National League of Cities Mourns Passing of Mayor James L. Walls

Following the tragic news that National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) Immediate Past President Dr. James L. Walls, Jr., mayor, District Heights, Maryland, passed away at his home on Thursday, the National League of Cities (NLC) leadership issued the following statement:

"Mayor Walls dedicated his life to public service and exemplified local leadership. Throughout his career, he achieved many firsts, including being the youngest person in his city's history to be elected mayor, as well as being the youngest person to serve as vice mayor and city commissioner," said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities (NLC). "A friend to many, James was a truly passionate leader at the National League of Cities. On behalf of our members and staff who knew him, we will miss you, Mayor Walls."

"Mayor Walls received accolades from cities across the country and around the world during his service as NBC-LEO president and president of the World Conference of Mayors," said NLC President Melodee Colbert-Kean, councilmember, Joplin, Missouri. "Mayor Walls served his community diligently and was respected for his unwavering commitment to making his community a better place."

"We are saddened by the sudden loss of our friend, colleague and mentor," said NBC-LEO President Priscilla R. Tyson, councilmember, Columbus, Ohio. "James was a leader who had a passion for people and communities, often going the extra mile in his work to improve and make things better. In fact, James received the first annual Nelson Mandela Leadership Award from the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials for his international work."

Tyson added, "I believe that I can speak for his colleagues everywhere in saying that his leadership and guidance were appreciated and his passion will be missed. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family."

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.