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2017 Raleigh mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Raleigh mayoral election, 2017
Flag of Raleigh, North Carolina.svg

← 2015 October 10 and November 7, 2017 2019 →
Nancy McFarlane cropped (cropped).jpg
Candidate Nancy McFarlane Charles Francis
Party Independent Democratic
Popular vote 31,643 23,222
Percentage 57.67% 42.33%

Mayor before election

Nancy McFarlane

Elected Mayor

Nancy McFarlane

The biennial nonpartisan election for the Mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina, was held on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. As no candidate won a majority of the vote in the first round, a runoff was held on November 7, 2017,[1] as requested by the second-place finisher, Charles Francis.[2][3] Incumbent Mayor Nancy McFarlane defeated Francis in the runoff, winning a fourth term in office.

This was the first Raleigh mayoral election to advance to a second round since 2001.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Ethics Week - Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • ✪ Economic Engines: Notre Dame and the South Bend-Elkhart Region
  • ✪ 2012 Ten Years Hence - Pete Buttigieg


- Well, greetings. Thank you for being here this afternoon. My name's Adam Kronk, I'm the program director of the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership and I've been part of the committee helping to put this week together, and the theme this week is Politics as Public Service. And today, we have with us Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He is originally from the area, went to St. Joe High School, then went off to Harvard. After Harvard, he worked, let me make sure I get this in the right order. Worked in D.C. for a former U.S. Defense Secretary, William Cohen, then he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, went and studied at Oxford, and after that, he worked for McKinsey, responsible for advising senior business and government leaders on major decisions related to economic development, energy policy, strategic business initiatives and logistics. That work took him around the world, literally. Did some time both in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's also an officer in U.S. Navy Reserve, and we are fortunate enough that he came back to the community, and is now serving as our mayor. So I'll welcome Mayor Pete. (audience applauding) - Thank you for the opportunity, the invitation to be here, been looking forward to this, and I also think that the concept of this part of the series, Politics in Public Service, as Public Service is an encouraging one, because I fear that sometimes the word politics is spoken, and then, the last thing on other people's minds is ethics. Unfortunately, in our time, there's a sense that politics and ethics are two fields or disciplines that are pretty estranged from each other. I just saw a poll come out recently, where they were evaluating the American people's love and respect for Congress. Came in at 9%. (audience laughing) Communism has an 11. (audience laughing) Saddam Hussein had an eight. They did some back to back match-ups with Congress, which are also interesting. Replacement refs beat Congress, 56 to 29. (audience laughing) Lice, 67, Congress, 19. Brussel sprouts, easy win, 69 to 23. People prefer root canals to Congress, 56 to 32. Let's see. France, actually beat Congress, 46 to 36. Nickelback. (audience laughing) Did have the edge, 39 to 32, though, it's a little bit closer with Nickelback. You'll be relieved to hear that Congress still came in ahead of Fidel Castro, the Ebola virus, and Lindsay Lohan, so. (audience laughing) It's not the absolutely least well regarded entity, but not very encouraging. Although, for reasons I'll go into a little bit later, I actually think one of the joys of working in state and local politics, especially local politics is that some of the things that poison national federal politics of the United States Congress are things that we're comparatively immune to, here at the local level. I should also point out that this is nothing new. There's an 18th century quotation I saw not long ago, from the French author Beaumarchais in the Marriage of Figaro, where a character is saying that he thinks politics is easy, I could do politics if I wanted to, he says. "There's nothing to politics but this; Pretending not to know what you know, pretending to know everything you don't know, pretending to hear things that you don't understand, and not to hear the things that you do. To lock yourself up in great ceremony, and then sit there sharpening pencils and looking deep. To send out spies and give pensions to traders, intercept letters, and try to ignoble the poverty of the means by the justice of your ends. That's all there is to politics, I swear by my life." That was the 18th century. So this tension between what we think is ethical and our regard for the political seems to be something that's been around probably as long as politics itself. The tensions that emerge I think in politics and public service go back to the relationship that some pretty basic and deep philosophical questions have with a public life. And I want to focus on two questions in particular. The question who am I, and the question why am I here. But each of those questions I want to talk about in a somewhat more narrow or tactical sense than the philosophical sense. First of all, when I talk about who am I, I don't mean the deepest existential question, "Who am I?" But I do want to talk about something that is on display for anybody in public life and also a concern, I think, for anybody really in any professional world at all. And certainly in business. And that is, "who am I" in the sense of in what capacity am I making this decision. Or, in what capacity am I interacting with this person. Who am I to them? Who am I right now? Am I myself as a person? Am I here as a teacher? As a student? As an officer, as an official, as a leader, as a follower, as a candidate? What role is the dominant one? Because that has a lot of implications. It has implications for style, right. You may have a certain way that you interact with people, generically. The average person who comes across your field of vision, you pass by them on the sidewalk, there's a certain way that would would talk to them or want to talk to them. Which might be very different from the way you would talk to somebody, if, for example you were their supervisor, you were their teacher. And different again from how you might talk to them or work with them if they were a peer, or somebody who was appointed above you. It also has substantive consequences. The substantive decision you're going to make might be different if you're making it as an individual and just doing whatever you think makes sense in the situation. Versus if you're an individual wearing a certain hat. If you have a role, a responsibility to carry out. And often those things come into conflict. For me, the awareness of the importance of understanding who you are in the sense of what your role is happened in a really unpleasant situation. There had been a homicide in South Bend, and as I sometimes do the next morning I went over to where it had happened. I didn't expect anybody to be there, I just wanted to get a sense, I wanted to stand on that corner. To gauge what the neighborhood felt like, to see just how close it was to a nearby school, which I was concerned about. And I was just standing there kind of inhaling the place on a Saturday morning after something terrible had happened the night before when unexpectedly a number of members of the family of the victim showed up. And began to congregate. Friends, family, cousins and parents. And I talked a little bit with the father, who was more talkative and some of the folks from around the neighborhood. And the mother was off to the side. In fact, she couldn't really bring herself to walk. So she sat in the back seat of the car. The family drove her in, but she couldn't bring herself to walk. And I began to realize as I was talking to other people around the scene that I needed to go talk to this mother in case there was anything that I could learn or anything that I had to offer. And I wasn't sure what to do in that situation, because I have no skill or competence as a grief counselor, or any particular gift or awareness of what you might say to somebody who is grieving that will make them feel any better and not sound like platitude. I almost didn't got up to talk to her. I was so anxious about doing it, knowing the right thing to say. But I took a deep breath and did it, and spent some time with her. And we had a conversation about growing up in South Bend, as well as what her son had been like. And I sensed that the conversation was worth something to her. That she felt better after the conversation than before. And what I realized as I walked away was that that was not because of any skill or ability, or insight on my part. It was because the mayor had stopped and talked to her. It was the mayor. She would not remember anything I said. Nothing I said was particularly interesting. What she would remember is that we had spent a little bit of time together. And any other person in that situation could have brought the same comfort. Just by the act of talking to her. I was not there as Pete. And it didn't matter if Pete was good or bad at having this kind of conversation. I was there as the city. And it did matter that the city cared enough to spend a little time with her, ask her about what had happened. And share those condolences. So that's maybe a bit of an extreme case, but there are cases that happen to all of us where we see some kind of tension or disconnect in answering that question, "Who am I?", versus how you think of yourself as an individual and how you think of yourself in some relation to other people. My concept of the idea of style is this, that the ways in which you correspond or conform to everybody else in a similar role constitute your professionalism. The way that a banker is like every other banker. The way that a mayor is like pretty much any other mayor. Those amount to your professionalism. And then everything else, everything you do that's a little bit different from everybody else in that same role. Everybody else with that same description applying to, everything different, that adds up to your style. And that's what you distinctively bring. That's not the role, that's not the profession. That's you. And that tension between professionalism and style is something that I think we feel piles upon itself especially if we have multiple professions. So what makes me unusual among fellow Naval officers once word got around, unfortunately, about my day job was was that I have a political day job. Now they call be the Honorable J.G. (audience laughing) With a bit of a cheerful smirk. But it's so often your professionalism in one field, or the way in which you conform in one field will actually be the way in which you don't conform in another. And that goes into your style as well. But there are all these conflicts, and all these tensions between your different roles. And often between your different values. And life brings those into confrontation with each other all the time. And how you resolve those is the stuff, I believe, of character. So what's it like dealing with a substantive in terms of political decision making? Well again one of the questions is, "Who am I?", right? And one of the answers is I am somebody who represents a number of people who elected me. Another way to answer that question is that I've been chosen as a leader. And those are very very different. Even though they're inseparable, they're very different implications, right? Because if you're representing people who elected you, that means that your job is to reflect what they think. Your job is to do what they would do, if they were in your position. And the whole idea of elections is that that's where you stop and check whether that actually happened. And if it didn't, they can fire you. On the other hand, the idea of a leader is fundamentally intentioned with that idea. Because by definition you cannot lead people to where they are. Then you'd just be hanging out, not leading. The instinct of leadership is an instinct to change something. You're in some group or some environment and you see a need for it to develop differently, and you want to apply yourself toward making that happen. And you get other people to come along with you, that's leadership. Leadership involves changing or shaping where people are. And every elected official lives this puzzle between the extent to which you want to be faithful to your existence as a representative, something which is enforced frequently by the electoral process, and the extent to which you have your own, just as what I was saying earlier about your style. You have your own mark that you want to make. Also substantive. You have your own direction that you think things ought to go. And that tension is one that you need to hold in mind I think, in any official role. It does not have to be elected, but being elected really brings it out. Sometimes I think about what you're supposed to do if you have a position you think most constituents disagree with. Just to take an example, imagine that you represent a conservative constituency and that you are against the death penalty. And that most of the people who you represent favor the death penalty. You then go through a series of choices about how you're going to handle this. And in roughly increasing order of appeal I think they're as follows. First of all you just ignore it, you hope nobody notices that you disagree with your constituents on this thing, it never comes up. And that's one thing that often happens. And part of being good at public life I think is choosing which issues you're not going to get deeply involved in. Another is changing. Changing your values to conform with the values of the people you're trying to impress. And that happens. It happens a lot. And again, outside of politics it still happens. Matter of fact it happens all the time in socially intense environments. It happens more than anywhere else among young people hoping to fit in with other young people. Your values themselves will take on the values of the organization or the society or the community that you're in. So you can change. Another thing you can do is not change but pretend to change. Trick people. And that happens quite a bit. You have one position, but you represent yourself having another position, because if you told people what you really think, you'd never get elected. And I actually suspect that's happened a lot on the death penalty, for certain people. The heavier lift but I think most of us intuitively agree the ethically more desirable thing is to persuade. To do what you can to try to convince your constituency that your perspective is the right perspective, and hope that you can bring them along. And then there's a fifth, an interesting one that isn't talked about enough I think, when we think about ideology and politics. Which is to accept that you and the person you're trying to persuade won't agree. And to hope that you'll be able to maintain a relationship anyway. I think that happens, sometimes. And it ought to happen more. One of my first jobs in politics was to follow George Bush around. Actually I was working on the Kerry campaign in 2004. I did all kinds of research policy stuff. Part of my job was if President Bush gave a speech, I was supposed to watch it. If it was in Arizona or New Mexico. And one of his most effective lines was that he would say, "Whether you agree with me or not, you always know where I stand. The same cannot be said of my opponent." That was a very powerful line. The crowd always loved that. And it had some... I think one of the reasons it was very destructive is that there's a perception that that is true. And the whether you agree with me or not part was really important because issue by issue, most people never did agree with the President. On most individual issues if you kind of did the math. And yet they were ready to follow him, and reelect him. Largely, I think because there was a sense that transcends any individual issue or ideological perspective. That you had a leader. Somebody who was willing to stick to his guns. Whatever his perspective was. By the same token and from the other end of the political spectrum, Paul Wellstone was a senator in Minnesota. Represented a pretty conservative overall electorate in the year that he was up for reelection. The people of Minnesota were definitely in favor of the invasion of Iraq in 2002. He was definitely not. And at a time when most members of Congress and the Senate regardless of what they really thought were certainly afraid to appear weak on national security. And therefore often fudged or shifted to favor an invasion. They would later claim to say they'd been against it all along. Senator Wellstone took a very hard stand against the invasion from the state that was for the invasion in an election year. And his numbers in the polls went up. Not because he's changed a lot of minds about whether the invasion was a good idea, but because he commanded a certain level of respect that was more important to many voters than that individual issue. And we'll never know what happened, because he died during that reelection. So I don't know if he would have won or not. But I think about that example. This brings me to another tension, in terms of, "Who am I?" You as a person and then you in your role. And that's not so much on the substantive policy side, but in terms of conduct. And what you're like. We have certain ways that we would like to believe we always behave towards each other. But public life sometimes calls on you to think twice about that. Probably the best example that's in folks' minds recently is Lyndon Baines Johnson. You know, LBJ in terms of the way he treated other people, not somebody that you would generally want to imitate. He would charm, lie, threaten, bully, trick, goad, whatever it took to get a senator or member of Congress to go his way. And it was politics at it's most raw and earthy. And had a lot of the attributes that I think we people would look members of Congress and give them an approval rating that's below that of cockroaches. (audience laughing) But here's the thing. You have to ask yourself, if he didn't do that, would we have had civil rights when we did? Or would that have had to wait for another generation? And when you look at it that way, is that not worth it? From a public perspective. Suddenly the imperative to be a nice guy doesn't seem quite as important when something as meaningful and important as voting rights for Americans is on the line. And this too happens in politics all the time. I don't know that I can give you a considered, mature opinion on this, because I've only been in office for about a year. One of the things I think in local politics is that you can behave a little more like a normal person and still do all right. And so I found in general if you treat people the way you would if you weren't involved that's OK. I remember shortly after I took office, my new fire chief I was in a meeting with him, and he got that look in his eye like he was about to bring a sensitive topic up. And it was on the subject of appointments of assistant and battalion chiefs. This will seem quaint to those of you who are not familiar with local government. But that's a mayoral appointment. So who's going to be assistant chief or battalion chief is technically up to the mayor. And it used to be it was completely up to the mayor. It was one of those local political patronage things. And if you were on the wrong side of the mayor, you were not going to be an assistant chief. Nowadays, I think most mayors view it the way I do, is that your main criteria for choosing an assistant chief is if I pick this person, will fewer people die in fires in our city than if I pick that person, right? It's not rocket science. It's hard to think of an area in city government where it is more immediately, urgently compellingly appropriate to just go with meritocracy. But, it happened to be the case that one of the people who was in line to be assistant chief had campaigned pretty actively for one of my opponents in the primary. And so the chief asked a little sheepishly, by the way, so and so has been a little anxious, and I'm wondering you know if you have any indication whether you'd be willing to allow them to be assistant chief. And the answer was is he good at the job? And the answer is yes that was given to me. So thinking good, hire him. Of course, hire him, right? But I have to admit that some part of my mind asked myself, did that diminish my effectiveness in politics? If somebody thinks I'm the kind of guy who would deny somebody the appointment to job they deserve because they had crossed me politically, would I be more effective in the future lining up votes for something really important to me, that I thought was really important to say. Do you need people to believe that you are a jerk in order to get something done? I don't have an answer for you. LBJ had his answer. I have my answer, for now it's been working just fine. But it's something you got to think about. Another thing you got to think about is loyalty versus meritocracy, right? So the other side of the coin is I've had people who I feel very personally loyal to, maybe who helped on my campaign, but who I didn't have a job for. That didn't fit in terms of their readiness to do the job. Loyalty is a real virtue, and a value that we all take seriously. And it has real meaningful moral claim on our actions. Then again, so does making sure that the people we put in jobs in an organization are gonna be the best people for that job. Each of those is perfectly legitimate value. When they come into conflict what you're made of is how you resolve that conflict. And so far for us, erring on the side of meritocracy has worked. But it would be interesting, since I haven't come up for reelections yet, whether there will be cases where I pay a price from that. The other thing that you need to understand when you're looking at politics wider than the local level is the decoupling of the way that we would interact as people who just know each other, which is basically what local government is like. If you're a jerk to somebody, that person has a lot of relatives and friends in the community that only so many votes each reelection. So local politics reinforces, I think, interpersonal ethics as we recognize. National politics does not. A member of Congress represents I think something like 700000 people. So most of the people who vote in Congressional election have not met you and have no direct experience with how you treat other people. And so there are a whole different set of imperatives of how you should treat other people, especially other elected officials that have a bigger impact on whether you're going to get a seat or not. Then what it would be like if those people all knew each other. Probably one of the original sins of today's poisonous climate in Washington was a development which happened in the mid-1990's. When it was largely driven by the arrival in 1994 of Newt Gingrich and a number of new freshmen republicans in a republican Congressional majority, which was taking over from a house which had been ridden with democrats for decades. And right about that time, a lot of them had run on the idea that Congressmen was out of touch. And members of Congress should be in their districts more often, and shouldn't get sucked into Washington and it's ways. And instead should be at home. Sounds like a very healthy thing. Except it created a political pressure to only be in Washington from Tuesday to Thursday, and then you'd be at home in your district Friday through Monday. Going to chicken dinners and talking with constituents. What is meant was the members of Congress themselves were no longer part of the community. In the old way of doing things, and especially if you go back to before transportation was quite a slew in the 40's as it is now. Members of Congress from either party knew each other well. Their kids went to the same schools, their spouses participated in the same social events. They knew each other as human beings. And no matter how passionately you disagree with somebody, you treat them differently if you know them socially than if you don't know them from Adam. This is why, and it's too bad they didn't poll on this, cause I think it would have come in pretty low. But one of the... From a standpoint of civil discourse, right, one of the nastiest creations in recent years is the comment section. If you ever gone slumming it in the comments section of a newspaper or a TV station. It's stuff people say about each other. Well you know each other, right? They call each other these absurd names. This nasty debate, because there's not even a name attached to it. So one person has no idea who the other is. It's just opinions fighting each other. And unfortunately the atmosphere among members of Congress increasingly has more in common with the comments section at the bottom of the news story than it does with the town hall meeting, where you want to be at least a little careful how you talk about somebody because their kid might be playing softball with yours the next day. And we have to think about the consequences that that's had. One other thing on the who am I front, and then I'll move to the other question. One of the philosophical questions around identity has to do with whether we're the same people over time. When Meet the Press was hosted by Tim Russert, he kind of had a signature move, a favorite maneuver. And almost every Sunday morning you would see him do this. What he would do is, he would get a politician, usually a senator on the show and they would be making the case for some presidential candidate or some policy or something. And he would pull up a clip or a quote from about 10 years earlier of them saying something completely different. And then he'd just twist that knife in and say, "Before you said that, now you're saying this, what's up with that?" And it was literally an entire show was based on it. In some ways the Daily Show now does this to a lot of people. And another question without an easy or obvious answer for people in public life is how much do you owe to your previous self? There's certainly an expectation that you keep your promises. So you're making a promise that is a contract between your present and future. That's present self committing future self to do something. On the other hand, realities change all around us, all the time. And what kind of leader are you if your attitude on everything is exactly the same as it was a generation ago? What kind of critical thinking does that show? What kind of flexibility and openness to new ideas? We like to think that integrity has to do with being consistent and true to yourself over time. But which self are you being true to? And to what extent does being true to yourself over time believing the same thing over the years? So that's all I'll say about the question of, "Who am I?" The other question philosophers always ask is, "Why am I here?" And again, I don't want to get into why am I here in the universe. But there are a lot of moments where I'm asking myself, "Why am I here in this meeting?" And you will too, whatever it is you do. Knowing exactly why you're doing what you're doing is very important, because time like money is finite and must be regarded in the same way that a budget is actually a moral document. Because in the budget when you say we're going to invest more in this than that, you're saying this is more important than that, right? For the same reason at least for a leader, business leader, certainly a political leader your schedule is a moral document. I spend more time on this than that. I guess that's a way of saying this deserves more attention. So are you spending more or less time on transit versus safety. On safety versus economic development. On economic development for corporations versus the way economic development's going to work for low income communities. Saying what's more important often winds up having implications or reviewing what you think about who's important. So knowing exactly why you are where you are is one of the most important things that I think any leader needs to establish. I noticed among some Rhode scholars an issue where some of them had probably only thought through their purposes up to the point of knowing that they wanted to become a Rhode scholar. But if you don't hold in mind that a Rhode scholarship is a very specific thing, which is funding in order to pursue a course of study of Oxford, if that part is not top of mind then when you actually get there, and you start the course of study, you may not know what to do with yourself. And some people actually went home pretty soon after they started their course of study, because well perhaps because the experience it turns out, is more to do with getting the opportunity than what the opportunity was actually for. Which was study. You see this in politics too. I remember walking into the mayor's office, January first, 2012. And for the first time really, in any job I've had, nobody could tell you what to do. There's no owner's manual. There's that big desk, and there was snow flying around the window. And you better know what you're going to do. The first thing I did was see what was up with the snow plowing. Luckily that was squared away. And then it was time to get to work. But it is dangerously easy for a lot of people formulating their ambitions for the future to think about the job they would like to have without having completely thought why they would like to have that job. What they're going to use that job for. And if you think in that way, the moment you get the job is the end of your purposeful path. Because that was your goal. And if having a job is your goal, the day you have it, you've met your goal and then there's the small matter of what are you going to do with it? It is very important for people pursuing jobs that people compete for, such as political office, that you're seeking that job in order to accomplish certain policy goals or leadership goals, and not the other way around. Otherwise people will catch you, and you will not be sure what to do with yourself. One other question related to why am I here and then I think I'll stop and go to questions. Is the question of why is this decision on my desk and not somebody else's. And this is something that I think everybody, again, in any field in leadership needs to think about. One principle I have found very helpful is the idea that a decision should be made at the lowest level of competent authority. In other words the deeper in the organization an issue can be resolved, the better. Because those are the folks who are the closest to the issue, the closest to the citizens who are affected by the issue, and probably the most knowledgeable about the issue. But in every organization, and especially in an organization populated by people who are averse to risk, there is an upward pressure on anything different. And that pressure is to escalate. And it escalates and escalates and escalates until it winds up on the senior leader's desk. The senior leader will often go back and say, "Well, find me some solution that takes care of this problem and all the related problems." And the answer will usually come back well if there was a solution like that, this wouldn't be on your desk. Often especially in economics, the dominant concept is pareto optimal. Or efficiency. The formal, technical definition of efficiency. And moving toward efficiency is the idea that you can find ways to make somebody better off without making somebody worse off. Those in my view are technical decisions or technical problems, which are very important but not what political leadership is for. Political leadership is for those situations that are not win win. If it's a win win it's a no brainer. Political leadership is for win lose situations. Where in order to promote or benefit the value or set of individuals that you would like to help, you cannot do it unless you pay a price in terms of another value or set of individuals that you would like to help. That's why we have leadership. Otherwise, all the problems in the world would just be problems that would be solved by better technical problem solvers. And once of the worst sins, I think, a political figure can commit is to mistake a moral question for a technical question. To mistake a question where what you really have to do is negotiate between competing values for one where there's a definite right answer. If there's a right answer, and you're a senior leader in any organization, the question that has a clear right answer probably shouldn't be on your desk. So I'll leave you with that thought, and ready here to get into a conversation. What, yeah? - [Audience Member] My biggest... - I appreciate when you ask a question too, just say your name, where you're from. If you're a student why you decided to come. - [Keith] I'm Keith Earl I'm from Greenville South Carolina. - Question? - [Keith] Mission that political officers should have goals to get into office, rather than just the goal of being in office. What was your goal to be the mayor? What's your goal after that? - The overall idea was to move South Bend to footing where the city that has forgotten how to be a city becomes a city again. And there's a lot to go into that. It has to do with the new economic direction, so that we're not just licking our wounds after the departure of Studebaker. Have you ever heard of the name Studebaker? That company's been gone for 50 years. It arrived here from South Carolina, People still talking about it. It's good to celebrate that it's part of our heritage, but there are some people who talk about it like it's coming back. It's not. So guiding this local economy is the new mentality about you know, what our future's going to look like is something I felt I was well positioned to do. Another thing was trying to overcome some of the fissures and factions that have beset politics around here for a long time. Completely different, by the way, from partisan divides that we have in Washington. Much more to do with just roots that we're taught not to like each other. This is the way that we're taught not to like each other. Ethnic, racial groups are often taught not to like each other. And sometimes neighborhoods, which cannot possibly survive without each other. For example, the state of Louisiana. Neighborhood on the east side, neighborhood represented by the fourth district is largely populated by the members of the professional class. Physicians, Notre Dame professors, many of whom arrive in our community from somewhere else and they live here. Also all those people were recruited at some point by the University of Notre Dame or the Southland Clinic or Memorial Hospital or IU or somebody brought them here and asked them to take a job because they were thought to be the most competitive and the best person for the job. When they arrive, what happened was the problem. They arrived at South Bend airport, and then a cab or a car took them down Lincoln Way West which is the toughest, roughest looking commercial core in the city. And took them to downtown near the east side. So the only way the neighborhood on the east side would be doing as well as it could be is if we fixed issues on the west side to doing what we are doing down to the airport. These neighborhoods cannot function without each other. And overcoming that is a big goal. Tougher, by the way, in practice. But that's why I'm here. That's why I showed up today. Yes. - [Robert] Robert Alby, department of Philosophy. With a hand in business ethics, thanks for all that. And I'm very happy to hear you're concerned about Lincoln Way. We always have to bring people in that way, unless we go to great lengths to find another route. And the alternatives aren't so obvious. You raised a very important question when you talked about representing people. At first you suggested that they ought to do what they would do, but you also seemed to admire LBJ's defending, maybe not the ways he did it, but defending very important values that are deep in many many people but weren't the majority. - That's right. - [Robert] Values prevalent at the time. So, can one eager with a constitution behind one defend the right values, even if they're in a pocket room? Can one when people are talking about one thing support something else with the idea that it serves their interests. And they don't see that right off. But they would approve. Or maybe they wouldn't right away. So these are some of the difficult questions which I'm sure you've thought about. And they played business leaders as well, if they have a constituency. - You're incredibly difficult questions that don't lend themselves to computation. But it's clear that every political figure makes some trade offs. Either the pious or acquiescence on certain things in order to get along with constituents that is needed to support some larger more important issues. The best I found given our surroundings problem is to know that there's some fundamental issues that I would be baffled. And for me, they have a lot to do with fairness, and they have a lot to do with connectedness to others. And they have a lot to do with openness. Which all sound like things you couldn't really be against. But they have certain consequences that are really intentional. I stick to those. And sometimes they will lead to problems politically. But I'm more confident negotiating those problems from sticking to that core. But other interesting question, which I think dangles off of your question is if you're doing something or proposing something, you have a moral obligation to state the reasons for which you think it ought to be done. Or is it OK to talk about it mostly in terms of reasons somebody else makes up? Let me try to think of a good example. I should have come ready. I suppose an example might be if you're making the case for some policy, and you think that it's called for by somebody else's position, right? You argue with them in terms of their religion and you don't believe in it, but you think justifies your idea. Or is that disingenuous because you don't share that vision. You don't have that reason for doing that policy. And to be sure, public policy is about putting together different coalitions around a single idea. So people by their nature will have different reasons for favoring something they favor. Where I come down is you need to be honest about why you favor it. But you don't need to only speak about it in those terms. (mumbling) - [Robert] Could I get you a name for what you described that I think helps? I call it leveraging, when you try to get something done for reasons that belong to somebody else. And it's unethical to make them sound like your reasons if they're not. But it's not unethical to point out that it's just someone else's advantage or apparently so to do a thing for those reasons. Then if you have your own reasons that are compatible with those, fine. Isn't that the kind of thing you're thinking about? - Yes. And it's an interesting metaphor, and kind of a tricky one right? Because the implication if you think about that metaphor is that you're basically making an investment. You're drawing down your integrity. Investing it somewhere, hoping there will be a big return, something that you can hold, right? Maybe not quite as you characterize it. You can see how there might be a picture of that, right. - [Robert] Yes. - Do you make withdrawal against your bank of honesty. Put it somewhere and hope it will come back. And you bought with it something more important. One concrete example we lived through was probably the only thing I've had in my time in office as ideologically colored, and that was the LGBT non-discrimination limits. So I favored it because I think it's wrong to fire somebody because of their sexual orientation. I knew some people who were a little iffy on that rationale. I would be more interested if I said, "By the way, there's a lot of data coming in that says the companies deciding whether to locate somewhere are very unimpressed by those cities if they show themselves to be behind the curve in policy et cetera." So I never concealed that the former was kind of the core of my beliefs, but I never hesitated to employ the latter argument. I thought that was a good point right. Yes. - [Audience Member] You indicated that your responsibility to those who elected you and the majority of people obviously did. What responsibility do you have to the people who didn't elect you? - Great question. First of all, anybody who is in the city in my case is somebody I have an obligation to. And constitutionally they all have the same claim on the administration as each other. So, and those who voted for me once might not be the ones who vote for me next time, and vice versa. Right. So it is ethically desirable but I also think just easier to think of your obligations as everybody in the hopes that if you do a good job, most of them agree by the next time you're up. But you do owe them also the opportunity to understand why you're doing what you're doing, even if that means them in good faith deciding against them, right? - [Audience Member] That brings up an interesting question. This is your first term as mayor. You had no baggage. You're creating baggage. (audience laughing) You're also creating a great deal of goodwill as well. But you're creating baggage. - Yep. - [Audience Member] How do you feel your next election is going to be different than your first? - I think the next election won't necessarily have a message that is flavored by that rhetoric, or baggage as you call it. So one of the things about running as a new, fresh, young candidate is your biggest message is your face, right. Looking young candidate is the candidate of technology, innovation and new ideas. Even if you don't like technology, you're not good at innovation, you don't have any ideas, you'll still be seen as that, right? Cause your face is just the story. But we've actually done stuff for four years that then can you still be the change again when you've been around for that long? I think so, because the kind of changes I'm trying to make are changes that are tough to make across one term. But obviously will be less about simply responding to the past and knowing that it didn't shift. And I'll need to proactively works for how we got there, right. Before you come in to office, if somebody thinks big change of the day, they're probably perfect. Now, in reelection, which is scary to contemplate, but in reelection the challenge is it's a greater burden because now they have a sense of exactly what kind of change you have in mind. And what the costs are for that change. And you still want them to think that that's the right change. So, the question becomes harder but also probably a more authentic relationship because it's one thing to see what you say you're going to do, and it's another to watch you do it, see how good you did it. So they have a lot more to size you up than just what you said. So I would like to think that reelection would be more in a way more serious conversation in a sense, than that first election. I think we saw that with the presidential election, which I completely disagree with. - [Ian] Ian Craig, Humberland Notre Dame. (mumbling) You talked about some of the tensions that exist in your office. Now that you have a year under your belt, do you find yourself playing offense or defense? In other words, you talked about doing what you do in office once you got there and the offense. Do you find yourself playing offense more of the time, Defense less of the time? - Offense but not by much. So yeah it's like that first day when I walked into the office, right. And I had a list of promises I made on the campaign. And it was also snowing out, so what are you going to deal with first, right? We considered it a good week if we spent more than 50% of the week dealing with the initiatives strategically that we think are most important, and less than 50% of the week dealing with things that clog the inbox, or come over the wire, media, that kind of crop up. That said, sometimes that's the mot important thing you can do right. Especially in an emergency situation, where you're most important contribution to leadership is dealing with something that had never may had not have been on your top 100. When you came into office. But it came up, you had to deal with it, and handle it, you know. So I think it's still possible to have initiative, but it's naive to think that every day you will spend most of your day on project or pursuits of your own making. Definitely learned that the hard way. I hope it calibrated our understanding of how long these take. How much time and how hard my team can work before they break. Because another problem that senior leaders have is pretty much everything seems like a good idea, especially if it's their idea. And there's a great article that came out just a couple days ago that companies are actually being encouraged to make time budgets. Not just for an executive but for everybody. So that if the executive thinks up 10 ideas, you're actually compelled to think about whether all 10 can be done realistically in the number of time or people you have that can get under it. We already do it with money. But we're much less sophisticated in any organization in budgeting time as we are for budget with money. - [Rodney] Rodney Child. As far as remnants go, 35 years River Park, born and raised. 63. Question I have for you is that as an athlete, when you're out there, you're young and you win there's a lot of blow back. Just like you talked about the fire and blowing it up, whoosh! It gets you. And I followed when you came in and I see Davis, Davis, White and Peter. And they're all democrats. You're a democrat. I'm telling you, and you're out there. The other athletes, they're out there. And they don't care what brand you buy, they're going to get you. And I just kind of look and see how growing up all my life, seeing Studebaker here, seeing him gone. 63 years of what's happened to the neighborhoods. And then you look at the city today, and you say how many more vacant houses can we have and still say it's a city, you know? It's something that you can't help but to realize that it's not the engine of manufacturing and factories as it was in World War Two. You've come in, bright, a scholar, almost like someone of the Clinton era. And everybody is waiting to see how long it takes you to phone in and to really come up with somehow change the dynamics of what got us here. And to bring us into the 21st century. I'd like to hear some of your comments as... - Yeah I think as a fellow runner you have an appreciation for that competitive character that's in politics. - [Rodney] It's extremely competitive. - But another running metaphor that came to me recently is that the track is round. So you never know who is out there, and especially with my relationship with legislators, who are councilmen. You never know who's out there just clubbing you over the head for something. That they think you did wrong, or at least that they see some reason to criticize you for. You never know, you know, six months, nine months, three years later that they're not ready to decide on something else. And that's kind of the beauty of it, in the way of public life is that you know, because every one of us brings a different set of values and interests and needs to the table. But every one of us has a set of values and interests and needs that overlap in various shifting ways with each other. Sometimes that overlap, that consensus will happen really peculiar places. And I can tell you there have been moments where there's been councilmen who, you know, on television saying the most rotten thing. And the next day we're sitting together over pancakes talking about something we had in common. Now by the same token, sometimes I'm enjoying a donut with councilmen and then two hours later I turn on the TV and they're calling me a jerk. (audience laughing) So it goes both ways. But the common thread is baked goods. (audience laughing) But I think that in that benefit we both learn that you also know these folks, and you know who they play with. You know who they listen to, you know who you're friends with, and as hot as it can get any time, large sums of money or any kind of power is concerned, there's still usually kept to a low simmering boil compared to how it is in those levels of politics where people feel no personal obligation to each other at all. So it's a great way to think about it. Yes. - [Peter] Peter Kelly, graduate student here at Notre Dame in peace and conflict. I've been fortunate enough to work on several election campaigns round the world, including Merrel campaigns, Ken Livingston in London and a democratic presidential campaign in Manchester and up to Brenden Mullen. What struck me about your as a politician is that I've never come across a candidate that's been to Oxford or Harvard before, which is really interesting. To what extent do you think it shaped your political views, your ideas of what the world is like when you came from the echelons of Cambridge Massachusets and Oxford to the likes of Lincoln Way in South Bend? Was there a conflict from what you'd been taught, from what you'd learned read by? Or did it complement what those professors had told you about what politics is really like? - I think there's always tension between what you learn in school and what you experience in life. I felt it more the other way, to be honest. It was going to a place like Harvard as a kid from Indiana, and having a girlfriend from Massachusetts who genuinely was a very very bright woman who struggled for months to remember if it was Indiana or Iowa or Idaho that I was from. (audience laughing) It was in between the two parts of the country she knew about, right? Or you know, I felt more and more like I was from South Bend when I was in other places. Because then you kind of consolidate your identity. And going to Oxford I've never felt so American as when I was overseas. I certainly enjoyed kind of imbibing everything there was about the international life experience in the U.K., making friends from countries all over the world. But, it also made me much more conscious of what it meant to be American. What is meant to be in particular, an American from the small to medium sized Midwestern post-industrial university city. But then you learn that some things are common. So Oxford actually like South Bend is known all around the world for it's university, but to a lot of people in Oxford that's kind of secondary, because it's an auto making town. They make mini coopers in that BMW factory. There's a whole layer of working class English citizens who are vaguely aware of the university. The same way that the students are vaguely aware of them. And it's interesting watching how that dynamic works there, and thinking about home. The other thing is that at the extreme good fortune to get this education. I think that people really just want to know when you're offering yourself up as a candidate for office, or proposing a policy once you're in office, people just want to know what it means for them. That's the bottom line. And if you can explain better, or if you thought of it before helpful policy through the benefit of education, then that's great. But if you can't, they're not going to be impressed. If anything, it might, you know, cause them to be more skeptical. And so I felt that my education was a great... You know, I don't think id be where I am now without it. But I think at the end of the day what really matters to people is whether I can show them that their neighborhood, their life, their family will be better off if we do it the way that I am proposing than any other way. And the rest of it just be compass. - [Peter] Is there ever a disconnect between the theory that you learned in practice on Lincoln Way, on the mean streets from the elite to the bottom lines? - Yeah, I'll tell you the biggest difference is that in an academic space if you can usually everybody basically agrees on the terms, the ideas are talking about. And as long as you can just explain what you mean clearly, people will understand what you're explaining. It doesn't work that way here. Whether somebody believes you is only partly dependent on whether you're telling the truth or not. It also to do with whether they trust you, whether they know you, and what cost they might face from acknowledging that what you have to say matters if you are running. That might be one of the biggest things I learned in my first year in office. Just because what you're saying is true doesn't mean people are going to believe you. And so the discussions that we have anda the ways that we build credibility and trust on the ground, on the street are much more about do I know you. And do I trust you than in academic spaces where, you know, you sign onto an idea based on an argument you've read. You have no idea whether the person who wrote it is a great person to hang out with or is a real jerk. You know, you just look at the arguments. But here you learn that the things that are obvious to you are not obvious to the person sitting across from you. And sometimes no amount of explaining will do the trick. And that's where you have to ask yourself either is there something other than the quality of my idea that's affecting their response? Or, I'm wrong. You know. Maybe this is blindingly obvious to me, but it's clearly not obvious to them. So one of us is wrong. At least about the obviousness of it. And you're just in a very different space than you are in the top of the ivory tower. In terms of how people relate to ideas. - [Moderator] Time for maybe one more question. - [Adam] So it seems like nowadays... Oh, by the way, my name's Adam. I'm from Indianapolis I'm studying finance. It seems like in politics we all seem to compromise on things. So, you know you talk about win lose, win loss decisions and I think there's an ethical responsibility you kind of look at it from the party, so you get a whole bunch of information and I feel like sometimes people fall into relativism, which leads to stasis and just not doing anything. Or on economic issues we kind of go into our separate camps and then don't talk about anything. And you look back in history there are great compromises, you know 150 years ago in politics. And there just don't seem to have any working there. So if you're working at McKinsey and you're consulting in the government, how do we get back to where we actually can all get behind something, all move forward to something instead of stasis which... - I think it's interesting is that there have always been passionately argued, deeply different perspectives. But most curious in our history that haven't led to stasis. So they haven't led to there. There's been some kind of compromise. So then the puzzle becomes OK, what's changed that now we seem to be at gridlock instead of either one side winning or the other side winning or some kind of compromise there. And I think how we got there is a function of a lot of factors including media, campaign finance, districts, the way districts are drawn right now. They make people more accountable to their more extreme constituents. And really our incentives that you have, certainly that are appropriate environments for McKinsey. The nice thing about working in the business world is that there was a number on a sheet of paper and if it went up, you're good at your job. If it went down, you're bad at your job. There was that kind of accountability. And so, a lot of other issues, like ego and you know people's ideas eventually would melt away. Because everybody could basically agree on what the goal was. And in politics that's less true. That's OK. It's not a mistake or a flaw. The reason it's less true is again, politics is not about finding the right answer to the math problem. It's about what the good actually is. Or how you negotiate along the circle edge. I can only speak to what seems to work around here. Again what seems to work around here is to appeal to those things that everybody or almost everybody agrees that they want. And try to separate people's commitment to that from whatever the other barriers are. So that it literally takes care of itself. There are all kinds of deep and meaningful disagreements. Now you've lost respect because now they're off your policy. But at the local level, I have yet to meet somebody that thinks creating a good paying job is a bad idea. And so you can usually stitch together enough people with different world views around individual opportunities to listen. And then if you were right about how to get it done, your point's more solid. As a reason to continue your policy right. If you're wrong you'll find out. But we also in a way have the luxury a little of experimenting. So you can try things before you get around to deciding if they're particularly having a problem with a democratic idea. You just try the idea. And that's something to poke around and fit to it, and decide whether it conforms to our idea. In national and international politics this gets scrambled all the time. So for example... (mumbling) Viciously attacked David Butrez. What's interesting about him I think 50 or 100 years from now, we'll look at the approach he brought to the conflict and conclude that it was a radical progressive vision. And the reason his doctrine was the job of the military on the ground in Iraq was not to kill the enemy, it was to make the hot areas safe again. There was also the gulf throwing in, but that wasn't the central issue. I would argue that that was a pretty regardless of profound aggressive thought. But, because what he was doing was in the context of you're at war and Iraq was a black hole and anybody regarded as being policies around it were blood enemies of anybody on the left. Nobody would think to set it up, set up the conversation. So as soon as you're in national or international discussion you're just sucked into this warp zone with these commitments to different tribes and different ideas often implicated. (mumbling) I see it on the other side of the coin, because I'm at tug of war with our conservatives in the state house. Who for some reason want to take authority away from local governments. And I'm there saying, "Wait a minute, you're supposed on download control, you're supposed to be big government, you're conservative. Let's make a deal." (audience laughing) Still working that out. So I don't know if that's a good answer to your question because it's a tough question that nobody's really right. But it's a great one. - Well please join me in thanking Pete for taking his time. (audience applauding)




  • Paul Fitts[4]
  • Charles Francis, attorney and former City Council member[5]
  • Nancy McFarlane, Mayor since 2011, former City Council member[6]

First-round Results

Oct. 2017 Raleigh mayoral election[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Non-partisan [8] Nancy McFarlane 25,626 48.42 -25.94
Non-partisan [9] Charles Francis 19,441 36.73
Non-partisan [10] Paul Fitts 7,802 14.74
Other Write-ins 57 0.11 -0.30
Turnout 52,507

Runoff Results

Nov. 2017 Raleigh mayoral election runoff[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Non-partisan [12] Nancy McFarlane 31,643 57.67 +9.24
Non-partisan [13] Charles Francis 23,222 42.33 +5.61
Turnout 54,865


  1. ^ Wake County Board of Elections
  2. ^
  3. ^ ABC11
  4. ^ Wake County Board of Elections: List of candidates for October elections
  5. ^ News & Observer: Raleigh attorney says he will run for mayor
  6. ^ News & Observer:  Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane to seek 4th term
  7. ^ "Oct. 2017 election results". Wake County Board of Elections. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  8. ^ McFarlane is registered Unaffiliated (Independent).
  9. ^ Francis is registered as a Democrat.
  10. ^ Fitts is registered as a Republican.
  11. ^ "Nov. 2017 election results". NC State Board of Elections. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  12. ^ McFarlane is registered Unaffiliated (Independent).
  13. ^ Francis is registered as a Democrat.
This page was last edited on 25 May 2019, at 02:21
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