2008 Dem Presidential Candidates at Black Mayors Convention, May 2-6

April 23, 2007 at 9:04 pm | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment

The National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM) is hosting its 33rd Annual Convention in Baton Rouge, the capitol city of Louisiana, from May 2 through May 7 at the Sheraton Baton Rouge Convention Center Hotel.  As 2008 presidential candidates have announced their intentions earlier than usual, and as Louisiana is still coping with the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, this year’s Convention promises to be one of the most significant for NCBM and the more than 640 black mayors who will assemble in Baton Rouge, La.

Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden, Baton Rouge’s first African American mayor, will join NCBM in welcoming the more than 2,000 attendees-including mayors, municipal staffs, other elected officials, educators, business people, and foreign dignitaries-who will gather to acquire leadership development, discuss key topics impacting communities of color, and discover resources they can take back to their respective cities.  In total, Convention attendees represent more than 38 million American residents.


“The theme of this year’s convention is ‘Leadership Is’, reflecting NCBM’s commitment to empowering the mayors who represent communities of color and equipping them with the accurate information, practical skills and applicable resources they need to better serve their constituents, ” says Vanessa Williams, executive director of NCBM.  “This Convention is so much more than another chance to gather; we get work done-from discussing our communities’ priority agendas with presidential candidates and learning about new research relevant to our communities to gaining skills and resources that will influence local policies.”


Throughout the Convention, mayors and other notable politicians and community leaders, will engage with presidential hopefuls, including plenary sessions and luncheons with Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John Edwards, Senator Barack Obama and Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico. 


Other prominent influencers scheduled to appear at the Convention include: Prime Minister Portia Simpson of Jamaica; renowned actor Danny Glover; author, academic and radio host Dr. Michael Eric Dyson; athlete and entrepreneur Earvin Magic Johnson; and singer/actor Harry Belafonte.  The conference will also feature entertaining performances by musicians Erykah Badu and John Legend, and comedian Rickey Smiley.


During Convention workshops and seminars, mayors and NCBM leadership will discuss the following key NCBM topics:

  • Greening Communities of Color:  A 2005 Associated Press analysis found that Africans Americans are 79 percent more likely than whites to live in neighborhoods where industrial pollution is suspected of posing the greatest health danger. This Convention will shed light on the latest statistics and the startling physical and economic consequences within communities of color.  NCBM will unveil a partnership with researchers and the historically black colleges & universities (HBCUs) to further study the significance and impact of landfills in minority communities, and will educate mayors through a series of workshops.  
  • Building Sustainable Families:  The U.S. Census revealed that, on the whole, African Americans have lower rates of marriage and marital stability than all other ethnic groups. They also have higher rates of single-headed families than other groups.  NCBM will establish a dialogue about strategies to reverse this trend and will announce a partnership with the Department of Health & Human Services to focus on building stronger black families.
  • Establishing Effective Emergency Protocols:  Through Hurricane Katrina, mayors and city officials all over the nation learned the hard way about the value of established, effective communications systems and protocols during a state of emergency.  At the Convention, NCBM will roll out a partnership with Connect-CTY to establish technological systems that will enable real-time communication during an emergency via cell phones, text messages and email alerts, as well as a partnership with the American Red Cross to provide disaster preparedness training to all mayors. 

“Baton Rouge is ready to roll out the red carpet for mayors, prime ministers and other visiting officials, many who will be visiting our city for the first time with the National Conference of Black Mayors,” says East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden.  “Our city has a diverse group of people who are working together to make this conference one of the most successful ever.”


In addition to the workshops and programs for mayors, Mayor Holden will host NCBM attendees at the festive FestForAll Outdoor Celebration, featuring live blues music and Louisiana cuisine.  Also, the Convention will feature  a daylong Youth Day on Saturday, May 5 focusing on educating and empowering youth.


For more information about the NCBM 33rd Annual Convention, visit www.ncbm.com.




About the National Conference of Black Mayors

The National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM) was founded in 1974 as a private, nonpolitical, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that represents African American mayors nationwide.  Representing 641mayors today, NCBM advocates for and impacts more than 38 million people.  The organization’s mission is to enhance the executive management capacity of its members for the purpose of governing viable municipalities.  As such, NCBM provides technical and management assistance to its members, as well as serves as a clearinghouse for information pertinent to municipal development. 


Due to the organization’s enormous growth over the past 33 years, NCBM has established state chapters through which the delivery of technical assistance is facilitated.  Nineteen state chapters of NCBM provide the membership with local vehicles for addressing issues of importance to mayors.  In addition, NCBM maintains ten Standing Committees that address issues of interest to urban and rural leaders.  These Committees include: Arts Culture and Recreation; Criminal and Social Justice; Energy and Environment; International Affairs; Rural Development; Community Development; Education; Health and Human Service; Jobs and the Workforce; and Transportation and Communications.


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