African American Mayors Association Statement on Las Vegas Shooting

(Washington, DC) On behalf of the 500 African American mayors across the country, Toni Harp, Mayor of New Haven, CT and President of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), released the following statement in response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas:

 

“I join 500 African American mayors across the country to offer condolences for the families of the 58 innocents killed in this week’s Las Vegas shooting. We hope and pray for a swift recovery for the more than 500 injured. Also, we offer our deepest gratitude to the police officers, first responders, hospital personnel and everyday citizens whose swift and caring action saved lives.

 

“While we keep these families and victims in our thoughts and prayers, this is also a time for firm conviction and decisive action. Las Vegas was the 8th mass shooting this year, and the 162nd since 2009. Comprehensive gun reform legislation, that increases public safety while respecting constitutional freedoms, is long overdue. Congress should start by voting against the SHARE Act, which would make it easier to purchase gun silencers, and by passing legislation to ban gun parts that give semi-automatic weapons the same lethality as automatic ones. As always, mayors will continue the fight to make our cities safer. Enough is enough.”

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MAYOR IN DISBELIEF FOLLOWING PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS ABOUT CHARLOTTESVILLE TRAGEDY

Gary stands with Charlottesville: Unity March and Vigil on Monday, August 28 at City Hall

By: Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson

On Tuesday, August 15, 2017, I was overwhelmed with emotions of disbelief, sadness and fear, as I listened to an intemperate President Donald Trump retreat from his reluctant condemnation of white supremacy.  In opining about the tragedy in Charlottesville, VA, a man who holds an office that has often been referred to as “the leader of the free world” equated the vitriolic hatred spewed by the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in Virginia to peaceful counter protestors who sought to convey a message that intolerance has no place in this country.  He seemed oblivious to the fact that Heather Heyer had lost her life at the hands of someone who had traveled halfway across the country to salute Hitler, castigate Jews and engage in aggressive behavior.

There was a bit of irony associated with the fact that I missed the President’s comments because I was consumed with the work of my narrowly focused day.  I am not saying that I was wrong to be attentive to the needs of a challenged community.  I am simply saying that there is an inherent danger in being so consumed with our own issues that we miss the implication of national issues on our everyday lives and work.   

I found the President’s support of the actions of white supremacists and Neo-Nazis hard to believe because it is so inconsistent with the journey that we have travelled as a country over the course of the last few centuries.  Does he really believe “there is blame on both sides?” Does he really believe this is a figment of the “fake media’s” imagination when people marched and chanted “Jews will not replace us?” Is he truly that beholden to those who purvey hatred? I was saddened because I was forced to face the reality that while we have seemingly travelled far, we have so many more miles to go.

But I am also fearful because I understand the ability of hate to spread like a cancer through communities, states and this country.  I believe this is especially dangerous considering the divisive national climate already created by a political campaign that seemed to seize on peoples’ aversion and negativity towards others.  Our moral compass has already been endangered.  How do we continue to survive continued threats?

After reflecting through the course of a restless night, I have concluded that each of us has a responsibility to step out of the comfort zone of our daily routines.  Because the President has abdicated his responsibility of moral leadership on this issue, we must remain vigilant in our own neighborhoods and cities to ensure that bigotry and hatred receive no air time, both figuratively and literally.  Our job is not only to condemn those sentiments that fly in the face of our democracy, it is to promote tolerance and love of all people and freedom and justice for all.  We owe that tribute to the struggles of our ancestors, Heather Heyer and others who have lost their lives.  More importantly we owe that example to our children.  

To this end, the city of Gary and the Gary Human Relations Commission is inviting all of Northwest Indiana to join us for a Unity March and Vigil on Monday, August 28, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. We will begin at 9th and Broadway and continue to the steps of City Hall.  We will stand with the community of Charlottesville, but we will also send a message of unity to all of Northwest Indiana and for all to see.  

Five-Point Plan to Stand Against Hate

(Washington, DC) In response to the events in Charlottesville, Mayor Toni Harp, President of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), announced the organization’s five-point response plan. The full text of the plan is below.

“As more information about the events in Charlottesville becomes available, it is clear that the response from President Trump has been inadequate and disappointing,” said Mayor Harp. “If we cannot count on this Administration to unequivocally disavow such vile hate groups, state and local governments must lead the way.

“I urge all mayors and governors to adopt AAMA’s five point response plan which calls for: the immediate removal of confederate and nazi symbols; the removal from federal office Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller whose ideological extremism emboldens white supremacists; the provision of additional resources for law enforcement to identify hate groups; all corporations to stop the dissemination of tools of hate on their platforms; and for all public officials to disavow hate and racial violence as a prerequisite for running for office.”

Five-Point Plan to Stand Against Hate

1. Confederate and Nazi Symbols: We urge all cities and state legislatures to remove symbols of the Confederacy, Nazism, and other white supremacist groups from public spaces, which serve the joint purpose of intimidating citizens and emboldening such hate groups. We commend the cities of New Orleans, Baltimore, Lexington and others that have taken swift action;

2. Federal Action: We call on President Trump to (i) remove Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller for their ideological extremism that emboldens white supremacist and other hate groups; (ii) fully restore Countering Violent Extremism funds to combat white supremacists and neo-Nazis; and (iii) launch a coordinated federal effort in conjunction with local law enforcement officials to eliminate the growing threat from white supremacists;

3. Resources for Law Enforcement: We call on the federal government and local elected officials to direct additional law enforcement resources to (i) the identification and elimination of white supremacist, neo-Nazis and and other hate groups and related incidences of violence; and (ii) additional training of police officers for crowd and protest management;

4. Corporate Accountability: We call for a boycott of companies and vendors that advertise on radical websites and we urge all elected officials to work with influential companies to address ways to limit the influence of hate groups on their platforms. We commend companies such as Airbnb that have taken affirmative actions against white supremacist causes on their platforms; and

5. Get out the vote in 2018: We encourage all eligible persons to get registered to vote and demand any person running for elected office promote the causes of equality and justice and disavow hate and racial violence as a prerequisite for running for office.

    

Statements from Mayor Toni Harp and Mayor Sylvester Turner on Houston Flooding

Statement by Mayor Harp of African American Mayors Association On Houston Flooding

For Immediate Release: August 31, 2017

(Washington, DC) Mayor Toni Harp, President of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), issued the following statement today on the flooding in Houston, TX:

“The people of greater Houston will be recovering from the havoc wrought by Hurricane Harvey for years. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those touched by the flooding during this difficult time. As painful as it is to see the disastrous effects of climate change play out before our eyes, it is heartening to see the way that Houstonians and people across the country are coming together in this moment to conduct rescues, lend support and resources, and care for neighbors and strangers alike.

“We commend Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, an AAMA member, on his remarkable and straightforward leadership at this difficult time. A natural disaster is unquestionably one of the greatest challenges any mayor must face: Mayor Turner remains committed to open lines of communication, keeping emergency management systems working, and caring for the people of Houston. We stand ready to help and will keep those affected in our thoughts and prayers.”

 

Mayor Turner Establishes Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

HOUSTON – After receiving an overwhelming number of inquiries from citizens and corporations who would like to help, Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible flood relief donations. The fund is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

“We are getting calls from across the country and right here in our hometown, and the generosity of people who understand this disaster is truly amazing,” said Mayor Turner. “Together we can make a difference to those who will need extensive help to get back on their feet once this storm is over.”

Methods to Donate:

Online Credit Card Donations: Visit www.ghcf.org. Online credit card donations will be assessed a small fee, typically 3%, by the credit card companies. Donors have the option of increasing their credit card donations to cover this fee.

Checks/Money Orders: Mail to Greater Houston Community Foundation, 5120 Woodway Drive, Suite 6000, Houston, TX 77056.

Transfer Cash by Wire: Wire To: JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Houston, TX
ABA # 021000021
For credit to: Greater Houston Community Foundation
A/C#: 849170287
For further credit to: Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

For stocks, corporate bonds and other marketable securities, please contact:  donorservices@ghcf.org

Thank you for your consideration. Your support means a great deal to our fellow Houstonians.

African American Mayors Association Announces Five-Point Plan to Stand Against Hate

For Immediate Release: August 18, 2017
Contact: Mia Jacobs, mjacobs@rabengroup.com, 201-919-0333

African American Mayors Association Announces Five-Point Plan
to Stand Against Hate

Remove Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller from the White House and bring down Confederate Symbols

(Washington, DC) In response to the events in Charlottesville, Mayor Toni Harp, President of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), announced the organization’s five-point response plan. The full text of the plan is below.

“As more information about the events in Charlottesville becomes available, it is clear that the response from President Trump has been inadequate and disappointing,” said Mayor Harp. “If we cannot count on this Administration to unequivocally disavow such vile hate groups, state and local governments must lead the way.

“I urge all mayors and governors to adopt AAMA’s five point response plan which calls for: the immediate removal of confederate and nazi symbols; the removal from federal office Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller whose ideological extremism emboldens white supremacists; the provision of additional resources for law enforcement to identify hate groups; all corporations to stop the dissemination of tools of hate on their platforms; and for all public officials to disavow hate and racial violence as a prerequisite for running for office.”

Charlottesville Five-Point Response Plan For Cities

1. Confederate and Nazi Symbols: We urge all cities and state legislatures to remove symbols of the Confederacy, Nazism, and other white supremacist groups from public spaces, which serve the joint purpose of intimidating citizens and emboldening such hate groups. We commend the cities of New Orleans, Baltimore, Lexington and others that have taken swift action;

2. Federal Action: We call on President Trump to (i) remove Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller for their ideological extremism that emboldens white supremacist and other hate groups; (ii) fully restore Countering Violent Extremism funds to combat white supremacists and neo-Nazis; and (iii) launch a coordinated federal effort in conjunction with local law enforcement officials to eliminate the growing threat from white supremacists;

3. Resources for Law Enforcement: We call on the federal government and local elected officials to direct additional law enforcement resources to (i) the identification and elimination of white supremacist, neo-Nazis and and other hate groups and related incidences of violence; and (ii) additional training of police officers for crowd and protest management;

4. Corporate Accountability: We call for a boycott of companies and vendors that advertise on radical websites and we urge all elected officials to work with influential companies to address ways to limit the influence of hate groups on their platforms. We commend companies such as Airbnb that have taken affirmative actions against white supremacist causes on their platforms; and

5. Get out the vote in 2018: We encourage all eligible persons to get registered to vote and demand any person running for elected office promote the causes of equality and justice and disavow hate and racial violence as a prerequisite for running for office.

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Statement by Mayor Harp of African American Mayors Association on the White Supremacist Attacks in Charlottesville

 

(Washington, DC) Mayor Toni Harp, President of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), issued the following statement today on the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia:

 

“As President of the African American Mayors Association and the Mayor of New Haven, CT, I condemn bigotry and hatred in all forms. We will learn more about the details of what occurred in Charlottesville, but it is clear—what we have seen this weekend is a reminder of a dark chapter in American history. The car that plowed through a group of peaceful civilians appears to be an act of domestic terrorism. If that proves to be the case, we call on city, state, and federal officials to pursue that offender with the full force of the law. We also express our condolences for the lives lost from the crash of a state police helicopter monitoring the situation.”

 

“Those of us who work in politics debate over policies, tactics, and priorities everyday. That is not what the mob in Virginia was engaged in this weekend. This white nationalist movement by— the ‘Alt-right,’ Neo-Nazi, and white supremacists—challenges the very foundation of our civilization. Will we value every citizen? Will all Americans have a chance to participate in the benefits of our country? How we choose to answer these questions will determine the future of American life.  The African American Mayors Association stands with those on the side of freedom, justice, and equality and against those rallying for hate.”

 

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African American Mayors Association Statement on Introduction of Senate Bail Reform Bill

For Immediate Release: July 27, 2017

Contact: Donald Gatlin, dgatlin@rabengroup.com202-587-2871

           Mia Jacobs, mjacobs@rabengroup.com201-919-0333

 

African American Mayors Association Statement on Introduction of Senate Bail Reform Bill

(Washington, DC) On behalf of the 500 African American mayors across the country, Toni Harp, Mayor of New Haven, CT and President of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), released the following statement in response to Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Rand Paul’s introduction of a bill to reform money bail practices:

 

“The African American Mayors Association applauds Senator Harris and Senator Paul for their leadership in introducing the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act. Money bail systems across the country violate the spirit of due process, cruelly and disproportionately punishing poor people and people of color. As Senator Harris cited upon the bill’s introduction, more than 450,000 Americans are currently held in jail before a trial. A criminal justice system that imprisons people who cannot afford an exorbitant and arbitrary sum of money is no justice system at all. Bail reform must be included in larger criminal justice reform, and we call on the Senate to pass today’s bill as part of that effort.”

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Statement on President Trump’s Transgender Military Ban Announcement

For Immediate Release: July 26, 2017

Contact: Donald Gatlin, dgatlin@rabengroup.com202-587-2871

           Mia Jacobs, mjacobs@rabengroup.com201-919-0333

African American Mayors Association Statement on President Trump’s Transgender Military Ban Announcement

(Washington, DC) On behalf of the 500 African American mayors across the country, Toni Harp, Mayor of New Haven, CT and President of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), released the following statement in response to President Trump’s tweet this morning announcing that he intends to ban transgender Americans from military service:

“Every American, including one who identifies as transgender, has a right to serve openly in the military of a nation that promises fairness, dignity, and equal treatment for all.  This right should not be rolled back. We call for an immediate end to this ban that seeks to discriminate against our fellow Americans. The Administration and Members of Congress should instead be working to ensure the welfare of all Americans by preserving the Affordable Care Act, providing high quality education for all children, enacting bipartisan criminal justice reform, and repairing our nation’s aging infrastructure.”

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President of African American Mayors Association Leads Reform of City Pension Investment Policy with Potential for Nationwide Impact

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2017

Contact: Donald Gatlin, dgatlin@rabengroup.com, 202-587-2871
Mia Jacobs, mjacobs@rabengroup.com, 202-930-6818

The change encourages trustees to hire “emerging managers” including minority, veteran, and women-owned firms

(New Haven, CT) Today, the City Employee Retirement Fund of New Haven (CERF) approved a measure that will dramatically increase the use of diverse asset managers. This measure allows investors to consider “emerging managers,” including minority-owned, veteran-owned and women-owned firms, bringing an essential diversity of perspective and experience to the asset management of the City of New Haven.

Emerging managers are considered investment managers with less than $3 billion of assets under management or with shorter track records, and can be considered by CERF for all asset classes. The measure instructs trustees to limit an investment allocation to no more than 20 percent of the firm’s assets under management.

“The inclusion of this emerging managers provision in our city investment policy is a tremendous step forward for New Haven,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, who also serves as President of the African American Mayors Association, which represents more than 500 African American mayors throughout the country. “When our asset managers come with a successful track record from diverse backgrounds, and bring new perspectives to the work, that helps keep our investments viable and safe. This provision means we can support diverse and inclusive workforces in every sector and among every entity with which the City of New Haven does business. Research has proven that diverse asset managers perform as well, if not better, as majority firms. Our financial economy should be open for everyone and I encourage my colleagues around the country to do the same, and am committed to seeing my fellow African American mayors take up this cause in their towns.”

The Policemen & Firemen’s Retirement Fund is expected to vote on the same language in July or August.

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