It is my honor and privilege to serve as President of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) 2021-2022. Whether serving as mayor of a large city or a small town, we are united in our desire to advance the potential of AAMA and the interests of our cities. Your experiences and contributions are vital to the success of this organization, and I look forward to working alongside you to enhance our communities.
Since its inception in 2014, AAMA has channeled resources into cities, provided learning opportunities, tools, and support to members, facilitated high-level engagement between leaders from cities of varying sizes, and effectively leveraged relationships with media to amplify the collective voice of member mayors.
AAMA is the premier organization representing black elected officials, and I believe the strength of this organization is a direct reflection of the dedication of its members. Therefore, I ask you to pledge your commitment to recruiting additional African American Mayors to the association.
Every American city can benefit from the relationships, best practices, and resources AAMA has to offer, and as President, I ask for your assistance in bringing new mayors into our fold.
As we endeavor to expand our reach and enhance advocacy efforts and related program offerings, we have prioritized improving workforce development and skills training related to COVID-19 recovery. But, in addition, we must create pathways to increase the quantity, efficacy, and sustainability of black-owned businesses, particularly in the tech and innovation space. Each of our cities has developed innovative programs that are thriving. I hope that our organization can bring together these programs that create effective change in many of our member cities and see how all our cities can replicate these success models so many minority communities across our nation can benefit.
Along with uplifting minority entrepreneurs and businesses, we must work to create more sustainable and resilient cities. This includes finding ways for African American Mayors to have a more prominent seat at the table as our cities continue to combat climate change
Over the next year, my administration will create an African American Mayors mentorship program for our youth and young professionals. We need to encourage, invest, and provide quality leadership opportunities that will teach important values and life skills that will help foster future leaders within our cities.
AAMA will continue to advocate tirelessly for social justice and economic equity for black and brown people. This means boldly standing against sweeping voter suppression laws materializing in state legislatures across this country and holding corporations accountable for complacency on these matters.
We are beneficiaries of a rich legacy of leadership left by African American Mayors such as Maynard Jackson (Atlanta, GA), Unita Blackwell (Greenville, MS), and Wellington Webb (Denver, CO), who fearlessly served before us.
With their leadership in mind, it is up to us to continue advocating for policies that equalize the quality of life and opportunities for all citizens of our communities.
If you are currently an active member, thank you. If not, please join.
Again, I am truly honored to serve as President and am ready to get to work!
Mayor Sylvester Turner (Houston, TX)
President, African American Mayors Association