PROFILE: America’s Youngest Black Mayor Challenges Majority Leader Hoyer in 2022: Good Trouble vs. Good Ol’ Boys Politics

Politics

(PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD) – Greenbelt City Mayor Colin Byrd is no stranger to adversity. Ever since he was a student at the University of Maryland, he has been fighting for Black progress and racial justice. In fact, he’s used to winning.

However, come June 28, 2022, the gloves will be off as the young “David” goes up against good ol’ boys politics at its finest, the Goliath – if you will, 39-year Congressional veteran and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Political insiders in Maryland know that Hoyer and former Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller have not served the Black community well.

What’s interesting is that this is Prince George’s County, considered the wealthiest or one of the wealthiest Black jurisdictions in the United States.

In any event, this race is one to watch. As Washington political pundit Ervin Reid stated yesterday, “Anybody can be beat.”

So, who is Colin?

A lifelong Greenbelter, he fell in love with everything Greenbelt from childhood – the parades, the theater, the Community Center, the pool, the parks, the library, the people, and so much more. 

Colin was first elected to the Greenbelt City Council in 2017, and he has served as Mayor of Greenbelt since 2019. He is liaison to Green ACES (the city’s environmental sustainability advisory committee) as well as the Youth Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the Prince George’s County Climate Action Commission and a member of the MWCOG Board of Directors. Colin is also the second African American ever elected to the Greenbelt City Council. And, previously, he served as the youngest ever regional director for the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials and as the Chair of the Prince George’s County Municipal Association’s Legislative Committee. 

Colin is committed to civil rights advocacy. He is a member of the Urban League, the NAACP, and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. 

Colin is a committed progressive Democrat. He served as a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is a longtime member of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Democratic Club. 

Colin is an alumnus of the University of Maryland, College Park, where he studied sociology, was inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the OMSE Academic Excellence Society, and was a research assistant in the fields of psychology, economics and public health. He was also Mr. Black Student Union, and he won several accolades, including the James Otis Williams Award for Cultural Leadership and the MICA Award for Champion of Diversity. 

Colin is also an alumnus of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance fellowship program, and he regularly attends workshops and conferences to learn new things about how to better serve Greenbelters. 

Colin has made TV appearances on NBC4, Fox 5, ABC7, News Channel 8, and WUSA9, and his career has included stints as an environmental policy advocate for Environment Maryland, a business development associate for a security consulting firm, and a union organizer for the Service Employees International Union. Colin’s hobbies include basketball, ping pong, (watching) football, tennis, playing the piano and the arts in general.

Mayor Colin A. Byrd can be reached at colinabyrd@greenbeltmd.gov.

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