Mayor Bartie will head to Washington D.C. in April to attend the multi-day conference.
PORT ARTHUR, Texas — The Port Arthur City Council voted to send Mayor Thurman Bartie to the 9th annual African American Mayors Association conference.
Mayor Bartie will head to Washington D.C. in April to attend the multi-day event. Council members approved $5,749 to send him to the conference, and the Port Arthur Mayor feels it will be worth the money.
“You got to go to meetings,” Mayor Bartie said. “You got to attend trainings, because in those environments you’re going to become acquainted. You’re going to be able to exercise networking.”
Black mayors from around the country will travel to Washington D.C. to participate in the conference that runs from April 19, 2023 through April 21, 2023. The theme is “Our Mayors Our Cities: The Catalyst for Equitable and Inclusive Growth.”
In 2022, the council did not approve the money for Mayor Bartie to attend, so he paid for the trip on his own. While there, he felt he was able to make connections that helped him secure funding for the Port of Port Arthur.
“I can now put a face with the request,” Mayor Bartie said. “He said we have 11,000 plus requests for this money, and I think we’re only going to award about 19 or 20. You know two of the cities that received the money? Port Arthur and Beaumont.”
Mayor Bartie plans to network with other Black mayors of larger cities and bring the new-found knowledge home with him to Port Arthur.
The conference is meant to be a safe space for Black leaders to network and share ideas and common obstacles they might face as minority leaders in America.
“We share a bond because we are not of another ethnic group or another race,” Mayor Bartie said. “We are treated in a different way. Yet, we want the proper results for our cities. It addresses similarities that mayors of the African-American ethnicity face on a daily basis.”
Government officials will give seminars, and President Biden will also attend the conference.
Some of the largest American cities currently have Black mayors including Los Angles, Houston, New York, and Chicago. Mayor Bartie has networked with them all.