District 18 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers the near south east side of the city. Incumbent Republican Susie Cordi is not running for re-election. Looking to take her seat are Democrat Duane Ingram and Republican Carrie Zapfe.
Duane Ingram serves the City of Indianapolis in many different capacities: As President of the Citizens Police Complaint Board, an Indianapolis Foundation Fellow, and a Board Member at the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Duane also serves in several leadership capacities in his church. Professionally, Duane Ingram has extensive experience in the day-to-day management of apartment communities having managed over 2,000 units of housing in Marion County. Duane Ingram has worked in the community development field for over 12 years providing leadership in homeownership and economic development, and community engagement. Duane Ingram loves serving God’s people and has been married to his beautiful wife, Daarina Ingram, for over 12 years.
[Editor’s note: The following questions were the top six most popular questions submitted by and voted upon by NUVO readers. Zapfe did not return her answers before the primary election.]
NUVO: How will you address quality of life issues for Indianapolis residents — affordable housing, food deserts, transportation options for those without cars, air quality, water quality, schools, green space, sustainability, recycling, lack of park funding, etc.?
Ingram: Anytime I drive my district, I see people walking in bike lanes, grassy shoulders of the road, and even in the street because there are no sidewalks and connectivity issues. This is a safety issue for the residents on foot and the residents driving. This is a problem for me and I will work to increase the number of sidewalks in residential areas with connectivity issues.
NUVO: I want to know how they are going to support the public school system.
Ingram: The City-County Council's only school involvement is to provide oversight for the Office of Education and Innovation, which oversees the Mayor-authorized charter schools. Our youth are very important to the future of our city, and I will support schools that continue to provide quality academic opportunities for our youth and adequately prepare them to contribute in a positive manner in the community, whether that means trade school, military service, or a 2/4 yr college.
NUVO: What are your plans to help Indianapolis have a more equitable distribution of resources to help marginalized communities without contributing to gentrification?
Ingram: No comment.
NUVO: How will you address the pothole problem?
Ingram: Mayor Joe Hogsett, with the unanimous support of the current City-County Council, authorized $400 million in funding over four years to address crumbling infrastructure needs. There may be better techniques and practices that other cities are employing that could work here in Indy, so I will support studies or research projects to make sure we are using the best techniques to address the growing pot hole issue. Then, I will support smart funding proposals that are data driven and research-based and provide valid and proven solutions to problems.
NUVO: What will you do to encourage the increased use of alternate (non motor vehicle) forms of transportation in the city?
Ingram: District 18 only has three bus stops and they are all on the western-most border of the district on S. Emerson Ave: a commercial corridor with no cross connection to the housing developments to the East. That is a problem. I will work with IndyGo to figure out how we can better connect the residents of District 18 to the jobs, entertainment, and attractions all across our city.
NUVO: How do you feel about decriminalizing possession of personal amounts of cannabis, as other large cities have done?
Ingram: No comment.