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LISTEN: How to Really Run a City — and Be Nonpartisan

Left to right: Mayors Michael Nutter, Kasim Reed and Jim Holt.

If reading the news makes you feel more like you’re watching toddlers fight over shiny new toys rather than adults working toward meaningful outcomes, take heart:

For all of the seeming division in our country, there really are leaders out there who are committed to bringing people together to achieve real change. Helming that charge? Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, an anti-Trump, tax-increasing Republican who The Huffington Post says may “provide a post-Trump road map for Republicans.” Holt joined The Citizen for the newest installment of the How to Really Run a City podcast — co-hosted by former Mayors Kasim Reed of Atlanta and Michael Nutter of Philadelphia — out today wherever you get your podcasts.

Listen to more episodes here.

Holt is a Republican, governing a purple city in a red state. But more than anything, he’s a pragmatist, a practical problem-solver focused on listening to all of his constituents, finding common ground, and arriving at compromises.

“Whether it’s me or somebody else, this country needs more people governing, from either party, that are like me — who are just trying to get things done and are willing to talk to people of all different perspectives and are willing to seek outcomes that are compromise[s] and reflect multiple worldviews,” Holt says. His strategy, he explains, is “essentially, pluralism, as we were taught in political science — the idea that we can all still hold our own views but coexist, and come to outcomes that are good enough.”

After all, Holt says, local governing has no room for political gridlock.

“Mayors have to produce outcomes,” he says. “We’re kind of viewed as the only level of government that gets things done anymore.”

As co-host Reed says, people elect you to win for them. And for Holt, it doesn’t matter what party you are — it matters that you do right by the people you’re serving.

“I’m happy to be whatever it is I am because I can sleep at night,” he says.

Tune in to episode four of How To Really Run A City for more of Holt’s wisdom on modeling the way forward, and the co-hosts’ witty and wise banter; then, check out the episodes you may have missed.

And stay tuned for new episodes of How To Really Run A City every month, available wherever you get your podcasts.




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