Everyone agrees that if Maryland Black Mayors (MBM) could ever come together they could control the fabric of politics not only in Prince George’s County, but in the state of Maryland.

Maryland Black Mayors Inc.

There are a lot of towns and municipalities in the county with Black Mayors and long histories such as Glenarden, Fairmount Heights, Capitol Heights, Seat Pleasant, Landover Hills, District Heights, Brentwood, Forest Heights and Colmar Manor to name a few that represent tens of thousands of voters who, on any given election, could turn the tide for a candidate.

Nevertheless, the Maryland Black Mayors Association has a history of never coming  together on serious issues and in recent years have concentrated on feel good events such as the annual MBM Scholarship Gala scheduled for May 5 at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt to generate clout within the county.

That’s why MBM Vice President Jack Sims said it would be a great idea to bring local mayors together for a special affair in District Heights. The meeting and reception was also attended by representatives from the offices of U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin and newly elected Congressman Anthony Brown, who is from District Heights.

“We can do great things if we come together,” said Sims, who is putting together a meeting of MBM representatives with County Executive Rushern T. Baker, III. “The key is unity. If we come together, the sky is the limit. We are a sleeping giant with a lot of political power that we rarely exercise.”

Ford, who has been Mayor of the all-Black town of Tuskegee for 32 of the last 44 years, lost his reelection bid in 2016. He said the defeat allowed him to take his platform of Black voter empowerment on the road. “Unity among the Mayors is the key,” said Ford, echoing the sentiments of most who gathered at the event. “If we can come together, we can work together.”

The key, Ford said, is learning how to work with people in politics who have different agendas and may even be from different parties. Ford recalled that he has been both a Democrat and a Republican during his political career. He also said he once carried favor with former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, an avowed White supremacist who he said helped him and the town of Tuskegee on many occasions.

“It’s all about doing what is best for your people and your voters,” Ford said. “When you take the oath of office, you are not just representing Black people, but all the people in your community.”

Ford said many Black leaders miss it when they refuse to compromise or to work together.

“In this day and time, we are going to have to place our egos on the shelf and work to better our community. These are crucial times when important decisions have to be made that will impact us for many years to come. If Trump has money, then we need to go get the money to rebuild our communities and get jobs for our people.”