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Mayor Brown appointed chair of national ports task force

Mayor Alvin Brown has been appointed chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Metro Exports and Ports Task Force.

“I’m honored by this opportunity,” said Mayor Brown. “Our port is a crucial part of our economic engine. We must help the port realize its full potential so it can help revitalize our economy with good-paying jobs.”

The task force will give Mayor Brown a national voice regarding port development and global trade. The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more.

The vice chair of the USCM, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, announced the appointment today.

“We’ve asked a serious mayor in a serious city with a very important port to take on a significant leadership role. When President Obama wants to know what’s going on with ports, the U.S. Conference of Mayors is going to respond that we’re going to hear from Mayor Alvin Brown,” said Mayor Nutter. “We’re placing a tremendous amount of faith and trust – well placed – in Mayor Brown.”

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, chair of the USCM, said he’s confident Mayor Brown can help to develop a proactive, aggressive strategy to strengthen the nation’s ports.

“I am pleased to appoint Mayor Brown to chair the Mayors’ Metro Exports and Ports Task Force at the U.S. Conference of Mayors,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “As a mayor who oversees one of the most important global ports in the U.S., he will serve as a great leader on this task force and within our organization.”

“Mayor Brown’s appointment and his willingness to serve in this role is an indication of his personal commitment to port progress,” said JAXPORT CEO Paul Anderson. “It also is a powerful signal that the collective mayors of this country recognize the role Jacksonville and JAXPORT will play as a job generator for Northeast Florida and the impact we will have on the future economic vitality of the United States. I look forward to continuing to working with Mayor Brown to ensure this port reaches its full potential.”

Mayor Brown’s appointment will also have an impact on local businesses. “Jacksonville’s representation on this task force is a reflection of how local companies and public officials are working together to build and maintain a thriving shipping hub. Mayor Brown understands that public-private partnerships are key to our port’s success, and he will be a tremendous asset to the U.S. Conference of Mayors,” said CSX CEO Michael Ward.

The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, a representative of private industries in the Jacksonville area, is proud that the mayor is leading the ports task force.

“Increasingly, we see more of the businesses that are evaluating Jacksonville are international in scope and highly dependent upon the ability to move product in and out of the port of entry as efficiently as possible. The fact that Mayor Brown is the chair of this very important committee should ensure that Jacksonville is equitably represented at the table,” said John Haley, JAXUSA Partnership Senior Vice President of Business Development.

Port development is one of Mayor Brown’s top priorities. He has met with a number of high-ranking officials, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the Congressional Delegation – Rep. Corrine Brown, Rep. Ander Crenshaw, Rep. John Mica, Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, as well as Gov. Rick Scott and the Duval Legislative Delegation, to discuss ways to enhance the port’s potential.

“Being appointed to chair the Metro Exports and Ports Task Force, Mayor Alvin Brown will bring a great perspective to the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ economic development efforts. The mayor is well suited to lead this panel with Jacksonville’s leading position on exports and ports,” said Mica.

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