District 25 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers the south eastern-most part of the city. Incumbent Republican Brian Mowery was first elected in 2016, and is running for re-election against Democratic challenger Justin Braun.
A proud Hoosier, Justin Braun attended St. Simon the Apostle (Roy Road Edition) and Scecina Memorial High School. He later graduated from Ball State University in 2005 with a B.S. in Information Systems Management. After contributions to the Indiana workforce, Justin returned to school, graduating from IUPUI with a master’s in educational technology. The majority of Justin’s professional career has centered on Information Technology in an educational environment. He currently works for Paramount Schools of Excellence, serving as their Manager of Technology. Justin is often asked why his family moved to Franklin Township; this is his response. “Franklin Township has a lot to offer to all families, particularly young families such as mine, and I want to make sure someone is speaking up to ensure this high quality of life continues to improve each year. I am committed to this community. I am raising my children here. I want to be your voice in Franklin Township.”
NUVO: I want to know how they are going to support the public school system.
Braun: My professional background includes 15 years of working within schools. I observed that what effective teachers do every day takes an immense amount of energy, intellect, patience, and love. I have a unique perspective on what works, as well as what teachers need, as I work in a school every day. In a Wallace Foundation/Vanderbilt Study, the top response by effective teachers when asked what they desire most from their school is "a safe learning environment for teaching". We must preserve the student learning environment through emotional and social supports for our children and administrative supports for our teachers.
NUVO: What are your plans to help Indianapolis have a more equitable distribution of resources to help marginalized communities without contributing to gentrification?
Braun: My plan for this is to make sure all voices are heard. Certain areas of the city tend to get overlooked because they aren’t as densely populated as others, but that doesn’t mean resources shouldn’t be readily available. The needs may differ for Franklin Township, but I will make sure proper funding comes our way to repair our roads, maintain our parks, and whatever else the people of our township need.
NUVO: How will you address the pothole problem?
Braun: The pothole problem is something that our city faces every year, mainly because of weather conditions in Indiana. When we go from 70 degrees to 25 degrees in a matter of 24 hours, our roads will suffer. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything we can do about it. The 400-million-dollar Infrastructure investment plan put forth by Mayor Hogsett is what needs to happen. Strip patching, along with filling potholes has already shown an improvement, but there is more work to be done. A commitment to infrastructure funding is how I will address the pothole problem.
NUVO: What will you do to encourage the increased use of alternate (non motor vehicle) forms of transportation in the city?
Braun: One of my priorities is to be an advocate for getting funds to Franklin Township for sidewalks and trails in our community. This would enable residents of the township to move around the area by foot, bicycle, or whatever type of non-motorized vehicle they prefer. The 400-million-dollar infrastructure plan put forth by Mayor Hogsett will include funds for sidewalks and I would like to make sure District 25 is the recipient of some of those funds.
NUVO: How do you feel about decriminalizing possession of personal amounts of cannabis, as other large cities have done?
Braun: Decriminalization of personal amounts of cannabis is something the City-County Council doesn’t have a say in, this type of legislation is handled at the state level. I would recommend contacting state legislators to make sure they know how their constituents feel about this issue.