July 8, 2016 (COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Leaders from the Regional Mayors Forum representing municipalities in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Kershaw counties made this statement today following the tragic events of this week.

The disturbing events of this week alone are evidence enough that we have a systemic problem in our nation.

As leaders, our work is focused on developing thriving communities that celebrate the principle that “all men are created equal.” As Martin Luther King, Jr. stated long ago with words that still ring true today, we all have a responsibility to “transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.” To create that symphony of brotherhood, the musical notes must include all citizens from all corners of the Midlands who’ll join together with our law enforcement officers. It will take each and every one of us to make that melody sing.

We stand together as Mayors in this region denouncing violence of any kind. We ask our churches to reach out to other churches; our neighborhoods to reach out to other neighborhoods; our cities and towns to embrace each other – both differences and similarities. When we know each other better, we will know peace and justice. Our diversity – politically, geographically, demographically – is not a burden to be feared, but an asset to be celebrated. Please join us as we demonstrate kindness as a way to honor every life that has been lost.

Participating Leaders:

  • Steve Benjamin, City of Columbia, S.C.
  • Michael Bishop, Town of Springdale, S.C.
  • Troy Bivens, Town of Gaston, S.C.
  • Frank Brunson, City of Forest Acres, S.C.
  • David Busby, Town of Pine Ridge, S.C.
  • Randy Clamp, Gilbert, S.C.
  • Rita Crapps, Batesburg-Leesville, S.C.
  • Todd Cullum, Lexington County Council
  • Roger Gaddy, Winnsboro, S.C.
  • Gregory Guinyard, Town of Jenkinsville, S.C.
  • Charlene Herring, Ridgeway, S.C.
  • Bobby Horton, City of West Columbia, S.C.
  • Mark Huguley, Town of Arcadia Lakes, S.C.
  • Brian Jackson, Town of South Congaree, S.C.
  • Hardy King, Town of Irmo, S.C.
  • Steve MacDougall, Town of Lexington, S.C.
  • Joe McElveen, City of Sumter, S.C.
  • Elise Partin, City of Cayce, S.C.
  • Rosalyn Reeder, Town of Summit, S.C.
  • Carolyn Robinson, Fairfield County Council
  • Geraldine Robinson, Town of Eastover, S.C.
  • Michael Ross, Town of Blythewood, S.C.
  • Torrey Rush, Richland County Council
  • Tony Scully, City of Camden, S.C.
  • Barbara Smith, Town of Pelion, S.C.
  • Ray Spires, Town of Swansea, S.C.
  • J. Robert “Skip” Wilson, Jr., Town of Chapin, S.C.

About the Regional Mayors Forum

The Regional Mayors Forum is a collaborative of all mayors in Richland and Lexington Counties, as well as mayors from Sumter and Camden, S.C. Started six years ago by the Mayor of the City of Columbia, the Forum has focused on relationship building and communication. Understanding that we are one region, the Mayors have now taken the group to a more formal level by working with EngenuitySC to focus on collaborative actions that enhance each of our cities and lead to a stronger, more competitive and prosperous Midlands.