America’s coolest mayor: John Fretterman is redefining public service motivation IMH!

I watched this amazing video by director Morgan Spurlock (you know the “Supersize Me” guy) on Hulu.com yesterday and was really inspired: Morgan followed John Fretterman, mayor of zip code 15104, Braddock, PA, for a day and showed the daily efforts to revive a town:

Mr. Fretterman, a graduate from Harvard’s Kennedy School MPP program (listen up Maxwell graduates!), set out to revive a small town that has lost more than 90% of its population during decades of economic downturn. He was able to buy empty property to build urban gardens, artists move into abandoned warehouses, and kids are provided with summer jobs to keep them from the streets. He has the dates of past homicides tattooed onto his arm and was rightly proud that there were no homicides during the last four years in his town.

I believe this is an amazing story of public service motivation and dedication to public service. I wish I could convince Mr. Fretterman to speak to my “Public Organizations & Management” class this fall semester via Skype:

Read the coverage about John Fretterman in the NYT: “Mayor of Rust” and in the Guardian: “Coolest mayor in America? Why John Fetterman has his postcode tattooed on his arm“.

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About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

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