U.S. Conference of Mayors Leadership Mission Includes Meetings with Local and State Officials

May 21 – May 28, 2019

Washington, DC—Under the leadership of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin, a delegation of mayors including USCM Vice President Rochester Hills (MI) Mayor Bryan Barnett, USCM 2nd Vice President Louisville (KY) Mayor Greg Fischer and Toledo (OH) Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz will travel to Poland this week for a leadership mission.  While in Poland, the delegation will meet with Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski and other State officials.  The delegation will also visit some of Poland’s most important political and cultural sites, including the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

“In a time of unprecedented urban globalization, mayors around the world are carrying an even greater load and we rely on one another—whether at home or abroad—to find answers to these very complex problems,” said Mayor Benjamin.  “Exchanges like this will allow us to expand our network as we work to find innovative solutions that will make our communities stronger, more equitable, more compassionate, and more inclusive. Additionally, our visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau will help us develop a deeper understanding of the Shoah and our role in fighting the rise in anti-Semitism and hate that we are seeing across the globe. Together, we 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.”

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has a long history with Poland.  The Conference supported local Polish governments during the Communist era with missions to Poland in the 1970s.  In 1989, USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran was an official observer to the first Polish free elections since 1945. Afterwards, the Conference established relations with local government organizations with a mayoral training program in Poland with mayors from the United States and Poland. In 1990 at the Annual Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, central and local government representatives came to Chicago where a large part of the Meeting was devoted to Polish and U.S. mayors.  In 2007, the Conference of Mayors sponsored the first-ever International Mayors Institute of City Design in Warsaw.

“The United States Conference of Mayors has long been committed to creating and sustaining relationships with our international colleagues,” said Tom Cochran, USCM CEO and Executive Director.  “USCM’s past president and former Mayor of Knoxville, Victor Ashe, was the U.S. Ambassador to Poland from 2004 to 2009, which allowed us to strengthen our special bond with this culturally and historically rich country.  We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with this great nation through the productive and meaningful work we will do this week.”