It was one of multiple announcements and happenings involving Michigan mayors and the USCM this week. The USCM during its annual conference this week also selected Flint Mayor Karen Weaver to the USCM Advisory Board. And Lansing Mayor Andy Schor made news for his infrastructure announcement that he made during the conference.
Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett (second from left) and fellow U.S. Mayors meet with Polish officials in Poland.
Mayor Barnett has served the past year as USCM’s vice president that took him around the world advocating on behalf of US Cities, including work at the White House in Washington D.C. as well as in Mexico and Poland.
As the association’s president, Barnett presides over a group of 14,000 mayors. Often the president of the organization is from very large cities, so having a president from a relatively small city like Rochester Hills, population 71,000 is significant and a major credit to Barnett’s commitment to the mayors’ association and to the state of Michigan. The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,408 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Barnett’s term as president began Monday, July 1, 2019, during the 87th Annual Meeting of the USCM in Honolulu.
Barnett has served as Rochester Hills’ mayor for more than 13 years and is the longest serving mayor in the history of the city. In November 2015, he won a historic third mayoral term as a write-in candidate, earning the largest write-in win in a general election in the history of the State of Michigan. His administration has received local, national, and international recognition for innovation, fiscal responsibility, and environmental leadership.
Under his leadership, Rochester Hills has been acknowledged as “One of the Top Places to Live in America.” In addition, Rochester Hills has held the title “Safest City in Michigan” for the past three years. Mayor Barnett is a frequent national speaker on topics including innovative government, long-term sustainability, and economic development and has represented Rochester Hills and Southeast Michigan on multiple international delegations.
As part of the ceremony Monday, Mayor Barnett delivered a keynote speech announcing his key priorities, which will focus on three central themes—Infrastructure, Innovation and Inclusion. This marks a continuation of a bipartisan platform that has served as the core commitment of the Conference over the last year.
To guide the work of the Conference, Mayor Barnett invoked Pulitzer prize winning author James Adams and his famous term “The American Dream,” which stated that “each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.” Mayor Barnett called on mayors to use this as the foundation for “the truly bipartisan vision we want for our communities…the vision we want for our residents…and the vision we want for America.”
In his keynote address, Mayor Barnett also announced “100 Mayors Who Care,” an initiative that will provide an investment in a charitable organization of the participating mayors’ choosing to improve the lives of the residents and cities in which USCM gathers for future meetings. To view Mayor Barnett’s full speech, go here.
In the Fox 2 article Barnett said he plans to bring a USCM conference to Detroit in October of this year when thousands of leaders will converge on Michigan.