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2019 Primary Voters Guide: District 9

Incumbent Democrat William Duke Oliver faces three challengers from his own party

District 9

William Duke Oliver (D), Leigh Riley Evans (D), Phillip L. Anderson Sr. (D), Martha Baker Blue (D)

District 9 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers part of the near north side of the city. Democratic incumbent William Duke Oliver has held the seat since 2004. He faces three challengers from his own party in the primary election: Phillip L. Anderson Sr., Martha Baker Blue, and Leigh Riley Evans.

Phillip L. Anderson Sr.

I live on the near north east side near 38th Street and Sherman Drive. I was born in Indianapolis. I attended and graduated from Emmerich Manual High school.


Attended: Indiana State University

Graduated: National Louis University (2001) with BS in Business Administration.


Married: 20-plus years to the former Nannette Richardson.

Five kids and seven grandchildren.

Religious affiliation: Baptist

Member: First Freewill Baptist Church, Charles Shepard Pastor.


Andrew J Brown (deceased). Pastor St Johns Missionary Baptist Church, Indianapolis.

Z Mae Jimison (deceased). Superior Court Judge, Indianapolis.

Michael Anderson (brother/deceased). Indiana Southern District Superintendent for the Methodist. Church.


Former president Manual Black Alumni Association.

Former president Civil Cervice Conservation Club.

Real Estate broker 30 years.

Managing broker 5 years at Beaven Real Estate.

Managing broker Consumers Best Realty seven years.

Worked at Indiana Bell 20 years.

Currently the owner of a woman’s sober living facility in Indianapolis.

I am a first time candidate and consider myself an advocate not a politician.

Leigh Riley Evans

Highly organized, efficient executive with 20 years of experience directing a variety of community agencies. Effective communicator with strong written, verbal, and interpersonal skills. Project manager with proven results developing, implementing, and evaluating various fundraising and community programs as well as actively cultivating and soliciting new funding opportunities. Dependable leader with active listening skills and calm nature necessary for influencing decisions and gaining trust of others.


Encouraging philanthropy; strategic planning; raising awareness of economic opportunity; Organizational development; and Critical thinking



Indianapolis, December 2011 to present, Chief Executive Officer

Demonstrate an understanding of the CDC’s role and mission in the community, cultivate a vision and guide the implementation of the strategic plan to that end. Develop and maintain the appropriate systems for sound financial management, including long range fund raising and short term cash management, annual budget preparation, reporting and compliance with all applicable regulations. Recruit, maintain and cultivate a strong team of staff and contractors, administer a system for staff goal setting, performance review, and individual development. Represent the Corporation in the community, with neighbors, stakeholders, funders and other service providers, providing marketing, public relations, and networking to further the Corporation’s mission. Cultivate and support the Board of Directors by providing the necessary information, professional assistance, and encouragement so that they can provide the high quality of community based leadership that is critical to the organization’s success.


Indianapolis, January 2008 to December 2011, Interim CEO, Vice-President and Chief Advancement Officer

Administered the daily operations of the organization according to established goals

and policies as authorized by the Board of Directors. Served as point of contact for vendors, web developer, funders, PR firms, strategic planners, bookkeeping, and auditing. Developed strategic short and long-term plans to address operations, human resources, financial performance, and organizational growth. Managed a range of business functions including investments, payroll, financial records and reports, annual audits, and long-range plans for financial and administrative operations. Developed, implemented, and evaluated various fundraising programs; cultivate and solicit new funding opportunities for a broader base of IYSA and membership donors. Anticipated and responded to the needs of a state-wide membership of 33 Youth Services Bureaus; traveled throughout the state to communicate best practices and provide training and ongoing support to increase their capacity to serve youth. Managed fundraising and membership development including recruitment, retention, and succession planning. Worked with legislators in the Indiana General Assembly to improve community development and youth advocacy work.



2001-2007, Chief Administrative Officer

Director of Staff Services

Contract Utilization and Compliance Manager

Corporate and Foundation Relations Coordinator

Managed staff of 15 direct reports who led projects contributing to the organizational mission. Staff included members of human resources, informational technology, facilities maintenance, public engagement, and community outreach. Collaborated with departmental staff to prepare and manage budgets to meet the operational goals of the agency’s residential and community-based programs

Served as chief information officer of LCFS for all areas of information technology, including alignment of agency business strategy and technology strategy; negotiated contracts for government support. Identified and researched funding opportunities and wrote proposals to a variety of organizations; prepared contract proposals and negotiated contractual provisions with community and funding partners; managed grant and contract reporting and compliance issues. Managed the agency’s annual United Way Campaign drive; Managed agency’s $9M Capital Campaign, supported resource development of the Annual Fund. Created, secured funding and supervised the 3-year Preparing Opportunities for Development AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps*VISTA programs and personnel.



Community Resources Coordinator, 2000-2001

Senior Counselor, 1998-2000

Managed resource development for Educational Program by marketing educational programming and services through media interviews, press releases, and workshops; cultivated relationships with community members and donors. Maintained donor database using Paradigm software. Served as mediator for clients with debt problems and their creditors. Trained staff, facilitated work teams, and chaired committees to promote efficiency. Conducted educational workshops and financial and housing counseling sessions, including money management classes for children; participated in home ownership fairs.


University of Phoenix – Indianapolis Campus

Master of Business Administration

Purdue University – Indianapolis Campus

Bachelor of Science, Psychology


Board / Trustee Member – Prosperity Indiana, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, The Children’s Museum, Local Initiative Support Council (LISC).

Commission Member – The Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center (community partner).

Mayoral Appointee – Marion County Wellfield Education Council.

[Editor’s note: The following questions were the top six most popular questions submitted by and voted upon by NUVO readers. Blue and Oliver did not return their 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.?

Anderson: These questions would need to be addressed on a community-by-community basis because there are communities that do not have these problems. Then resolve the simplest issues first. Example: Green space can be created by city owned vacant lots being converted to small neighborhood parks. Green spaces can be created by demolishing vacant buildings (like school one on the near east side) and using the space for community gardens to help solve the food desert issue and neighbors parks.

Evans: I will work to address quality of life issues by creating value for all people regardless of their zip code. My primary goal related to quality of life is extending the life expectancy of residents in District 9. This work will be implemented through collaborative programming with community partners. I want to help educate others about the connections between food deserts and diabetes, poverty and infant mortality, property tax caps and potholes. I am motivated to increase access to affordable housing, recycling and to find funding for our parks so we can re-establish programs like the PAL Club.

NUVO: I want to know how they are going to support the public school system.

Anderson: I am proposing a free or low cost citywide all sports league. All children over a to be determined age would be encouraged to sign up for the league (baseball, basketball and cheerleading ti begin). The league would support the school system by:

1. Give children supervised activities to do

2. Professionals could coach kids in fair play, how to win and lose and team work

3. Kids with behavioral or educational problems could be identified and receive the assistance they need.

4. Participation would be tied to grades and in school behavior, improving grades and decreasing bad school behavior.

5. Creates activities and an institution young professional parents are looking for in a community to buy a home and raise a family.

Evans: As a mother of three sons who attended public school and wife of a public school teacher, I will continue to support public education by being an active participant. My youngest son attends the same public high school where my husband coaches and teaches. Additionally, to be supportive of the public school system, I will work with the elected members of the IPS school board and actively listen to students, families and employees to advocate for solutions and resources and celebrate their dedication to education.

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

Anderson: 1. Re-purposing or demolishing vacant building can be used as in community places where drug addicts, the homeless and mentally ill can get help within the community. While also ridding the communities of unsightly building which enhance the “ghetto” image.

2. Helping ex-felons receive jobs paying a real living wage so they can help raise their families and pay taxes. This would help lower recidivism, thus lowering crime.

3. I would put an emphasis on re-establish realtors in the neighborhoods. This would give homeowners realtors who are invested in the community giving advice and help to residents.

4. I would put an emphasis on providing funding to fix up existing houses in the area and encourage organization who have existing funding to relocate in marginalized communities.

Evans: My initial plan is for people in District 9 to be aware that they have a choice this year for their District 9 representative. I need to be elected May 7 to improve equity and access and to apply my leadership skills across the entire district. I believe it’s possible to have quality real estate development without displacement. As executive director of Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corporation, I help lead the effort of neighborhood stabilization and the distribution of resources within that area while being inclusive of marginalized communities, preserving affordable housing options for renters and homeowners, and supporting community economic development.

NUVO: How will you address the pothole problem?

Anderson: I would recommend using a better or different type of salt and patch or re-surface more streets so The City of Indianapolis would not be filling the same potholes year after year. Then I would track the effectiveness of the new salt, patch/re-surface and adjust until the re-occurrence of potholes is decreased.

Evans: The pothole problem is bigger than one person and will require identifying additional revenue, evaluating materials and procurement processes, and taking action. Using the knowledge and resources I’ve recently acquired while serving on the City’s Bi-Partisan Commission on Infrastructure, if elected, I would continue to evaluate how the funding formulas related to gas and wheel taxes (and other revenue sources), the expenditures, and the appropriation decisions for infrastructure can be adjusted to create more revenue, reduce expense, modify repair schedules, as well as encourage other forms of transit.

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

Anderson: 1. More public service announcements encouraging alternate forms of transportation.

2. Increase the number of bicycles that are available for rent.

3. Encourage businesses that sell or rent specialized bikes for older citizens and the handicapped and have more designated areas they could ride.

4. Increase the number of parks with bike paths.

5. Create alternative transportation committee.

6. Encourage businesses that sell or rent specialized bikes for older citizens and the handicapped and have more designated areas they could ride.

Evans: Prioritizing the pedestrian, I believe in a complete streets approach to transportation. If streets are designed and operated to support safety, walkability, and mobility for everyone (bikers, bus riders, drivers, walkers) then I believe alternative uses will be encouraged. Also, I would support increasing outreach efforts for the EveryOne Rides bikeshare program and the implementation of an “Employer-Sponsored Ride” program for employees who chose to ride mass transit systems.

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

Anderson: I am for legalized forms of medical marijuana.

Evans: Recognizing that significant data supports racial disparities associated with marijuana arrests and that there are health benefits from medical marijuana, I support decriminalizing the possession of small/personal amounts of cannabis for adults. Anticipating that similar definitions for personal amounts would exist in Indy as in areas like Washington, D.C. where personal amounts are 2 ounces and in New York where a ticket is issued instead of an arrest, I think policymakers in Indiana should educate themselves about the healthcare benefits and the potential revenue associated with a decriminalization process.

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

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