Monday, December 14, 2015

Hogsett Names Black Minister As Deputy Mayor Of Neighborhoods

Hampton standing behind Hogsett with Kathy Davis (WIBC/Ray Steele Photo)
Joe Hogsett has named Rev. David Hampton of the Light of the World Church as his deputy mayor for neighborhoods. I suppose this is a reward to Hampton for violating the church's nonprofit status and using his church pulpit to campaign for Hogsett's election in one of the city's largest black churches. Of course, the IRS only cares about the nonprofit status of Tea Party groups so there's no fear of reprisal.

In naming Rev. Hampton to this post, Hogsett is taking a page out of Mayor Ballard's playbook. You may recall that one of Ballard's first appointments of his administration was Olgen Williams, the former executive director of Christamore House, a nonprofit closely aligned with Indianapolis' black clergy. The appointment was seen as a move early on to appease the city's black community where Ballard enjoyed little support from the beginning to the end of his administration.

Williams proved to be completely ineffective in the post, and we learned soon enough that Ballard was only interested in helping downtown like all of his UniGov predecessors. Williams has been missing in action for the past eight years as inner city neighborhoods have been ravaged by crime and blight. Some sources say he pretty much stopped doing his job altogether after Ballard ordered him to drop his campaign to succeed him as Indianapolis mayor earlier this year in favor of the party's chosen candidate, Chuck Brewer, a recent transplant from Chicago.

From what I hear, Rev. Hampton is a much smarter guy than Williams and likes maintaining a high profile. He's going to learn like others have soon enough, however, that Hogsett isn't the easy guy for whom to work. Who can forget that shouting match Hogsett had with former BMV Commissioner Gil Holmes that echoed throughout the State House when Hogsett was working as chief of staff in the governor's office and felt Holmes had misled him about brewing problems with branch office employees? If he's not a good team player or ventures into self-promotion land, he'll find himself back in the pulpit, where I suspect he is more effective and his work is more appreciated.
Rev. Hampton spoke to the Indianapolis Recorder about his appointment. He said he's known Hogsett since the two attended Christian Theological Seminary at the same time in the late 1990s. He spoke to the issue of people who have misgivings about him leaving the church to work for Mayor Hogsett. He said his exact role has not been defined yet: “
"I let my church know this in no way an exclusion of ministry to me. It is an extension of ministry to now be able to do what I do. I’ve been a community activist, I’ve been engaged, I’ve sat on boards and committees and given my time so for me to be able to actualize that now in this official role and capacity is a great honor but not one that is without challenges."
"I say to the critics - How am I going to do it? With your help and support. When they say, 'Well, Pastor Hampton is trying to serve two gods,' my push back is, 'no I’m serving one and he’s the same God that ordained every government and is over every nation,'” he said quoting Romans 13:1.
"I know there is a lot of worry and concern but I say that we should just give it a chance. Give me a chance and give the new administration a chance. I think I’ve already proven that I care about the community. Let me prove that I can do this job.


Anonymous said...

Ha! Great report, Gary. To the fools who thought Lying Joe Hogsett's term as mayor would be a sea change from the uber-corrupt Republican Greg Ballard, I say your Democrat mayor-elect is as big a pig in a poke was his opponent and the outgoing Hollywood Hokum.

Anonymous said...

Deputy mayor of black neighborhoods I daresay. We never saw the last one out in our white(ish) neighborhood, nor our Congressman.

Pete Boggs said...

"Smarter" than Deputy Mayor Williams; what's so "smart" about taking the job as Deputy Mayor while keeping your conflict / job as the church leader? Deputy Mayor Williams is decent man, who's done more for the city than he'll bother to tell anyone.

Anonymous said...

Where's the official announcement from Hogsett?

Gary R. Welsh said...

I'm assuming someone leaked word of his appointment before Hogsett was prepared to make the announcement official.

Anonymous said...

Deputy mayor of abandoned neighborhoods?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What are his qualifications? What is his experience rebuilding neighborhoods? Surely he has experience in this field.

Anonymous said...

Well this should make all of you happy...Or not. Seems he is very close friends with the one and only AL SHARPTON!!!