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The Country's Black Mayors
Convene to Make Cities a Better Place
The National Conference of Black Mayors Inc. convened in Denver, April 20-24, to address the plight of the country's urban communities.  

Made up of 430 black mayors, this is the organization's 25th annual convention.

"This prestigious conference brought mayors, White House officials, members of Congress, and other national dignitaries to Denver to discuss critical issues facing the nation's cities," said Wellington E. Webb, mayor of Denver. "This type of gathering is important as it allows mayors to share ideas about how their cities are solving problems and addressing issues ranging from public safety to environmental protection. It also provides mayors the opportunity to discuss these issues with federal officials and other national dignitaries."

The conference theme, "Cities for Centuries," examined the continued role of African-American-elected officials serving their constituents. During the four-day conference, a majority of the members came to Denver to address the most critical issues facing America's cities and towns.

"Our mayors are in the midst of many complex and serious issues that face our cities -large and small: welfare-to-work programs, devolution of federal responsibility, crime, and the aging of our infrastructure," said Gordon D. Bush, NCBM president and mayor of East St. Louis, Ill. "Our annual meetings and seminars give our member mayors the opportunity to work together, seeking solutions to problems for the good of our people."

Events scheduled for the conference included black women mayors' caucus workshop, general sessions, workshops, youth day, and a town hall meeting.

The NCBM convention is held annually in achy led by a member mayor. Denver was selected as host city two years ago, and the mayors will be convening in Dallas in the year 2000. If you would like more information on the event, call (404) 3449008, or (303) 640-2722.
Convention Highlights


The NCBM's inaugural golf tournament, "Rocky Mountain Shootout," was Tuesday, April 20. It is appropriate on this 25th anniversary that we launch our first annual golf tournament, which will be incorporated in future conventions. We did not want to miss this opportunity to play golf and network with mayors and other leaders.


Denver's professional and business women hosted the Black Women Mayors' Caucus, Tuesday, April 20, for their 1lth annual leadership and professional development workshop. More than 103 African American women head cities and towns with Minneapolis as the largest municipality administered by a black female mayor. BWMC's mission is committed to advocating for issues affecting women and children through its annual workshop and luncheon. For the past 10 years, the women's bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor has provided funding for the workshop. The workshop has an employment and training that focuses on women. This year's session addressed relevant issues to both women public officials and African American women who aspire to seek elected office.


Setting the tone for the convention, the plenary session featured a keynote address by a noted national leader.


Conferees and citizens from the host city gathered for four meal functions that celebrated the accomplishments of individuals in politics, community service, education, cultural arts, sports and business. The four events were the Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom Award luncheon, president's luncheon, mayors' prayer breakfast, and a "Tribute to a Black American" dinner.


Workshops and dialogues engaged mayors and experts in discussions designed to introduce new techniques and program resources to enhance the delivery of municipal services. Brownfield's redevelopment, welfare to work, housing, risk management, small business development, agriculture, Y2K, and the 2000 census, formed the basis of workshop/dialogue offerings. As in previous years, young people participated in the convention on youth day, where presenters addressed issues of pertinence to youth.


Corporations and entrepreneurs displaying their wares in the exhibit hall interfaced with mayors and other conferees.


Corporate leaders in partnership with NCBM had an opportunity to confer
with mayors during a business luncheon Wednesday, April 21. The forum, held for the first time, provided an opportunity for mayors and corporate executives to discuss public and private initiatives that are unique to urban communities.


Mayor Wellington Webb and the citizens of Denver planned a star-studded welcoming party and reception for Wednesday and Thursday. The mayor's reception honored NCBM's 13 founding members and 10 past presidents.


The host city for the year 2000, Dallas, gave attendees a sample of what to expect in "Destination Dallas."  After this reception, there was the "After Glow Reception," which pays tribute to NCBM's sponsors.

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