African American Mayors Association Affirms Support for South Carolina

Washington, D.C. (October 7, 2015) – The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) affirms its support for South Carolina in the aftermath of historic flooding that has resulted in loss of life and extensive damage throughout the Palmetto State.

During yesterday’s Board of Trustees meeting, the Board approved a resolution authorizing a $5,000 donation from AAMA to the American Red Cross, supporting South Carolina flood relief efforts. AAMA will also raise additional funds for flood relief through Crowdrise, a third-party fundraising platform that will directly distribute all contributions to the American Red Cross.

The AAMA Board of Trustees also reaffirmed its commitment to holding the Association’s inaugural Leadership Summit in Columbia, South Carolina, in November 2015. The AAMA Leadership Summit will bring Board of Trustees members and Business Council partners to Columbia to facilitate strategic planning, and to connect with subject matter experts and other thought leaders on organizational policy goals.

First Vice President Mayor Sly James (Kansas City, MO) issued the following statement:
“The devastation caused by this once-in-a-thousand-years flooding event in South Carolina is heartbreaking. AAMA’s purpose includes enabling Black mayors to come together and support each other during such difficult times. AAMA is supporting South Carolina mayors as they seek to provide for public safety and to obtain disaster recovery assistance. We continue to keep South Carolina residents in our thoughts and prayers.”

About AAMA

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

Media Contact: Everton Morris, AAMA Deputy Executive Director,

AAMA Paid Internships available!

AAMA Paid Internship (Washington D.C.)

The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) is seeking paid interns to start immediately to work under the direction of the AAMA Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director to support the association’s operations, marketing, public relations, and strategic planning objectives. Secondary duties of the interns include supporting the AAMA annual conference in April 2016 in Washington D.C., scheduling and coordinating speaking engagements and events for member mayors, writing press releases, drafting written briefings and agendas, creating social media content and other related duties as assigned. Students pursuing graduate level study in Business, Marketing, Communications, Public Relations, Public Policy, or a related field are preferred. Please send your resume to

Statement on the USA Visit of Pope Francis

Washington, D.C. (Sep. 21, 2015) – The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) shares the enthusiasm of many Americans for the upcoming visit by Pope Francis to the United States. AAMA President Mayor Steve Benjamin (Columbia, SC) issued the following statement on behalf of the organization: 

“Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has been a powerful leadership role model by emphasizing humility, a commitment to the poor and disadvantaged, and promoting dialogue. His visits to Washington, New York City, and Philadelphia will urge all Americans and their elected officials to reaffirm our society’s best practices while working harder to ensure fairness and opportunity for everyone. On behalf of AAMA, I wish Pope Francis a successful and impactful visit to the United States.“   


AAMA Endorses “MAYNARD” Documentary Highlighting the Life of Former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson

Washington, D.C. (August 26, 2015) – The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) endorses the planned documentary film “MAYNARD”, highlighting the late Mayor Maynard Jackson. Mayor Jackson was elected in 1973 as Atlanta’s first-ever Black mayor, and the first Black mayor of a major Southern city.

AAMA President Mayor Steve Benjamin (Columbia, SC) issued the following statement:

“Mayor Maynard Jackson’s historic election as Mayor of Atlanta inspired many African Americans to pursue community improvement through public service. Mayor Jackson’s focus on economic development and social progress continues to influence best practices for mayors and cities throughout the United States. I am excited that Mayor Jackson’s legacy will be chronicled by the “MAYNARD” documentary, and I look forward to viewing its portrayal of his momentous tenure.”

Filming for the “MAYNARD” documentary begins September 2015. The Executive Producers for the documentary are Maynard Jackson III, Brooke Jackson Edmond, Elizabeth Jackson Hodges, C. Howie Hodges, and Winsome Sinclair. Release details will be provided at a later date.

Statement on the Arrest and Death of Sandra Bland

Washington, D.C. (July 23, 2015) – The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) is deeply concerned about the circumstances surrounding the arrest and death of Sandra Bland in Prairie View, Texas. AAMA urges state and federal authorities to swiftly hold accountable anyone who is found to have violated Ms. Bland’s constitutional rights.

“Like many across America we are deeply troubled by the events surrounding Sandra Bland’s arrest and death and we firmly believe that only a truly transparent investigation can ever hope to answer the difficult questions before us,” said AAMA President Mayor Steve Benjamin (Columbia, SC). “To that end and as President of the African American Mayors Association, today I sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch fully supporting the FBI’s decision to coordinate with local and state authorities not only in monitoring the ongoing investigation as it develops but also serving as an independent review once it is completed.”

“As leaders we must not only react to this tragedy, but do all we can to prevent similar tragedies in our communities. Through the newly established AAMA Justice Reform Task Force chaired by Mayor Toni Harp (New Haven, CT), our member mayors will work to identify community policing best practices that ensure everyone is treated fairly and with full respect for their rights during all interactions with law enforcement. Then and only then can justice truly be served.”

AAMA Member Mayor Frank D. Jackson (Prairie View, TX) issued the following statement regarding the incident:

“Our sympathies are with the family of Ms. Sandra Bland for their loss. The family is justifiably concerned about the circumstances of her death, and they deserve answers. This incident is currently being investigated by county and state law enforcement agencies, as it should be.

At this time, it does not appear that any member of the Prairie View Police Department had any contact with Ms. Bland after her arrest and booking. Ms. Bland was not under the supervision or control of the Prairie View police at the time of her death or the days leading up to this tragic event.

Please know, however, that the City of Prairie View will do whatever is necessary to assist our law enforcement entities, and any other investigative agencies, to determine what caused the death of Sandra Bland.

We do know that a Prairie View police officer provided back-up for the DPS trooper who made the arrest. That officer’s conduct is under review for compliance with standard operating procedures. We will wait until the investigation is concluded to determine if any further action is to be taken by the City.

In the mean time, we join others in seeking a thorough and complete investigation, and that it proceed as quickly as possible so that we can all find answers to the many questions surrounding Ms. Bland’s final hours.”

Media Contact: Everton Morris, AAMA Deputy Executive Director,

Statement on Tragic Shooting in Charleston, South Carolina

Washington, D.C. (June 18, 2015) — AAMA President Mayor Steve Benjamin (Columbia, SC) today released the following statement on last night’s tragic shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina:

“The African American Mayors Association offers its prayers to the residents of Charleston and the congregation of Emanuel AME Church in the aftermath of last night’s senseless act of violence. The hateful loss of life in a historic church with a strong legacy as a community bedrock is heartbreaking. As the police investigation continues, I remain hopeful that those responsible will be swiftly brought to justice.“

Media Contact: Everton Morris, AAMA Deputy Executive Director, (202) 670-2018

U.S. EPA & FERC to Host Webinar on Energy Markets

Generating electricity from power plants is the single largest source of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions in the United States.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are working collaboratively to provide an overview of energy markets for communities.  The FERC staff presenter will offer basic information about how the power system operates, how power is bought and sold, and identify who regulates the power system.  Several states requested this training in preparation for the implementation of the final Clean Power Plan.  For more information on the Clean Power Plan, please visit:



Webinar Details:

Date:   June 25, 2015

Time:   1:00-2:30 pm EDT

Register by contacting:


Presenter from FERC:

Jeffery S. Dennis, Director, Division of Policy Development, Office of Energy Policy and Innovation



EPA will finalize the Clean Power Plan mid-summer 2015 and a proposed federal plan will be issued at the same time.  This is one of a number of webinars that the EPA, in response to training requests from stakeholders, is conducting before and after the Clean Power Plan is finalized.  This webinar will be posted online for future viewing at