Honolulu, HI—Rochester Hills (MI) Mayor Bryan Barnett became the 77th President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) in a gavel-passing ceremony today, accepting the honor from outgoing USCM President Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia (SC) at USCM’s 87th Annual Meeting in Honolulu. Louisville (KY) Mayor Greg Fischer was elected USCM Vice President, and Dayton (OH) Mayor Nan Whaley was elected USCM Second Vice President.

As part of the ceremony, Mayor Barnett delivered a keynote speech announcing his key priorities, which will focus on three central themes—Infrastructure, Innovation and Inclusion.  This marks a continuation of a bipartisan platform that has served as the core commitment of the Conference over the last year.

To guide the work of the Conference, Mayor Barnett invoked Pulitzer prize winning author James Adams and his famous term “The American Dream,” which stated that “each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”  Mayor Barnett called on mayors to use this as the foundation for “the truly bipartisan vision we want for our communities…the vision we want for our residents…and the vision we want for America.”

In his keynote address, Mayor Barnett also announced “100 Mayors Who Care,” an initiative that will provide an investment in a charitable organization of the participating mayors’ choosing to improve the lives of the residents and cities in which USCM gathers for future meetings.

To view Mayor Barnett’s full speech, please see here.

“Mayor Barnett assumes the role of Mayor of all Mayors today,” said Tom Cochran, USCM CEO & Executive Director. “In this position, he will carry the important mantle of bipartisan collaboration and leadership that the U.S. Conference of Mayors has represented for 87 years. Mayors across the country are driving progress on issues like healthcare, housing, crime, civil rights, transportation and the environment. I know that Mayor Barnett will do an excellent job elevating the good work of our mayors, and we look forward to his leadership.”

Bryan Barnett has served as Rochester Hills’ mayor for more than 13 years and is the longest serving mayor in the history of the city. In November 2015, Mayor Barnett won a historic third mayoral term as a write-in candidate, earning the largest write-in win in a general election in the history of the State of Michigan. His administration has received local, national, and international recognition for innovation, fiscal responsibility, and environmental leadership.

Under his leadership, Rochester Hills has been acknowledged as “One of the Top Places to Live in America.” In addition, Rochester Hills has held the title “Safest City in Michigan” for the past three years. Mayor Barnett is a frequent national speaker on topics including innovative government, long-term sustainability, and economic development and has represented Rochester Hills and Southeast Michigan on multiple international delegations.

During the Annual Meeting, USCM also voted in newly elected leadership:

New USCM Trustees are as follows:  Augusta (GA) Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr.; Reno (NV) Mayor Hillary Schieve; Miami (FL) Mayor Francis X. Suarez; and Houston (TX) Mayor Sylvester Turner. 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: Topeka (KS) Mayor Michelle De La Isla; Long Beach (CA) Mayor Robert Garcia; Columbus (OH) Mayor Andrew Ginther; Oklahoma City (OK) Mayor David Holt; Fremont (CA) Mayor Lily Mei; Fort Worth (TX) Mayor Betsy Price; Stockton (CA) Mayor Michael Tubbs; Flint (MI) Mayor Karen Weaver; Arlington (TX) Mayor Jeff Williams; and Takoma (WA) Mayor Victoria Woodards. The Advisory Board functions in an advisory capacity to the Executive Committee on all matters of policy and program.