Mayor McKinley Price, DDS of Newport News, VA was sworn in on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 as the new President of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA). Mayor Price takes over for outgoing AAMA President Mayor Hardie Davis of Augusta, GA. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, GA, Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo, NY and Mayor Timothy Ragland of Talladega, AL also join the African American Mayors Association board.
“The arduous task of being local leaders during this critical time is that we have to work to solve the imminent dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic while also protecting and investing in sustainable solutions for future generations,” says Mayor Price.
“We have seen how this pandemic has exposed injustices and disparities in the systems that are supposed to take care of its residents,” Price continued. “To combat health and economic disparities, we need more Black professionals in the spaces where Black people navigate. We also need to make sure our next generation becomes the leaders at decision-making tables preparing for future emergencies. Their ability to become the leaders we will need depends heavily on policies that members of the AAMA make now. Our work must be intentionally and unapologetically focused on the health of our communities, today and beyond.”
The Honorable McKinley L. Price, DDS, is the Mayor of the City of Newport News, an office he has held since July 2010. He is the first African American elected mayor in the city’s history. Mayor Price was born and raised in Newport News and graduated from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in 1971. After being honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant from the U.S. Army, he earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. He has since joined the vibrant community of small business owners by opening his own dental practice and has received numerous honors and awards for his medical expertise and community involvement.
During his tenure as the president of AAMA, Mayor Price plans to focus on the current COVID-19 crisis and the need for creating sustainable, healthy communities. His goal is to increase minority workforce opportunities by supporting HBCUs, prioritizing funding for the needs of African American communities, and building better relationships in public and private partnerships.
Outgoing Mayor Davis said, “I am honored to have had the chance to lead our organization over the past year. We have made a lot of progress to amplify the voices of Black mayors. Our diverse perspectives are needed to advance policies that protect all communities. I am excited to see how Mayor Price continues this important work. Of course, as I leave my post as President, I will continue to elevate my fellow Black mayors across the country.”
The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) is the only organization exclusively representing over 500 African American mayors across the United States. AAMA 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.