On Saturday, Gary, Indiana officially swears in its new mayor, Karen Freeman-Wilson. She’s actually been on the job since last weekend, though, with a long agenda of big and small goals.
Freeman-Wilson is the first African-American woman mayor in Indiana, where she served as the state’s attorney general. She’s a Gary-raised, Harvard-educated lawyer who has worked in Washington, but feels an obligation to her hometown.
“I know about the good things and the good places. It’s irresponsible to know about the good, to know about the potential, and not do anything about it,” Freeman-Wilson says.
I talked to Freeman-Wilson for this profile in The Atlantic Cities. She also spoke with our partner station WBEZ late last year about the challenges that she’ll face, namely a high crime rate, shrinking population, and citizens who feel they face obstacles in getting what they need.
On a grander scale, she wants to increase service at Gary’s under-served airport, which sits adjacent to Interstate 90; land a major hotel for downtown and spur broader economic development activities. Continue reading “Gary Gets A New Mayor With Challenges Galore”