Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer spoke at TEDxPennsylvaniaAvenue in July. The event was designed to give several of the world's most innovative thinkers and doers the opportunity to share their ideas with bipartisan leaders in our nation's capital. The 24 speakers covered everything from tracking sharks to the impact of Head Start to the power of data. In his talk- Compassion and Data Are Transforming My City- the Mayor explained why the idea of compassion has been central to his administration.
He named lifelong learning, health and compassion as the values of his administration. Skip to the 2:20 minute mark to see how he responded to worries that calling out compassion would make him seem weak.
Mayor Fischer shared examples of how he is incorporating each value into the daily work at City Hall, and called out AIR Louisville as an example of how to engage citizens in social innovations. He described the 2013 pilot program in his speech - we're not up to 600 people in the current program yet. Mayor Fischer said the community asthma program was a way to build the social muscles of Louisville, explaining that it's easier for a community to cope with tragedy and difficult times when citizens and city leaders have a history of working together. You can skip to the 6:30 minute mark to hear what the Mayor has to say about AIR Louisville, but it's worth watching his entire speech.
It takes time, effort, courage and patience to change the health of a community. Mayor Fischer is proving this can be done.