Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was sworn in as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Outgoing president Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, appointed her as head of the nonpartisan organization during the 83rd annual four-day meeting of the organization in San Francisco, which ended Monday, June 22.
During the gathering, nearly 300 mayors discussed a broad range of policy issues impacting America’s cities and their economic health including community policing, federal investment in America’s cities and public-partnerships that drive innovation and efficiency.
As conference president, Mayor Rawlings-Blake will set the organization’s agenda, appoint committee and task force chairs and serve as the national spokesperson for the June 2015-June 2016 term.
In her inaugural remarks, Mayor Rawlings-Blake spoke to issues of community policing and its direct connection to the lack of opportunity in many communities.
“At a time when women and African American women especially, still face many challenges, the honor of being a female president of this organization and the first African American female president is not lost on me,” she said.
“She’s been elected by her peers,” said Tom Cochran, the organization’s CEO and executive director. “It’s one of the highest honors you can have as a mayor. For one year, she’s America’s mayor. It’s a very powerful position.”
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,210 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.
MayorRawlings-Blake reminded the mayors of power of the bipartisan organization. “We’re not waiting for others to help. Every day in every way, each of us is making progress in our cities. And that progress is propelling our country forward,” she said.