Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin was elected president of the African-American Mayors Association on Friday during the organization’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.
He replaces outgoing AAMA president Mayor William Bell Sr. of Birmingham, Ala., who served as the organization’s first leader.
“It’s a true honor to be chosen to lead an organization like this dedicated to bringing visionaries like Mayor Bell together from all across our nation united in the spirit of collaboration, leadership and service,” Benjamin said in a news release from the city of Columbia.
“Over the next year we intend to be a leading voice on some of the most important issues facing our communities, from job creation and growing wages for working families to supporting the president’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, addressing the effective use of technology in our lives and implementing meaningful law enforcement reforms to ensure justice for all.”
Launched on May 1, 2014, the AAMA works to empower local leaders by providing mayors with leadership and management tools and creating a forum for member mayors to share best practices related to municipal management.
“We’re doing great things in Columbia and we welcome this opportunity to share our efforts with cities across America.”
Benjamin also serves as a trustee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Municipal Bonds for America, a non-profit coalition of municipal bond issuers and state and local government officials that works to protect the integrity and value of the municipal bond market.