Memphis Mayor Paul Young Launches Black Mayors’ Coalition on Crime

The Coalition Aims to Harness the Unique Perspective and Collective Power of Black Mayors on the Front Lines of the Fight Against Crime

Over 20 Mayors and Representatives from 12 States Will Attend the Inaugural Meeting

MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 26, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Memphis Mayor Paul Young, in partnership with the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), announced the launch of the Black Mayors’ Coalition on Crime (BMCC), an initiative to harness the collective power of black mayors across the nation to fight crime. The inaugural meeting will take place in Memphis on March 27-28 and will host 21 mayors and their proxies from Washington D.C., IN, TN, MO, MS, LA, AR, GA, AZ, CA, and NC. Young has received support from big-city mayors, including Mayor Eric Adams from New York City and Mayor Karen Bass from Los Angeles.

“For the first time in history, we have an unprecedented number of black mayors in some of our biggest cities: Mayor Adams in New York City, Mayor Bass in Los Angeles, and Mayor Johnson in Chicago, to name a few,” said Young, “not to mention hundreds of others, like myself who represent millions of Americans in small-to-medium and large-sized cities across the country. Many of these leaders come from the communities most affected by crime, so they have a unique perspective on solving it.”

“Across our great and diverse country, there’s one thing that every city has in common: public safety is the prerequisite to prosperity,” said New York City Mayor Adams. “As a former police officer, I know firsthand that public safety is not just about keeping people safe — it is also about making sure people feel safe. I applaud Mayor Young for convening the Black Mayors Coalition on Crime to have an honest conversation around protecting our cities and delivering peace of mind at a time when our communities need it most.”

Dr. Russell Wigginton, President of the National Civil Rights Museum (NCRM), will facilitate the two-day event. It will include a keynote by the Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ) on crime trends and perspectives in the U.S. Cities will also present case studies on successful crime-fighting initiatives, including “Operation SCARLET” (Stolen Car & Recovery Law Enforcement Team) from Charlotte, NC, and “Operation Good” from Jackson, MS.

As the largest majority-minority city in the United States, Mayor Young presides over a city, like most cities in America, wrestling with the issue of crime. Young has been outspoken about his approach to crime since entering office on January 1, 2024. He will spearhead the high-profile national initiative because he believes these issues can be solved if mayors can collaborate and provide a powerful, unified voice representing millions of constituents.

According to a recent Gallup poll of Americans, worry about crime in the U.S. is at its highest level since 2016, and according to government national crime data, the U.S. homicide rate is at its highest point in 25 years. 

“The time is now for us to speak with one voice, to call for national and local policy change and funding, and to share our collective learnings to create the meaningful change that will reduce crime in all of our communities,” said Young.

When asked if participation was limited to black mayors, Young said that the Coalition will be open to anyone who can contribute to solving the issue, stating, “My hope is that this will be the start of a broad ongoing national effort to find real solutions to this very complex issue. I believe we can leverage our collective platforms to create change in the policies, laws, and resources needed to reverse the trend and heal our communities. We cannot wait.”

Phyllis Dickerson, CEO of the African American Mayors Association, says, “I’m excited about this new initiative and the fresh perspective Mayor Young brings to confronting crime—an urgent quality-of-life matter in our cities and communities. It’s clear that this united front among our mayors paired with bold strategies is necessary. He commands our full backing and support.”

A press briefing is scheduled after the closed-door Mayors’ meeting on Thursday, March 28 at 3:30pm CT in downtown Memphis and will also be broadcast live via Zoom. If you’d like to attend in-person or online, please email

Media contact:
Lindsay Stevens

SOURCE Black Mayors’ Coalition on Crime