Mayor Greg Fischer has been making the national media rounds this week, largely speaking in response to the tragic events in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. Today, he introduced a new podcast, which in the first episode summed up his thoughts on race and equity.
On Sunday, on “CBS This Morning,” Fischer talked about Muhammad Ali and moving the Confederate statue by the University of Louisville last year. His appearance was the morning after the Castleman statue in the Highlands was vandalized. Further discussion led to his thoughts about manufacturing and the opioid crisis.
During the appearance, he said that the middle class is “being hollowed out and that’s one of the reasons you’re seeing this hatred coming down the streets. People … don’t feel connected, they don’t feel hope, they don’t know where they fit in a rapidly changing global economy so they don’t know what to do. We need major system changes that involve everybody so they can have a hopeful path to the future.”
Also on Sunday, Fischer appeared on “Charlie Rose” talking about technology, data and compassion. Eventually, of course, the conversation led to Charlottesville.
When Rose asked him about building a compassionate city, he talked about how all leaders needed to focus on bringing out the best in people. He said: “What is ‘power’? Too often in America we say power is money and strength. How about power being compassion and joy and the ability to bring out the best in people?”
On both programs, he was touted as “the most innovative mayor in America.”
Fischer was scheduled to appear on CNN with Wolf Blitzer earlier Thursday, but the interview was postponed when the incident in Barcelona — in which a van plowed into a crowd of people — began to unfold.
The mayor’s spokesman, Chris Poynter, attributes Fischer’s recent popularity with national media to his administration’s focus on compassion. “The fact that Louisville took down a Confederate statue last year without incident — and the fact that, as a city, we are willing to lean into race conversations makes the mayor a natural spokesman for what’s happening in our country today,” he said via email.
The podcast, “The Mayor Greg Fischer Podcast,” has a theme song by local sonaBLAST! recording artists “The Pass.” It is hosted by one of the mayor’s speechwriters and co-host of The Moth, Graham Shelby. You can listen to it on Soundcloud or on iTunes or however else you get your podcasts.
There will be other guests, Poynter told Insider, both from inside the administration and without. He expects that a new podcast will be released a couple of times a month.