New Haven’s Mayor Harp Honoured by Essence Magazine, Among 19 African-American Women Mayors

Mayor Toni N. Harp is featured in May’s edition of Essence Magazine as one of the African American women leaders who is an agent of change for her community.

Harp, who was joined by 18 other African American women mayors from across the country, was one of the women selected for the magazine’s Woke 100 list that recognizes African American women who are “proven change agents, shape-shifters and power players across the nation and beyond.”

Harp posed with the other mayors—including those of Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Georgia; and Charlotte, North Carolina—under a portrait of abolitionist Frederick Douglass during a visit to D.C. Jan. 26 this year held at the Hay-Adams hotel.

“When I think about all of the people these mayors represent and the impact they can have on the political thinking in America, it blows my mind,” Harp said in the article. “What occurs to me is that this is just the beginning — a beginning that indicates something has changed in America. One, that women are considered leaders, particularly African-American women, and that Black women are leaders in large cities and small cities are trusted to take care of the overall political apparatus of that community.”


“The mayors discussed their political journeys, shared stories, and passed on sage advice and lessons learned,” according to the Essence article. “Each mayor brought the unique challenges and rewards of leading their constituency to the room, but were all moved by one common idea. Black women must lead.”


The article celebrates the women as capable leaders who are breaking through barriers and tackling a number of political issues, especially “structural systems that affect marginalized communities and women,” the Essence post said.

The story follows up on the ‘Year of the Black Woman Mayors’ article the magazine published in 2017 that highlighted the number of Black women entering politics.

Now in her third term, Harp was the first woman elected mayor of the city. She previously was a longtime state senator, who served as chairwoman of the powerful Appropriations Committee. She took on President Donald Trump early this year when she and others boycotted a scheduled White House appearance after the Justice Department sent letters to 23 jurisdictions seeking more cooperation from so-called sanctuary cities. Trump noted Harp’s absence during the meeting.

Harp, a Democrat, confirmed at the time that she decided not attend the meeting after learning 23 cities were being cited by Trump’s administration over their role as sanctuary cities. The Associated Press reported the letters sent threatened to issue subpoenas if cities don’t turn over documents proving they’re not withholding information over immigration status of people in custody.


Written by How Africa

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