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Summary

Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams and the City of Harrisburg played host to the fall convening of the Pennsylvania Black Mayors Alliance, a one-day conference and roundtable discussion held Monday, September 26, 2022.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Matt Maisel
Director of Communications, City of Harrisburg
(717) 255-7295
[email protected]

September 30, 2022

HARRISBURG – This week, Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams, 39th Mayor in the City of Harrisburg, played host and participated in the fall convening of the Pennsylvania Black Mayors Alliance.

The seasonal conference, which took place at the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts on Monday, September 26, featured speeches and roundtable discussions from 19 Black mayors across the commonwealth, law enforcement officials, and U.S. Senator Bob Casey.

Mayor Williams is the second Black mayor in Harrisburg history.

“It was so important to be able to converse with these mayors, and find out what’s happening in their cities, and learn what we can do as a unified group to combat these issues we share,” Mayor Williams said.

Those issues include affordable housing, policing, gun control, and combatting violent crime.

Alongside Mayor Williams, the event was co-hosted by first-term Mayor Ed Gainey from Pittsburgh. Both Mayors Gainey and Williams have worked to expand this statewide initiative, which gives African-American mayors throughout the commonwealth a platform to share resources and best practices.

“Critical issues that impact all of our lives do not stop at the border of our individual cities, boroughs, or townships,” Mayor Gainey said. “By coming together as a collective we can advocate for our entire region in a way that has never happened before.”

Monday’s meeting was hosted the Pennsylvania Chamber for Black Owned Businesses (PACBOB). The Chamber was launched last year and works at the state level, serving as an umbrella organization for regional chambers like the African-American Chamber of Commerce of Central PA and their counterparts across the state.

Participating Mayors included:

  • Mayor Wanda Williams, Harrisburg
  • Mayor Ed Gainey, Pittsburgh
  • Mayor Betty Copeland, Bridgeville
  • Mayor Chris Frye, New Castle
  • Mayor Ciera Dent, Steelton
  • Mayor Delia Lennon Winstead, Braddock
  • Mayor Derek Slaughter, Williamsport
  • Mayor Dontae Comans, Wilkinsburg
  • Mayor Dwan B. Walker, Aliquippa
  • Mayor Jaime Kinder, Meadville
  • Mayor Joelisa McDonald, Borough of Rankin
  • Mayor John Burwell, Homestead
  • Mayor Keith Jackson, Rochester
  • Mayor Kenya Johns, Beaver Falls
  • Mayor Kimberly Doss, Farrell
  • Mayor Rita Frealing, Gettysburg
  • Mayor Rohan Hepkins, Yeadon
  • Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, Chester
  • Mayor Val Pennington, Bellevue Borough

“We’ve committed to figuring this out together,” said David Dix, CEO of minority-business advocacy group Luminous Strategies. “Recognizing that there is a strength in out unity.”

Mayor Williams is scheduled to return the favor in visiting Mayor Gainey in Pittsburgh from October 6-9 at the 2022 Pennsylvania Municipal League (PML) Leadership Summit. Mayor Williams is on the executive board of the Pa. Municipal League.