Mayor Baraka Attends U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

Friday, 30 January 2015 21:31 Local Talk News Editor



Mayor Ras J. Baraka attended a White House briefing for newly-elected Mayors and gave a presentation for the Children, Health, and Human Services Committee on "Violence as a Public Health Issue," as part of the United States Conference of Mayors 83rd Winter Meeting. He also attended an address by Vice President Joseph Biden at the conference's plenary session at the Capitol Hilton at 1 p.m.

Mayor Baraka is attending his first USCM meeting as Newark's Chief Executive, where he is meeting with fellow chief executives from cities across the nation. The 83rd Winter Meeting featured a series of forums, panel discussions, and presentations by urban leaders and experts, federal officials including Cabinet Secretaries, ending with a plenary session at the White House, where President Barack Obama addressed the attendees.

"It is a privilege to attend my first US Conference of Mayors meeting as Newark's Chief Executive and I am humbled and honored to be able to make this presentation on behalf of the Children, Health, and Human Services Committee to the conference," Mayor Baraka said. "In the City of Newark, as a Council Member, I introduced ground-breaking legislation that recognized violence as a public health issue. We recognize that drug abuse is a major cause of violence, and that addressing drug addiction and abuse will reduce all forms of violence and crime in Newark. Bringing this agenda to the national table will enable us to transform America into a country we can all believe in."

Mayor Baraka attended a White House briefing, where he met with senior White House officials and was given an overview of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and an update on the administration's priorities, particularly in urban areas.

The Mayor served as a presenter on the Children, Health and Human Services Committee as part of the "Public Safety as Health Policy" panel discussion. Mayor Baraka received this high honor in recognition of his work as a community advocate and Council Member. Mayor Baraka will add his experience in the field to develop the Conference's positions on the issue, and help them prepare "best practices" to provide municipalities with support and guidance on the subject. During his tenure as South Ward Council Member on the Newark Municipal Council, then-Councilman Baraka sponsored legislation to declare violence as a public health issue. This legislation was adopted unanimously by the Newark Municipal Council on February 1, 2012.

"Violence in our cities is a national issue," Mayor Baraka said. "We must address this as a nation, a community, and a family, in a holistic manner. We will focus on breaking the cycle that feeds the violence in this country, which means we will focus on the lives of our fellow Americans, fellow residents, and our fellow neighbors, with opportunities, love, compassion, and humanity."

The US Conference of Mayors is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. They can be followed on Facebook at or on Twitter at

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