Bristol, England—Today, U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin was elected to the Executive Committee of the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM).  Unlike any other urban network, the GPM is the first, and only, international organization exclusively for mayors. Founded in 2016, the GPM serves as an unprecedented platform for municipal leaders to collaborate on solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges of the day.

As a member of the GPM’s Executive Committee, Mayor Benjamin will work with eight international colleagues representing three continents in overseeing the activities of the organization and enhancing mayors’ voices around the world.

“In a time of unprecedented urban globalization, this is a critical moment, which will force mayors to carry an even greater load. But mayors know that we cannot do it alone as the issues are too complex and there are no easy answers.  I firmly believe that the Global Parliament of Mayors is a great source of untapped capacity. Together, mayors can ensure that the needs of families are met, that their hopes and dreams of a well-lived life can be fulfilled, and that cities all across the world can indeed be a force for good,” said Mayor Benjamin.

This year’s GPM conference was held in Bristol, UK from October 20 – 23 and was hosted by Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees.  During the summit, mayors from across Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States discussed how they can leverage their experience as city leaders to help shape both national and international policy on issues such as immigration, urban security and public health.

Under the leadership of Mayor Benjamin, the U.S. delegation included USCM Vice President Rochester Hills (MI) Mayor Bryan Barnett, Chair of USCM’s International Affairs Committee Dayton (OH) Mayor Nan Whaley, USCM Advisory Committee member West Sacramento (CA) Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, and USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran.

“As a founding member of the Global Parliament of Mayors, the U.S. Conference of Mayors believes that cities are the most promising place to find answers to the greatest challenges of the 21st century.  We see great potential in this extraordinary forum.  It offers us a chance to leverage a world-wide network to find innovative solutions, tackle common challenges and use our collective power to advocate for more effective urban policies,” said Cochran.

The concept of the GPM grew out of Dr. Benjamin Barber’s 2013 book If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities, which argues that cities, and the mayors that run them, offer the best new forces of good governance. Cities are already home to more than half of the world’s population and are the primary incubator for cultural, social and political innovations. According to Barber, a new international coalition of city governments has the potential to accomplish more than any individual national government.

For more information about the GPM, see here.