What’s Ahead for GovLove in 2018

We’ll use this post to announce the guests that we’ve booked for the GovLove podcast in 2018. Support GovLove with a 5-star review. We’ll read it on an upcoming episode. 

Rising Through the Ranks: From Chemist to Executive Director

ELGL co-founder Kent Wyatt will interview Cathy Bailey, Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) about being a leader in the water community – representing water utilities and professional foundations and associations from around the world.

Cathy is the first woman and African-American woman to lead the utility since it was formed 200 years ago. Ms. Bailey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati and has been with GCWW her entire 25-year career. She began in 1992 as a chemist, and earned several promotions to other key managerial positions. In 2015, Bailey became Director of the utility, where she demonstrates unrelenting drive, consistent perseverance, and perpetual optimism — leading her to the top of her profession.

As the Director of GCWW, Ms. Bailey ensures safe drinking water for a regional population of more than 1.1 million citizens, supervises a team of 600+ full-time employees, and oversees a $90-million operating budget.

SwapCast with the Civic Tech Chat Podcast

ELGL Co-Founder Kent Wyatt will interview Ryan Koch, host of the Civic Tech Chat podcast.

Civic Tech Chat is a monthly podcast covering the civic technology movement. Inspired by FDR’s Fireside Chats, we seek to raise awareness of the work being done by technologists around the world to build a public service infrastructure that works more efficiently and conveniently for all citizens.

Here’s a sampling of the Civic Tech Chat episodes – Human Centered DesignInnovation Teams, and Open Data in Chicago.

Tear. It. Down with Michael Karlik, City Council Chronicles

ELGL Co-Founder Kent Wyatt interviews Michael about his new project, Tear It Down which is an eight-part audio story debuting on May 10, 2018.

When a small group of insurgents seized control of their city council, they had one goal: to “drain the swamp.” It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pretty. And it nearly shut down the government. But were they right to do it? Michael Karlik is the host of Tear It Down, an audio story about a small town feud fueled by money, power, and distrust. The result was a total reformation in city hall–and it came at a price. Learn more about Tear It Down — WebsiteFacebookTwitter, and iTunes

Michael Karlik, the genius behind City Council Chronicles, will bring his comedy and observations to #ELGL18. His goal of the City Council Chronicles is to bring transparency to government in an entertaining and informative way. Michael was named a “Top 100 Local Government Influencer” by ELGL in 2016 and 2017.

Running for a More Inclusive Local Government with Aaron Rouse, Candidate for Virginia Beach City Council

ELGL Co-Founder Kent Wyatt will interview former NFL player Aaron Rouse about running for the city council in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Read more about Aaron’s background and his motiviation for running.

Former Virginia Tech football player Aaron Rouse brings a different vibe to Beach City Council race

Former Packers S Aaron Rouse running for office

Life taught NY Giants safety Aaron Rouse how to keep moving forward

Follow Aaron’s campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

The Parties Versus the People with Mickey Edwards, The Aspen Institute, Vice President

ELGL co-founder Kent Wyatt will interview Mickey Edwards who will be appearing at the Hometown Summit in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Mickey Edwards was a member of Congress for 16 years. After leaving Congress he taught for 11 years at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government before moving on first to Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and then back to Washington as a vice president of the Aspen Institute. He has been a regular political columnist for the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, had his own weekly commentary on NPR’s “All Things Considered”, is the author of four books, most recently “The Parties Versus The People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans”, and has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Shifting the Culture with Jenn Brown, Civic Nation

Jenn Brown, Executive Director of Civic Nation, sits down with ELGL co-founder to discuss how Civic Nation uses organizing, engagement and public awareness to address the nation’s most pressing challenges.

Prior to her current role, Jenn was the founding Executive Director of Battleground Texas, a long-term project dedicated to increasing voter turnout in Texas. Before starting Battleground Texas, Jenn was the Field Director for the Obama campaign in Ohio in 2012. There she oversaw 650 staff and 120 offices. Before moving to Ohio, Jenn managed nine states in the 2010 midterm election as the Mid-Atlantic & Ohio Valley Director for Organizing for America. Jenn moved into that role after serving as the Minnesota State Director for Organizing for America in 2009 and a Regional Field Director for the Obama campaign in Ohio in 2008. Prior to being involved in political campaigns, Jenn worked at several social justice organizations, including Vote Hope, the Center for Progressive Leadership and the United States Student Association.

The Gatekeepers: Chief of Staff in Local Government

ELGL co-founder will interview three individuals who are currently serving in the role of Chief of Staff.

James J. Hardy is the Chief of Staff for the City of Akron, Ohio. James previously served as Assistant Director of Community Health at Summit County Public Health.  There he led the Health Equity and Social Determinants Unit, managing a diverse portfolio of community-based programs and public health services.

Prior to that, he served as Special Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees of Kent State University, as a Regional Director for Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, and as an Executive Office Intern for Former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

In 2005, Hardy was elected to the Akron Public Schools Board of Education.  During his six years on the Board he served as chair of several committees, including the Joint Board of Review and the district’s Finance and Capital Management Committee, which oversees Akron Public School’s $313 million general fund budget.  In 2009, his peers elected him as Board President.

Laura O’Sullivan is Chief of Staff to the Mayor in South Bend, IN.  Previously, she served as Director of Athletic Events & Stewardship for the University of Notre Dame.

She’s also served as the Director of Development and Executive Director of the SMC Foundation at Southwestern Michigan College, as well as the Executive Director for the Northern Indiana March of Dimes.

She is a 1993 graduate of Purdue University. She has served as citizen member of the South Bend Common Council Parks and Recreation Committee, Trustee of the South Bend Awesome Fund, member of the League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area, and member of the Saint Joseph High School Annual Fund Leadership Committee.

Samantha Harkins is the Chief Of Staff to Lansing Mayor Andy Schor.

She formerly served at the Michigan Municipal League Foundation as president and previously, led the Michigan Municipal League’s advocacy team as director of state affairs. Prior to that, she held a government relations position at the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce and was a policy advisor for the Michigan House of Representatives Republican Party Office.

Harkins was named to the Capital Region International Airport Authority Board in 2016 and the City of Lansing’s Elected Officers Compensation Commission in 2015. Harkins has a juris doctor from West Virginia University College of Law, Morgantown, W.V., and an undergraduate degree in political science from West Virginia University.

Making the World Better with Connor Barwin, Los Angeles Rams & Make the World Better & Tom Barwin, City of Sarasota, Florida City Manager

In April, ELGL co-founder Kent Wyatt will interview Tom Barwin and his son, Connor.

Tom Barwin has been the City Manager of City of Sarasota since 2012. Prior to Sarasota, Barwin served six years as Village Manager in Oak Park, Illinois, and eight years as City Manager in Ferndale, Michigan.

During Tom’s administration, Oak Park was powered by 95% renewable energy, which won national acclaim and EPA environmental sustainability awards.

As City Manager in Ferndale, Michigan, Tom was credited with advancing urban bike lanes and multi-model transit in Metropolitan Detroit, while leading an economic turnaround that transformed the community to one of Michigan’s most vibrant, creative, and diverse communities.

In 2017, Tom and two construction workers were lauded as heroes after they fought off a 28-year-old Bradenton man who tried to rob a woman leaving a church.

Connor Barwin is the youngest of four sons of Tom Barwin. Connor is an outside linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams. He played college football at Cincinnati, and was drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Connor founded the Make The World Better Foundation, Inc (MTWB) in December of 2013. Make The World Better works to improve communities one park, one neighborhood at a time. MTWB envisions a fully engaged city where members of all neighborhoods take pride and ownership over their communities.

Supplemental Reading

The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism 

Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak sit down with ELGL co-founder Kent Wyatt to “reveal where the real power to create change lies and how it can be used to address our most serious social, economic, and environmental challenges.” Bruce and Jeremy co-authored The New Localism, which will be released January 9, 2018.

Hat tip to Ellory Monks, The Atlas Marketplace, for connecting ELGL with Bruce.


Bruce J. Katz is the inaugural Centennial Scholar at the Brookings Institution, where he focuses on the challenges and opportunities of global urbanization. Katz assumed this cross-institution role in January 2016 after 20 years as the vice president and co-director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, which he founded in 1996. He is co-author of two books The Metropolitan Revolution, and The New Localism, which focuses on the shift of power from national governments and states to cities and metropolitan communities.

Before joining Brookings­­, Katz served as chief of staff to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros and was the senior counsel and then staff director for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs. In 2008, he co-led the housing and urban issues transition team for the Obama Administration and served as a senior advisor to the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan for the first 100 days of the administration.

Jeremy Nowak is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation. He created The Reinvestment Fund, one of the largest community investment institutions in the United States, and chaired the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He is also the chief strategist for Spring Point Partners and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Supplemental Reading

State of the City with Mayor Megan Barry

In mid-January ELGL co-founder Kent Wyatt will interview Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

Mayor Barry is the recent recipient of the ATHENA National Leadership Award, a distinction previously given to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, astronaut Sally Ride and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

She has “put together the most diverse team in the history of Nashville,” including establishing the position of Metro Nashville’s first Chief Diversity Officer, as well as creating a Council on Gender Equity.

HUGE thanks to Chris Haas and Sean Braisted for coordiningat the interview.


In 2015, Mayor Megan Barry was elected to her first term as the seventh Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County after serving two terms as an at-large member of the Metro Council.

Mayor Barry entered office with a determination to keep Nashville’s successful economy moving forward while ensuring sustainable growth, equal opportunity for all, high-quality public education, and the safety and well-being of all Nashvillians.

One of the most significant challenges facing the city is the growth of traffic in the region following years of record growth. Mayor Barry immediately got to work tackling the issue by upgrading and synchronizing traffic signals in a way that has reduced congestion on the major pikes and corridors – reducing average travel delays by 24% and cutting gas consumption by an estimated 830,000 gallons in the first year.

Mayor Barry has embraced the concept of Vision Zero to reduce traffic-related fatalities in Davidson County by investing in paving, sidewalks, and bike paths. She also has worked to improve dangerous intersections in high-traffic areas and embraced quick-build projects to promote safety.

In 2017, she worked with Governor Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly to promote and pass the IMPROVE Act, which will increase funding for roadway projects across Tennessee and give voters the opportunity to create sustainable funding mechanisms for mass transit. Barry announced she will seek to place a referendum on the ballot in 2018 that will create a comprehensive mass transit system throughout all corners of Davidson County.

Another area Mayor Barry has focused on is affordable housing. With the growing cost of living in Nashville, it has become more difficult for low-income residents to find quality housing they can afford. To address this need, Barry has created a number of tools to fund, build, maintain and preserve affordable housing throughout Nashville.

She has committed to putting $10 million in her recommended operating budget each year for the Barnes Trust Fund for Affordable Housing – which she helped create as a Metro Council member. She has created the Housing Incentive Pilot Program to encourage mixed-income residential development, established private-public partnerships for affordable and workforce housing on Metro-owned property, and announced her intention to utilize $25 million in general obligation bonds to preserve existing affordable housing or construct new Metro-owned developments.

In her push to promote equity and opportunity throughout Nashville, Barry has been committed to supporting our public schools through investments that will help the city recruit and retain great teachers, expand English language learner and literacy programs, and create greater access to high-quality pre-K in Nashville.

In order to address rising rates of youth violence, Mayor Barry launched an initiative to create 10,000 paid job and internship opportunities throughout the private, public and non-profit sectors. Supported by investments from Metro Nashville and local businesses, Opportunity NOW seeks to give every child a chance to succeed by connecting youth to hope through opportunity and jobs.

Barry believes public safety is the critical foundation on which our success in other areas of government is built. She has recommended hiring new police officers and firefighters to meet Nashville’s growth and created tools and programs for better community interaction with police and more accountability and openness throughout government.

In building her administration, Barry has put a sharp focus on ensuring that the Mayor’s Office is reflective of the city it serves. To that end, she has put together the most diverse team in the history of Nashville and has been committed to diversifying Metro boards and commissions. She appointed Metro’s first Chief Diversity Officer to review and oversee policies as it relates to diversity in hiring and promotions within Metro Government. She has also focused on engaging the community in governing with the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement, which includes the Office of New Americans focused on outreach to immigrant and refugee communities.

Barry first moved to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, where she received her MBA. Prior to becoming Mayor, Barry had a successful career as an ethics and compliance officer in the telecommunications and health care sectors. Her husband, Bruce, is a professor of organizational studies at Vanderbilt University. Their son, Max, passed away in 2017 at the age of 22. They are also proud parents of two rescue dogs, Hank and Boris.

Supplemental Reading

Holding It Down in Detroit with Aaron Foley (LinkedIn), City of Detroit, Chief Storyteller 

In early January, ELGL co-founder will interview Aaron Foley, City of Detroit’s Chief Storyteller.

Aaron is the newly appointed Chief Storyteller, a unique position in city government, for the City of Detroit. Prior to joining the city, Aaron was editor of BLAC Detroit Magazine, a 35,000-circulation monthly glossy in Metro Detroit covering black life, arts and culture, and BLACDetroit.com, the magazine’s companion news site. He has also worked as a copywriter at Team Detroit, an automotive writer at Ward’s Automotive Reports, a reporter/web producer at MLive and as a copy editor at the Lansing State Journal.

In 2015, he published a book “How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass” (Belt Publishing), a social guidebook to living in the city. In August 2017, Aaron published “The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook” (Belt Publishing), an anthology of Detroit neighborhoods. Aaron has also freelanced for several national and local publications, largely revolving around the culture of Detroit.

Supplemental Reading

Detroit redefined: city hires America’s first official ‘chief storyteller

Aaron Foley says Detroit’s narrative must be diverse, inclusive

How To Live In Detroit Without Being A Jackass: Aaron Foley

An Hour With… Aaron Foley – Hour Detroit Magazine

Who’s Aaron? | Aaron K. Foley