I don’t care for sports–especially football–and I wasn’t all that thrilled when Indianapolis won the right to host the Super Bowl. But you would have to be even more testosterone-challenged than I am not to recognize the benefits to our City that come with the selection: the local infrastructure improvements, the civic spirit, the amount of money that will flow into the local economy, and most of all, the increased visibility.
One way or another, I’ve worked with civic organizations and/or local government my entire adult life. I still remember being part of a Hudnut Administration focused on creating Indianapolis from “India-no-place” and making it–in his words–“no mean city.”
The Super Bowl is an opportunity to show a billion people that we deserve urban respect. Hundreds of volunteers have been working hard for two years to make the most of that opportunity.
Do the Governor and General Assembly care? Obviously not. They are willing to use their pissing match over “Right to Work” to give Indianapolis a black eye and diminish the value of hosting a world-class event.
The Republicans picked this fight, but the incredibly inept Democrats aren’t blameless.
Make no mistake: this battle isn’t about workers, or their rights. It’s all about politics and money; unions (even the pathetically weakened variety we have in Indiana) tend to support Democrats, so the Republicans want to weaken them while they have the votes to do so. The Democrats want to protect them for the same reason. And neither side appears to give a rat’s you-know-what about the consequences of raining on our city’s Super Bowl parade. Neither gives any evidence of concern that Indianapolis will once again be viewed as a minor-league city–a place with some nice sports facilities but hayseed politicians unable to see beyond their own narrow self-interest, unable to put Indianapolis’ long-term interests ahead of their own short-term political gratification.
When will we start electing grown-ups to govern us?