Philadelphia, June 25, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter finished his tenure as President of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) during the 81st Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada over the weekend. In a speech he gave on Saturday, Mayor Nutter passed the gavel of the Presidency to Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Arizona, and reflected on some of the Conference’s accomplishments during his term.
“When I became President of USCM, I knew that the road ahead for our organization would be bumpy at times,” said Mayor Nutter. “It was an election year and the country was strongly divided. USCM works very hard to be non-partisan and focuses on priorities that we all share. The national election was an opportunity for Mayors to be highlighted as leaders and innovators. As Mayors, we don’t always agree on every issue, but we always speak with respect and passion for the people and ideas we represent and we work to find solutions that unify rather than divide.”
During the Annual Meeting, the City of Philadelphia was awarded one of two first place City Livability Awards, one of the highest honors USCM bestows, to recognize GunStat, a jointly-administered violence reduction strategy between the Philadelphia Police Department and the Office of the District Attorney.
The GunStat program, launched by Mayor Nutter, works to combat street crime using a micro, place-based strategy that addresses the physical conditions contributing to crime, and that builds neighborhood capacity to sustain safety and security. The mission of GunStat is to identify violent repeat-offenders who are known to law enforcement, increase collaboration between City departments to share data and information, and promote safety within the targeted neighborhoods. By ensuring that violent offenders are monitored closely, GunStat ensures prioritization, communication and coordinated decision making by all levels of law enforcement.
In 2012 – the first year of implementation – there was a 25 % drop in gun crimes and a 56% drop in shooting victims in the targeted GunStat areas compared with the previous five year averages. Comparable citywide statistics show a 9% and an 11% decrease in gun crimes and shooting victims, respectively.
The City Livability Award recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America’s cities, focusing on the leadership, creativity, and innovation demonstrated by the mayors.
Mayor Nutter began his term as President of USCM in June 2012. USCM is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more, of which there are more than 1,300 in the country. During his time as President, Mayor Nutter worked to highlight the City of Philadelphia and advocate for all cities when discussing important topics such as sequestration, municipal bonds, infrastructure investment, homelessness, and gun violence.
As President of USCM, Mayor Nutter also launched Cities United, a national effort to reduce violent deaths among African-American males. The vision of Cities United is that mayors and other municipal leaders across the country will form partnerships with other local officials, community leaders, families, youth, funders, and other stakeholders within their respective cities to champion strategies that reduce violence and violence-related deaths among African-American men and boys.
During the USCM Annual Meeting, Mayor Nutter led a panel discussion in which Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans, Louisiana, discussed Cities United and specifically, how gun violence disproportionately affects African-American men and boys. He urged leaders at all levels to pay attention to the urgent crisis in America’s cities and work together to find smart, sustainable solutions.
Cities United is a partnership of the City of Philadelphia, the City of New Orleans, Casey Family Programs, National League of Cities, and Open Society Foundations’ Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
To view a video recapping Mayor Nutter’s accomplishments as the 70th President of USCM, please visit: http://vimeo.com/69013192.
To view a video detailing the City of Philadelphia’s GunStat program, please visit: http://vimeo.com/68867443.
To view panel discussions and plenary sessions from the USCM 81st Annual Meeting, including Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s speech on Cities United, please visit: http://new.livestream.com/mayors/81stAnnualMeeting/videos/22413780.