Amplify Columbia Wants to Create a Cultural Plan for the City.

Back in January, at the public unveiling of Amplify Columbia, the effort to create a unified cultural plan spearheaded by the city and the city-backed arts nonprofit One Columbia for Arts and History, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin opened his address by reading a poem: William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus.” Translated from Latin, invictus means “unconquered,” and its most famous couplet —…

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Nation’s Mayors: Reunite Families Now & Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Today, 136 bipartisan mayors from 34 states and the District of Columbia led by United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) President and Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin issued a letter to the Trump Administration and Congress calling for the immediate reunification of families who were separated at the border and a permanent solution to the nation’s broken immigration system. The…

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Mayor Steve Benjamin on the Border, the National Spotlight, and Staying Focused on Columbia

When Steve Benjamin ascended in May to the presidency of the U.S. Conference of Mayors — a nonpartisan group comprised of leaders from cities of 30,000 or larger that advocates on issues that affect municipalities — we all knew the yearlong post would likely lead to an enhanced national spotlight for the third-term Columbia mayor. That spotlight came quickly, and…

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U.S. Conference of Mayors Launches The Mayors & Business Leaders Center for Inclusive and Compassionate Cities

As National Discourse Becomes More Divisive, Mayors Take the Lead in Promoting Tolerance, Equality and Unity During its Annual Meeting in Boston, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) announced the establishment of the Mayors and Business Leaders Center for Inclusive and Compassionate Cities. The Center will focus on creating a strong and committed partnership between mayors and business leaders, identifying…

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As Trump Administration Considers Reduction of Refugee Cap for 2019, Nation’s Mayors Push for Increase

Today, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), led by USCM President and Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin and USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran, sent a letter to President Trump urging him to increase, not decrease, refugee admission levels in 2019. The most recent policy adopted by USCM on this issue calls for admitting at least 100,000 refugees per…

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Why mayors are ‘completely baffled’ by loss of advance refunding

The beginning of Infrastructure Week 2018 presents us with the perfect opportunity to highlight a major blow to community control and to local government infrastructure investment: the repeal of advance refunding of municipal bonds in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. I deeply appreciate that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act maintained the century-old tax exemption for municipal bonds. State…

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Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said he’ll champion diversity as head of national mayors group

Citing Columbia for its diversity efforts, Mayor Steve Benjamin said he’ll work to raise $1 million to promote inclusive local policies across the country during his inauguration Monday as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “I believe it is the reason that Columbia is here at this opportunity right now,” Benjamin said during his half-hour remarks at a ceremony…

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