Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, Texas was sworn in (virtually) as the new President of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA). Turner takes over for outgoing AAMA President, Mayor McKinley L. Price, DDS of Newport News, Virginia.
“I am honored to lead the African American Mayors Association. The nation’s 500+ Black mayors play a crucial role in advancing our nation forward. We have a unique understanding of the needs of our local communities and the tailored policies necessary to address them. We are also deeply in tune with the challenges communities of color face and the support needed to overcome those obstacles,” said Turner. “As I look to the future of AAMA, I look forward to elevating our voices on the most pressing issues facing our nation. Black political leaders can and should be a driving force on climate change, voting rights, and so much more.”
Mayor Turner is an esteemed public leader with a strong record of uplifting and strengthening local communities. Since being elected to lead Houston in 2015, Mayor Turner has spearheaded and supported efforts to curb homelessness, implement policing reform recommendations, address budget deficits, create jobs, and more. He also heads the Climate Mayors, a bipartisan group of more than 470 mayors dedicated to combating climate change.
As president of AAMA, Mayor Turner will uplift Black mayors’ voices on critical policy issues, particularly those that disproportionately affect communities of color. He will advocate for efforts to tackle climate change, support Black businesses, bolster funding for infrastructure, expand voting access, and address policing reform, among others. He will also elevate innovative, effective programs from Black mayors nationwide that bolster communities of color and can be replicated elsewhere.
Mayor Karen Weaver, former mayor of Flint, Michigan and interim executive director of the African American Mayors Association, said, “We are very excited to have Mayor Turner at the helm of our organization. He is a champion for voting rights and environmental justice and a leader on our nation’s most important issues. We know that he will help ensure the needs and perspectives of Black mayors are amplified on all fronts.”
Outgoing AAMA President Mayor Price said, “It was an honor to lead the African American Mayors Association. As I reflect on the past year, I am deeply proud of how our organization and mayors led on policing reform, support of HBCUs, COVID recovery and so much more. We speak on behalf of those who are often overlooked and marginalized and advocate for the change our nation needs to create strong, equitable communities. I am excited to see Mayor Turner advance the organization even further.”
The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) is the only organization exclusively representing over 500 African-American mayors across the United States. AAMA seeks to empower local leaders for the benefit of their citizens. The role of the AAMA includes taking positions on public policies that impact the vitality and sustainability of cities; providing mayors with leadership and management tools; and creating a forum for member mayors to share best practices related to municipal management.