Guest: Matt Madlock, Entrepreneur, Activist
That genius at the Apple store may be the one to help solve intractable problems in your community. That is the trajectory our next-generation guest is on in Nashville, TN. Matt Madlock started fixing smartphones and other consumer electronics while in high school, a business that he ran and grew through college. He graduated Magna Cum Laude earlier this year with a dual degree in Marketing and Business Analytics. In addition to the job with Apple, he is a business consultant at The Small Business Development Center at Tennessee State University. It all belies a backstory for a young man who was born on a sidewalk in San Diego, adopted, placed in foster care and moved 20 times before entering college. The budding entrepreneur is a technology enthusiast and education advocate who is committed to community and political activism on behalf of disadvantaged youth to help them get access to the resources they need to succeed.
Guest: Kristen Cox, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, State of Utah
Start-ups learn to let limitations guide them to creative solutions and recognize there is never enough to go around – time, money or talent. Instead of trying to remove them, the good ones embrace constraints and use them to your advantage. When you talk about fiscal affairs in the state of Utah, the story is the same one. In a state known for its prudent financial management, Utah OMB Executive Director Kristen Cox and her keep-it-simple approach to government have made a lasting impact. She’s schooled dozens of agency leaders in the Theory of Constraints management method, which is designed to root out bottlenecks in agency operations. On the revenue side, Kristen also learned from the 2008 fiscal crisis, adapting scenarios from the Federal Reserve’s stress testing of banks to the state’s own budget.
“The ability in this country to have progress is infinite, but we have challenges to get there.” That’s according to Kevyn Orr, who rose to prominence during his tenure as emergency manager for the City of Detroit, MI and advisor to Chrysler through its bankruptcy and the subsequent renewal of its “reputation as a bold and innovative automaker.” These and other experiences shaped his view of strategic planning, innovation, cultural transition and developing a new generation of leadership in government. He has also witnessed social progress during his own lifetime. Now a partner-in-charge of the Washington, DC office of Jones Day, Kevyn challenges civil servants to use candor, logic and courage in confronting racism and other social inequities.
Guest: The Honorable Greg Fischer, Mayor, City of Louisville, KY
Compassion. A decade ago, the word did not appear in cities’ strategic plans. That’s changing. Thanks to the pioneering work of Louisville, KY, compassion is becoming something of a civic, secular religion in a growing number of cities. In Louisville, compassion has become synonymous with a civic culture that values lifelong learning, the physical and mental health of city residents and is invested in nurturing a culture where residents are cared for and given a sense of hope. Our guest is the city’s 50th mayor and is the architect of the compassion agenda. He also had a hand in promoting the city’s unique form of hospitality – “Bourbonism” – but that is probably a conversation better had at the bar.
An off year election creates the opportunity to take stock of the state of our civics. Election day coincides with the release of new analysis on voter turnout in local elections. Portland State University's Who Votes For Mayor? project details a disturbing downward trend across the 30 largest cities in the United States.
"Democracy is in more danger now than at any time in my lifetime for a very simple reason," says Phil Keilsing, director of the PSU Center of Public Service, "it is because so many people are exiting the arena."
Enter a pair of civic startups, each focused at opposite ends of the balloting process. Ballot Readyprovides a single, independent, online source of candidate information down to the voting track level.
If Ballot Ready is voter facing, another startup is candidate facing. As its name suggest, RunForOffice.org allows prospective candiates to find out opportunities to run among 116,242 elected offices simply entering their street address.