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Black Elected Officials Group Marks 40 Years

DENVER -  The National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) elected a new Board of Directors at this year’s Congress of Cities & Exposition in Denver. Michael Johnson, councilmember, Phoenix, was elected president at the group’s general membership meeting.

“In this time of economic adversity for so many American families, it is our obligation to set aside personal agendas and work in partnership for the betterment and enhancement of our country and for those in need,” said Johnson.

In addition to President Johnson, the other NBC-LEO officers are: Deborah Denard Delgado, councilmember, Hattiesburg, Miss., as president-elect; Ulysses Addison, councilmember, Baton Rouge, La., as first vice president; Jacquelyn Johnson, councilmember, East Orange, N.J., as second vice president; James Walls, mayor, District Heights, Md., as treasurer; Charles Blango, alderman, New Haven, Conn., as assistant treasurer; Louvenia Mathison, councilmember, Berkeley, Mo., as secretary; Lavonta Williams, councilmember, Wichita, Kan., as assistant secretary; Patrick Cannon, mayor pro tem, Charlotte, N.C., as parliamentarian; Deborah A. Hill, council president, Warrensville Heights, Ohio, as historian; and Audwin Samuel, councilmember, Beaumont, Texas, as immediate past president. 

NBC-LEO also hosted its 40th anniversary membership luncheon at the Congress of Cities with the presence of two prominent African Americans in Denver politics: Terrance D. Carroll, speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives and Wellington E. Webb, mayor of Denver from 1991-2003. 

Carroll’s remarks reflected on the teachings that he received throughout his early life from his late mother and how those teachings have equipped him to deal with public office. 

“The first thing that she taught me was, ‘Do not forget where you come from. Do not forget those people and those things that have made you who you are. Never forget that because that is where you get your confidence from,’” he said. “The second thing she always taught me was, ‘Never let anyone tell you who you are.’ The third thing that she always taught me was, ‘When you get somewhere act like you have been there before.’” 

Webb’s remarks reflected on the lessons that he learned during his terms in public office and shared words of advice with the members of NBC-LEO. He encouraged the elected officials to continually reflect on what triggered them to want to run for public office in the first place and to strive for a high work ethic. 

“No matter how good one is one must continue to refine one’s ability,” he said. 

Members of NBC-LEO participated in a mobile tour where they had an opportunity to visit Denver’s Five Points neighborhood, one of the city’s oldest historic neighborhoods and the first to be predominantly African American, the Colorado State Capitol, the City Park. They also visited  the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, among other locations. Mayor Webb, who engineered the creation of the library during his terms in office, was onsite at the library to greet the members.

Next up, NBC-LEO’s Board of Directors will be convening in Washington, D.C. in early 2011 to lobby members of Congress for NLC’s legislative priorities.



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