Statement on the Confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

The following is a statement by Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, MO, president of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA):

“Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee has confirmed Jeff Sessions as the next Attorney General of the United States. The African American Mayors Association is ready to work with him as our nation’s chief law enforcement officer to ensure that all members of our communities are afforded safety and justice.

AAMA has been actively involved in reforming our criminal justice system with stakeholders nationwide. It is our hope that Attorney General Sessions will continue the path of reform including ensuring sentencing is fair, particularly for first-time nonviolent offenders; allocating appropriate resources in the federal prison system to reduce recidivism; prioritizing positive community policing practices by strengthening the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS); initiating swift and thorough investigation of officer-involved shootings through the Civil Rights Division when appropriate; and keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

While we share concern about Sessions’ past statements and legislative history, AAMA will work tirelessly as an accountability partner to ensure that the office of the Attorney General seeks justice for all American people equally.

U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund Partners With Private Sector And Municipalities To Invest In Community Development, Jobs Growth And Affordable Housing

U.S. TREASURY’S CDFI FUND PARTNERS WITH PRIVATE SECTOR AND MUNICIPALITIES TO INVEST IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, JOBS GROWTH AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING

WASHINGTON- 2016 marked a banner year for the United States Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund).  In total, the CDFI Fund invested over $500 million in financial assistance, technical assistance and loan guarantees to over 200 CDFIs, including Native CDFIs, through the CDFI Program, Native Initiatives, Capital Magnet Fund and Bond Guarantee Program. These resources will be leveraged many times over to improve economic growth in underserved communities. It is hoped that 2017 will bring more of the same focus on promoting economic prosperity.

CDFIs are private sector financial institutions that invest in economically distressed communities. Once certified by the Treasury Department, CDFIs are eligible to apply for funding through a highly competitive application and selection process administered by the CDFI Fund.  CDFIs leverage their awards with capital from other investors to support small businesses, affordable housing, community health centers, grocery stores, child care facilities, and other economic development initiatives that contribute to economic revitalization.

In addition, the CDFI Fund allocated a record-breaking $7 billion in tax credits through the New Markets Tax Credit Program.  Municipalities, through subsidiary corporations, can be certified as Community Development Entities (CDEs) making them eligible to apply for New Markets Tax Credits. To date, the New Markets Tax Credit program has allocated $50.5 billion in tax credits, helping generate $8 of private investment for every dollar invested by the federal government.

Since the program’s inception in 1994, the CDFI Fund has helped build a nation-wide network of over 1,000 CDFIs committed to ensuring that underserved areas have access to affordable financial services products.

AAMA Statement on the Election of Donald Trump as President-Elect of the United States of America

Media Contact: Donald Gatlin (dgatlin@rabengroup.com)

(Washington, DC). On behalf of the 500 African American mayors across the country, Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, MO and President of the African American Mayors Association, released the following statement in response to the election of Donald Trump as President-Elect of the United States of America:

“Now that the election is over, we must turn our attention to working together to address the most important issues in America – job creation, criminal justice reform, healthcare, a quality education for every child and national security. Importantly, improving our nation’s transportation and infrastructure is equally critical, and it will be a top priority of the African American Mayors Association to work with the new administration to bring American infrastructure into the 21st century.

Currently, American communities are facing crumbling roads, failing bridges, and lackluster broadband access. This is an unacceptable paradigm in a time when over 63 percent of the nation’s population live in small and large cities. Mayors are on the front lines of addressing infrastructure challenges where they are experienced every day—in our local communities. We need resources and flexibility to appropriately invest where we know it is most necessary to keep our communities vibrant and thriving, and to avoid a repeat of the devastation that came to Flint, Michigan when local leaders were not empowered to fix the water system there.

Donald Trump has said he will make new investments in infrastructure one of his top priorities. We look forward to working with him to make that goal a reality.”

African American Mayors Influence and Actions Toward Gun Reform

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African American Mayors Influence and Actions Toward Gun Reform

Across the United States, government leaders are often challenged to implement new legislation that will address the concerns of the community. Recent tragedies, such as the Orlando Shooting in Orlando, Florida and reoccurring police shootings, have shifted the nation’s attention to gun reform in its entirety. Mayors and community leaders have joined together to make an influential change in the towns and communities they serve. Studies have shown that there a significant change in minority communities with an African American mayor. Having an African-American mayor, in particular, makes a difference in the job prospects of black residents. Statistics state the following:

  • Under an African-American mayor, the unemployment rate for black residents drops by 1.5 percentage points.
  • African Americans are more likely to find roles in city government positions.
  • Wages go up around 6 percent, more black residents join the workforce, and those who did find jobs tend to keep them slightly longer

17464823-mmmainAfrican American mayors have made countless efforts to improve the livelihood of their communities and work diligently to adopt gun control laws that protect residents, as well as second amendment rights provided by United States Constitution. In Cleveland, Ohio, Mayor Frank Jackson adopted a set a of gun control laws. In a written statement, Mayor Jackson stated: “The City’s new laws mirror current state misdemeanor firearms offenses and address concerns with the responsible use of firearms in an effort to reduce gun violence, protect the City’s youth, and make Cleveland’s neighborhoods
safer,”. “These new laws do not limit the rights of our citizens to own firearms. This is an appropriate step to ensure that second amendment rights are protected while ensuring that weapons are not misused.”

After countless incidents centered around the need for improved gun laws, communities have gathered together to protest and lobby for reform. African American mayors have remained at the forefront of this issue urging federal lawmakers to approve federal gun legislation. “How many more lives must be needlessly lost before Congress takes action to impose even the most basic, common sense, and bipartisan reforms on the sale and distribution of guns?” Mayor Ras Baraka (Newark, NJ) said in a statement, a day after the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, the single deadliest shooting in U.S. history. Mayors across the nation have answered the call to present much need legislation that will protect their communities.

RESOURCES ON GUN LAW

African American Mayors Association Statement on the Deaths of Five Dallas, TX Police Officers

African American Mayors Association Statement on the Deaths of Five Dallas, TX Police Officers

(Washington, DC), Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, MO and President of the African American Mayors Association, released the following statement in response to the deaths of five police officers in Dallas, Texas:

“Everyday men and women wake up, put on uniforms and hit the streets to protect American cities. For mayors, these are among the first city employees we see each day. They protect our citizens and our families. Yesterday’s attack on them is an attack on everything we hold dear.”

“Today, I join with 500 African American mayors across the country to offer condolences for the families of the five police officers killed in Dallas, TX. Their grief is unspeakable. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers and hope for a swift recovery for the officers injured in the shooting. Our police officers are among the most invaluable resources our communities have. They are essential to keeping our laws functioning and our citizens safe. We are deeply grateful for their partnership, today and every day.”

“More than almost any week in recent memory, these past days have thrown into sharp relief the fault lines in American society. We must work to improve trust and communication between police officers and our citizens. We must continue training for law enforcement on de-escalation and disengagement, and stem the tide of unwarranted killings. And we must immediately pass gun violence prevention legislation. At this time, we must come together and do the important work of creating an America that is safe for us all.”

“Our hearts are broken. Our cities are mourning. Today we rise to guard our guardians. Today we say enough is enough.”

Contact: Donald Gatlin, 202-587-2871dgatlin@rabengroup.com

CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield Introduces Resolution Honoring the Life and Legacy of Muhammad Ali

CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield Introduces Resolution Honoring the Life and Legacy of Muhammad Ali
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On yesterday, June 7, 2016, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) introduced a resolution honoring the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali:
“Muhammad Ali, who was referred to as ‘‘The Greatest of All Time,’’ was not only a champion in the boxing ring, but a champion of human and civil rights who, during a difficult time in American history, stood on principle to end racism and bigotry.  More than a boxing legend, Mr. Ali was a humanitarian of the world and his talents transcended the ring into the global community where he selflessly put the interests of helping others above his own.  He was a great American, the greatest among athletes of his time and a true champion for humanity.  I join my House colleagues to honor the extraordinary life, accomplishments, and countless contributions to humanity made by the incomparable Muhammad Ali.
Click here to view text of the resolution in its entirety. 
 
# # #
Since its establishment in 1971, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have joined together to empower America’s neglected citizens and address their legislative concerns.  For more than 40 years, the CBC has consistently been the voice for people of color and vulnerable communities in Congress and has been committed to utilizing the full Constitutional power and statutory authority of the United States government to ensure that all U.S. citizens have an opportunity to achieve the American Dream.  To learn more about the Congressional Black Caucus, visit http://cbc-butterfield.house.gov.
Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at (202) 593-1331or Candace.Person@mail.house.gov

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