“Politics used to be less like sport and a little bit like commerce. And in commerce, there is competition and then there is dealmaking…and now people who compromise in politics generally are considered to be weak.” – Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League

“If we as a people decide that we want to make it work, we’re incredibly innovative. We can do unbelievable things. And we’re going to do unbelievable things.” – Paul Johnson, CEO of ReDirect Health and host of The Optimistic American podcast

The Ten Across geography intersects with some of the largest cities and the most pressing issues facing the country: drought, sea-level rise, wildfire, extreme temperatures, immigration, and increasingly, the questioning of democracy itself. City mayors have always been on front lines of these monumental challenges—requiring a sense of realism about the present and optimism about the future.

Listen in as Ten Across founder Duke Reiter speaks with former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial and former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson about leadership, politics, and how cities can be the true bastions of American democracy.

Additional resources:

The Gumbo Coalition by Marc Morial

The Optimistic American podcast hosted by Paul Johnson

Guest Speakers

Marco Morial

Marc H. Morial served as Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana from 1994 to 2002. Currently, he is the President and CEO of the National Urban League. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Economics and African American Studies and holds a law degree from Georgetown University. He also is the author of The Gumbo Coalition, a collection of lessons on the power of unity in our Democracy and a leadership framework for America’s changemakers.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson was the Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona from 1990 to 1994. An Arizona native, he went on to found several multi-million dollar companies including ReDirect Health, where he is now CEO. Johnson also hosts his own podcast, The Optimistic American, interviewing remarkable Americans, and delving into their optimistic point of view about the present and future of our country.