WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The nation’s mayors will bring their urban agenda – The 2016 Compact for a Better America: A Call to Action – to Des Moines, Iowa for The Brown & Black Presidential Forum on Monday, January 11, 2016. The Compact calls on the Presidential candidates and Congress to INVEST in and PROTECT America’s cities and metro areas (

Under the leadership of USCM President Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a bipartisan group of mayors from cities large and small will attend the Brown & Black Presidential Forum to stress to Presidential Candidates how important city/metropolitan issues are to the country and a growing number of Americans.

With more than 85% of people in the United States living in our nation’s cities and metro areas, mayors clearly understand how urban issues impact everyday Americans and are calling on candidates to focus on these issues. Mayors are convinced that despite their geographic location, cities large and small across over the country are plagued by the same challenges including access to healthcare, job creation, affordable housing, immigration, crime and illegal guns, failing public schools and climate protection.

Billed as the oldest Forum addressing minority issues, The Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum is an element of Urban Dreams’ non-partisan Project V.O.T.E. (Voting Opportunities Through Education). It is the nation’s only presidential forum in which all candidates have the opportunity to answer essential concerns of African-Americans and Latinos. The non-partisan event began in 1984 and has figured prominently in the Iowa caucuses. It is recognized as the oldest continuous minority forum for presidential candidates in America and one of the longest-running presidential forums in the nation. For questions related to the Brown & Black Forum, please contact Brianne Pins:

“The issues of Des Moines and of cities around Iowa are the same issues that face mayors around the country each and every day. We support The Brown & Black Forum in its mission to present to the next President of the United States the challenges and opportunities before us and we believe it is critical that mayors participate,” said Tom Cochran, USCM CEO & Executive Director.