Statement on President Joe Biden’s Second State of the Union Address

Published on February 7, 2023

(Washington, DC) – The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) continues to applaud the historic progress and profound gains of the Biden Administration. We share President Biden’s optimism about the future of our country and wholeheartedly believe that the state of our union is made stronger by his leadership.

President Biden took office with the promise to rebuild the backbone of the country, and unite and restore the soul of the nation. These goals remain equally important today. As the only organization dedicated to representing more than 500 Black mayors across the United States, including the four largest cities in the country, AAMA knows that President Biden’s got our back and we’ve got his.

“Tonight, President Biden spoke directly to the American people by outlining his administration’s historic progress over the past two years. From tackling unprecedented crises, rebuilding the economy, and delivering results for working families, the President’s leadership has helped steer our nation in the right direction. We are grateful for the strong support President Biden and his administration has shown to mayors across the country and look forward to a continued partnership where we can focus on the core values of getting people back to work, ensuring our communities are safe, and improving the standard of living in people’s everyday lives,” said AAMA President and Little Rock Mayor, Frank Scott, Jr.

“I was honored to be at the State of the Union tonight to hear directly from President Biden about the progress we have made as a country and the work we still must do on behalf of New Yorkers and all other Americans,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “The president’s focus on working people is exactly what the nation needs and his focus on helping Americans care for their children, put food on their table, and money in their wallets will resonate coast to coast. The agenda he laid out also goes hand-in-hand with what we are doing in New York City: This is a blue-collar president, I’m a blue-collar mayor, and we’re both pursuing blue-collar agendas for working people in New York and across the rest of the nation. I look forward to a continued partnership with the Biden-Harris Administration to deliver increased public safety for all New Yorkers and continue to grow our economy.”

As President Biden outlined tonight, his administration is delivering on an economic plan to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out, not top down. By all accounts, the Biden economy is record-breaking – 12 million new jobs have been created since President Biden took office, the unemployment rate is 3.4 percent, the lowest rate in more than 50 years, and the rate for Black and Hispanic unemployment is near a record low.

The Biden economic agenda is generating a manufacturing boom in clean energy, semiconductors, and infrastructure. More than 800,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since President Biden took office, with many more to come.

Tonight, President Biden announced a four-part Unity Agenda focused on areas where members of both parties can come together and make additional progress for the American people: ending cancer as we know it; delivering on the sacred obligation to veterans; tackling the mental health crisis; and beating the opioid and overdose epidemic.

AAMA will continue to work with its member mayors and the administration to lower healthcare costs, drive down the cost of prescription drugs, and push for paid medical leave and affordable childcare. We stand with the administration as it seeks to restore America’s soul by reforming the police without defunding them, banning assault weapons, seeing to it that women have a right to make their own decisions, securing voting rights for all, and uniting us in democracy.

While we are proud of the Biden administration’s accomplishments, we know that there is still much work to be done, particularly as it impacts our Black and Brown communities. We join the administration in re-issuing the call for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, make federal policing the gold standard of effectiveness and accountability, and push the Justice Department to act to ensure accountability and reform.

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