|Hampton standing behind Hogsett with Kathy Davis (WIBC/Ray Steele Photo)|
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: ““Whether before the election or after the election, I sure do love coming to Light of the World.” #JoeOnTheGo pic.twitter.com/Dvvm4Uc2bS— Joe Hogsett (@HogsettForIndy) December 13, 2015
"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.