Pod(cast) Save Greensboro

Written on 6.26.18

In April 2018, I gave my first podcast interview to Michael Karlick of City Council Chronicles.  At the beginning of the interview, Karlick (who provides humorous commentary on city councils throughout the United States and Canada) commented that Greensboro City Council is the “most electrifying chamber in the South.”  While I initially thought the comment was hyperbolic, its factual basis was easy to see by the end of the interview.  During my approximate three years of service, Greensboro City Council meetings have certainly had their fair share of fireworks, as evidenced by (1) my very first Council meeting (which featured charges of rudeness, a description by a former Councilman of certain persons as “village idiots” and “town drunks,” and a World-wide Wrestling Federation (“WWF”) video), as well as (2) special meetings called by the Council on the HB2 “bathroom bill” and misconduct by a Police officer.

About eight months before the interview, however, I caught the “podcast” bug around the time someone suggested I check out a podcast called “Pod Save America.” While Pod Save America does not currently rank among my favorites, there are four podcasts I especially enjoy because of their great coverage of matters relating to Greensboro, public policy, or electoral politics:

Fave Four Podcasts.

  • Gate City Chatter is a new podcast by the City of Greensboro. The podcast highlights many of the creative folks and cultural happenings that make Greensboro such a wonderful place.  I learn something new and get excited about the direction of Greensboro’s creative class as I listen to each episode, including a recent episode on Greensboro’s public art scene (episode 4).


  • The Municipal Equation is a podcast by the NC League of Municipalities. The podcast discusses “best practices both in North Carolina and around the country.”  The goal of the podcast is to help “cities and towns and their residents to understand how technology can be and is being used to deliver services and how municipalities are engaging in partnerships that transform people’s lives.”  Some of my favorite episodes covered topics such as Inclusive Innovation (episode 25), Government and Art (episode 28), and Crime as a Public Health Issue (episode 45).


  • The Scholars Strategy Network’s No Jargon is another one of my favorites. The “podcast presents weekly interviews with America’s top researchers on the politics, policy problems, and social issues facing the nation. Powerful research, intriguing perspectives — and no jargon.”  While the podcast can be a little dry at times, the depth at which it covers various issues and the (existence of) evidentiary support for the researchers’ conclusions are absolutely refreshing.  Among the podcast’s many great episodes were those which covered “how hidden benefits in the tax code promote inequality and how to make them more visible” (episode 82), the effects of public investments in certain neighborhoods, but not others (episode 106), and ballot questions to let voters decide big issues (episode 117).


  • Making Obama is a remarkable podcast that exhaustively and entertainingly covers “[t]he story of former President Barack Obama’s journey from Chicago to the national stage — from advisers, rivals, and Obama himself.” Warning to the wise, however: the podcast is so good that once you start listening, you will not want to stop.  Consider pressing “play” on a road trip or when you have a few hours you can spare.


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Have you also caught the podcast bug?  Have favorite podcasts that cover Greensboro, public policy, or electoral politics (“electrifying” or otherwise)?  If so, please share them with me via Facebook or Twitter.  Good podcasts are a bug I don’t want to get rid of.