About Us

Georgia Conference of Black Mayors, Inc. Our History

The GCBM represents 70 mayors in the State of Georgia.  GCBM celebrates 30 years
of information-sharing and technical assistance to its membership.  Concentrating on disseminating information, GCBM has focused much of its history on ensuring that mayors of rural areas have support in identifying resources for building affordable housing, investing in needed public infrastructure such as water and sewer systems, community facilities, and nurturing business development and job creation.  Our
mayors are located in 48 of Georgia’s 159 counties.

GCBM’s current efforts at capacity-building are aimed at delivering direct technical assistance to our members, disseminating timely and accurate information on
municipal management, and communication of public policy positions.

THE GCBM CAPACITY-BUILDING STRATEGIES:

  1. Technical assistance

    1. Grant-writing and planning assistance for infrastructure and community development investments for small towns,
    2. Workshops and logistical support for public outreach efforts in community-wide planning efforts
    3. Research and analysis in support of (1); and
    4. Training for staff of local government and community-based organizations
      in a variety of areas, including public health, historic preservation, improved government operations, as well as financial literacy.

In the past seven years especially, GCBM has acted as a catalyst for local development by strengthening its mayors’ ability to organize and acquire funding for local community development, ffordable housing, and infrastructure projects. GCBM has facilitated informational sessions that connect cities with the appropriate federal and state agency to receive funding and technical assistance.

For instance, in 2009, federal stimulus funds became available for cities and counties under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  GCBM convened meetings at which 30 mayors attended and received information about available ARRA funding for infrastructure, affordable housing, and public safety projects.

Following up these meetings, GCBM performed a variety of services for its members, ranging from identifying private sector financing, through proposal review and proposal writing, connecting mayors with outside sources of technical assistance, to developing contracts with state and federal legislators in support of submitted proposal for shovel-ready projects.  This later task was particularly important: connecting with then
Governor Sonny Perdue and the GA congressional delegation in Washington, DC on behalf of the submitted proposals.  The technical assistance delivered to our membership resulted in over $362 million in funded projects for ten cities.

GCBM sees its role as helping mayors and their stakeholders to: (1) better organize
local efforts to systematically identify and recruit local resources; (2) increase local capacity to identify, plan and manage local public investments in needed infrastructure; (3) increase the rate of local small business formation and job creation; and (4) help identify and connect with corporate and philanthropic resources to partner with efforts to improve education and public health outcomes that affect local quality of life.

GCBM’s strategic focus is technical assistance to our mayors, local development resources and advocacy of policy that improves the community development prospects and achievements of local government in rural Georgia.  In order to increase its effectiveness in so doing, GCBM has worked to establish useful collaborations with corporations, other levels of government, the non-profit sector, and other interested groups.