Mount Vernon, NY — The City Council Chambers was standing room only, Tuesday night, as residents, elected officials, community leaders and stakeholders all gathered to hear Mayor Ernest D. Davis give his Final Report before the City Council.
Mayor Davis entered the room shortly after 7pm, accompanied by the joyful sounds of African drums being played and received a glowing standing ovation. The City Council Chambers was full of Ernie Davis supporters and local officials in attendance for Davis address the City one last time.
The 19th and 21st Mayor of Mount Vernon in office from 1996-2008 and 2012-2016, 16 out of the last 20 years, he was the chief executive officer of Mount Vernon. The longest running Mayor in the eighth most populous city in New York State. Sometimes both the most loved and the most hated person at the same time, he changed the political landscape. First becoming the first African-American County Legislators and then the second African-American Mayor of the City of Mount Vernon.
He touched many lives as was evident in the room Tuesday night and no matter what you think of the man, there will never be another like him. Ending his speech in an emotional It’s-So-Hard-To-Say-Goodbye-To-Yesterday moment, he utter the words of Donnie McClurkin’s 1996 hit song, Stand;
What do you do when you’ve done all you can
And it seems like it’s never enough?
And what do you say
When your friends turn away
And you all alone, alone?
Tell me what do you do when you’ve done all you can
And it seems like you can’t make it through?
Child, you just stand, you just stand, stand
When Davis lost in 2007, to Clinton Young, many thought he was out for the count, but like Muhammad Ali, he had one more rope-a-dope left in him and regained the belt in the 2011 election, beating out his opponents including the sitting Mayor Clinton Young, Comptroller Maureen Walker, Councilman J. Yuhanna Edwards, and Peter Sherril. He survived many battles with both contenders of the throne and the federal government (who investigated him for seven years). The race of 2015 may go down as his toughest fight to date, and while his mayoral moments are done, he will all be remembered. Even though he is no longer Da Mayor, you know you can always catch him around town!