For the first time in the history of Prince George’s County’s government, Greenbelt, a town that grew out of the post-Depression New Deal era, has a Black mayor.
On Nov. 11, former councilman and former mayor pro tem, Emmett V. Jordan, 56, was sworn in as mayor of Greenbelt.
“I want to express my gratitude to the residents of Greenbelt who again placed their trust in me and the other members of city council,” Jordan said during the news conference—after assuming his new role as Mayor. “We will continue to work hard together on your behalf for the best interest of the city.”
Jordan thanked his fellow council members for the reelection and for selecting him as mayor. He also recognized the outstanding service of Judith F. Davis, whose 16-year tenure makes her the longest continuously-serving mayor in the history of Greenbelt.
Her “regional and national contacts have benefited the city in immeasurable ways,” Jordan said. “I learned a great deal from her and I will continue to rely on her for advice,” he said.
A resident of Greenbelt for 14 years, Jordan relocated to the area to work with the University of Maryland in 1998. He decided settle there because of the great access to transportation, recreational amenities, shopping and the park-like atmosphere of the community.
Greenbelt was created in 1937 as a New Deal initiative to create cooperative community of affordable housing for government workers.
In an interview with The Gazette, Jordan, noting the changing demographics of the town in northern Prince George’s County, that a Black mayor should be no surprise here. “Because Greenbelt is a very diverse community, it was only a matter of time.”
Between the census of 2000 and 2010, there has been a population shift, according to the U.S. Census Bureau statistics showing the town’s Black population growing from 40 percent in 2000 to 48 percent in 2010 while the White population shrank from 39 percent to 30 percent in the same period.
“I'm honored to have the opportunity to serve as mayor and hopefully, I'll be remembered as an effective mayor, working with council to get things accomplished,” he said.
With plans to focus on the community, economic development, Jordan said being elected as mayor is a reflection of the community’s will.