Contact: Nils Robbins
DMO STATEMENT ON THE WHITE SUPREMACIST ATTACK IN BUFFALO
Once again a Black community has been subjected to mass violence at the hands of a white supremacist. On Saturday, a white gunman drove several hours to Buffalo, NY, specifically targeting a supermarket that serves Black Americans. There are at least ten reported victims of his attack, including a security guard who attempted to stop the assailant.
More disturbing than the violence itself is what motivated the man to go hunting for Black lives. His manifesto espouses a belief in a white supremacist conspiracy called the “Great Replacement Theory”. This fear that white birth rates are falling behind those of people of color can be found not only in the shooter’s manifesto, but on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight”. Carlson personally supported Great Replacement Theory as a tactic Democrats are using to gain political control of the country. The shooter also targeted Jewish people in his manifesto, citing them as the source of “critical race theory”, another Fox News bogeyman widely broadcast on the network.
While hate speech is protected by the Constitution, incitement to violence is not. When gunmen draw clear lines between their attacks and the words of right-wing media personalities, it is time to hold the broadcasters accountable. DMO also calls on the Biden Administration to reinvigorate funding, resources, and interdepartmental coordination on efforts to identify and stop white supremacist violence before it can happen.
Jordan Named DMO Blue Star Candidate
The Board of Directors of Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) has named Barbara Jordan a Blue Star Candidate as she campaigns for Mayor of Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
Blue Star Candidates
The DMO serves to connect, engage, and empower elected officials who identify as Democrats. Democratic Municipal Officials initiated the Blue Star Candidate program to support promising Democrats who stand to retake a mayor’s office, flip a council majority blue, or break new grounds with their election. These candidates have been vetted and recommended by the DMO Board of Directors.
Why Barbara Jordan?
Jordan is a combat veteran, having served over 20 years in the United States Air Force. Her current work highlights systems of social injustice in New Mexico and abroad. She is a Court Appointed Special Advocate, and a graduate of Emerge New Mexico.
Her race for mayor is a campaign to bring new perspectives and energy to municipal office in New Mexico. Jordan’s personal history informs her work championing equity, inclusion, and mental health services, particularly for children. She will serve as a strong advocate for the disabled, LGBT, and BIPOC communities. Jordan’s infrastructure goals include repairing the city’s roadways and protecting essential groundwater from radioactive waste dumping.
DMO President and Philadelphia At-Large Councilmember Derek Green remarked, “Barbara Jordan has shown a commitment to this country with over 20 years of service in the Air Force and continued her commitment to the community by founding People Requiring Equality Systemic Systems (PRESS). Barbara’s campaign is about her experience of not feeling heard by city leaders and taking action to ensure all in the city feel heard in the future. I see the same excitement, energy, and commitment to serving people that many DMO members around the country in both rural cities and metropolitan areas have every day. I am thrilled to announce DMO’s endorsement of Barbara Jordan for Mayor Rio Rancho and look forward to working together in the future.”
DMO Political Director Alejandro Chavez, grandson of labor leader Cesar Chavez added, “My grandfather would say, ‘It’s never about the grapes or lettuce but always about the people.’ I see that in Barbara’s campaign and believe she will be the peoples’ mayor.”
Upon hearing the news of her Blue Star Candidate certification, Jordan said, “Being endorsed by DMO solidifies the work that I am doing for our community and my city. It is a clear signal that I am fighting for all people and for humanity itself. I know that with DMO by my side, we can do this.”
Why Does This Race Matter?
If elected, Barbara Jordan will not only become the first Black women elected mayor of Rio Rancho, but of any major city in the state. Her election would break new ground in the political landscape of the Southwest, and inspire more leaders of color to run for local office.
How Can You Help?
If you would like to learn more about Barbara Jordan’s campaign or contribute you can visit jordanforriorancho.com.
Your Next Race
Are you up for reelection facing steep Republican opposition? Are you vying to reclaim a mayoral seat for Democrats, or flip a council majority blue? Reach out to DMO at alejandro.chavez@NationalDMO.org to learn more about applying for a Blue Star Candidate recommendation.
DMO Blue Star Rising
DMO Board Member and Blue Star Rising candidate Tameika Isaac Devine made it to the runoff of her race for Mayor of Columbia, SC. Council Member Isaac Devine would be the first Black woman to lead the city as mayor, and has a reputation as a community representative who gets things done. The runoff election is Tuesday, November 16th, and you can learn more and provide support at devineformayor.com.
DMO Blue Star Candidates
DMO Blue Star Candidate Zack Zappone won his race for Spokane, WA Council District 3. Zack is a former school teacher who ran to ensure his students received the support they need both in and beyond the classroom. He is the first openly LGBTQ lawmaker to serve in Spokane.
Danny Herrera won his race for Yakima, WA Council District 2. He is also an educator who threw his hat in the race so that members of his community could see themselves when they looked to local government. He is the first person of color to represent the majority Latino district.
SeaTac is a majority minority city that has been taken over by Republican city council. Along with Savannah, it was part of the original inspiration for the resources we provide through the DMO Blue Star Candidate program. And as with Savannah, Mohamed Egal highlighted the success of the program in his victory for SeaTac, WA Council Position 4. He defeated a Republican who participated in the January 6th insurrection, and we look forward to SeaTac swinging further blue with his help.
- DMO President Emeritus Scott Benson won his reelection campaign for Detroit, MI City Council.
- DMO Board Member Chris Roberts won his reelection campaign for Shoreline, WA City Council.
Election Night Firsts
- Ken Welch, first Black Mayor of St Petersburg, FL
- Crystal Hudson, first openly LGBTQ Black woman elected to the New York City Council.
- Ruthzee Louijeune, first Haitian-American elected to an At-Large Council seat in Boston, MA.
- Michelle Wu, first AAPI woman elected Mayor of Boston, MA.
- Sharrett Smith, first Black woman elected Mayor of Lima, OH.
- Aftab Pureval, first AAPI Mayor of Cincinnati, OH.
- Abdullah Hammoud, first Arab American Mayor of Dearborn, MI.
- Elaine O’Neal, first Black female Mayor of Durham, NC.
- Ed Gainey, first Black Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA.
- Bruce Harrell, first AAPI Mayor of Seattle, WA.
Mayoral Election Victories
- Mike Padilla, Mayor of Topeka, KS
- Mark O’Brien, Mayor of Augusta, ME
- Gavin Buckley, Mayor of Annapolis, MD
- Mike O’Connor, Mayor of Frederick, MD
- Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit, MI
- Andy Schor, Mayor of Lansing, MI
- Bill Wild, Mayor of Westland, MI
- Jacob Frey, Mayor of Minneapolis, MN
- Melvin Carter, Mayor of St Paul, MN
- Collins Wilmot, Mayor of Helena, MT
- Jim Bouley, Mayor of Concord, NH
- Steven Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City, NJ
- Tim Keller, Mayor of Albuquerque, NM
- Alan Webber, Mayor of Santa Fe, NM
- Kathy Sheehan, Mayor of Albany, NY
- Byron Brown, Mayor of Buffalo, NY
- Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City, NY
- Justin Bibb, Mayor of Cleveland, OH
- Wade Kapszukiewicz, Mayor of Toledo, OH
- Wanda Williams, Mayor of Harrisburg, PA
Democrats across the nation are working to pass President Biden’s Build Back Better framework. See below for a full resource suite for messaging, fact sheets, digital assets, and more. Also included is a roundup of what DMOs are tweeting about the BBB framework to better inform their constituents. We encourage you to share the good news on social media, tagging @NationalDMO so we can amplify your voice.
The National League of Cities has also posted a helpful guide on What the Build Back Better Act Includes for Cities.
Build Back Better Framework Resources
- Topline Message and Contents
- Constituency Fact Sheets
- Digital Assets
- Remarks & Readouts
Topline Message and Contents
The Build Back Better Act will create millions of good-paying jobs, enable more Americans to join and remain in the labor force, spur long-term growth, reduce price pressures and set the United States on course to meet its clean energy ambitions.
o Affordable Care: The most transformative investment in children and caregiving in generations, delivering:
§ Two years of free preschool for more than six million children
§ Affordable child care so that no middle-income families pay more than 7% of their income
§ Affordable, high-quality care for older Americans and people with disabilities in their homes, while supporting the workers who provide this care
o Climate Action: The largest effort to combat climate change in history that will ensure that we can meet our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions between 50 and 52 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030.
o A Middle-Class Tax Cut: A historic tax cut for tens of millions of middle-class families, including giving 39 million families a major tax cut by extending the expanded Child Tax Credit and cutting taxes for 17 million low-wage workers by extending the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit
o Affordable Health Care: The biggest expansion of affordable health care in a decade, reducing premiums for more than 9 million Americans and delivering health care coverage to up to 4 million uninsured people in states that have locked them out of Medicaid
What Mayors Are Saying
Mayor Steve Adler, Austin, TX: @POTUS’ #BuildBackBetter Framework will create millions of good-paying jobs, enable more Americans to join and remain in the labor force, and ensure the US meets its clean energy goals. Join me in calling on Congress to pass this transformative legislation. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Randall Woodfin, Birmingham, AL: Build Back Better means ✅Free Universal Pre-K ✅Expanding Medicaid and Medicare ✅Massive investments in fighting climate change ✅Expanding the child tax credit ✅Major investments in affordable housing These are transformational investments folks. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Lauren McLean, Boise, ID: Today’s #BuildBackBetter plan from @POTUS includes once-in-a-generation investments in housing, climate and childcare–all things important to Boiseans. This plan will transform lives across the country and push us into the future. Join me in calling on Congress to get this done. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Andrew Ginther, Columbus, OH: The Build Back Better Framework invests in clean energy that can slow the damage of climate change that is already impacting our most vulnerable residents. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Nan Whaley, Dayton, OH (President of USCM): Access to affordable child care & housing are key to building back better & I’m grateful that @POTUS is reiterating his support for them today. Now it’s up to Congress to act quickly so that cities across America can benefit from these historic investments. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Denver, CO: It’s time to #BuildBackBetter. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston, TX: Mayor Turner joined @VP Harris virtually to discuss how #BuildBackBetter will benefit Houston & communities across the country. It will lower costs for families, cut taxes for parents, make historic investments in infrastructure and public transit, and create good-paying #jobs. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Stephen Williams, Huntington, WV: @WhiteHouse just called me and told me @POTUS will be announcing that the Build Back Better Plan has the support to pass. Details will be announced later today. Providence is in the details. This is HUGE for @huntingtoncity, HUGE for WV, and HUGE for WEST VIRGINIANS! [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Robert Garcia, Long Beach, CA: Universal pre-K, historic investments in climate, middle class tax cuts, child care support, and immigration system investments. These are enormous wins for working families. Let’s take these huge wins today. The fight for the rest of the agenda continues. Thank you @POTUS! [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles, CA: Today, @POTUS is delivering on his promise to the American people to heal our nation from COVID-19 and to Build Back Better. It’s time for America to invest in our local communities and the care economy — allowing parents, children, immigrants, and neighbors to have more affordable housing, universal Pre-K education, and a Child Tax Credit that can cut childhood poverty in half. Together with unprecedented investments to address climate change, this is truly historic. Thank you President Biden and congressional leaders for your hard work! [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville, KY: The #BuildBackBetter framework is the relief that American families need at this pivotal time — funding for violence intervention, universal pre-K, affordable housing, climate resiliency, HBCUs & more. I fully support @POTUS & urge Congress to act fast! [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Madison, WI: There’s a lot to like here: ✅ universal preschool ✅ child tax credit ✅ $$ for clean energy ✅ civilian climate corps ✅ $$ for affordable housing But we also need #CitizenshipForAll and #PaidFamilyLeave [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor John Giles, Mesa, AZ: The #BuildBackBetter framework announced today makes the single largest investment in affordable housing in U.S. history. The @CityofMesa and the entire region will benefit! [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans, LA: @POTUS #BuildBackBetter Act is here! The #BuildBackBetter Act will create millions of good-paying jobs, enable more Americans to join and remain in the labor force, spur long-term growth, reduce price pressures and set the U.S. on course to meet its clean energy ambitions. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Breea Clark, Norman, OK: Build Back Better tackles issues that affect cities everywhere, including right here in Norman. The framework focuses on affordable housing, climate change, infrastructure, education, & more. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland, CA: The Build Back Better Framework will deliver for Oakland. Time for Congress to act. ???? [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Jim Kenney, Philadelphia, PA: The #BuildBackBetter framework will build up our families, workforce, and economy while also making necessary investments to combat climate change. This is the plan we need to strengthen the middle class and create the future Americans deserve. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Levar Stoney, Richmond, VA: Congress must pass this historic legislation ASAP. Lives depend on getting this funding out of Congress FAST. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Bryan Barnett, Rochester Hills, MI: Spent nearly an hour in conversation this afternoon with @VP and four other mayors discussing the importance of building a strong workforce and infrastructure for Rochester Hills. Blessed to have a seat at the table.@SylvesterTurner @MayorJenny @saintlouismayor @RobertGarcia[Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento, CA: After months of negotiation, @POTUS has a delivered a transformative Build Back Better Act with the votes to pass. Thank you to @whitehouse & our Congressional leaders for listening to Mayors & including $150 billion for affordable housing, rental and downpayment assistance. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Melvin Carter, Saint Paul, MN: Thank you, Mr. @POTUS! This #framework won’t do everything for everyone, but these historic investments will make a whole lot better for a whole lot of people. Let’s pass this & let’s keep Building Back Better! [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Todd Gloria, San Diego, CA: The San Diego region is ready to #BuildBackBetter! Today, my colleagues and I highlighted our region’s support for @POTUS’ Build Back Better agenda, which will make transformative investments in housing, families, climate, and infrastructure. #ForAllofUs [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Tishaura Jones, St. Louis, MO: Before my son went to kindergarten, his child care cost MORE than my mortgage. Thank you @VP Harris for giving me & my fellow mayors the opportunity to talk virtually about the importance of affordable child care for working families in #BuildBackBetter [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Regina Romero, Tucson, AZ: I’m pleased to see positive movement on @POTUS’s #BuildBackBetter agenda, which represents a historic investment in America’s working families. Now, Congress must act swiftly to get this across the finish line. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Quentin Hart, Waterloo, IA: Today is a big day for Waterloo and our future. @POTUS’ #BuildBackBetter Framework includes once-in-a-generation investments that will transform lives across this country and empower us to move our communities forward. Join me in calling on Congress to get this done. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
Mayor Katie Rosenberg Wausau, WI: Glad to see universal pre-K and child care investments. [Tweet, 10/28/21]
DMO Statement on President Biden’s Build Back Better Framework
President Biden is fulfilling the promise that brought Democrats to the voting booth in 2020 – a legislative agenda that puts hard-working Americans first.
Democrats are going to bat for the middle class by instituting two years of free preschool for more than six million children, limiting childcare costs to less than 7% of a family’s income, expanding Medicare for aging Americans, and building on the successes of the Affordable Care Act. In addition to these programs is a historic tax cut for tens of millions of middle-class workers, and an extension of the Child Tax Credit for 39 million families.
President Biden’s Build Back Better framework features the largest effort in history to combat climate change, ensuring that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 50 and 52 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030. These landmark investments will be paid for responsibly, by making sure that the wealthiest people and businesses contribute their fair share of taxes.
Partnered with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, this historic legislative framework will help towns and cities rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, creating millions of good-paying jobs to kickstart local economies and improving the quality of life for children and families.
At-Large Council Member, Philadelphia, PA
President, Democratic Municipal Officials
The Board of Directors of Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) has named the following Democrats Blue Star Candidates. Washington‘s Election Day is next Tuesday, November 2nd. We encourage you to look into these candidates and provide them moral and material support in this final week.
Jennifer Gregerson in her race for Mukilteo Mayor
Incumbent Mayor Jennifer Gregerson has led the city of Mukilteo through the pandemic, enforcing public health standards and keeping businesses afloat. She plans to continue creating good jobs, revitalizing the waterfront, and expanding public safety efforts. Gregerson faces a Republican former state representative and mayor, striking clear stakes between a progressive leader and a conservative. You can learn more at jennifergregerson.com.
Dexter Borbe in his race for Bellevue Council Position 2
Dexter Borbe intends to bring greater equity to Bellevue. His opponent is an incumbent on the city council, a Trump supporter who has stood in the way of more affordable housing. With Bellevue slated to host a new set of offices for Amazon, what happens there will be a bellwether for the future headquarter towns of other tech giants. You can learn more at electborbe.com.
Adrienne Fraley-Monillas in her race for Edmonds Council Position 3
Fraley-Monillas has saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, kept taxes stable, and stood against coal trains on the waterfront. You can learn more at adriennemonillas.com.
Karl de Jong in his race for Sedro-Woolley Council
Karl de Jong is the only Democrat on the council in an R+16 district. He is a member of the DMO Policy Council, and his voice in elected office is a valuable dot of blue in an ocean of red. You can learn more about the race at karlforsedrowoolley.com.
Zack Zappone in his race for Spokane Council, District 3
As a teacher at high-poverty schools, Zappone saw that no matter how hard some students worked, they continued to face insurmountable obstacles outside of school — unstable housing, unsafe transit, mental health and substance abuse, and low paying jobs for their parents. Now he is running for City Council to be able to impact students’ lives beyond the classroom. The Spokane City Council’s progressive supermajority is at stake in this election, and with it the future of Washington‘s second largest city. With a conservative mayor and outside special interest money threatening the race, Zappone has an opportunity to not only reinforce the blue wall of local government, but represent Spokane as its first openly LGBTQ lawmaker. You can learn more at zackzappone.com.
Jacquelyn Belock in her race for Cheney Council, Position 3
Cheney is a rural college town within the larger Spokane Metro area, and Belock offers the opportunity to shift the council blue. You can learn more at electbelock.com.
Danny Herrera in his race for Yakima Council, District 2
Danny Herrera is an educator and a lifelong resident of District 2. He is running to ensure the community can see themselves when they look to public office. If elected, he would be the first BIPOC council member to represent the majority Latino district. You can learn more at www.mrherreraforyakima.com.
Krystal Marx in her race for Burien Council Position 7
Burien was a deeply red until 2017, even as an adjacent suburb of Seattle. While some might assume the suburbs to be safely blue, they are in fact at risk of Republican takeover, and can serve as stepping stones for far-right candidates. Krystal Marx plans to continue her progressive work and hold the line against Republican encroachment. You can learn more at krystalmarx.com.
Mohamed Egal in his race for SeaTac Council Position 4
SeaTac is a majority minority city that currently has a Republican majority city council. Egal is running in part to take back the city for Democrats. He intends to truly represent the people of SeaTac, and defeat an incumbent who was at the January 6th insurrection in Washington, DC. You can learn more at egalforseatac.com.
Naghmana Sherazi in her race for Spokane Council, District 1
Naghmana Sherazi identifies herself as part of the working poor. She has a Master’s degree, works full time, yet only brings home $18.27 an hour. Her story is familiar to a growing number of voters. She stands to bring the voice of a renter to the city council, representing a diversity in economic circumstances that we need in local government. Sherazi is running a unionized campaign, and would be the first Muslim on the Spokane City Council. You can learn more at peoplefornaghmana.com.
Nicole Thomas-Kennedy in her race for Seattle City Attorney
Major cities across the United States have elected a slate of progressive prosecutors, who seek to reform traditional law enforcement and root out the injustices built into our legal system. Thomas-Kennedy would join this cohort if elected Seattle’s next city attorney, bringing a focus on restorative justice and intervention to the office. She believes that everyone in Seattle deserves to live in safety, and you can learn more at ntk4justice.com.
Tameika Isaac Devine in her race for Columbia, SC Mayor
While not a resident of Washington state, we would be remiss in not mentioning DMO Board Member and South Carolina State Chapter Chair Tameika Isaac Devine, whose election is also this coming Tuesday. Isaac Devine has a lasting record of delivering for the community, has a reputation on the council as an elected official who gets things done, and serves on the Executive Committee of the National League of Cities. She represents not only an opportunity to make sure a Democrat takes the mayor’s office, but to ensure Columbia’s next mayor comes in with a proven track record of experience and the enduring support of the city. You can learn more at devineformayor.com.
Blue Star Candidates
The DMO serves to connect, engage, and empower elected officials who identify as Democrats. Democratic Municipal Officials initiated the Blue Star Candidate program to draw national attention to Democratic candidates who have the opportunity to make a major shift in a mayor’s office, council majority, or similar municipal election. These candidates have been vetted and recommended by the DMO Board of Directors.
Your Next Race
Are you up for reelection facing steep Republican opposition? Are you vying for a seat that would reclaim a mayoral seat for Democrats, or flip a council majority blue? Reach out to DMO at Jesse.Maldonado@NationalDMO.
Members of the Democratic National Committee,
Democratic Municipal Officials stands in support of the proposal to transform the DNC Disability Council into a caucus.
The purpose of a membership caucus within the DNC is to provide an organized coalition for those who share an inherent or immutable trait. A DNC caucus would fulfill this role for the disability community.
The Democratic Party has always been a home for people who are marginalized because of their backgrounds. Transforming the Disability Council into a caucus will take us one step further as a Party towards ensuring that every American can expect a government that provides not mere equality, but true equity for its citizens.
DMO applauds the work of Representative Tony Coelho for his work chairing the DNC Disability Council. His work advocating for Americans with disabilities, in particular those with “invisible disabilities” which are not always readily apparent, is a testimony to his character and the values of the Democratic Party. We know that his work will continue as the DNC forms the Disability Caucus.
Councilman At-large, Philadelphia, PA
DNC Executive Committee Member
President, Democratic Municipal Officials
DMO is please to announce the following candidates from Washington state have been accredited Blue Star Candidate status.
- Jennifer Gregerson in her race for Mukilteo Mayor
- Dexter Borbe in his race for Bellevue Council Position 2
- Adrienne Fraley-Monillas in her race for Edmonds Council Position 3
- Karl DeJong in his race for Sedro Woolley Council
- Zack Zappone in his race for Spokane Council, District 3
- Jacquelyn Belock in her race for Cheney Council, Position 3
- Danny Herrera in his race for Yakima Council, District 2
- Krystal Marx in her race for Burien Council Position 7
- Mohamed Egal in his race for SeaTac Council Position 4
- Naghmana Sherazi in her race for Spokane Council, District 1
- Nicole Thomas-Kennedy in her race for Seattle City Attorney
|As city leaders, we know that good jobs mean stronger communities. Not only do fair wages put more money in your pocket, they help narrow the wealth gap between men and women, and between white Americans and Americans of color. And there is no price you can put on going to a workplace where you know you will be treated with respect.
This Labor Day, let us remember that each benefit, safety feature, and act of respect had to be fought for and won by workers who organized for our collective rights. You and I still reap the rewards of their struggles.
How can you continue to make sure all Americans enjoy the benefits of organized Labor?
We especially want to thank the Labor organizations on our National Advisory Board who contribute to this work; the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the International Association of Bridge, Structural, and Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, The Laborers’ International Union of North America, the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of Teachers, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the United Auto Workers.
Whether at our roundtables, at rallies, or in refusing to cross a picket line, DMO serves as the bridge between our Democratic leaders and unions to keep our cities running powerfully, effectively, and inclusively. As a member of the DMO Labor Council, you can share updates from your state with national Labor leaders, learn about the national issues impacting workers’ rights in your community, and engage in roundtables that provide resources you can bring back to your city to build better jobs. If you would like to get involved in the DMO Labor Council, contact Nils Robbins at Nils.Robbins@NationalDMO.org.
Happy Labor Day,
DMO State Chapter Chairs & Liaisons
DMO held our annual Board Retreat in beautiful Detroit this past September. We wanted to send an overview of the Retreat so that our full membership could benefit from the resources we discussed during the week, and connect with our national partners. Their contact information will be included below. We encourage you to reach out to secure their resources for your city!
This email is part of a multi-day series on the DMO Retreat. Today we will cover the Business Council panels. You can view Monday’s email on our Policy Panel here, and Wednesday’s coverage of our Labor Panel here.
(Doing Business in Detroit. From left to right: Donnell White, Steve Ogden, Craig D’Agostini, David Meador, Scott Benson)
Wednesday’s lunch brought the opening of the business portion of our Retreat. We kicked everything off with an address from Tom Lutz, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, which was followed by a short video on the Capenters. Then we continued with a panel on Doing Business in Detroit. Our National President and Detroit host Scott Benson moderated, with Craig D’Agostini from Comcast, David Meador from DTE Energy, Steve Ogden from Quicken Loans, and Donnell White of Chemical Financial Corporation joining the discussion. These business leaders from Detroit shared their companies’ experiences working in the city, public private partnerships, and how they work to ensure they are good corporate citizens. They also discussed their roles in workforce development. Both Comcast and Quicken mentioned their annual days of action, where employees are encouraged to participate in charitable work in the community.
(Breaking Ground on Affordable Housing. From left to right: Patti Shwayder, Fred Tayco, Michelle Frisk, Chuck Lesnick, LaWana Mayfield)
We continued with Breaking Ground on Affordable Housing. The discussion was led by Charlotte Council Member LaWana Mayfield, and the panel consisted of Michelle Frisk from the Ironworkers, former DMO Board Member Chuck Lesnick, Patti Shwayder from Aimco, and Fred Tayco from the National Apartment Association.
Chuck Lesnick presented on how Opportunity Zones could be used to promote the creation of new affordable housing projects. He also put forward the idea of deferring property taxes on new buildings in developing areas, and making opt out pricing for affordable units at least twice the amount of building one, to avoid the market incentivizing opt outs. Patti Shwayder noted that rents on average are actually increasing at a rate below inflation, counter to common perception. She also pushed against rent control, noting that more expensive units in a building can be used to subsidize affordable housing units in the same location. The Ironworkers recommended that any new housing created should be done under a project labor agreement, with pre-hire agreements for workers.
The first day of the conference ended with a panel on Rising Together: Exploring Solutions to Poverty in Our Communities. We heard from DMO President Emeritus and former Tampa Council Member Mike Suarez headed the panel, with members including Arthur Jemison from the Detroit Mayor’s Office, Detroit Council President Brenda Jones, Lauren Neill from T-Mobile, and Tony Williams from Comcast.
Wednesday’s dinner was held at the historic Castle Hall restaurant, a short walking distance from the MGM Grand hotel. There we premiered the new DMO Introduction Video, crafted by alumni and former Malibu Mayor Lou La Monte. Lou spent much of the Retreat continuing his work recording our Board and Advisory Board members for future video projects, with filming courtesy of Comcast.
Thursday began with an experiment, a “speed dating” style set of National Advisory Board Conversations. Guests spent time at individual high tops featuring Retreat sponsors and Advisory Board members including HMS Host, Ford Motor Company, Mosaic Strategies Group, and American Water Resources. Some good connections were made, and in the future we plan on lengthening the time spent at each station to encourage more in depth conversations.
(Managing Waste for Green Cities. From left to right Kerrin O’Brien, David Segall, Susan Moulton, David Biderman, Ian Baltutis)
Next up was our panel on Managing Waste for Green Cities. DMO Council of State Chapters Chair and Burlington Mayor Ian Baltutis ran the session. He was joined by David Biderman of the Solid Waste Association of North America, Susan Moulton of Waste Management, Kerrin O’Brien of Michigan Recycling Coalition, and David Segall of Recycle Track Systems.
The key issue covered was how China has stopped accepting recycling material from the US, creating a glut at home and the need to reuse trash domestically. Panelists encouraged the crowd to increase pickup costs as prices respond to the market, but stressed that it is essential to educate the public as to why. Education is also particularly useful in preventing non-recyclable materials from entering the stream. An ‘Oops Tag‘ is one way to inform the public when unusable material has been mistakenly recycled.
(Open Government, Transparency, and Inclusion. From left to right Derek Green, Gil Villegas, Mike Mattson, Bob Blumenfield, Pat Furey)
Closing out our Advisory Board portion of the Retreat was a discussion on Open Government, Transparency and Inclusion. Our final panel was led by DMO Secretary and Torrance Mayor Pat Furey, and joined by LA Councilman Bob Blumenfield, Philadelphia Councilman Derek Green, Chicago Alderman and DMO Board Member Gil Villegas, and Mike Mattson from OpenGov. Participants discussed the use of data in municipal government, effective ways of using and sharing that information, and case studies that show increased performance and results.
Panelists discussed the necessary difficulty of asking city bureaucracy to be vulnerable and open to sharing information. Incentives drive this change in culture, with carrots outweighing the feared stick of being discovered making a mistake. Open government can be a tool for making life easier for residents, such as allowing parking on street cleaning days immediately after the sweeper has passed. Most important, remember that if you’re not telling your story, someone else is.
Tune in tomorrow for the final email in our installment. We will be covering the strategic planning updates from the DMO Board of Directors.