A Task for Indy’s Next Mayor

So, yesterday, Joe Hogsett opened his campaign office, joining fellow Democrats Ed Delaney and Frank Short who previously announced they’d be opposing Greg Ballard. Early as it is, it would seem that the mayoral race is officially on.

Whoever wins that election will have his job cut out for him. (And yes, “him” is the proper pronoun. So far, Indy hasn’t exactly embraced female candidates for mayor, and this time around we don’t have any.) To suggest that our city faces multiple challenges would be a real understatement–from transit (rather, the lack thereof), to crime, to poorly maintained parks, to battles over the Mayor’s role in decisions about how to fix our schools, to debates over municipal funds for fancy sporting venues, the list is long–and resources to deal with the problems are getting ever more scarce.

You can add to the list of obvious issues a less recognized one: our unenviable status as the U.S. city with the fastest-growing inequality. According to the Institute for Working Families’ Derek Thomas,

This week, the Indy Star reported on the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ ‘Income and Wage Gaps Across the U.S.’ report. The story presented the group’s finding that “wage inequality grew twice as rapidly in the Indianapolis metro area as in the rest of the nation since the recession.”

The consequences of that inequality can be seen everywhere: in taxes we don’t collect, in hopelessness that leads to all manner of social dysfunction, in crime, in economic development that isn’t sustainable….

The candidates contending for our votes need to demonstrate that they understand the ways in which these problems are interrelated–and they need to tell us how they plan to address them.


  1. I am glad to know that the Democratic party is not waiting till the last minute to come up with a viable mayoral candidate. I can only think of one woman Deputy Mayor in this city’s history; Paula Parker Sawyers, this was under the Republican administration of Mayor Bill Hudnut. Were their others, of either party, are there any today who would/could qualify? That change is needed and necessary is a blatant fact of life here; but I have to go back to my oft repeated rant regarding voting in ALL elections, that they are all just as important as the presidential election. That is more true now in this city and state than ever before. Getting yard signs to support candidates is difficult for me because of limited driving ability; I do have two Obama tee shirts and one sweat shirt which I wore on my walks through the neighborh0od – my personal active political campaign strategy. I will gladly buy and wear the same for other qualified candidates when the time comes – if they are available. All we can do is all we can do but we must begin now to actively be seeking rational and sane leadership before this city and the state have been leased, sold away or paved over.

  2. Is there any way to stop our current mayor from locking us into building a jail complex they WE DON’T OWN?

  3. Patmcc; maybe we could give him a colorful ball to play with, this should distract him for at least a while.

  4. OK, you’re going to make me say it: Not a person has commented on the documentary “Uncharted” shown at IMA last Saturday. First showing at 1 PM drew about 300 or more. About half capacity. Factual, well done and presented by a knowledgeable and effective group of young men. If attendance is indicative of the fall voter concern, things look worse for this Mississippi of the Midwest. Seems the diversions are working well for the Dems & GOP. Go Colts! Let’s get Irsay his second billion!

    This city”s administration, on both sides, takes no action to combat homelessness other than to put them in jail. You pay 2% at MickeyDees each time you go. Would you pay a penny a day to solve this problem? I would. ( Irsay could solve it with the 1/2 mil he paid for DUI. But he wouldn’t. Needs another house for his side piece.

  5. I wish your city well in hiring the most effective leadership. To me one trait that all effective leaders share is optimism. Focus on capabilities and not risks. On what can be done, not what can’t be. On the inate capability of we, the people, not the chaos of competing special interests.

    I’m sure that the right person is there somewhere. Have you found him/her yet?

  6. The last time we had a competent mayor in this city, it was “Bill Hudnut” and yes he was a republican, an old school republican.

    These day’s, Politics in this city is a swinging pendulum, going from left to right and vise versa.

    Apparently “Frank Short” has dropped out on the race (per IndyStar) which leaves Ed Delaney and Joe Hogsett in the running. I’m assuming Ballard is going for a third term ?

    Isn’t it time, our younger shining star’s on the political scene, should be running for higher office’s. I keep seeing, on Facebook “Support Zack for city county council”, I’d much rather support him running for the Mayor’s office. It’s time for a new approach.

  7. Mayor Ballard vs either Hogsett, Short or Delaney. Eugene Debs hit it on the head – “The Republican and Democratic parties, or, to be more exact, the Republican-Democratic party, represent the capitalist class in the class struggle. They are the political wings of the capitalist system and such differences as arise between them relate to spoils and not to principles.”

    I hope the Libertarians have someone run for Mayor with some fire in him or her to make Crony-Capitalism and Corruption an issue.

  8. Appreciation to the IMA for providing a venue for “Uncharted” and to the people who cared enough to make the film, but…I would guess that before seeing it, over 90% of the attenders would have agreed with most everything on the screen. It would be more effective to be projected on a continuous loop in a hallway, so less informed Indianapolis area residents might stop to take a look.
    Why is the Democratic party fostering division in having Delaney and Hogsett running against each other in a primary, instead of presenting a united front against an administration that would sell the seed corn (future road funding from parking meters) in order to look good for a big football weekend? That represented a funding program to spur development in underserved neighborhoods–and then funded a project in Broad Ripple that is just looking for greater profits at our expense (Shell station site.) And yes, an administration that see no further than dealing with those who commit crimes rather than helping prevent the acts.

  9. If one of the local TV channels would run “Uncharted”, it would gain a bigger audience. Was this venue attempted or were they met with refusals? This country has tried for decades – probably since the Great Depression – to ignore the fact of the homeless. Several years ago the excellent movie “Ironweed” was virtualy ignored in theaters because it dealt with the homeless; not even starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson could pull in audiences. As for the Democrats pulling together before the primary, they could take lessons from the Republican party who are much better at organizing, even their faulty, baseless issues are well organized. As for the comment about punishing criminals rather than preventing crimes; I am in the middle of a battle with the prosecutor’s office who is refusing to file Battery charges against the man who mugged, assaulted and robbed me, assaulted a 90 year old woman and robbed two women victims in their 80’s. The charges – if this ever reaches a courtroom – will appear these people snatched four purses and used one stolen credit card one time to put gas in their car and buy cigarettes. In my case alone they caused permanent nerve damange in my forehead and permanent damage to one vertebrae in my neck; they also used my two credit cards a total of eight times. I don’t know the extent of physical damage he did to the 90 year old but do know she was physically injured. They will not appear to have a propensity for violence so IF they serve time in prison, they will quickly be paroled and be back on the streets of Indianapolis seeking more victims. We haven’t seen an answer to the question as to why the man who murdered his second wife was free after serving less than half of his prison sentence for murdering his first wife. If criminals are not charged with every crime they have committed and were arrested for, there will be no justice, only seasoned criminals released early to prey on all of us.

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