Well, where do we begin?
What about HB 1347 recently introduced by the state of Indiana — aimed at undermining the efforts made by Mayor Joe Hogsett and his current administration to promote tenants rights?
Or what about the amendment offered this week by Sen. Aaron Freeman, R-Indianapolis, to House Bill 1279, which would create penalties against IndyGo if it doesn’t raise 10 percent from private funds. So despite all of the hard, excruciating work Indianapolis has done to invest in transit infrastructure, the future Blue and Purple LINE BRTs are now at jeopardy.
The State of Indiana hates Indianapolis. And despite all of the talk in conservative circles about “small government”, the state likes to micromanage local control ad nauseam. There is nothing “little government” about dictating decisions a municipality and voters make. Remember, the transit referendum for IndyGo passed with a large majority — nearly 60 percent in 2016. Rather, what the state likes to do is kick its economic engine in the arse. Continually.
Currently, I am debating my next career moves, if I should stay in the state. I love Indianapolis — the potential of the place has helped push me into the field of urban planning and design. Since originally moving to Indy in 2011, I was enamored. What potential, what authenticity! Unlike a Chicago, here you could actually engage with those making decisions, you could see the change occurring.
When I moved to Fountain Square in 2011, there were still insurance-fraud schemes to burn down houses; my neighbor sold meth: currently, my former home is being sold for upwards of $300,000. My rent there was $450 a month. Yeah, that’s a bummer and I could wax poetic about the lost virtue of a neighborhood gentrified but that is outside the purview of this article. The point is, all I’ve known is Indianapolis as a city that is dynamic and capable. And full of potential. I fell in love.
Not just with the late nights at Peppy’s (the original one, with holes in the floor), or trips up the Monon to Broad Ripple on spring days. Or a decadent sugar cream pie from Locally Grown Gardens.
Not just with the idiosyncrasies, the dusty dive bars, or the view of the skyline from Highland Park. With the people, too. Us Hoosiers are a special breed, able to say goodbye longer than any other known creature. Indianapolis has shaped me, for better or for worse.
So…should I leave? Should continual powergrabs by the state force me to reconsider my love for this city?
Not yet. We voted for better transit and we are getting it. Look at the news of IndyGo’s ridership already up by 8% over the last year. I am sick of the state acting as an authoritarian micromanager, disabling the will of voters. Despite the talk of small government, the state has offered anything but. They are hypocrites hellbent on dismantling local control and local voting. I will not give up on Indianapolis because this state will do everything in its power to kill it. This city is resilient. Its people are fighters. And it will endure. And we will win. In the words of a famous Mexican proverb, they tried to bury us, but did not realize we were seeds.
Call your legislator now. And tell them to oppose amendment 6 to HB 1279.