Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin went on "CBS This Morning" on Thursday to discuss how local mayors are tackling national issues.
The Democratic mayor was a guest in the CBS News studio as part of a continuing series called American Voices, which looks at how national issues are playing out on the local level.
Harking back to President Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural address, Benjamin said at the U.S. Conference of Mayors' annual meeting this week that mayors are "setting a tone in our country that appeals to our better angels." Benjamin was elected as vice president of the nonpartisan organization and now serves as president.
"I remain convinced, in South Carolina, if you take a legal pad and I write down the 10 most important things to me and my family and then ask someone who shares a completely different demographic what the 10 most important things are, there are eight things on that list that we all agree on," Benjamin said Thursday on CBS about mayors bridging gaps in communities. "We should work together on those eight things in an era of mutual respect. The other two, we'll work through the democratic process and fight through that."
Speaking above a chyron that read "Southern hospitality," Benjamin also discussed the importance of mayors getting things done when elected officials in Washington, D.C., do not.
The show's hosts noted Columbia's participation in a campaign to transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2036 after the U.S. withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, and that it was among the first U.S. cities to ban bump stocks and trigger cranks after November's mass shooting in Las Vegas.
"In Washington, people are talking over each other, yelling at each other," he said. "On the local level, local leaders are working together every single day to continue this wonderful American experiment."