The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) honored Mayor Muriel Bowser as the inaugural recipient of the Mayor Marion Barry Jr. Award for Public Service. Bowser is the Mayor of Washington, D.C. and an AAMA Board Trustee.
The award, named in honor of the last D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Jr. who served three terms as the city’s mayor from 1979 to 1991 and from 1995 to 1999, was established to recognize leaders who have carried on the legacy of service and leadership to the community through a sustained commitment to local government.
“Mayor Bowser is a friend, a colleague, and a role model for young girls and women throughout our nation,” said AAMA President and Mayor of Little Rock, Frank Scott, Jr in a press release. “[W]e proudly celebrate her long-standing leadership and incredible achievements. This award is a testament to dedicated public service and Mayor Bowser is well-deserving.”
Mayor Bowser was selected due to her historic re-election for a third term to lead our nation’s capital, the first Black woman to do so in any large American city.
“I am honored to receive this award, named in honor of our Mayor for Life, Marion Barry, whose footsteps I followed on January 2 when I took the oath of office for a third time,” said Mayor Bowser in a statement to the press. “A third term is a special opportunity because I have a mandate from the people to be bold, to think big, to push the envelope, and above all else, to win for Washington, DC. Now, the work continues to ensure every Washingtonian gets a fair shot.”
AAMA is the only organization dedicated to representing over 500 African American mayors across the United States. It seeks to empower local leaders for the benefit of their citizens.
The role of the AAMA includes taking positions on public policies that impact the vitality and sustainability of cities, providing mayors with leadership and management tools, and creating a forum for member mayors to share best practices related to municipal management.