1) What do you offer as a candidate?
For starters I offer up my personal phone number and email
to everybody I meet and to every home I visit on the campaign trail. I expect
that my City County Councilor be available and accountable, and that's what I
am now and will always be. I didn't wake up one morning and decide I needed to
be elected. I actually have an ongoing love-hate relationship with politics,
but became fed up enough with a lack of representation and voice from my
District that I decided to run.
My youth (31 years old) allows me that perfect mix of
idealism and energy that this city (and especially District 15) needs. My
background in law and business (both my JD and MBA degrees earned at IU
downtown) and government and media (studied at DePauw) provide me with a
valuable skill set to be effective on the Council. The fact that I have
experienced the highs and lows of small business ownership connects me to the
thousands of Indy residents enduring that same roller coaster in these tough
I love my city and am proud to have seen it grow over
three decades. I see elected office as a privilege and not an entitlement. I'm
running as a republican, was raised libertarian, and am not afraid or unwilling
to reach across the aisle when necessary to get the job done.
2) What does your district most need from the City
A City County Councilor who lives in the District and
serves a full term. One would think that's not too much to ask or expect from
their elected official, but District 15 has lacked that for the last decade and
has instead been a revolving door of embarrassing representatives and political
ambition. Once we finally have a councilor that is available and accountable,
we can truly have a voice on the Council. That means a voice for the thousands
of young professionals who have moved downtown, for the historic westside
neighborhoods that have lacked an advocate for years, and homeowners on the
near north side and Lockerbie who remember when they were almost taxed out of
their homes four years ago.
3) What's your opinion of the 2012 budget proposed by
Every month I draw up a budget and keep it in my wallet.
Sometimes that budget gives me heartburn, but I realize it is important to live
within my means and make sure to set aside money for essential items.
Government is no different, and the mayor's budget cuts from areas that we can
do without while preserving public safety and criminal justice. There is a
reason why Indianapolis has faired this recession better than most other cities
in the Midwest, and being realistic about our finances is a big part of that.
4) What is your position on a comprehensive smoking
The writing is on the wall that a comprehensive smoking
ban will happen sooner rather than later in Indianapolis. I support such a ban,
but only with a plan that gives small business owners a reasonable amount of
time to make the necessary changes and have a voice in the process. So I
support a ban - with a plan.
5) Do you think the city needs more police officers?
I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks we
don't need more policing. The reality, however, is that the money has to be
there to hire new officers. I think the mayor has made some bold decisions over
the last several years that have begun to change the culture of the IMPD and
increase professionalism. In the absence of money to add hundreds of officers
to the ranks, the next best thing is to make the force as highly trained and
flexible as possible. So until we have the luxury of more money to hire more
police officers, we should keep strengthening out department in as many other
ways as possible and better use existing resources.
6) Do you support increased funding for public
Absolutely. Indy residents realize that world-class
transit has to happen in our city soon and that won't happen without increased
funding. I tried to go a year downtown without owning a car and it's rough in
Indianapolis. After seeing public transit done so right all over the world,
it's nice to finally see a comprehensive transit plan like IndyConnect that
excites so many.
7) Do you think the streets and sidewalks in
your district are in good shape?
Yes. Finally. Though there is plenty more to do after
decades of neglect and folks in District 15 see the RebuildIndy projects making
their neighborhoods more livable - whether its in Lockerbie or
8) Name one project that would most benefit your
Aside from existing projects like 16 Tech, the new Wishard
Hospital, RebuildIndy, IndyConnect, the new bike hub at City Market, CityWay,
etc...? Like me, thousands of young professionals have moved downtown in the
last several years. We expect certain features of our city to keep our
attention and not compel us to move out of the city. All the aforementioned
projects do just that - create the foundation for Indianapolis to be a world
class city. Aside from these, I would really love to see a Whole Foods and Ikea
brought in or around downtown.
9) What question do you wish we'd asked?
What sets you apart from other City County Council
While on the surface, it's easy to notice the two dozen
tattoos, my relative youth as a candidate, and dashing good looks (perhaps
debatable), there is much more to me as a candidate. I'm running to represent
not only the folks who have called downtown Indy home for generations, but also
for those folks living in Chicago, St. Louis, Columbus, etc. who don't even
know yet that they will someday live in our city. We must look to become the
city that brings these folks to central Indiana, and I love this city and its
potential and I think that is apparent to anybody who has spent more than 2
minutes with me discussing Indy.