Mayors will be joined by 7 cabinet secretaries, House leadership, multiple senior federal officials

WASHINGTON— Starting today, 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 conference will focus on four aspects at the foundation of improving outcomes in municipalities: Sustainability & Resilience, Economic Development, Infrastructure, and Innovation. This event comes just after the Biden-⁠Harris Administration released agency-specific Equity Action Plans to advance racial justice and fairness across the federal government.
At 1:00pm ET today, Houston, TX Mayor Sylvester Turner, President of AAMA, and other mayors will host a kick-off press conference to highlight key points of this year’s conference, as well as outline 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. 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 following cabinet secretaries will attend the conference on Thursday and Friday: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo; HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra; HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge; Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg; Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas; EPA Administrator Michael Regan; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; and SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.
Other federal leaders that will participate in the conference include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; House Majority Whip James Clyburn; Congressman Bennie Thompson, Chair, Committee on Homeland Security; Congresswoman Terri Sewell; Congressman Al Green; Reta Jo Lewis, President and Chair of the Board of Directors, Export-Import Bank of the United States; Cedric Richmond, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement; and Mitch Landrieu, Senior Advisor to the President and Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator.
AAMA President, Mayor Sylvester Turner, said “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. 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. 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. We are thrilled to be convening in the nation’s capital at a moment when our federal government has doubled down on an ambitious plan to foster equity in areas of utmost importance to us.”