Published on December 21, 2022

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(Washington D.C.) – The African American Mayors Association is disheartened by the omission of the SAFE Banking Act, one of the critical pieces of legislation under consideration in these last weeks of the Congressional session. The failure to include it in the omnibus appropriations bill leaves our members deeply disappointed, yet not discouraged.

“Congress had a unique opportunity to begin to right the wrongs of the War on Drugs by enacting the SAFE Act and failed to do so. Representing largely Black communities across the country, the member-mayors of the African American Mayors Association know firsthand how this is a public safety issue, an equity and civil rights issue, and an economic issue and can no longer be put aside,”  said AAMA President and Mayor of Little Rock, Frank Scott, Jr. “We urge lawmakers to make the SAFE Act a high priority in 2023. We welcome continued conversations around this issue and stand ready as partners to help pass this critical legislation in the future.”

Earlier this week, the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) submitted a letter to Senate and House leadership to urge lawmakers to pass both the “Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act” (SAFE Act) and the “Harnessing Opportunities by Pursuing Expungement Act” (HOPE Act), collectively SAFE Plus. The SAFE Act would have provided access to mainstream banking and financial services for the cannabis industry. As more of AAMA member-mayor’s cities become home to cannabis businesses, access to banking services has become increasingly important as a core public safety priority that would reduce the number of cash-intensive businesses that could attract criminal activity. 

The African American Mayors Association urges Congressional leadership to consider these important pieces of legislation and make them a priority for 2023.



The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) is the only organization dedicated to 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.


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