Greg Ballard, a former mayor of Indianapolis spoke in the Architecture building on Nov. 7 to talk about his time as mayor. Patrick Calvert // DN
Former Indianapolis mayor visits Ball State, talks about politics
Greg Ballard, a former mayor of Indianapolis, spoke in the Architecture Building Nov. 7 to talk about his time as mayor. The presentation, “Creating a Vibrant City,” focused on his contributions to the city. These included improvements to the sewer system, the cultural trail and an electric bus system. He also touched on the current state of politics on the national level.
Ballard's plan, while he was mayor, was to attract millennial talent by transforming the city into a greener and more mobile area.
Under his administration, he helped push efforts to increase the number of urban farms, increase the use of electric vehicles for government workers, develop gathering points and create buzz through festivals.
On the political side of things, he said that he was glad he wasn’t on the ballot.
“I’m extremely happy I’m not on the ballot tomorrow," Ballard said.
He said he didn’t run for a third term because he was physically and mentally tired and needed a break.
“It was time for me to go,” he said, “I’m really not that much of a politician, anyway.”
Ballard believes that politicians want to stay in office as long as possible, which he says is not good for the long-term health of a city, state or country.
“Unfortunately, there a far too many people, and this is true for both parties, not just one, that stay in and make decisions based on what they think the next vote count will be for the next election,” Ballard said.
Ballard said he believed that the rise of Donald Trump can be seen as damaging for the Republican Party, but every party goes through iterations, and he doesn’t believe the party is done for.
“A lot of people say the Democrats are [damaged], too," Ballard said. "They have some things going on, too.”
The former Republican Mayor thinks his party could be more successful if they laid the issue of gay marriage to rest. He also believes the party could get more support if they looked into the future more.
“I’d rather see the future coming than beat everybody else there. If we had that, [the Republican Party] would be better off," Ballard said.
The divisiveness of the national elections has created rifts between many Americans, and the former mayor had a message for the nation.
“Right after the election, we need people to come together, whatever that means, and I don’t expect the federal government to do it,” Ballard said. “I think we need to do that on an individual basis. There actually are families, friends and relatives that are probably a little irritated with each other. They just need to forgive each other. Let’s just move on.”