Mayor John A. Ostenburg of
Park Forest has been appointed co-chair of the National League of Cities (NLC) Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) Council for 2018. The council has the lead responsibility for developing NLC’s strategic focus on eliminating racial disparities, healing racial divisions, and building more equitable communities. The appointment was announced by NLC President Mark Stodola, mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas.
“I am excited to assume this leadership role,” Mayor Ostenburg said. “Park Forest has a heritage of promoting racial equity and the NLC REAL initiative has provided us with many innovative approaches to assure the successful continuance of our work.”
The REAL Council was established in 2015 in the aftermath of racial tensions that had occurred in several cities across the United States. Mayor Ostenburg has served on the 40-member council since its creation, representing suburban communities that are members of the NLC.
With this appointment, he will play a key role in shaping REAL’s agenda and developing innovative methods to advance racial equity in America’s cities and towns.
“Serving on NLC’s REAL Council is one of the most effective ways for a local official to advocate for racial equity in the community and in Washington,” NLC President Stodola said. “I’m thrilled to have John Ostenburg join a team of local leaders from around the country working to craft our platform on racial equity and to solve one of the most pressing challenges facing our communities.”
Mayor Ostenburg’s co-chair will be Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield of Charlotte, North Carolina. Mayor Kate Stewart of Takoma Park, Maryland, will serve as vice chair. NLC is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. It serves as a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns, and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.