AAMA President, Birmingham Mayor William Bell To Travel to St. Louis County, MO to Discuss Situation in Ferguson


William A. Bell, Sr., mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, and president of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), will be traveling to St. Louis County on Friday, August 292014, to discuss the recent events in Ferguson, MO with officials and residents at the request of the Board of Trustees of the AAMA. He may also attend a rally in Clayton, MO.

As the leader of the nation’s only organization exclusively serving black mayors and the top elected official of one of the key cities involved in the Civil Rights Movement, Bell is uniquely qualified to offer perspective on the unrest, and strategies for reaching peace in Ferguson and other cities affected by this and similar tragedies.  The goal of the visit is to begin to develop a tool-kit of strategies to prevent similar occurrences in communities across the United States.

The African American Mayors Association issued a statement Aug. 13 regarding the tragic death of Michael Brown and the resulting civil unrest.


Michael B. Coleman commentary: Ferguson has important lessons for cities nationwide

Michael B. Coleman commentary: Ferguson has important lessons for cities nationwide

Ferguson Update – From the White House Office of Public Engagement

Dear Friends,

We know that there was great interest in the call yesterday and wanted to send follow up information to make sure you all have the latest, whether or not you were able to join. This was a call that included all of our national stakeholders so everyone had the opportunity to hear directly from Attorney General Holder on the Ferguson, Missouri situation.

The following is a recap of information on Ferguson:

· The President has closely monitored – and been briefed regularly on – the situation in Ferguson and the Department of Justice has opened an independent, federal civil rights investigation into the death of Michael Brown.
· Attorney General Holder will travel to Ferguson tomorrow to meet with the FBI agents and DOJ personnel conducting the federal criminal investigation and to receive an update from them on their progress. Today, Ronald Davis, the director of the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) traveled to Ferguson
· The President underscored that the majority of protesters are peaceful but a small minority of individuals are not – and they are only dishonoring the memory of Michael Brown. He also reiterated that our constitutional rights to speak freely, to assemble, and to report in the press must be safeguarded.
· The President spoke directly to Ferguson, a community that is rightly hurting. He called on Ferguson – and the United States – to move forward together as one united American family.
Following yesterday’s call with Valerie Jarrett and Attorney General Holder, the President delivered the following statement: http://youtu.be/1RdIZ-IKR-Q?list=UUYxRlFDqcWM4y7FfpiAN3KQ

In addition, the most recent official statement by Attorney General Holder can be found here:http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/August/14-ag-854.html

We understand your ongoing concerns about the recent events in Ferguson. If you have additional questions please emailafricanamericans@who.eop.gov


White House Office of Public Engagement

Speaking to U.N. panel, Mayor William Bell declares Birmingham a “thriving example of what change brings” following civil rights struggles

Speaking to U.N. panel, Mayor William Bell declares Birmingham a “thriving example of what change brings” following civil rights struggles

Statement by the President (Update on Ferguson, MO)

From the President’s Statement at 12:49 pm

…. [First comments addressed Iraq]

Now, second, I want to address something that’s been in the news over the last couple of days and that’s the situation in Ferguson, Missouri.  I know that many Americans have been deeply disturbed by the images we’ve seen in the heartland of our country, as police have clashed with people protesting.  Today, I’d like us all to take a step back and think about how we’re going to be moving forward.

 This morning, I received a thorough update on the situation from Attorney General Eric Holder, who has been following it and been in communication with his team.  I’ve already tasked the Department of Justice and the FBI to independently investigate the death of Michael Brown, along with local officials on the ground. 

The Department of Justice is also consulting with local authorities about ways that they can maintain public safety without restricting the right of peaceful protest and while avoiding unnecessary escalation.  I made clear to the Attorney General that we should do what is necessary to help determine exactly what happened, and to see that justice is done.

I also just spoke with Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri.  I expressed my concern over the violent turn that events have taken on the ground, and underscored that now is the time for all of us to reflect on what’s happened, and to find a way to come together going forward.  He is going to be traveling to Ferguson.  He is a good man and a fine governor, and I’m confident that, working together, he is going to be able to communicate his desire to make sure that justice is done and his desire to make sure that public safety is maintained in an appropriate way.

Of course, it’s important to remember how this started.  We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances.  He was 18 years old.  His family will never hold Michael in their arms again.  And when something like this happens, the local authorities –- including the police -– have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death, and how they are protecting the people in their communities.

 More info: http://time.com/3111730/barack-obama-ferguson-michael-brown/

African American Mayors Association Statement on the Deaths of Michael Brown and Ezell Ford

The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) offers its condolences to the family and community of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri who tragically died this week.  The AAMA echoes the words of President Obama in saying that his death is heartbreaking, and we applaud Attorney General Holder’s commitment to a fulsome review.  We also offer our deepest sympathies to the family of Ezell Ford in South Los Angeles, California, who was also fatally shot this week.  

Many cities of our member mayors have been impacted by these events and subsequent unrest in their communities.  We encourage those mayors, as well as leaders across the country, to lead our citizens in peaceful organizing, while also ensuring that these matters are thoroughly and justly investigated by law enforcement.  The AAMA will continue to keep these young men, their families, and their communities in our thoughts and prayers.

– AAMA President William A. Bell, Sr. & the AAMA Board of Trustees



            WASHINGTON— Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Monday regarding the shooting incident that took place Saturday afternoon in Ferguson, Missouri:

“The shooting incident in Ferguson, Missouri, this weekend deserves a fulsome review. In addition to the local investigation already underway, FBI agents from the St. Louis field office, working together with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, have opened a concurrent, federal inquiry. The federal investigation will supplement, rather than supplant, the inquiry by local authorities. At every step, we will work with the local investigators, who should be prepared to complete a thorough, fair investigation in their own right. I will continue to receive regular updates on this matter in the coming days. Aggressively pursuing investigations such as this is critical for preserving trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”




Cities 3.0: How Cities Are Driving the Revitalization of Our Nation

Op-ed by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson

With the gridlock in Washington DC, many Americans are wondering how our country will ever get back on track. While their frustration with the federal government is warranted, they need to look no further than their own cities to find the answer.

The U.S. economy is far from fixed, but recent forecasts indicate a recovery is under way. A new report released last week by the US Conference of Mayors shows that growth in cities will propel nation to levels of economic activity not seen since the early 2000s. Next year, all metros are projected to grow, with half of them growing by more than 3 percent.

Given that metro areas account for 86 percent of all jobs, 90 percent of GDP, and 94 percent of growth in this nation, these increases are having a real impact on our country.

Cities are now driving the revitalization of the nation’s economy.

See full article –  HuffPo: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-johnson/city-revitalization_b_5584078.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

White House Joining the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force Call – Weds. July 30 at 2pm ET

Great news!  White House Representatives will be joining the African American Mayors Association for the kick-off call for our My Brother’s Keeper Task (MBK) Force, led by AAMA 1st Vice President and Task Force Chair, Mayor Steve Benjamin (Columbia, SC).  This is an excellent opportunity to have your questions on MBK answered directly.
Date:  Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Time:  11am PT/ 1pm CT/ 2pm ET 
Dial-in:  605-477-2100 / Passcode 931207
If you have done so already, please RSVP by this Friday, July 25, 2014, and contact Stephanie Mash (Stephanie.AAMA@gmail.com) with any questions.
For more information on President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, please see:

Call for Applications – 2015 RWJF Culture of Health Prize

Hello Region III Let’s Move Cities, Towns and Counties Partners,

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) 2015 Culture of Health Prize is awarded annually to honor outstanding community efforts and partnerships that are helping people live healthier lives. Winning communities will each receive a $25,000 cash prize and have their accomplishments celebrated and shared broadly with the goal of raising awareness and inspiring locally-driven change across the country.
Total Awards – Up to 10 RWJF Culture of Health Prize winning communities will be honored in 2015 and each will receive a $25,000 cash prize.
Key Dates – September 17, 2014 (3 p.m. ET), Phase I Applications (for all applicant communities) due.
More info at: http://rwjf.ws/1lcFALi
Joshua P. Prasad, MPH
ORISE Fellow
Advisor for Let’s Move: Cities Towns and Counties and
The Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Region III, Philadelphia, PA