance to the committee calling for better flood-ready infrastructure and the creation of a pre-disaster mitigation program for transportation.
“The need for improved transportation infrastructure was illustrated during Hurricane Florence, when flooding caused all roads into/out of Wilmington to be closed for a time,” the city wrote in a news release.”
On Tuesday evening, Saffo will be the keynote speaker at the Congressional Briefing and Reception at Rayburn House Office Building in front of an audience that will include multiple members of Congress and other national leaders about the need for improved infrastructure and policies to make communities more resilient to more extreme weather events.
“Simply put, we are sounding the alarm that continuing the status quo of simply building back to our pre-disaster condition is not a sustainable answer to this increasingly costly problem,” Saffo said. “We need better policies and more resources to strengthen our infrastructure.”