Washington — Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Houston will be run by black mayors for the first time. And on Friday, at the Association of African American Mayors Conference, the “Big 4” met for the first time in a historic gathering to discuss their work.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said, “Looking back to when things started, there was nothing.
Before Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass took office on December 12, there were three. And there were only two before New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he would become mayor on January 1, 2022.
The arc of history is long. Things change slowly. very slowly. Nothing is permanent.
But for now this is a snapshot:
Chicago has 56 mayors. Mayor Lori Lightfoot is her third black mayor and the first black female mayor. The mayoral election, Brandon Johnson, will make her the city’s fourth black mayor.
Bass, the 43rd mayor of Los Angeles, is the second black and first female mayor.
New York City’s 110th mayor, Adams, is the city’s second black mayor.
Turner is Houston’s 62nd mayor and the second black person in office. However, he will not participate in the Nov. 7 Houston mayoral election due to his limited term, and his tally could change again soon.
All four mayors are Democrats.
They preside over cities where the black population is not a majority.
“These are very diverse cities, not majority African American,” Turner said. “But we have moved forward. I have.”
“We are leading the city right now, and we are going through very difficult times where politics is very toxic, but we still need to effectively manage the city that represents the engine of our economy. Not just the city we live in, but the country yet.
If you’re interested: There was no mention of Lightfoot being in his final weeks as mayor — until Lightfoot himself brought it up.
Belonging to this club: Mayors of black metropolitan cities mentioned what others are experiencing, including dealing with the COVID pandemic, the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, chronic crime, police and inequality issues.
Four have informal support groups. Bass said he was on his Zoom call with mayors from other big cities after the election and said, “It’s been great that they’ve been so supportive.”
Lightfoot and bass are friends.
Correcting historical wrongs: Part of Lightfoot’s legacy is the way he sought to right Chicago’s historical wrongs that changed its black and brown residents in many ways.
“For me, our job is to build wealth in places that have been denied for too long,” said Lightfoot.
Lightfoot also called out the companies that issued statements after George Floyd’s murder, rather than names. In fact, how many of the companies that have issued these statements and made those pledges have actually acted? will be “
Adams said people “benefit” more than “dysfunction” of “our community.”
At that point Bass added that in the United States, “people are profiting from our poverty.”
Bass notes that in Los Angeles, a very liberal city, “everybody was flagging Black Lives Matter, right?・It was Lives Matter, but this year I don’t really want to go because “you’re scaring me”… there anymore. “
Step into black elected officials and serve the community. “I have been mayor for the last four years. My time is running out.
“There are areas in my city that look like the 1968 fires were just extinguished,” she says, referring to parts of black neighborhoods west and south of Chicago after the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther in 1968. mentioned the destruction ofking, junior
“Black people have represented these areas forever,” she said, without naming specific city, state or federal elected officials.
“Why is that? Why did we take so long to wake ourselves up? Our people will never thrive if we are content with crumbs.”
Note to Brandon Johnson: Watch the video where four mayors discuss everyday realities, especially crime, police and public safety. In a few weeks, you will be the new number four.
https://chicago.suntimes.com/columnists/2023/4/21/23693209/chicago-houston-new-york-los-angeles-black-mayors-conference-washington-dc-lightfoot Lightfoot, Mayors of 3 Other Largest U.S. Cities to Speak at Washington Conference