WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, JOURNALIST
"THE YEAR I WAS HOMELESS"
Becky Blanton is a writer, photographer and former journalist who found herself homeless, but bounced back to tell her story and inspire others.
Why you should listen
"Primarily, Becky Blanton is a writer. She was a journalist for more than 22 years, working as a reporter, photojournalist and editor. Today, she is best known for her independent writing. Tim Russert selected her essay "The Monster," to be included in his last book, Wisdom of Our Fathers. On the heels of this success, Becky won a competition held by Dan Pink to come up with an additional lesson for his bestselling book The Adventures of Johnny Bunko. The prize was admission to TEDGlobal 2009, where she gave a talk on her personal journey through homelessness.
RICHARD J. BERRY
MAYOR OF ALBUQUERQUE
"A PRACTICAL WAY TO HELP THE HOMELESS FIND WORK AND SAFETY"
Richard J. Berry is the mayor of Albuquerque — the 32nd largest city in America and the largest city in New Mexico.
Why you should listen
"Richard J. Berry was elected mayor of Albuquerque in 2009. Prior to serving as mayor, Berry was elected twice as a State Representative to the New Mexico State Legislature, and he owned a successful Albuquerque construction company for decades that conducted business throughout the Southwest United States.
On his watch, Albuquerque was ranked second Best Run City in the nation with a population of over 500,000. Berry has reduced the size of city government and held budget growth to below inflation each year -- all while maintaining a high level of service to taxpayers and city residents. Also under the his leadership, Albuquerque was recently named as the 6th most technologically advanced city in America.
Berry was recently recognized as one of the Most Inspirational People in America by the Washington Post, largely due to the success of a program called "There's a Better Way," which takes a new approach to addressing panhandling by providing the homeless with opportunities to work for the City and connect them to resources and help."
Berry has been married to his wife, Maria, for 26 years and they have one son, Jacob, who serves in the Army Corps of Cadets while studying at Texas A&M University.
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