New Awareness Campaign Led by Association for Cities and Towns Aims to Spark Community
Conversations on Race and Justice; First Campaign Video PSA Features Municipal Leaders
Annapolis, Md. (October 18, 2016) – The Maryland Municipal League (MML) – representing Maryland’s 157 cities and towns, along with two special taxing districts – announces the launch of a new public awareness campaign, “Time to Talk MD,” which is aimed at sparking and facilitating productive community conversations throughout the state about matters of race and justice, and increasing inclusivity in cities and towns.
As part of the new campaign, MML has just released a new video public service announcement that will be circulated to municipal governments and media outlets on a statewide basis, and via online platforms.
“I began my term as president of MML with the goal of building greater inclusivity in our communities,” said MML President Tracy Gant, the Mayor of Edmonston, Md., in addressing fellow municipal leaders at the MML Fall Conference in Solomons, Md. “The need for greater understanding and compassion has only grown in light of the many human tragedies that have occurred since we gathered in Ocean City for our annual MML convention this past June,” she added, referring to incidents such as the attack at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the multiple shootings of unarmed black men in communities across the country, and the killings of five Dallas police officers in July.
“On some level,” noted President Gant, “all of these incidents are the result of our fears and our failure to effectively empathize with each other. The only way we can overcome these symptoms of our disconnection is to engage with each other. So, I am encouraging each and every municipality throughout Maryland to consider who among us may feel excluded, unheard and marginalized, because if we cannot discuss the issues that divide us, we cannot begin to address them.
Working in cooperation with various municipal governments around the state, MML will convene regional “Time to Talk” events over the next year. The forums will bring municipal officials together with mediators and conflict resolution professionals who have experience in conducting successful community dialogues.
The League is also providing resources at mdmunicipal.org/timetotalkmd to help groups or local governments that may want to set up their own community conversations or forums.
About The Maryland Municipal League:
Located at the Phipps Municipal Center in the state capital of Annapolis, The Maryland Municipal League (MML) was founded in 1936 and represents 157 municipal governments and 2 special taxing districts throughout the state of Maryland. A voluntary, non-profit, nonpartisan association controlled and maintained by city and town governments, MML works to strengthen and support municipal government through advocacy and the development of effective leadership. Through its membership in the National League of Cities MML offers legislative representation in Washington, urban research programs, and a national municipal government information exchange. MML is the only statewide organization in Maryland composed solely of municipal officials and devoted to the promo