Statement by U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran

Washington, DC— U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO & Executive Director Tom Cochran today issued the following statement about the events that occurred in Charlottesville, VA on August 11 and 12, 2017 :

America’s mayors are registering their strong support for Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer and their unequivocal belief that hate and bigotry have no place in America. Mayors condemn the racism and hate speech of the white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and Ku Klux Klan members who marched in Charlottesville.  They deplore the resulting violence and the terrible loss of life and injuries that ensued, and urge leaders at all levels of government to do the same.

For decades, America’s mayors have taken a strong position in support of civil rights and in opposition to racism and discrimination of all kinds. Hate speech is increasing in our nation, and we have seen an increase in hate violence, xenophobic rhetoric, and discriminatory actions that target Muslims, Jews, and other minorities – exactly what happened in Charlottesville.

Mayors and their cities will continue to be a beacon for inclusion, tolerance, and respect for all. They will continue to create stronger cultures of kindness and compassion in our communities, and expect their federal and state partners to join them in this endeavor.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Heather Hyer, who was killed by a Neo-Nazi during the demonstrations, and with the 19 people who were wounded.  We also mourn the loss of Virginia State Troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke M.M. Bates, who were killed in an accident while supporting the efforts on the ground in Charlottesville, and send our condolences to their families and loved ones, and to the Virginia State Police.”

Following are some of the statements America’s mayors have made on the tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville, starting with a thank you tweet from Charlottesville’s Mayor.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer: Wow. Wow. Thank you, United States of America. Thank you. We love you and we will get through this great test together. #democracy.

Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg: Unbelievable tragedy in Charlottesville yesterday. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of those who lost their lives, including two VA State Police troopers and a young woman, plus dozens of people who were injured. Hate speech and actions by white supremacists and Neo-Nazis have no place in Virginia or America.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski: Enough is Enough…This violence has to stop..Let us pray for the people of Charlottesville.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler: We support the great leadership of #Charlottesville Mayor @MikeSigner and strong values of his community, this moment fighting hate.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh: Our city stands with #Charlottesville Mayor @MikeSigner. Our diversity is our strength. #MayorsStand4All #StandWithCville

Binghamton Mayor Rich David: Binghamton rejects racism and violence. We are stronger than hate. Solidarity vigil tonight for #Charlottesville: …

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh: @MikeSigner is standing up to hate. We must remain dedicated to making every city across our country open & inclusive. #MayorsStand4All

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger: Should be no place in US for the racist violence in #Charlottesville or President who won’t name it. Duty to resist this hatred falls to us

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts: The Queen City stands with Mayor @MikeSigner and the people of #Charlottesville against these unimaginable acts of hate and violence.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: Violence rooted in racism, bigotry and prejudice has no place in our society and must be condemned at every turn. #Charlottesville

We are saddened by the ongoing events in Charlottesville, and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Virginia.  As Americans our greatest strength is our diversity, and that is just as true in Chicago as it is across the country. Violence rooted in racism, bigotry and prejudice has no place in our society and must be condemned at every turn. As one of our nation’s greatest voices for justice and peace, Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us all, ‘we must learn to live together as brothers or perish as fools.’

Columbia, SC Mayor Steve Benjamin: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” #Charlottesville

Columbus, OH Mayor Andrew Ginther: #Columbus stands with Mayor @MikeSigner and the people of #Charlottesville. We must all speak out against acts of hate and violence.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley: Dayton stands with @MikeSigner and Charlottesville @CvilleCityHall against hate & supremacy.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock: My heart wrenches for VA & I pray for the safety of all in #Charlottesville during these horrific turn of events…
…For the future of our country, leaders & community must all denounce these hate fueled acts #Charlottesville

East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc: East Hartford stands with #Charlottesville Mayor @MikeSinger and all the residents who stand against hate, bigotry and violence. #EHPRIDE

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson: Praying for peace and tolerance in Charlottesville. #MayorsStand4All

Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis: We stand with Mayor@mikesigner and #charlottesville #MayorsStand4All

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell: Our thoughts are with Mayor @MikeSigner and the people of #Charlottesville as they stand up to hate and recover from this terrible attack.

Hawai’i vigil for #Charlottesville @MikeSigner

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams: Our hearts are broken over the senseless violence and tragedies in Charlottesville. We must DEMAND civil discourse & stamp out intolerance.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero: Knoxville stands with @MikeSigner and the people of #Charlottesville. There’s no place for hate and violence. #MayorsStand4All.

Lexington, KY Mayor Jim Gray:

The tragic events in Charlottesville today have accelerated the announcement I intended to make next week.

I am taking action to relocate the Confederate statues. We have thoroughly examined this issue, and heard from many of our citizens.

We cannot let them define our future.

Today’s events in Virginia remind us that we must bring our country together by condemning violence, white supremacists and Nazi hate groups

 Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: The people of LA stand with @MikeSigner and Charlottesville @CvilleCityHall against hate & supremacy. We are one nation, indivisible. EG

Uniting with our city’s faith leaders, reflecting on the events in #Charlottesville & sending the strong message that love transcends hate.

“The Shocking violence in Charlottesville – and the abhorrent ideology behind it – have no place in America or anywhere in the world.  Angelenos and people everywhere condemn these acts of hatred, and are deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries suffered today.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer: The bigotry and hatred seen in #Charlottesville cannot be tolerated. Louisville stands with Mayor @MikeSigner to support American values and condemn Nazis and white supremacists #MayorsStands4All

Stand against hate and racism today. 2 pm rally at Jefferson Square; 7 pm vigil at St. Paul United Methodist on Douglass Blvd

Mayor Fischer’s letter to citizens regarding Charlottesville

August 13, 2017

Dear friends:
Thank you to the leadership of our organizers for pulling us together today and thanks to all who are here in body or spirit.
Let us remember the America we aspire to be.
Where there is fear, let us bring love
Where there is racism, let us bring understanding
Where there is division, let us show unity
And where there is conflict, let us bring compassion.
I — and all of the nation’s mayors — are deeply troubled by this weekend’s violence, and unequivocally denounce this act of terror. This is not the country we aspire to be — and a strong nation recognizes its weaknesses, and continues to work and strive to be a more perfect union.
We believe in diversity.

We believe in inclusion.

We believe in free speech —  but not hate speech.

We believe that the great American melting pot — black, white, and brown—- is a strength that empowers us.

We believe in taking hate and racism straight on.

And we must turn these beliefs into actions of compassion, understanding, and unity.

Wherever there is hatred, oppression, bigotry, or injustice for any — black, white, brown; Christian, Muslim, Jew – against any of us, I will speak out and condemn this unacceptable domestic terrorism, and I encourage all people – including all of our elected officials – to do so.
It is our duty as citizens to build on the values of America and it is critical that our children understand and help us achieve the America they deserve.

We have much work to do in our country and in our city.

Let us use this moment to build on our progress and show the world how our city, with all its beauty and imperfections, can be a peaceful model for making the union of our city and country a home for opportunity and justice for all.

Mayor Greg Fischer

Mesa Mayor John Giles: Our city stands with #Charlottesville Mayor @MikeSigner. Our diversity is our strength. #MayorsStand4All #StandWithCville

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges:

I wish I could be with everyone at the Charlottesville solidarity vigil at Bde Maka Ska tonight.  What’s happening in Charlottesville is an eruption of a virus we as Americans have had in our system from the beginning and it is good that all across the country people are coming together to say we will find a different way forward.

This eruption has at its core hatred: hatred for people of color and indigenous people, but also hatred of Jewish and Muslim people.  Together we must decry all of it, and stand with our neighbors.

It is especially important for us white people to find each other and help each other through our own racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism, our own blind spots, our own resistance.  We need each other.  It’s why I have spoken openly about whiteness in almost every major speech I’ve given as mayor, including this passage from my State of the City speech in Mayor 2016:

“The history of race would have us white folks believe that the issues we face as a city – disparities in education and employment, rifts between the police and the community, opportunity for young people – are issues of and about people of color.  The history of race often leaves us white people thinking that this isn’t about us.

“As a result when I speak about it – today, or any other day – it is a challenge to speak of it in a way where we white people can see we are in this picture, that this is about us, too.”

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson: My thoughts and my prayers are with those affected by the terrible acts of violence in Charlottesville.

There is no place for hate & no place for the white supremacists who espouse it – not in Charlottesville, not in Mobile & not in America

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry: I stand with Mayor @MikeSigner and the people of Charlottesville who reject the purveyors of hate who have descended on their city.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell: Standing with @MikeSigner and #Charlottesville. No room for this hatred anywhere in America.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio: Our prayers go out to the families of Heather Heyer and State Troopers Cullen and Bates, who were killed yesterday in Charlottesville.

It shouldn’t be hard to say—what happened in Charlottesville was an act of domestic terrorism. Period.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza: #PVD stands w/ @MikeSigner & #Charlottesville to say that our nation is made strong by its diversity #mayorsstand4all

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider: Santa Barbara stands with @MikeSigner and the people of #Charlottesville.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer: We must reject this violence. America is strong because we accept all are created equal. Praying for Charlottesville.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee: #Charlottesville rally is an attack on our Nation’s values. We will not allow for the hateful & racists acts of the few speak for the many.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman: “Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken” … #Charlottesville

Tampa Bay to the world, post-Charlottesville: screw you, Nazis!

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray: My statement on the violence in #charlottesville

“Hate and violence have no place in our society.  The racist and hateful messages of protesters in Charlottesville do not reflect the values of our country or Seattle.  We are and will remain an open and inclusive city.  And all of our work will remain rooted in building equity as we aim to heal the many wounds of our past.

While we expect protests in Seattle Sunday, we must also condemn hate speech and violence.”

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg: Mayors recognize the challenge to which @MikeSigner has risen, honoring speech while protecting safety & rejecting hate. #standwithcville

Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser: “there is no place in America for the kinds of display we are seeing in #Charlottesville, nor the violence that has resulted because of it.”