Washington, DC—Below is a joint statement by U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin and USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran on the bombs sent to prominent persons this week:

Violence has no place in our political discourse.  America’s mayors condemn the mailing of pipe bombs to former Presidents and other prominent individuals who have served our nation.  These are cowardly acts of domestic terrorism, pure and simple.

“We acknowledge the dedication and courage of our first responders, including members of the New York Police Department and the Secret Service, as well as our observant and responsible citizens, who thus far have prevented a tragedy from occurring.

“The divisive and corrosive rhetoric that permeates politics today must stop.  We call for a return to civility in our discourse, in recognition of the fact that the free expression of differing points of view is a hallmark of our political process and a founding principle of our great nation.

“Across America, on a daily basis, mayors are demonstrating bipartisanship in the running of our cities.  It is essential that we do this if the needs of all city residents are to be met.  Let the potentially deadly incidents of the last few days be a wake-up call:  All of America’s leaders must be willing to work in a civil and bipartisan fashion for the good of this nation and for all of its people.”