Connecting state and local government leaders

Route Fifty at SXSW: Our Interview With Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

Route Fifty's Mitch Herckis interviews Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer in Austin.

Route Fifty's Mitch Herckis interviews Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer in Austin. Route Fifty Staff

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

“Bourbonism,” the mayor said in an interview, has helped his city bridge the urban-rural divide in Kentucky and boost economic development in the process.

This is the seventh in a series of Route Fifty video interviews with mayors who are in Austin, Texas, for SXSW. Previously, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser.

For Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, leading an innovative local government requires a few elements.

First and foremost, you have to deliver well-run public services. You also need to foster a culture of continuous improvement, the mayor told Route Fifty in an interview, in additon to supporting those efforts with resources.

“The key is you give dedicated resources to innovation, to breakthroughs,” he told Route Fifty in an interview, where he also discussed an economic development strategy that he calls “bourbonism,” something that helps his city bridge urban and rural divisions in Kentucky.

Louisville, Fischer said, also tries to find as many ways to connect citizens to that culture of innovation, whether it’s through crowd-sourcing air quality data or implementing best practices for open and accessible government. “That improves the circle of trust that’s required for people say ‘Hey, we’re interdependent as a city and we’re in this together,” he said.

Mitch Herckis is Senior Program Director for Government Executive’s Route FIfty and is based in Washington, D.C.

NEXT STORY Route Fifty at SXSW: Our Interview With D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser