Black mayors meet in Selma to discuss community issues

Mayors from across the state were in Selma for the Alabama Conference of Black Mayors on April 22, 2022. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 7:24 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2022 at 10:12 PM CDT
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SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - Around 20 mayors from across the state were in Selma on Friday for the Alabama Conference of Black Mayors.

The meeting was a chance for leaders to discuss issues that affect their communities, such as failing infrastructure, education and the worker shortage.

“These are just the tip of the iceberg,” Selma Mayor James Perkins said.

Some of the problems discussed were related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These are some challenging times,” Perkins said. “We are not going out of a pandemic. We are moving into an endemic. Pandemics come and go, endemics come and stay, and it looks like COVID will be here for a while.”

The group gathered in an effort to work toward solutions. It is something they have been doing since 1972.

“Back in those days, we knew that as African American mayors, there was strength in numbers,” said Former Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford.

While the mayors in attendance primarily serve residents within their cities, they stressed they are also working for all Alabamians, regardless of where they live.

“We come together to find solutions to the problems that are problems throughout Alabama,” said Tuskegee Mayor Tony Haygood. “Yes, they’re in our community and some are highlighted in our community, but most communities, they encounter the same problems that we do in just a different manner.”

Leaders also tackled more controversial issues – like critical race theory.

“It would be difficult for me to share my history, my personal history, in a classroom with critical race theory laws in place,” Perkins added.

It was just one of many discussions attendees believe will advance their communities.

The Alabama Conference of Black Mayors is not just for mayors. It also welcomes city council members and former mayors.

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