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Here Are The Questions We're Sending Candidates

Questions submitted, then voted upon, by readers start going out today

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We asked, and you more than answered.

We began collecting questions for the Tuesday, May 7, 2019 Marion County municipal primary election candidates on Wednesday, April 3. The poll ended on Thursday, April 11 after dozens of questions and dozens more votes were tallied.

Questions for the candidates

Originally, the plan was to send five questions to each of the Indianapolis mayoral and 25 City-County Council candidates. But, given the huge response, we've extended that to six questions each.

We've already had a few candidates reach out, but if you see your name on this list, please send an email to with your correct email address.

Questions will begin going out to candidates later today. Each candidate will have 100 words or fewer to answer each of the six questions. The answers, candidate biography, and high quality mug shot are due back no later than Friday, April 26.

Here are the most popular questions we received for the candidates. (All questions were submitted anonymously, unless otherwise noted.)

“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.?”

“I want to know how they are going to support the public school system.”

“What are your plans to help Indianapolis have a more equitable distribution of resources to help marginalized communities without contributing to gentrification?”

“How will you address the pothole problem?” (Submitted by Rob Burgess.)

“What will you do to encourage the increased use of alternate (non motor vehicle) forms of transportation in the city?”

“How do you feel about decriminalizing possession of personal amounts of cannabis, as other large cities have done?”

Additional questions

While we didn't have room to include all the questions we received in the packet we're sending to candidates this time, we will keep many of them handy for the near future. We have some candidate debates and forums in the works for the coming months of the general election campaign season, and many of these questions will reappear as we make our way through the races.

Some of those additional questions are:

“How would you work to improve and increase healthy affordable housing?”

“What ideas do you have for addressing active transportation (bicycling, walking) issues?

“What do you see as the greatest challenges to the quality of life of Indianapolis residents and how would you as mayor contribute to the alleviation of those obstacles?”

“What specifically policy-wise will you introduce to balance economic growth while maintaining stewardship of our environment? Second, should balance be impractical in your opinion, would your policies skew on the side of economic growth or taking care of our planet?” (Submitted by Brian Solway.)

“How do they envision the city's relationship with ICE. Do they want to avoid cooperating with them?”

“Would you be willing to pursue closing Monument Circle to motorized vehicular traffic on Sunday afternoons throughout the year?”

“What do you think about medical marijuana?”

“How would you regulate rental scooters in Marion County? Should they be allowed on sidewalks and pedestrian paths? Should riders wear helmets? (Submitted by Rob Mills.)

“Would you support a medical marijuana bill?”

“What do you think about banning plastic shopping bags as some countries have done?”

“What free food resources are available for low income Marion County residents and do you have a plan for increasing food access to children who are going hungry?”

“What will you do to ensure access to mental health care for marginalized residents of Indianapolis? Given the many deaths of people in mental health crisis at the hands of IMPD, what is your vision for responding to these crises without the police?” (Submitted by Katie.)

“Will you challenge our future Mayor to be a better advocate for urban initiatives such as Rethink 65/70, transit access and other similar wayfinding opportunities?” (Submitted by Stephen.)

“Unique to Marion County, both parties host 'Pre-Primary Conventions' where large donors, party insiders and precinct committee persons presumptively endorse preferred candidates months before the Primary Election. Do you support this process and are you a slated candidate?” (Submitted by Stephen.)

“Would you support data based efforts to bring organic and local foods into the public schools?”

“What are your thoughts on tackling the rampant drug addiction problems affecting all aspects of society?” (Submitted by Susan Hayes.)

“What is your plan to support effective re-entry of people convicted of crimes? How do you balance neighborhood and individual goals within those plans?” (Submitted by Kirsten.)

“How do you plan on keeping charter schools accountable? What do you know about the history of the various charter schools that have closed in Indianapolis?” (Submitted by Patrick.)

“Why are they focusing on building curbs vs.fixing the streets?” (Submitted by Mike Tyson.)

“What are your top three goals?” (Submitted by Kevin McKinney.)

“Would you support permanently affordable development that is controlled by the local community as best practice for subsidized development?”

“Do you support the slatting process? Did you sign a contract with your party restrict your ability to speak about anything election related? If you win are you required to give 10 percent of your income to the party.” (Submitted by Jonathan Howe.)

“What will you do to encourage the availability of child care, which is a two-generation approach to economic vitality, especially in the light of the decision not to continue the Indy Preschool Program?” (Submitted by Kirsten.)

“Do you have any interest/ideas for getting WrestleMania back to Indianapolis? (Yes, I'm being 100 percent serious, it has a huge economic impact.)” (Submitted by Patrick.)

“Does it concern you as a candidate that our city excludes the public in high stakes private closed-door meetings like the dealings between Indianapolis officials and Amazon executives?” (Submitted by Stephen.)

“What plans do you have for increasing sidewalks throughout the city? My neighborhood has none, making it extremely dangerous to be able to walk less than a half mile to the schools, churches, stores, and library in my (Nora) neighborhood.”

“What are your plans to implement the Thrive Indy plan to chart an equitable, healthy, resilient, and sustainable future for our city?”

“What are your thoughts about school food?”

“Marion County has switched from a Republican county to a Democratic county over the past 15 years or so. Do you think that this trend will/should continue?” (Submitted by Jonathan Fowler.)

“What are your plans to get Indiana out of the basement of Teacher salary and invest in high-quality teachers so they don’t leave the state?” (Submitted by Sammy Jacobs.)

Rob Burgess, News Editor at NUVO, can be reached by email at, by phone at 317-808-4614 or on Twitter @robaburg.

Writer - Local Government and Justice

My background is that I'm the fourth generation in my family to work as a journalist. I also have a degree from Indiana University in Elementary Education. My wife, Ash, and I have two children, Harper, 4, and Emerald, 1.