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Live Stream - Mayors' Town Hall Meeting


Live streaming video by RCC Broadcast Media Technology Department

Moderator and Panelists' Biographies
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Brian McGrory, who served as a metro columnist, White House correspondent, and metro editor, is the editor of The Boston Globe. Born in November, 1961, in Boston, he has lived in the city and the wider region almost all of his life. He graduated from Weymouth North High School, then Bates College in 1984. His first newspaper job was as a reporter with the Patriot-Ledger in Quincy, MA. In 1985, he moved to the New Haven Register as a reporter, and later became the newspaper's first Washington correspondent. McGrory came to the Globe in 1989 as a suburban reporter covering the South Shore. He covered the Boston mayoral campaign in 1993, Thomas Menino's first win. He worked as the Globe's roving national reporter in 1995 and 1996 before moving to the Washington Bureau that year in the job of White House correspondent to cover Bill Clinton's reelection campaign against Bob Dole, and then Clinton's second term. McGrory moved back to Boston as a Metro columnist in 1998. He added the title of associate editor to his portfolio in 2004. In 2007, McGrory left column writing to become the paper's Metro editor, formally the deputy managing editor for local news, running the newsroom's largest department. He served in that position until January 1, 2010, when, by previous design, he returned to his twice-weekly column. He was named editor of the paper in December 2012. He won the Scripps-Howard award for commentary and the Sigma Delta Chi award for general column writing in 2011. The Globe was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2014 for its coverage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. McGrory has authored four published novels and a memoir about his family's pet rooster.

Committed to growing jobs and creating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, Greg Fischer is in his second term as Mayor of Louisville. Since taking office, he has pursued three top goals: making Louisville a city of lifelong learning, a much more educated city and an even more compassionate community. He was named a "Public Official of the Year" by Governing Magazine, the only U.S. mayor to earn that honor in 2013.

Richard V. Reeves is a senior fellow in Economic Studies, policy director of the Center on Children and Families, and editor-in-chief of the Social Mobility Memos blog. His research focuses on social mobility, inequality, and family change. Prior to joining Brookings, he was director of strategy to the UK's Deputy Prime Minister. Richard's publications for Brookings include Saving Horatio Alger: Equality, Opportunity, and the American Dream (2014), Character and Opportunity (2014), The Glass Floor (2013), and The Parenting Gap (2014). He is also a contributor to The Atlantic, National Affairs, Democracy Journal, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Richard is the author of John Stuart Mill – Victorian Firebrand, an intellectual biography of the British liberal philosopher and politician. His previous roles include director of Demos, the London-based political think-tank; director of futures at the Work Foundation; principal policy advisor to the Minister for Welfare Reform, research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. He is also a former European Business Speaker of the Year. Richard earned a BA from Oxford University and a PhD from Warwick University. With co-author Isabel V. Sawhill, he was recipient of the "Best Policy Paper" 2014 ranking in the University of Pennsylvania's annual Think Tank Awards.

Dr. Valerie R. Roberson, President of Roxbury Community College, has been a community college administrator for twenty-eight years. She has served as president, vice president of academic affairs and of institutional advancement, district associate vice chancellor, dean of academic support, and director of adult education at various institutions. Prior to becoming President of RCC, Dr. Roberson was the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Joliet Junior College. Joliet is recognized as the nation's first public community college and presently serves approximately 15,600 college credit students in over 100 degree and certificate programs. Community College Times recognized Joliet Junior College as one of the top 100 associate degree producers in the nation (June, 2012) as a result of college efforts and projects that she led. She served as President of Olive - Harvey College, of the City Colleges of Chicago, for over five years. Olive - Harvey College serves approximately 7,500 students annually from a predominately African - American, and growing Hispanic, population on the southeast side of Chicago. Dr. Roberson was appointed Interim President and was then selected as permanent President from a national pool of candidates. Under her leadership, Olive - Harvey College improved its overall image, increased student enrollments, developed new academic programs, and increased college financial resources. Dr. Roberson earned her doctorate in higher education administration from Illinois State University in 2002. She holds a master's degree in adult education: employee training and development from Roosevelt University and a bachelor of science in psychology from Bradley University.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin took office in 2009 at one of the most challenging times in Fresno's history. She has shown true leadership in working to return the City of Fresno to financial health while at the same time focusing on long-term transformational efforts such as downtown and community revitalization, homelessness and adult education. Because of her leadership, Mayor Swearengin was named one of California's top 10 mayors by Capitol Weekly. During her time in office, Mayor Swearengin has helped the City of Fresno build a reputation as a city on the move. A Brookings Institute study showed Fresno led the state in job creation in 2014 and ranked 49th in the world for overall economic growth. She also led the effort to pass historic proposals that provided Fresno residents and businesses with a safe and reliable water supply and a blueprint for future investment and development. She is a board member of the California League of Cities, chair of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, and at the national level, she serves on the leadership team of the U.S. Conference of Mayors as a member of its Executive Committee.

Bridgette Wallace is an urban planner and activist who championed new community-based approaches to economic development for the Roxbury community for the last decade. With humility and common sense, she seeks to help decision makers understand and value communities through direct observation, persistent questioning and discovery. As a planner and founder of Dudley Visions "SkyLab", she works with institutions, coalitions, community residents, and City officials to develop social and economic networks and programs around entrepreneurship that promotes commercial viability and opportunity equity. Bridgette is particularly interested in dissecting and rebuilding how Roxbury and other neighborhood economies can emerge and grow by delivering specialized, high efficient innovative plans that fuel long-term economic growth for black, brown and immigrant residents. These goals as outlined by "SkyLab" contend that stable businesses combined with new ventures are the best sources of innovation. Prior to developing the initial plans for SkyLab, Ms. Wallace worked in the field of Public Health for a number of years as a Program Manager for Boston Public Health Commission and the Department of Public Health. She received her Master's in Urban Planning with a concentration in Economic Development and Politics from Tufts University. She is the proud mother of a marketing major at the D'Amore Kim business school at Northeastern. She is a Roxbury resident and also serves on the board of the Roxbury Neighborhood Council.

Newton, MA Mayor Setti Warren worked as Special Assistant in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs for President Clinton, New England Director of FEMA, and Deputy State Director for Senator Kerry. He also worked with his family-owned business, Development and Training Associates, developing and implementing an award-winning internship program and adult training program in the private and public sectors. He completed a year-long tour of duty in Iraq as a Naval Intelligence Specialist before elected
Mayor in 2009 and reelected in 2013. Through sustainable approaches and data-driven decision-making, over Mayor Warren's first term, Newton's capital reserves increased from zero to $13 million. The city also reduced its energy consumption by 26% since 2008, saving $2.5 million in energy costs. Mayor Warren serves on the United States Conference of Mayors' advisory board, chairing the Community Development and Housing Committee. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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The Microsoft Technology & Civic Engagement team brings Microsoft's best assets to bear to help civic leaders -- and the communities they serve – use technology and cutting edge ideas to solve their biggest challenges. With deep technical and policy expertise, the team is committed to building long-term partnerships in local communities and leveraging technology to make an impact on critical civic issues, such as computer science and STEM education, developing tools for greater citizen engagement, the effective use of big data, and privacy.

Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial financial services through more than 8,700 locations, 12,800 ATMs, online (wellsfargo.com), and mobile devices. Our vision is to satisfy our customers' financial needs and helping them succeed financially. We do business with 70 million customers and one in three U.S. households. As America's leading home lender, Wells Fargo provides a wide range of programs focused on the needs of low- to moderate-income and first-time homebuyers, including Wells Fargo's LIFT programs that include down payment assistance and homebuyer education that have helped to create more than 10,000 new homeowners in 39 communities. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.

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