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

African American Mayors Association to Hold Press Conference Call

The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) will host a conference call with reporters to highlight the impact of the President’s trade agenda on America’s cities. Today, AAMA released a statement urging passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. AAMA mayors will be joined by US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, underscoring the President’s commitment to ensuring American cities are connected to global economic opportunities.


WHO:            U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

AAMA President Mayor Steve Benjamin (Columbia, SC)

AAMA Board of Trustees Member Mayor Bill Bell (Durham, NC)

AAMA Member Mayor Marilyn Strickland (Tacoma, WA)

WHAT:       Conference Call

WHEN:       Tuesday, June 9th at 1:00PM Eastern Time

Please RSVP to Everton Morris, AAMA Deputy Executive Director ( ) for call-in information.

AAMA Statement on TPA-2015 Legislation

With economic growth and job creation as top priorities for mayors nationwide, it is time for Congress to consider and approve Trade Promotion Authority legislation (TPA-2015) and its potential to further unlock the economic potential of American businesses and workers through President Obama’s trade agenda.

Mayors throughout America agree that world trade is a very important element of success in attracting jobs and investment to our communities. Many US cities have experienced significant increases in exports in recent years, and are home to numerous businesses linked to international commerce. Those experiences, and the results reflected in the numbers, must be a major factor as Congress moves forward on TPA-2015.

AAMA strongly supports enforceable labor and environmental provisions in trade agreements that raise global standards and respect local regulations. TPA-2015 sets forth a strong process to advance the interests of American cities, companies, and workers. Moreover, TPA-2015 creates a timeline for concerns to be considered and addressed before a final trade agreement receives approval, ensuring the voices of American mayors, workers, and advocacy groups are heard. With TPA-2015 allowing only a final up-or-down vote by Congress, our foreign negotiating partners have the highest incentive to give the United States their best offers.

In the 21st century global marketplace, we simply cannot afford the years-long trade agreement battles of the past, as foreign rivals will continue to be aggressive in seizing opportunities from American businesses and workers. With TPA-2015 passed by Congress and signed into law, the United States will have the tools needed to build strong agreements that encourage new business opportunities and create jobs in our cities.

Documentary “MAYNARD” on former Atlanta Mayor Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. Announced



Atlanta, GA) January 19, 2015—Auburn Avenue films produces the theatrical documentary about the life and legacy of Atlanta’s first African-American Mayor, Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr. The documentary, MAYNARD, is currently in pre-production led by an Oscar nominated and Emmy award-winning team. MAYNARD offers an introspective look into the life of the political and business titan who became Atlanta’s first African-American Mayor.

“My father fought the good fight for equal opportunity especially for African Americans. He believed the way to accomplish that was through the power of the vote, economic strength and educational achievement or, the ballot, the book and the buck, as he put it,” said Brooke Jackson Edmond, daughter of Mayor Jackson. “All Atlantans have benefitted from his work as have countless others far beyond Atlanta. There is a thriving African-American business class largely because of Maynard Jackson.”

MAYNARD will be produced by Auburn Avenue Films; one of Atlanta’s newest production companies. The production team includes Executive Producers: Wendy Eley Jackson; Maynard H. Jackson, III; Elizabeth Jackson Hodges; Howie Hodges, and Brooke Jackson Edmond. Oscar-nominated producer/director/editor Samuel D. Pollard will direct the film, and Emmy and Peabody Award-winner Sheila Curran Bernard has been tapped as writer. Winsome Sinclair, C.S.A. joins the production as casting director along with Donald Jarmond as co-producer. An official release date has not been announced.

Mayor Jackson was known as a charismatic and compassionate leader who served a record three terms as Atlanta’s mayor. He is credited with building the world’s busiest airport; leading the crusade to bring the 1996 Olympics to Atlanta; revitalizing downtown Atlanta as a thriving business and residential community; and redeveloping more than 20 of Atlanta’s historic neighborhoods. Yet, in spite of his professional success there were personal challenges as well.

“Most people only remember the public side of Maynard Jackson, Jr. but they never saw the man who struggled with the loss of his own father at the age of 15, the brother who buried two sisters, the husband went through divorce, or the father who feared he would lose his only son,” said Maynard H. Jackson, III, son of Mayor Jackson. “In this documentary you will definitely see the giant of a mayor but, more importantly, you see the giant of a real man.”

MAYNARD offers an intimate view of Jackson from those who knew him best. The film will include personal family photos and rare interviews with his two former wives, his five children, his siblings as well as many of Jackson’s close associates and confidants.

“We want people to know how much he cared for all people in the city that he loved,” said Elizabeth Hodges, oldest daughter of Mayor Jackson. “He wanted everyone leading successful and fulfilled lives.”

Auburn Avenue Films Inc. is an Atlanta based television and film company specializing in development, production, and post production.


For More Information                                                       

Desiree Robinson, Publicist
404-713-0980 (cell)

Grant Program RFP: Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDA Forest Service (USFS), the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Corporation for National and Community Service, FedEx, Southern Company, Bank of America and PG&E are pleased to solicit applications for the 2015 Five Star/Urban Waters Restoration Program. NFWF anticipates that approximately $2,000,000 in combined total funding will be available for this round of grants.


The Five Star & Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships, particularly in underserved communities, for wetland, volunteer water quality monitoring, green infrastructure and stormwater management, projects that keep trash from entering waterways, riparian, forest and coastal habitat restoration, and urban wildlife conservation.


This RFP closes February 2, 2015. For more information go to

Also on the NFWF Website:


My Brother’s Keeper Call Tomorrow – Nov 6 at 12pm ET

Please join us to get updates and share best practices on the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Community Challenge.  Representatives of the White House will be available to answer your questions directly.

Date:  TOMORROW, November 6, 2014
Time:  11am -11:30am CT / 12pm -12:30pm ET
Dial-in:  605-477-2100 / passcode 931207
MBK Community Challenge Local Action Summit – Report your summit date:
As a reminder, the White House has asked that you provide the date and location of your local action summit for the MBK Community Challenge, if you have not done so already.  Please submit your date by emailing, copying as soon as possible.  Representatives of the White House are making efforts to attend some of the summits nationwide.
Please contact Stephanie Mash,, with any questions.


Oct. 21, 2014

Contact: DHS Press Office, (202) 282-8010

Today, as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing response to prevent the spread of Ebola to the United States, we are announcing travel restrictions in the form of additional screening and protective measures at our ports of entry for travelers from the three West African Ebola-affected countries. These new measures will go into effect tomorrow.

Last week, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DHS implemented enhanced screening measures at five airports around the country – New York’s JFK, Newark, Dulles, Atlanta and Chicago. Passengers flying into one of these airports from flights originating in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are subject to secondary screening and added protocols, including having their temperature taken, before they can be admitted into the United States. These airports account for about 94 percent of travelers flying to the United States from these countries. At present there are no direct, non-stop commercial flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea to any airport in the United States. 

Today, I am announcing that all passengers arriving in the United States whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will be required to fly into one of the five airports that have the enhanced screening and additional resources in place. We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption. If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking, as needed.

We currently have in place measures to identify and screen anyone at all land, sea and air ports of entry into the United States and who we have reason to believe has been present in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea in the preceding 21 days.

Yesterday I had a conference call with our CBP officers at the five enhanced screening airports. I was impressed by their professionalism, and their training and preparation for the enhanced screening. I reminded our CBP officers to be vigilant in their efforts, and encouraged them to set a calm example for an American public nervous about Ebola. I thanked these men and women for their service.

We are continually evaluating whether additional restrictions or added screening and precautionary measures are necessary to protect the American people and will act accordingly.

HUD Announces $24 Million in Grants for Jobs Plus Pilot Program for Public Housing Agencies

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has published a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) of $24 million in grants for its Jobs Plus Pilot Program for public housing agencies to cultivate locally-based methods to grow incomes and employment for their residents. According to the notice, “The NOFA will fund initiatives to advance employment and earnings outcomes for Public Housing residents through supports such as work readiness, employer linkages, job placement and financial literacy.”

These grants will focus on the president’s  job-driven training checklist principals—labor market data, career pathways, work experience, access to training, and key partnerships—to ensure that public housing residents are connected to programs with the most accurate and updated job-seeker practices. 

Applications are due by Dec. 17, 2014.  For more information and to apply, click here.