David Pope

Former Mayor, Oak Park, IL

Why did you decide to join the MIP Steering Committee?

I wanted to collaborate with other Mayors, working together to help us advance our own thinking, and enabling us to collectively learn and spread ideas that could have a positive impact beyond each of our own cities.

What makes MIP unique from other organizations?

MIP challenges Mayors to be better. Not to do better, but to be better. Through exposure to leading-edge thinking, practices, and people, MIP fosters a constant internal drumbeat of questioning: “Am I thinking about this issue in the most incisive way? Am I moving beyond conventional frameworks? Am I pushing myself and others to be creative enough to identify breakthrough solutions?” Only by being better, can we do better – not for ourselves, but for those we serve. Through MIP we challenge ourselves to Be Better.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new Mayor on what you’ve learned in your role, what would it be?

Be careful not to get too caught up in the little stuff (because it will take over your life). Focus on an achievable number of high impact outcomes, then go and make them happen. And remember, this is never about you.