This week, Black mayors from across the country are gathering in Washington, D.C. for the African American Mayors Association’s (AAMA) Annual Conference, “A Time for Transformation in Our Cities.”
The annual event connects Black mayors with thought-leaders, Administration officials, members of Congress, advocacy organizations and corporations to forge alliances, focus on unique local challenges, and exchange ideas that will foster safer and more prosperous communities for millions of Americans.
The gathering opened with a press conference led by AAMA president, Sylvester Turner, mayor of Houston.
“As laboratories for good governance, America’s cities are ground zero for the policy solutions our country needs to foster a society in which everyone can thrive and access opportunities to prosper,” said Turner. “It is no secret that communities of color have been disproportionately locked out of accessing opportunities to realize their full potential since the nation was founded.”
Turner outlined Black mayors’ priorities for recovering from the pandemic, criminal justice reform, combating crime in cities, affordable housing, attacks on our democracy and the subjugation of Black voters, and changing the culture and services of local government.
“As Black mayors, my colleagues and I understand the myriad odds stacked against these communities. We bring a commitment to fairness, equity and justice to our roles as city leaders, seeking to ensure race is no longer a determinant of how successful our residents can be. Equity is our north star in everything we do individually, and as a collective.”
Additional speakers include Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser; Little Rock, AR Mayor Frank Scott Jr.; Montgomery, AL Mayor Steven L. Reed; and Mount Vernon, NY Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard.
The conference, which concludes on Friday, April 29, is focusing on four aspects at the foundation of improving outcomes in municipalities: Sustainability & Resilience, Economic Development, Infrastructure and Innovation.