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It’s a shame that the National Conference of Black Mayors is going broke – or at the very least falling on hard financial times.

Two weeks ago, the board of directors of the National Conference of Black Mayors voted to fire its executive director, Vanessa Williams, who was accused of spending $623,000 for her personal use without board approval.

In short, Williams allegedly stole the organization’s money and bought expensive items for herself  at Tiffany’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Juicy Couture, Louis Vuitton, ticket broker StubHub, Toys ‘R’ Us, private Christian school tuition and cash payments to Vanessa Williams and her husband.

Williams appears to be one bold woman. The board tried to fire Williams months ago, but she refused to quit. I suppose she felt there was no need to jump off the gravy train. Williams, however, blamed the debt on embezzlement by a former board member but the board fired Williams, in part, because she refused to hand over the financial documents they requested.

To make matters worse, the National Conference of Black Mayors is $1 million in debt to the IRS and numerous other creditors.

A friend called and posed this question: If the black mayors can’t run their own organization, how can they effectively run their cities?

It’s a fair question from a concerned constituent.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is trying desperately to restore integrity to the organization by paying off creditors and returning the National Conference of Black Mayors to solid financial standing.

But this will certainly take some time.

“We want the National Conference of Black Mayors to represent excellence,”  Johnson, who is also president of the National Conference of Black Mayors, said on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” Wednesday.

That may be a tall order for the former NBA star who admitted that the organization has lost its 501(c) 3 tax-exempt status because the necessary IRS forms were not filled out.

“It was poor record keeping,” Johnson said.

It’s unfortunate that an organization of 500 black mayors is tangled in so much mess that it jeopardizes the future of the 40-year-old group.

“At the end of the day we found mismanagement and misappropriation of funds that I’m not proud of,” Johnson said. “We’re not sweeping this under the rug; we’re taking it head on.”

On the National Conference of Black Mayors website, the banner reads: “Forty years of leadership and progress.”

But the website is empty.

“By now most of you have probably realized or have been notified that we are in the process making some changes to our web infrastructure. We humbly ask that you please bear with us during this time and that you stay tuned to witness these exciting new changes as they happen.”

Let’s hope change happens soon. Johnson said his organization represents 48 million Americans who are looking for leadership.

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8 thoughts on “If Black Mayors Can’t Run Their Own Organization, How Can They Run Their Cities?

  1. Ironically, when goes astray in (Black) organizations or with (Black) leaders it’s a broad-brush criticisim of the entire race of people. Interestingly, it the opposite when things go array in (cacusian) ones. You’d think organizations and their leadership are (or should be) color blind. No!?

    Ronald Arrington, Founder & CEO, Consultants, Trainers, Coaches: USA/Canada (209) 484-9702

  2. This has happened for many years especially in non-profit organizations, etc. We put black people into key positions and they abuse their privileges with taxpayers and generous benefactor’s money. I will never support another politician and/or black person seeking any type of political or non-profit charity. I’m sick of them pimping the system for their own benefit. This is why we have not earned respect or gotten better as a group of people. This among other things, make me ashamed to be associated with blacks.

  3. I am with the SCSEP operated under the department of labor and they were managed by the local urban league office which fell-under due to this same type of misappropriations of funding. STOP IT! Our community is killing themselves with multi – weapons

  4. Man The Entire Governing System Is In Debt. The Land Continues To Be Rich. But It’s People Making Decisions In A Credit System Of “PAY BACKS” That Stir This Conversation. However, The Black Power Political Spectrum Needs To Invest In Mining, Our Own Secret Services, Satelites, More Black Unions, And So On, Just So We Don’t End Up Reliant To A System Which Treats Us As Colateral Race Every Time We Voice Reality And Our Concerns.

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