Organization’s 75th President Calls for Progress over Partisanship;
Tells Mayors ‘It’s Our Time’
MIAMI BEACH— New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was named the 75th President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) in a gavel-passing ceremony today, accepting the honor from outgoing USCM President Mayor Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City and host-city Mayor Philip Levine of Miami Beach at USCM’s 85th Annual Meeting. Columbia, SC Mayor Stephen Benjamin was elected USCM Vice President, and Rochester Hills, MI Mayor Bryan Barnett was elected USCM Second Vice President.
Mayor Landrieu’s inaugural remarks drew a sharp contrast between mayors’ records of delivering results and Washington’s failure to work together and get things done in these challenging times. He also covered highlights from four days of conversation with over 250 of the nation’s local executives who produced innovative and actionable proposals to move the nation forward. Many of these ideas were included by a bipartisan group of mayors in Leadership for America: Mayors’ Agenda for the Future, a core set of policy priorities that address the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, ensure quality affordable healthcare, promote safe and secure communities, expand our workforce to drive economic growth and create equitable communities to increase opportunity for all.
“The country is hungry for results: and that’s what Mayors serve every day to the people in their communities. We govern in real time and reality. And we never step back when duty calls. We don’t just talk about it –or debate it. We don’t have time for that,” said USCM President Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans. “We cannot simply resist and retreat – we must lead and engage.”
To view Mayor Landrieu’s full speech, please visit www.usmayors.org.
Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of USCM said, “Today, Mitch Landrieu becomes the 75th President of the United States Conference of Mayors. As President, Mayor Landrieu is America’s Mayor, our spokesperson and advocate to the nation and to every nation in the world. Five Presidents of the United States Conference of Mayors are sons of the great city of New Orleans and now New Orleans has given more Presidents than any other city in the United States, surpassing Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Today, more than ever, our nation and the people of our nation are looking to mayors to meet the challenges of everyday life as Washington, DC is devoid and bereft of providing leadership, answers and actions to help them in their daily lives. Mitch Landrieu welcomes the responsibility and the opportunity to lead us through the gridlock we have with Congress and the Administration. Mayors, Democratic, Republican and Independent, are ready to follow Mitch Landrieu’s bold leadership at this critical moment in American cities and defining moment in American history.”
“We have outlined an ambitious – and achievable – agenda for the next years, and we’re looking forward to getting back out in our communities and making a difference, not just for our individual communities, but for the country,” said USCM Vice President, Mayor Stephen Benjamin of Columbia, SC. “Mayor Landrieu, Mayor Barnett and I are eager to work together on our collective national vision and produce local results.”
“Over the next year, we’re going to seize every opportunity to deliver for our cities and the country, said USCM Second Vice President Mayor Bryan Barnett. “I’m looking forward to working alongside Mayor Landrieu and Mayor Benjamin and have full confidence in USCM’s new leadership team’s ability to execute our new agenda for the future.”
Prior to becoming the President of the Conference of Mayors, Landrieu served as the organization’s Vice President over the past year. Before joining the leadership of the Conference, Landrieu served as Chair of the Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports Standing Committee, as well as co-chair of the Ending Veterans Homelessness Task Force. Under his leadership, New Orleans won the First Place for the USCM’s 2014 City Livability Award for his NOLA FOR LIFE, comprehensive murder reduction program.
During the Conference, mayors passed 79 resolutions in support of Access to Affordable Healthcare; a Cities-Driven Plan to Reverse Climate Change; 100 Percent Renewable Energy in American Cities; Federal Infrastructure Investment; Tax Exemptions for Municipal Bonds; Immigrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers; the DACA Program and Permanent Legal Status for Dreamers; Efforts to End Veterans Homelessness; Criminal Justice Reform and many more. Mayors also voted for resolutions Opposing the Elimination of Community Development Block Grants and the HOME Investment Partnership Program; Opposing Punitive Sanctuary Jurisdiction Policies; and the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The full package of adopted resolutions can be found at www.usmayors.org.
USCM also voted in newly elected leadership: President New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Vice President Columbia, SC Mayor Stephen Benjamin, Second Vice President Rochester Hills, MI Mayor Bryan Barnett.
New USCM Trustees are as follows: Austin (TX) Mayor Steve Adler, and Mesa (AZ) Mayor John Giles. Trustees of the USCM, along with the top three officers and past presidents make up the Executive Committee of the organization.
New USCM Advisory Board Members are as follows: Providence (RI) Mayor Jorge Elorza, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, Sumter (SC) Mayor Joseph T. McElveen, New Bedford (MA) Mayor Jon Mitchell, Findlay (OH) Mayor Lydia Mihalik, Houston (TX) Mayor Sylvester Turner. The Advisory Board functions in an advisory capacity to the Executive Committee on all matters of policy and program.