Since its founding in 1975, the National Association of Black County Officials (NABCO has provided a forum for networking, information and resource sharing, and issue advocacy on behalf of African-American elected and appointed county officials. NABCO members serve in major policy roles throughout America’s 3,069 counties, boroughs, and parishes, and represent some of the most diverse populations in America’s rural communities and urban centers.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, NABCO has emerged as one of the most influential caucuses in the nation’s capital advocating before federal policymakers on behalf of African-American officials. NABCO hosts meetings, webinars, discussions, networking events, and scholarship fundraisers. Our largest live gatherings are during NACo's Legislative Conference, Annual Summer Conference and NOBCO's Economic Development Conference (EDC) in selected counties each year. For more information contact us at 202-350-6696.
In 1975, during the 40th National Association of Counties (NACO) Annual Conference held in Honolulu, Hawaii, thirty-nine African American county officials from 10 states, along with two staff members from NACo met to put in place the foundation of what would become one of the largest and most influential caucuses of African-American officials in the United States – The National Association of Black County Officials (NABCO).
NABCO would provide an organizational structure for networking, information and resource sharing, and issue advocacy on behalf of African-American elected and appointed county officials. The founding members of NABCO believed it was imperative for African-Americans to have a specific and definable voice at the table where decisions were being made that would ultimately impact their constituents and underserved populations.
Founding members included Calhoun County, MI Commissioner, Marcus Gray, the first countywide elected African-American official in the United States since Reconstruction, and Genesee County, MI Commissioner, Charlotte Williams, who in 1978 became the first African American President of NACo. Founding member, Richmond County, GA County Commissioner, Ed McIntyre, served as NABCO’s first President from 1975-1977. Other founding members were the Honorable Larry Haygood and W.D. Johnston of Macon County, GA; Tom Coward of Alachua County, FL; Henry Dodson and J.O. Wyatt of Fulton County, GA; Clarence Ellis and Lindell Wiley of St. Clair County, IL; Atterson Sphan of Lake County, IN; Raymond Julien and Joe Pierre of Ascension Parish, LA; Mervin Harmon of Lafayette Parish, LA; John Christophe of Rapides Parish, LA; Murray Powell of Claiborne Parish, LA; Sylvester Broome, Harold Hayden, and John Hunter of Genesee County, MI; Grady Porter of Ingham County, MI; Friley Johnson of Kent County, MI; James T. Nelson and Harrison Wilson of Lake County, MI; Herman Ivory of Muskegon County, MI; Hubert Price of Oakland County, MI; Ed Thomas of Saginaw County, MI; Spurgeon Harvey of St. Clair County, MI; Roscoe Bobo, Jackie L. Currie, Lee Flowers, Leonard Proctor, Jarrette Simmons, Samuel A. Turner, and Maxcine Young of Wayne County, MI; Willie Sloan of Brunswick County, NC; Elizabeth Cofield of Wake County, NC; Lonnie Hamilton of Charleston, SC; and Clinton Rose and Terrance Pitts of Milwaukee County, WI.
Past NABCO Presidents
Standing; Commissioner Robert Steele (Deceased), Cook County, IL,
Councilmember Andrea Harrison, Prince George's County, MD,
Commissioner Justin Ford, 2015 EDC Host, Shelby County, TN,
Commissioner Alisha Bell, Wayne County, MI, Commissioner Roy Brooks, Tarrant County, TX
Seated; President Bobbie Steele, Cook County, IL
Commissioner Edna Bell, Wayne County, MI
Commissioner Deborah Sims, Cook County IL
Commissioner Arlanda Williams, Terrebone Parish, LA