Ambassador Andrew Young has received the USCM Joseph P. Riley Award for Leadership and Courage from The U.S. Conference of Mayors – which is given at the President’s discretion to an outstanding leader. Conference President Mayor Kevin Johnson renamed this award, previously known as the President’s Award, in honor of outgoing Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, whose legacy as a leader among his peers has earned him the title of the “Dean” of America’s mayors.
Past recipients who have received the President’s Award include: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for his exceptional leadership both on and off the basketball court, and Charleston Mayor Joe Riley himself for leading a march in South Carolina to get the state to stop using the Confederate flag.
USCM President Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson bestowed the honor during the 83rd Annual Meeting of The U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco, where nearly 300 mayors gathered to discuss the economic health of the nation’s cities and their metropolitan areas, and the factors that contribute to growth and/or decline.
Mayor Johnson selected Former Atlanta Mayor Young to receive the award because of his over 50 years of public service to United States in his roles as a Congressman, U.S Ambassador and two-term mayor of Atlanta.
“Andrew Young’s contribution to our nation’s history is one to which we all owe a debt of gratitude,” said President Johnson. “His work as a civil rights activist,
pastor and politician defined his work as the mayor of Atlanta and benefitted the
residents of that city in ways that are still paying dividends. His participation
in the U.S. Conference of Mayors left an indelible mark on this organization and
changed it for the better.”
Young, who served as Mayor of Atlanta (GA) from 1982 to 1990 said, “It is an honor to accept this award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, because of all the jobs that I have had, being mayor was the most challenging and fulfilling. I felt like I had been preparing for it all my life — in the movement, the Congress, at the U.N., and the church. The ideas that change the world come from cities, and the day-to-day challenges of ordinary people shape the future.”
During the four-day meeting of mayors from cities large and small, issues topping the agenda include: water conservation, transportation, municipal bonds and marketplace fairness, education, workforce development and apprenticeship programs for youth, technology and innovation, energy efficiency, community policing and more.