Commissioner Amber Sellers selected for position on National League of Cities’ Black Caucus
photo by: Bobby Scott
Lawrence City Commissioner Amber Sellers has been selected for a position on the executive board of the National Black Caucus for the National League of Cities.
Sellers was nominated and selected to the role of assistant secretary of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials as part of a meeting on Nov. 19, and will serve in that capacity for two years. Sellers said the Black caucus and the National League of Cities’ other constituency groups help recognize and elevate input from those communities, and she wanted to be a part of that.
“While Lawrence may be a predominantly white community, we have a large cultural and ethnic group of (Asian American or Pacific Islander), Indigenous, Hispanic as well as Black individuals,” Sellers said. “And so to be able to speak to those nuances and help understand how to navigate different policy pieces as it relates to (those groups), that’s key.”
Sellers is the first Black woman ever elected to the city’s governing body, and she and fellow commissioner Bart Littlejohn are potentially the first Black council members or commissioners to serve on the body in more than 100 years, as the Journal-World previously reported. Sellers, who works in public policy, joined the commission in December.
The National League of Cities, which is made up of city, town and village leaders across the country, advocates for local governments by influencing federal policy, strengthening local leadership, and seeking solutions to local government issues, according to its website. In addition to the National Black Caucus, there are four other constituency groups: the Asian Pacific American Municipal Officials, Hispanic Elected Local Officials, the Women in Municipal Government, and the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Local Officials.
The National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials was established in 1970, and the NLC website states that the caucus brings together African American municipal leaders to express themselves, share best practices and ensure that NLC’s policies and programs benefit their community. More specifically, the website states that the caucus serves as a vehicle for members to discuss problems and explore solutions, debate policy issues, and contribute to the success of American cities and towns. The group meets three times per year in person and hosts a variety of webinars and programs throughout the year.
Sellers, who has now attended two NLC meetings in her capacity as a commissioner, said she has appreciated the opportunity to participate and sees it as an essential part of her role as an elected leader. She said the Black Caucus and the other constituency groups help ensure everyone has input.
“This allows us space to be able to speak to issues that impact constituents within our population and make sure that any federal advocacy, any strategic points that are agreed upon or voted upon have that perspective from each of our constituency groups,” Sellers said.