Former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard

Former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard

September 14, 2017

Cornell Republicans, Political Union to Host Former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard

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Update: after the original article was published, the topic of the address changed from “Conservative Urban Governance” to “Oil and National Security.”

Former Indianapolis Mayor Gregory Ballard — best known for defeating Democratic incumbent Bart Peterson in 2007 by a narrow margin in a historical upset for Indiana — will come to Cornell to give an address hosted by the Cornell Republicans and the Cornell Political Union on Sept. 19.

In his address, Ballard will discuss oil and national security, according to Cornell Republicans President Austin McLaughlin ’18.

“Mayor Greg Ballard’s experience with past sustainability initiatives, and his brief on U.S. foreign oil reliance, will make his speech particularly relevant for the intersection of national security and sustainability, appealing to Cornellians of all backgrounds,” McLaughlin said.

The idea for this event came from its co-organizer Ninad Thanawala ’18, an Indiana resident who worked with the Mayor’s office to invite Ballard, McLaughlin said.

“Most importantly, [the event] will address concerns of U.S. reliance on foreign oil, and its consequences in the late 20th century and early 21st century terrorist attacks against Americans both at home and abroad,” McLaughlin said. “These national security implications play directly into American infrastructure concerns, to the point where our transportation infrastructure is almost entirely based on oil and petroleum.”

Despite past controversies surrounding Cornell Republicans’ speakers, including in late 2016 when speaker Rick Santorum was met with protests over his views toward marginalized groups, McLaughlin says the organization does not expect controversy this time.

The speech will be held in Klarman Auditorium, and doors will open at 6 p.m. The event will be free and open to the public.