Supporting New Mayors

Why a training for mayors? Because mayors are increasingly called upon to address pressing social issues—climate change, infrastructure needs, economic revitalization, health care, public safety, and more. With shrinking budgets and a growing list of responsibilities, they can benefit from support, capacity building, and resources to meet these challenges.

Newly-elected mayors are particularly in need of support. They are often transitioning from a different role (business, community, or legislative leadership) into the role of the executive leader of a city. Many skills are transferable, but newly-elected mayors also need to learn new skills. Through our programming for newly-elected mayors, we focus on capacity-building and building relationships with other mayors.

The workshop provides a safe and supportive space to allow mayors to genuinely express their thoughts and feelings around the challenges of governing.” – Mayor Chastity Wells-Armstrong, Kankakee, IL

“This is a valuable experience early in a mayoral term for multiple reasons- the tools presented are foundational and will help you get started and the opportunity to talk with other new mayors is invaluable.” – Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Madison, WI

New Mayors Cohort 2020

As a part of our commitment to supporting mayors, we are excited to launch the Mayors Innovation Project’s inaugural New Mayors Cohort. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, we have canceled the planned first meeting. Expect details soon about future meetings.

This initiative is grounded in our organizational commitment to inclusion across race, gender, and economic status. The programming offers support to mayors in cities of all sizes, aiming to build capacity for newly elected mayors to enact their agendas, while also avoiding common missteps. We’re looking for recently elected mayors with a demonstrated dedication to ‘high road’ governance to participate in this inaugural cohort.

What We Offer

The Mayors Innovation Project commits to providing quality programming from professional facilitators, access to a small peer network of recently-elected mayors, and a year membership in our broader, national network of progressive mayors. Travel support is available if needed for your participation at in-person events.

Mayor’s Commitment

To ensure the quality of the cohort programming, we ask that participating mayors commit as best as possible to the following:

  • Attendance at in-person workshops, tentativeld held (dependent on COVID-19 related cancellations):
    • Wednesday, August 19 – Thursday, August 20 in Tacoma, WA (adjacent to the Mayors Innovation Project Summer 2020 Annual Meeting, held August 20-22, and we hope mayors stay for that event).
  • Attendance at 1-3 video conferences: Scheduled from March to July, with the facilitator and cohort members. These will focus on peer learning and implementing strategies learned from the workshop.


This event is by invitation only for mayors in the first two years of a 3+ year term who have a firm commitment to the high road principles of equity, sustainability, and democracy.


Please contact Ceri Jenkins, Co-Managing Director, for more information (, 608-262-5176).