You read that right. Our very own Mayor Willie Herenton is among 50 finalists in the 2008 "World Mayor Award," given annually to the planet Earth's best mayor.
From the press release: "According to city residents from all continents, a great mayor must possess these qualities: good administrative abilities, able to provide safety and security and protect the environment, as well as having the ability to foster good relations between communities from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds.
The World Mayor Project was first carried out in 2004. As in previous years, the 2008 contest again seeks out mayors who have the vision, passion and skills to make their cities amazing places in which to live and work - and visit. The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve, and thus raise their profiles.
It honours those who have both served their communities well and contributed to the well being of cities nationally and internationally. The most outstanding mayor of 2008 will be presented with the World Mayor Award.
Based on the number of nominations and the persuasiveness of supporting statements, City Mayors, the organisers of the World Mayor project, has drawn up a list of 50 finalists. The list includes 11 mayors from Asia, 10 from North America and 11 from Latin America, 15 from Europe, as well as 3 from Africa.
Get the list of finalists here.