The United States Conference of Mayors was born out of the Great Depression. It was in 1932 that Detroit Mayor Frank Murphy invited the nation’s mayors to his city to confront common problems caused by this dark time in our history. Twenty-nine mayors gathered and, together, they called for Congress to provide relief, which Congress and the White House passed. That first meeting galvanized the mayors to formalize their conference, and in February 1933 they did so in Washington, D.C.
As it is today, the Conference continues to be a leading voice of cities in our nation’s capital.
Throughout our history, it is the nation’s mayors where people look to for leadership. We were early leaders in the civil rights movement, so much so, that John F. Kennedy introduced the pillars of the Civil Rights Act at our Annual Meeting, shortly before he was assassinated. When the U.S. withdrew from the Kyoto Protocols, we organized mayors as among the first to call for a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to pre-1990 levels.
There are numerous other Conference milestones such as these, but it’s where we are today, and going tomorrow, that matters most. The Conference is a strong forum for you—and all mayors—to advocate for the needs of your citizens and government. It’s where you can share ideas with other mayors, and learn about the best being implemented to help move our country forward.
Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the Conference is that we are a completely non-partisan organization in a city where partisanship and gridlock dominate more than ever. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents come together to get things done. Mayors of large cities, small cities, center cities, and suburbs work side-by-side to solve, improve, create, and cause positive change.