Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Attend the upcoming Community Forum on Indianapolis’ Parks co-sponsored by The Indianapolis Star and Friends of Garfield Park to find out more about Indy Parks & Recreation and give your input on the parks system. Join us from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010, at Garfield Park Arts Center, 2432 Conservatory Drive.

Learn about arts programming, urban gardens, grassroots fundraising, community partnerships and volunteering at Indy Parks aquatic centers, family centers and neighborhood parks. The 90-minute forum will include breakout sessions as well as time for questions on key topics.

To register, e-mail your name and the number of people in your party to or call (317) 444-6170. This event is free and open to the public.

This forum aims to serve as a call to action as part of a continuing conversation between Indianapolis residents and Indy Parks & Recreation on supporting a world-class parks system.

Preschool Open House

Friday, February 12, 2010 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Downey Cooperative Preschool, located in the heart of historic Irvington, is pre-registering for the 2010-2011 school year. Downey is a child-centered, parent-run, not for profit preschool offering classes for children aged two to five as well as a Mommy and Me class for younger children. For more information contact Jessica Carlson at or 331-8604 for more information.

Downey Cooperative Preschool, Where Children Learn Through Play!


Mayor Greg Ballard and Congressman André Carson today announced plans to help restore many of Indianapolis’ most deteriorated streets and bridges with $22.9 million in federal stimulus funding.

The funding, which was awarded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, will also assist in the creation and retention of approximately 550 local jobs. The city is expected to complete several transportation projects that will improve quality of life in Indianapolis neighborhoods.

“We as a city cannot accept less than the best we can do for every neighborhood,” said Mayor Ballard. “This funding will help tremendously as we work to correct our failing infrastructure in areas that need it most and put hardworking Hoosiers to work.”

“This is the kind of local jolt to our economy—and the kind of improvements to our neighborhoods—that I envisioned nearly a year ago when I supported the Recovery Act,” Congressman Carson said. “This $22 million infusion is not only creating 500 plus jobs, it’s making a substantial investment in areas of our city that need it most and setting the stage for further private sector investment down the line.”

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) was awarded the ARRA funding in June 2009, and construction for these projects is expected to begin in spring 2010. With the $22.9 million, DPW anticipated completing 97 lane miles of paving and five bridge projects; yet, with efficient project management and competitive construction bids, DPW achieved approximately $7 million in savings. DPW plans to reallocate that savings and complete an additional 35 lane miles of paving and eight bridge projects with the remaining ARRA funding.

The street and bridge projects, which are planned citywide, were selected based on the frequency of DPW street maintenance and repairs in the area, as well as resident calls to the Mayor’s Action Center.

In addition to assisting in the completion of much needed infrastructure work, the ARRA funding also will provide opportunities to stimulate local, long-term economic growth. According to the US Department of Transportation, for every $1 million invested, 25 jobs will be created and/or sustained in Indianapolis.

“Just as a city maintains and periodically improves its infrastructure, building the local economy also is key in Indianapolis’ plan to become a more vibrant, healthy place to live,” said David Sherman, DPW director. “Approximately 550 jobs will be created with these funds, which will improve this community and citizens’ quality of life.”

Residential resurfacing also will be constructed in 2010. Since many of the city’s main thoroughfares will be improved with ARRA funding, the 2010 resurfacing program has been earmarked primarily for residential resurfacing. In future years, DPW will continue to seek additional funding sources in an effort to improve service to residents. By 2012, DPW plans to identify funding sources and increase the maintenance budget to $27 million.

The residential resurfacing street segments were selected based on need, and the areas with the worst road conditions had the highest priority. City-county councillors’ input on behalf of residents was taken into consideration. Partial resurfacing will be incorporated into storm water and sanitary projects as well.

Projects completed with ARRA funding awarded to the city will aid DPW in keeping its commitment to maintain infrastructure, traffic safety and help motorists navigate safely throughout the city. For more information on the city’s upcoming street and bridge projects visit

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Phase I Fountain Project Update:

Temporary lane closures and restrictions for north and southbound traffic on Virginia Avenue and Shelby Street have been removed. You can now continue northbound on Shelby Street across Prospect Street. Parking restrictions on the north side of Prospect will remain until the street can be restriped to its original configuration. Restriping is dependent on temperature, so it will be completed as soon as weather allows.

The contractor is addressing some minor punchlist items, but for all intents and purposes the project is complete. The fountain will remain turned off until the spring.

We are planning a dedication event around the time of the St. Patrick Run/Walk. Details to come!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cops vs Kids Game

Our Cops vs Kids game was last evening at the Keenan Stahl Boys and Girls Club. Thanks to many of you for coming to cheer us on! It was a great opportunity to build relationships with our local youth. The gym was filled with enthusiasm. The game went down to the wire with our officers winning 37-36. I must admit….I am a little sore this morning from trying to keep up with the tempo! Our next outing will be on March 27th at 11am at the Lilly’s Boys and Girls Club, 801 South State Street.

All eyes are on our city this weekend. The AFC championship football game is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Indianapolis. Our finest officers will be out in full force to ensure everyone has an enjoyable and safe weekend. GO COLTS!

Please continue to keep an eye out for your neighbors.

Have a good weekend.

Cliff Myers

Southeast District, Commander

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

1150 S. Shelby Street

Indpls. IN 46203

317- 327-6300


Indy Parks Celebrates African and African-American Artists and Themes with Month-Long Art Exhibit

Celebrate Black History Month with Indy Parks at the Garfield Park Arts Center’s Fifth Annual Black Pearls Exhibition opening reception. Meet the artists while enjoying the accompaniment of live jazz. The free reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, will open the exhibit to the public through Sunday, March 7.

The Steven Weakley Jazz Trio will perform as you peruse the Art Center’s main gallery, filled with a variety of works including paintings, drawings, jewelry, ceramics and bronze sculptures. Be sure to check out the textile installation by LaShawnda Crowe Storm, featured artist for the Indianapolis Arts Council’s month-long Art & Soul event. Visitors can make colorful paper beads in the visual arts studio as a hands-on creative family activity.

“The artwork displayed in the Black Pearls Exhibition greatly embodies the strong influence of traditional African cultures,” said Garfield Park Arts Center Manager Tom Weidenbach. “Visitors are invited to become part of the exhibition by contributing their own written, personal stories to the artistic textile installation. The unique exhibition includes large-scale high profile works that can be viewed from a 360-degree perspective.”

The Black Pearls Exhibition will be on display from 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 2 to 6 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays beginning Jan. 30 through March 7. There is no cost for admission to the Garfield Park Arts Center, Black Pearls Exhibition and opening reception.

Citizens Shares the Dream at MLK and Pride Parks

Citizens Energy Group and some partnering contractors recently contributed more than $110,000 in in-kind work and hundreds of hours of employee volunteer service to Indy Parks to renovate Martin Luther King Park’s pool bathhouse on the City’s Near-Northside and Pride Park Community Center on the City’s Eastside.

“With Sharing the Dream, Citizens Energy Group reaffirms its commitment to helping the City of Indianapolis create a world-class parks system,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “This very generous donation of time, energy and resources by Citizens Energy Group’s staff and leadership showcases the community spirit of this corporate entity and exemplifies the kind of public-private partnerships we seek to support our assets for decades to come.”

Sharing the Dream 2010 marks Citizens Energy Group’s second service project with Indy Parks. Citizens Energy Group’s first Sharing the Dream project in January 2009 resulted in more than $50,000 worth of improvements to Brookside Park Family Center. Funding for the projects was provided from revenue from non-utility companies Citizens operates. Ratepayer dollars were not used.

“Through Sharing the Dream 2010, Citizens Energy Group is proud to continue our tradition of honoring Dr. King and his tremendous service to humanity by supporting the renovations at Martin Luther King Park and Pride Park,” said Carey Lykins, president and CEO of Citizens Energy Group. “We are privileged to work with Indy Parks while reinforcing our commitment to neighborhood redevelopment and enhancing the quality of life in our community.”

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Mayor Greg Ballard, along with representatives from Congressman André Carson's office, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers and various other service organizations joined today to encourage community support for Haiti relief efforts.

"Hoosiers have been quick, as they always are, to offer help for our neighbors in need. That immediate reaction to lend a hand, in any way we are able to do so, is characteristic of the generous nature found throughout our community, and it is by far our greatest strength," said Mayor Ballard.

"The Salvation Army is not just a disaster responder in Haiti, but we have been part of that nation's infrastructure since 1950. We operate many of the schools in Haiti, a hospital, various medical clinics, and orphanages," said Jeff Stanger, Development Director for The Salvation Army in Indiana. "Many native Haitians make up our staff and officers and have lost homes and loved ones as well. We welcome the support of Hoosiers as we stand side by side with the people of Haiti to overcome this devastating tragedy."

Mayor Ballard added that the most critical need now is for funds donated to organizations that are reputable and will be good stewards of every dollar they receive. Local service organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army have seen an outpouring of support from the public in response to the earthquake in Haiti. Local organizers and public safety officials are encouraging individuals to donate directly to these types of organizations to ensure they do not fall victim to scams.

"It is safest to donate to Haitian relief funds associated with a well known organization such as the Red Cross," said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Commander Lloyd Crowe. "As with past incidents this situation has the potential, unfortunately to illicit illegal activity by a few individuals or illegal organizations."

For more information on how to get involved or to make a monetary donation, visit,, or

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Thank you Justin for your kind words.

Just last month Justin’s company, BC Forward announced it was adding 200 high-wage jobs in Indianapolis. Thank you for your continued investment in our city and its people.

Thank you everyone for coming tonight to one of our city’s most enduring and important landmarks and I thank former Deputy Mayor John Krauss, Max Anderson and everyone involved with the Museum for having us here this evening.
Also, please allow me to acknowledge my wife of over 27 years…Winnie. As many of you may know, Winnie is spearheading our “Bank On Indy” program to encourage the unbanked to open bank accounts and be responsible with their money.
It’s a terrific program, and, if I may say, she’s a terrific spokeswoman.
Elected officials, community activists, and neighborhood leaders…about one year ago, we were all at the Christel House Academy for the State of the City address. At that time, I detailed my vision to make Indianapolis the most livable big city in America. A destination city for people and companies, tourists and educators.
I stand here before you to state plainly that while there is always work to do in a city as metropolitan and diverse as Indianapolis, much work was done in 2009 to make our city more livable, more attractive to families, and more attractive to businesses and the jobs they bring. And because of this, the state of our city is growing stronger.
Being a more livable city starts with creating a climate conducive to creating jobs and economic opportunity for all.
We stand at a critical moment of our city’s economic development. Indianapolis knows no immunity to the ills of the credit market, or the jobs crunch, or the home foreclosures that swept the country. Unemployment went up and home values fell, so the single biggest asset many of us own is no longer the safety net it once was.
Businesses that were once operating profitably, and employing our family and friends had to slash costs and struggled to make ends meet.
Suffice it to say, the current economic climate, the most severe since the Great Depression, remains very challenging. But our local economy is doing far better than most, so we are better poised than others to sustain a welcome recovery.
Our goal is to make Indianapolis the most attractive place in the nation for the creation and retention of good jobs.
In the most recent data available, of the top 13 American cities, Indianapolis had the second lowest unemployment rate. In fact, our unemployment rate is lower than the state’s and lower than the nation’s.
I know this is small comfort to those currently out of work, seeking an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. And so that’s why I come before you tonight to state clearly that my administration is using every available resource to retain and create jobs in Marion County.
When it comes to attracting and retaining jobs in Indianapolis, our stability is an asset but we can never stand still.
Our relative economic stability comes in part from the fundamentals: a lower rate of crime, a now predictable tax climate, and a government that works with companies and entrepreneurs to foster job creation and economic development.
We have also aligned the efforts of the Indianapolis Private Industry Council—IPIC—and Indianapolis Economic Development Inc—IEDI—our city’s main economic development organizations.
In 2009, my administration, working with IEDI , secured commitments for retaining or attracting more than 11,000 jobs in Marion County. This represents the second highest annual number in the last nine years—a terrific performance in the middle of this tough recession.
In fact, tonight I am pleased to announce that Stericycle, an Indianapolis-based provider of medical waste disposal services, is expanding its operations in our city and creating 109 new jobs by the end of 2010.
Some of Stericycle’s executives are here tonight, and I just want to say thank you for investing in your hometown.
In fact, during the two years of my administration, commitments for retained or attracted jobs total more than 20,000. During that same time period, business leaders also have made commitments totaling more than $470,000,000 of capital investment in our community.
Just as with crime statistics, the numbers represent more than just improvement in our effort, they represent improvement in the quality of life within our city for our families.
And to those who feel that too much business growth is fueled by tax abatements, let me offer this: in 2009 less than 20 percent of the $157 million in capital investment was incentivized with tax abatement.
Last year, for example, for every dollar we offered in abatement for a non-speculative project, more than 18 dollars were privately committed.
We have a two-year average of more than 17 dollars of private funds returned to one dollar abated. This is a stronger return on investment than in any year since the city began tracking the statistic in 2001, and we out-performed some years by 20 percent, 100 percent and in one case, 500 percent.
Time and again in the last two years, our economic development staff, skillfully led by Deputy Mayor Nick Weber and Scott Miller at IEDI, has been working to make Indianapolis more attractive to businesses that create good jobs.
The return on investment for our economic efforts is astounding when you consider we spend only about $500,000 a year on the organization tasked with growing wealth and opportunity for our entire community.
We need IEDI to be an economic driver that will act in concert with the city and as a development investment partner for critical deals to bring jobs and capital to Indianapolis.
What IEDI needs to continue delivering is the resources to be this driver. So tonight I am announcing an investment in IEDI of $3.5 million.
Of this amount, $1.5 million will be used to grow the capacity of the organization, working with more businesses, making more sales calls, promoting Indianapolis at more conferences, and, working in conjunction with Carolin Requiz-Smith of my office, spearheading the international business efforts of the city.
And, as part of my 2011 budget, and for each year thereafter, we will propose that IEDI be appropriated sufficient funds for sustained job creation in Indianapolis. Never before has the city committed to invest so much year over year to create jobs.
The remaining $2 million will be used to invest in properties to spur development, address infrastructure challenges that block private investment, serve as an incentive resource to secure projects for Indianapolis, or any other endeavor that will create jobs in Marion County.
In recent years, we have lost major jobs opportunities in the core of our community – where redevelopment costs are often the highest, and the need the greatest – because there was no entity to level the playing field. This investment will help address that problem.
A year ago, the biggest issue facing the city was our need to protect the 66,000 jobs related to the Indianapolis convention industry. Tough choices had to be made, but we’ve helped fashion a solution that protects these jobs.
For the number of convention jobs to grow, we need to invest in the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association and its mission.
As such I am seeking an additional $1.5 million for the ICVA to bolster our commitment to attract the biggest and the best conventions in the world.
Recently, the ICVA has sought support from the philanthropic community for matching gifts worth $8 million to make the investments needed to promote our city, including our art and cultural institutions, to a broad audience.
My proposed investment of $1.5 million leverages these private funds to allow the ICVA to promote the tremendous recreational, cultural, artistic and convention assets of our city to potential visitors.
Now, no three vital interests of our city align more critically than economic development, public safety and education.
In a very real way, education is a key motivator of economic growth and an accurate predictor of present and future crime rates.
This fact is just one reason I champion groups like Teach for America and the Mind Trust to bring educational innovation to Indianapolis, why I applaud IPS for expanding its exciting magnet school program, why I support the Indianapolis Chamber’s Common Goal initiative. It’s why I encourage mentoring, tutoring and community school efforts.
In my office, we are fortunate to have Karega Rausch and his bright and dedicated Charter Schools staff. But this staff is limited in numbers. And now is the time for increased investment in this amazing endeavor.
We are all proud of the accomplishments of the Mayor-sponsored Charter schools.
It bears repeating that since 2008, 90 percent of Mayor-sponsored Charter School graduates have gone on to college!
One of the things I learned in my 23 years in the Marine Corps, however, was that a change in mission frequently requires a change in resources.
And it’s time we broadened the scope and mission of the Mayor’s Charter Schools office to match its responsibilities.
Therefore, I will seek $175,000 to transform the Charter Schools initiative into an Office of Education Innovation.
My vision for the Office of Education Innovation will include re-structuring the Charter Schools office to reflect the important work they are doing across the educational spectrum in our city, where good work is being done daily for kids and families.
While mayor-sponsored charter schools will remain the most important function of the Office of Education Innovation, it will also serve as a countywide hub for education initiatives and data sharing.
Marion County is home to 11 public school districts, 21 public charter schools, and more than 100 private, non-public, and parochial schools. Yet there is not one source—an information hub—that serves as a resource across geographic and educational boundaries. It is long past time that we bring our best and brightest educators together for one conversation.
So to fund this critical adjustment in our economic development policy, to reorient our tools to better recognize the challenge facing a developed city, to leverage private dollars, to enhance our work in education and to invest in our publicly-owned facilities, I am asking the City-County Council for a fiscal ordinance to spend a total of $5.5 million and set our community on a course of enhanced economic growth.
It’s no secret how tight our city budget is. That’s why I propose that the $5.5 million of expenditures should be paid for with collections from past economic development deals.
The opportunity to collect these funds are incorporated into the public-private partnership agreements we establish on tax abatement projects and call for fines to be paid by a company if it cannot follow through on its commitments.
Our duty to effectively monitor companies and their commitments to the community in exchange for incentives is one we take very seriously. Businesses need to know we take their commitments seriously, because we take job creation and retention very seriously. If businesses are unable to perform as outlined in their agreements, the city should recover the tax incentives.
Later this month, I will ask the Metropolitan Development Commission to begin the process of revoking a number of tax abatements representing the potential for $5.5 million.
For instance, last year long-time Indianapolis employer and good corporate citizen, Navistar announced they would be shuttering their plant, which through various owners, had been a fixture in our community for generations.
Previous administrations partnered with Navistar to support major capital investments and job creation activities. After long and deliberate negotiations with the city, the company has decided not to close the facility but in fact retain some jobs on the site.
They have acknowledged, however, they cannot meet all of their commitments and have agreed to pay Indianapolis $5 million. We will begin the process of working with additional remaining companies on financial settlement terms and cancellation of their abatements.
Much of what needs to be done with these economic development dollars needs to be done in areas that are particularly hard hit in tough economic times.
At a time when taxpayers’ paychecks may be shrinking, or worse, going away, government owes it to everyone to be faithful stewards of the peoples’ money.
A hallmark of my administration has been, and will continue to be, a commitment to fiscal responsibility. Two years into my term, I can stand before you to say we have kept our commitment to the Indianapolis taxpayer.
Despite the fact that municipalities across the country are laying off workers, instituting furloughs, or flat out eliminating basic services and even shutting down for entire days, your city government is avoiding these drastic measures and looking for ways to improve services through efficiency.
For the second year in a row we have produced an honestly-balanced budget. That means for the second year in a row your city and county government is spending less money than it receives in taxes.
Not only did we balance the budget, we also put millions in a rainy day fund for the first time in our city’s history. Let me say that again: we have a rainy day fund for the first time in our city’s history.
We’ve done this through a relentless search for efficiencies in how we perform our work and a genuine and sustained commitment to improving how we deliver government services.
For example two years ago, the Department of Public Works was looking at a massive $185 million engineering project to allow us to better treat roughly 300 million gallons of wastewater per day at the Belmont plant.
Through value engineering and driven by my administration’s determination to make taxpayer dollars stretch as far as possible, this same project is now scheduled for a bid award at a cost of $53.4 million—a savings of more than $130 million to taxpayers, while delivering a higher quality of service.
Another example would be the Parks Department. Our drive to improve the quality of Parks is one of reasons cited by the Lilly Endowment when they decided to award the Parks Foundation a grant in the amount of $7.3 million to address capital improvement needs. Folks, this is the largest grant in the history of the Parks Foundation.
We’ve also encouraged public-private partnerships with companies like Citizens Energy Group and Brightpoint.
As part of its Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, Citizens Energy donates time and talent to revitalizing an Indianapolis park.
Last year, it was Brookside Park. This year, tomorrow in fact, Citizens Energy Group and partnering contractors are contributing more than $110,000 of in-kind work and hundreds of hours of employee volunteer service to renovate Martin Luther King, Jr. Park and the Pride Park Community Center.
Also, as volunteers, Brightpoint’s employees performed work on the Watkins Park Family Center and sports fields. In all, over $100,000 worth of work and volunteer hours were donated through their generosity.
Our parks simply would not be the same without this public-private charitable partnership.
With the economy still on the mend, and the state hit hard by diminishing revenues, let me state plainly that the next city budget will be the toughest one yet.
We will weather this fiscal storm. We will because of the benefits of our fiscal discipline these past years and because, in City Controller David Reynolds, we have one of brightest and most respected financial minds found at any level of government.
Another area where we’ve vastly improved how government works for you is the Mayor’s Action Center.
As one of the primary methods through which citizens request the very services their tax dollars provide, the Mayor’s Action Center simply must be held to the highest standard.
And I can say, unequivocally, that under the direction of Sarah Taylor, the MAC is living up to that standard.
At the same time that we are handling over five percent more calls than two years ago, call abandoned rates have decreased by 87 percent.
Also, for the first time in the MAC’s history, we are calling you so we can make sure we’ve addressed your problem. I made the 25,000th outbound call myself just a few months ago, and by the end of 2009 the MAC made just over 30,000 outbound calls.
The turnaround at the MAC is indicative of our effort to reinvigorate all of local government and listen to the taxpayer.
Listening to you and making the government you pay for actually work for you is an important part of my administration. And so is shrinking the size of government.
Even after Mayor Lugar’s Unigov and Mayor Peterson’s IndyWorks, local government here still looks more like “Multigov.”
Last year, I proposed Unigov 2.0, a legislative package to further streamline township, city, and county government. This year, we are focusing on reform where it’s needed the most—the township level.
My Unigov 2.0 plan will bring greater efficiency, transparency, and accountability to your government. With township government occurring outside of the view of the public and our City-County Council, there is limited oversight of their budgets, tax rates, and effectiveness—as well as limited accountability.
We must hold townships accountable. The question is: how do we do that?
First and foremost, we need to finish the consolidation of township fire departments and EMS services into the Indianapolis Fire Department. We should reform township assistance so that there are uniform standards across our county and an organization, namely the Health & Hospital Corporation, that has a proven track record of assisting those in need.
We should shift township government’s excess funds to the City so that they can be appropriated by the City-County Council for investment in sidewalks and other infrastructure.
Ultimately, if my proposal passes, by 2013, township government will be thoughtfully transitioned into city-county government.
Reforming government is more than just a way to save taxpayer money—although that’s critically important. It’s also a way to show the business community that we are serious about competing in a 21st-century economy without being burdened by a 19th-century government.
Now, we all know what Job One is in my administration and that’s public safety. You know it because I’ve said it so many times over the past two years, and because, we are delivering.
Our commitment to fighting crime starts with the tremendously smart, dedicated, and hard-working police officers, firefighters, sheriff’s deputies and park rangers putting their lives on the line to protect Indianapolis and its residents.
The murder count in the IMPD service district is less than 100 for the first time since 1993. Murders throughout the entire county were down double-digits and incidents of rape were down 18 percent.
It is imperative that we remember these are not mere numbers. They represent people – human beings.
We were able to make our city safer in large part because of former Public Safety Director and Marion County Prosecutor Scott Newman. He is here with us tonight, and I ask everyone to acknowledge this public servant who has spent his career making us feel safer.
Our newly appointed Public Safety Director Dr. Frank Straub is a proven, results-oriented leader when it comes to fighting crime in a large, diverse urban environment. He has the experience and intellectual background to improve our Public Safety Department in Indianapolis, the willingness to work constructively with our public safety professionals, the awareness to understand that our city finds strength in its diversity, and the determination to stand with our communities and against the criminals.
He’s even agreed to stop being a New York Jets fan now that he’s here. Dr. Straub, will you please stand so you can receive a warm Hoosier welcome?
Public safety is Job One because we must feel safe to effectively host conventions, to keep and bring jobs to Indianapolis, to improve the education of our children and to have fun with our friends and family. There is no separating the impact public safety has on the betterment of our city. When government officials take that for granted, they do so at all of our peril.
We distributed over $4 million in community crime prevention grants last year and this year, and reinstituted community policing. So your officers are now in the neighborhoods asking “what’s happening?”—not just “what happened?”
All of our wonderful venues, our beautiful parks, and our attractive trails lose their value if people are afraid to visit them.
The commitment to making Indianapolis safer is fundamental in my administration and we will not waver from this commitment.
As you know, we have been working hard over the past two years to address the problems of every area of the city – through our neighborhood liaisons and our community outreach programs.
But as someone who grew up and went to school in the heart of Indianapolis, I know that this central area of our city must also not be forgotten.
And in the first two years of my administration, downtown and the surrounding areas have not been forgotten. We have invested millions of dollars to improve the quality of life of inner-city residents, their economic prospects, and their neighborhoods.
We cannot have a prosperous Indianapolis without a prosperous urban core. We are fortunate to have Olgen Williams as deputy mayor of Neighborhoods working hard on that challenge.
Politics and voting histories cannot matter when you’re trying to build a better city. That’s one of the reasons I authorized the spending of millions of dollars to fix pools in Center Township that were leaking millions of gallons of water a year.
It’s why I made public safety job one and appointed a public safety director who is committed to diversity in the police and fire department.
It’s why the money donated by the Lilly Endowment will go primarily to parks serving the urban core.
It’s why my office is partnering with Congressman Andre Carson’s office so that we will have a fair and complete count in the 2010 Census.
It’s why I wholeheartedly supported the recently-passed referendum to build a new Wishard and make sure those who need health care have access to the best care available.
It’s why I asked my team at Corporation Counsel to fix the City's broken Equal Opportunity Division.
It’s why Corporation Counsel turned a 200-case backlog of discrimination claims dating back to the previous administration into a zero-case backlog of discrimination claims. And we’ve reduced the adjudication period for discrimination claims from 700 days to 90 days.
It’s why my Administration has been doing outreach to the minority community to get the word out that this city is open for business and ready to handle your discrimination claims in a timely and respectful manner.
It’s why 49 percent of my board and commission appointments represented women or minorities.
It’s why I am fighting against the blight of abandoned homes by seeking as much money as possible to rebuild those neighborhoods most affected by this problem.
It’s why we have expanded our Charter Schools program, so that parents of children who need a different educational environment have an attractive and successful educational option.
It’s why we have revamped and revitalized our First Tee program so inner-city youths can learn the wonderful game of golf through the Indy Parks system.
It’s why we have, under the leadership of Director Greg Wilson, made minority and women business development a keystone of our economic development strategy unlike anything seen before in our city. We must have a stronger urban core and we will.
In fact, it’s why I am a big fan of the “Down Home Cooking” restaurant just down the street from where we are tonight on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
It’s why $2 million will be invested to remodel the neighborhood surrounding this restaurant to make it more attractive to businesses and use art and streetscapes to tell the story of this historic neighborhood.
And we have the owners of Down Home Cooking in the audience tonight—Sam and Vee Thompson, will you please stand and be applauded for your entrepreneurial spirit?
In the coming weeks, we will call on all of Indianapolis to help us do one of the most important, fundamental things we can do as a community to help keep our city on track for positive growth.
2010 is a Census year.
Working with Congressman Andre Carson’s office, we created the bipartisan Complete Count Committee to make sure everyone is counted. The health of our city, and those most in need depend on it.
Let me repeat, no neighborhood will be left behind in our drive to make Indianapolis a more livable city, no business will be left behind in our drive to create jobs, no student will be left behind in our drive for better schools, and no block will be left behind in our drive for a safer Indianapolis.
We must embrace creative ways to make the old Indianapolis neighborhoods the new Indianapolis.
This vision for the future will only become reality if we are willing to tackle generations-old problems with intelligent and innovative thinking. “We’ve never done it that way before” is not a phrase you’ll ever hear in my administration.
The City Market has fallen on rough times.
My administration is determined to face the challenges plaguing this proud landmark.
We have solicited bids and ideas from community organizations, engaged the City Market board, and appealed to civic-minded groups—all to revitalize the Market.
It is also clear that we must embrace sustainable technologies and principles if we want to be cost-effective in our work and our structures.
Shortly after my administration began, we created the Office of Sustainability to serve as the driver for our green initiatives. It is the first office of its kind in our city government history.
We have made tremendous progress under the leadership of Director Karen Haley.
In 2009, we added over 20 miles of bike lanes to our roads and were designated a “Bicycle Friendly City” by the League of American Bicyclists. Additionally, we will be installing another 11 miles this spring, and have another 21 miles in the design phase.
Last year, we conducted a thorough review of 70 city-owned buildings to gauge the potential for these buildings to be more energy efficient.
As a result of the review, work will commence this year to retrofit these facilities—including the City Market and the City-County Building—with energy saving green technologies. This work will diminish the environmental footprint of these buildings and save approximately $2 million a year.
We can’t talk about sustainability in our city without mentioning the efforts of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
As you walked into this building, you may have noticed banners advertising the Virginia B. Fairbanks 100 Acres Art and Nature Park on the IMA grounds. Formerly a gravel pit and construction area, the Park has transformed a troubled site into a lush and wild natural terrain.
The City of Indianapolis and the museum recently agreed to terms allowing the museum to develop and maintain a parking area and main entrance to the park on land owned by the City.
We were pleased to be able to partner with the IMA in hopes of attracting even more visitors to this unique site, and I am particularly pleased that the parking area will be a zero-runoff project utilizing bioswales and native grasses to filter storm water.
You’re also sitting in a room - the floor of which was 100 percent made with recycled tires.
In fact, this theater was constructed with recycled glass, recycled wood, recycled carpet, and recycled concrete. If someone tells you recycling can’t be beautiful, they’ve never been to the Toby Theater.
This wonderful museum is a profoundly important and well-established leader in the cultural life of our City. And having just had its 125th birthday, it has never looked better.
What may be less well-known, however, is that there are more than 200 arts and cultural organizations and thousands of artists who help infuse the soul of Indianapolis with creativity and energy.
Not only do the arts help make our city a place we all want to call home, they add to our quality of life in other ways, such as the generation of more than $50 million in tax revenue.
In every budget I have submitted, I have advocated supporting the Indianapolis Arts Council with $1 million so more than 50 community institutions can offer education and outreach activities for our residents.
For each dollar we invest in the Arts, research shows generally five new dollars are returned to the local economy.
We should be very proud and very supportive of the arts community here in Indianapolis.
During last year’s state of the city address, I announced the creation of the Infrastructure Advisory Commission, chaired by the dean of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, Prof. Bill Blomquist.
Since that time, the Commission has been busy studying ways to tackle our city’s infrastructure needs and holding public hearings so citizens can have their concerns heard as well.
We simply must think creatively in attacking these problems and not think narrowly when presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address a generations-old problem.
There’s been some talk about a potential deal that could possibly generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the city, while at the same time mitigating rate increases in water and wastewater bills that simply couldn’t come at a worse time for Indianapolis families.
But, any new approach must be an agreement that represents the best interests of taxpayers, ratepayers, and the city. And as long as I’m mayor, I pledge to you that it will.
When we think of infrastructure, we think of roads, bridges, and sidewalks among other things—but we don’t necessarily think about mass transit.
In 2009, I initiated a private sector committee, headed by Al Hubbard, John Neighbours, and Bob Palmer to work with our planners to study the feasibility of mass transit in Central Indiana. I asked them to evaluate all regional transportation options and develop a plan that would serve as the foundation for further discussion.
Mass transit is about connecting our city’s neighborhoods with our city’s businesses. It’s about connecting the core of our downtown with the suburbs and beyond.
We’ve built new bike lanes. We’re starting new trails and lengthening others. We’ve invested millions of dollars in our traditional infrastructure and are discussing ways to carefully invest much more.
Our conversation is about the inter-connectivity of our entire infrastructure with our parks and other spaces and our connection to the rest of the world. Modernizing how we move around this city is a signal to the rest of the world that Indianapolis is ready to join the front ranks of 21st-century urban environments.
In 2010, our mass transit discussion won’t be about traffic congestion, but rather about how improving our transportation structure and strategy will improve the health of our regional economy and make us even more competitive for companies wanting to bring their jobs to Indianapolis.
My administration is committed to exploring public-private partnerships for mass transit, infrastructure, enhancing our ability to generate revenue, and, finally, sponsorship deals that can relieve the burden felt by the Indianapolis taxpayer. We’ve laid the foundation for these discussions and these opportunities, and, for many of these ideas and possibilities, 2010 will be remembered as a year of action—action that is long overdue.
We have entered a new era of governance in Indianapolis. While we boldly build for the future, we continue to focus on the quality of life issues affecting ordinary citizens in their everyday lives—the grass roots element of governing.
My vision for a renewed Indianapolis landscape starts with the basics expected by the citizens of their government. This doesn’t mean we don’t embrace our past accomplishments, but rather we build on them.
It is a vision for a safer city, one in which people leave their homes and play with their children with the knowledge their government is doing all it can to protect them.
It is a vision for more representative, more efficient, more responsive government. One that treats the needs of the citizens as its highest priority.
It is a vision for an ever-increasing investment in fostering job creation and retention and sustained economic momentum. It’s making sure Indianapolis’s voice is heard when it comes to creating jobs and landing the most lucrative conventions.
It is a vision of diversifying our diversity to include our growing Hispanic, Chinese, Indian, and other populations and working with business leaders, entrepreneurs, and educators to promote the growth of minority businesses and to make sure our fellow citizens are, in the words of Dr. King, our brothers, not just our brothers-in-law.
It is a vision for not accepting anything less than the best we can do for every neighborhood.
It is a vision of being unafraid to reach out to the private sector to tackle problems that could have been addressed a generation ago if only the opportunity and the will were present.
It is a vision of a more sustainable, a more livable city that prospers with the aid of - and without the interference of - the political structure.
It is a vision of a transparent and responsive administration. One that listens to your views during frequent public meetings, publishes information on the city’s website, holds public budget reviews, and a monthly Mayor’s Night Out.
It is a vision of an administration instituting the toughest ethics laws in our city government’s history—to include new rules for lobbyists who contact our elected representatives.
It is a vision of a dynamic local government unencumbered by the burdens of an outdated 19th-century configuration. One that provides the tools and leadership for a higher quality of life, but leaves the energy of initiative to the citizen, his dreams and his hard work.
One year ago, I said that what made life good is a combination of the ordinary things, but a big city that can get the ordinary things right can be an extraordinary place to live.
And because of the character and strength of its citizens, Indianapolis remains that place. We have only just begun our journey to transform our city. The fate of our shared concerns and triumphs remain intertwined. We have much to do, yet much to be proud of.
Thank you to the Indianapolis Museum of Art for hosting us tonight and to all of you for coming out this evening.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) would like to remind residents that there will be NO curbside recycling, residential or heavy trash collection on Monday, January 18, in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

All residential trash, heavy trash and curbside recycling routes will run one day behind for the entire week. Monday routes will be serviced on Tuesday, January 19; Tuesday routes will be serviced on Wednesday, January 20; and so on, through Friday routes being serviced on Saturday, January 23. All services will return to normal schedules on Monday, January 25.

For more information, please contact the Mayor’s Action Center at (317) 327-4622 (MAC).


With cold weather in full effect, treacherous driving conditions are not the only concern in Indianapolis this winter season. Ice and snow that covers storm inlets can also contribute to drainage problems and slick conditions on residential streets. As a result, the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) is asking residents and property owners to do their part and regularly check and clear storm inlets of snow, ice and other debris.

“We live in a city where the weather can fluctuate greatly and all the freezing and thawing of snow and ice can have a significant impact on our community,” DPW Director David Sherman said. “Clearing inlets when you shovel your driveway or sidewalk is one small way to improve your neighborhood this winter.”

Clogged or blocked storm inlets can lead to numerous problems. Snow and ice can block proper water flow into storm inlets resulting in drainage problems, flooded streets and dangerous conditions, such as black ice on streets and sidewalks. In addition, standing water on streets can work its way into the sanitary and combined sewers, taking up needed capacity and contributing to raw sewage overflows and backups at homes and businesses.

There are more than 10,000 miles of drainage facilities in Marion County. Approximately 6,000 of those miles are on private property and must be maintained by property owners, according to Sections 431-506 and 561-211 of the Revised Code of the City and County. For these property owners, drainage responsibilities include clearing storm inlets.

For further information, please call the Mayor’s Action Center at 327.4622 or visit

Please join us for a Hospital Accountability Project (HAP) Community Meeting

Are you drowning in hospital bills? Have you had problems getting care at an area hospital? Do you want to learn more about your rights as a healthcare consumer? Are you being sued for overdue medical bills and need an attorney?

Saturday January 23, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 (Noon)

at Southeast Community Services 901 Shelby Street

HAP: Working to improve Indianapolis hospitals’ charity care policies to ensure that uninsured and underinsured citizens can access hospital care without incurring large amounts of debt.

Sponsored by Citizens Action Coalition Education Fund and Indiana Legal Services. Information contact CACEF 317-205-3535 or

Monday, January 11, 2010

Indianapolis’ first exposition celebrating health, beauty and fitness to be held January 23-24

The inaugural Indy Health Expo, Saturday January 23 and Sunday, January 24 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, will help Indianapolis area residents stick to those New Year’s resolutions by hosting more than 150 of the finest local and national health, beauty and fitness professionals, as well as offering two days of motivation; Indianapolis’ only health and wellness exposition will feature a wide variety of celebrities and entertainers who will share helpful advice, seminars, demonstrations, products and services to aid the body, mind, and soul in 2010.

Four stages throughout Indy Health Expo will offer non-stop demonstrations and informative seminars; more than 50 talks, presentations and interactive events will feature national and local experts.

Special programs at Indy Health Expo for creating a healthy body include:

* Fitness guru Jaime Brenkus, creator of the 8 MINUTE ABS workout (which has sold over one million units) and a nationally-recognized weight loss and fitness expert, will present his Slim & FIT personal fitness program designed to help people lose weight, get in shape to sustain a healthier and happier lifestyle. Jaime will make presentations on both Saturday and Sunday of the show.

* Renowned pediatrician Dr. James Sears, better known as “Dr. Jim,” from the popular television show “The Doctors,” will focus on health and children in his discussion The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood. Dr. Jim has been featured on's "Ask the Expert," and has written for Parenting and BabyTalk magazines.He has offeredhis medical adviceon many national television news programs including 20/20, Dr. Phil, Donahue, Good Morning America, Oprah, CBS This Morning, CNN, NBC's Today Show and Dateline. Dr. Sears will speak on Sunday, January 24 at 1 pm.

* Stylist to the stars, Peter Lamas, known for his works on such celebrities as Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Diana Ross, Jacqueline Kennedy, Sharon Stone, Britney Spears and Kate Winslet, will present about the myths and facts of the beauty industry and behind-the-scenes information of what's actually in today’s beauty products. He is the founder of Lamas Beauty International, which delivers high-performance organic beauty products that contain healthy, natural ingredients and free of harmful chemicals.

Indy Health Expo will also host experts offering sound advice for the mind and creating financial fitness:

· Indianapolis’ First Lady Winnie Ballard will speak about Indy's Campaign for Financial Fitness and the Save Smart, Live Smart program, aimed at improving Indianapolis residents’ financial health by making 2010 the year to learn saving habits. Members of Bank On Indy will join Mrs. Ballard onsite to help inform Indy Health Expo attendees about the free checking accounts offered and learn the strategies to improve their long term financial health and credit. Mrs. Ballard will speak Sunday, January 24 at 2 pm.

· Peter Dunn, also known as “Pete the Planner,” will offer insight and strategies for financial health from his book “60 Days to Change.” His topic “Financial and Physical Fitness Go Hand-in-Hand” will help attendees use the same skills that they use to attend to their physical fitness needs to help their financial lives. Dunn is an award-winning comedian and financial expert, whose messages of planning and budgeting relate specifically to the lifestyles and challenges of Gen X and Gen Y consumers. He hosts regular podcasts on iTunes, has appeared in local media and on television throughout Indiana, as well as making national appearances on the FOX News Channel.

In addition, Indy Health Expo will offer fantastic entertainment for the health of the soul:

· Just announced! National recording artists Blessid Union of Souls will perform their most popular hits as well as some new songs in a live concert beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 23. Members of the acclaimed pop-rock group will be at Indy Health Expo on Saturday from 4 to 5 pm to sign autographs and meet with fans. Blessid Union’s appearance is to support its new foundation, which funds employment for physically and mentally challenged individuals.

· Between the close of the show at 6 pm on Saturday and the start of Blessid Union concert, Indy Health Expo visitors can participate in a Community Drum Circle organized by Bongo Boy Music School, Recreational Music & Wellness Center.

The Champions Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds will be filled for Indy Health Expo with a wide array of products and services – more than 150 exhibitors, including beauty and fitness products, health food retailers, hospitals, physicians, dentists, natural and alternative practitioners, chiropractors, and community and non-profit organizations.

Indy Health Expo is open Saturday and Sunday, January 23 and 24, 2010 from 11 am to 6 pm. Single-day admission to Indy Health Expo is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, and free for children under 12. A two-day pass is available for $15. Tickets for Indy Health Expo and the Blessid Union of Souls concert on Saturday January 23 are $20 each, with the proceeds benefiting Hire Calling. Discount tickets for Indy Health Expo are available by logging onto the event website. For general information about Indy Health Expo or to inquire more about, call 317.536.8800 or log onto

Saturday, January 9, 2010


The Office of Sustainability, in conjunction with Indy
Parks, the Department of Public Works and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful,
will host the fourth annual Post-Holiday Recycling Event on Saturday,
January 9, 2010

WHAT: This one-day event is designed to offer residents an
environmentally safe way to dispose of unwanted electronics and to
provide a reuse and recycling option for Christmas trees. Through this
event, residents are able to do their part as we make Indianapolis a
cleaner, more sustainable city.

Accepted items include:
* Christmas trees (remove all ornaments, lights, tree stands, plastic
bags, and other decorations)
* Cardboard boxes
* Gift boxes (no wrapping paper)
* Styrofoam (white foam, clean with no glue)
* Electronics (examples include: computer equipment, cell phones, TV's
no larger than 27 inches, VCRs, DVD players and stereos)
Volunteers will be on hand to help unload recyclables.

WHERE: Broad Ripple Park - 1550 Broad Ripple Avenue
Ellenberger Park - 5301 E. St. Clair Street
Garfield Park - 2354 Pagoda Drive
Krannert Park - 605 S. High School Road

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, January 9, 2010

“Bootleg exhibitions: play”


1656 English Ave.

Indianapolis, IN 46201

This coming First Friday, Bootleg Exhibitions will be having their second group exhibition opening, “Bootleg Exhibitions: play,” at 1656 English Ave, across the street from the Mt. Comfort gallery. This exhibition will be showcasing the work of emerging artists from Denver (CO), Chicago (IL), Tempe (AZ), South Bend (IN), Minneapolis (MN), Winnipeg (Canada), Buffalo (NY), Richmond (IN), as well as local Indianapolis artists. Come join us for our public receptions on the first Friday of Feb. 5th and March 5th from 6pm to 10pm. This exhibition may also be viewed by appointment (contact us at

Friday, January 8, 2010


Indy Parks’ Winter/Spring Fun Guide available; registration going on now

Sign up for winter/spring programs with Indy Parks! The 2010 Winter/Spring Fun Guide is now available at and your nearest family center or Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library branch. Get the latest program schedules and park events at Indy Parks facilities. To register, call 327-PARK or send in the registration form on page 48 of the 2010 Winter/Spring Fun Guide.

Indy Parks offers a broad variety of programs for all ages and interests. Learn to ballroom dance at Broad Ripple Park, get wet at Krannert Park’s indoor aquatic center, learn to ice skate at Perry Park Ice Rink or learn how to transform sap from a Sugar Maple Tree at Southeastway Park.

Indy Parks distributes three Fun Guides each calendar year: Winter/Spring, Summer and Fall. For more information on Indy Parks programs and activities, please visit or call 327-PARK.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Employee Volunteer Days of Service Celebrate and Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

with Refurbishment of Martin Luther King Park Pool Bathhouse and Pride Park Community Center

Citizens Energy Group and partnering contractors are contributing more than $110,000 in in-kind work and hundreds of hours of employee volunteer service to renovate Martin Luther King Park’s pool bathhouse on the City’s Near-Northside and Pride Park Community Center on the City’s Eastside in a unique public-private partnership with Indy Parks honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

At the pool bathhouse at Martin Luther King Park, Citizens Energy Group is providing contractors and volunteers to replace the roof, paint the floors, ceilings, benches and walls, repair wooden beams, install new fixtures, shower curtains and bathroom stall doors, and create wall murals. At Pride Park Community Center, contractors and volunteers are remodeling the bathrooms and kitchen, building a half wall to create a recreation area in the one-room center, renovating the office and storage areas, replacing fixtures, installing new ceiling tiles, decorating, painting and supplying new appliances. Partnering industrial contractor Marksmen Construction Services’ in-kind contributions to the projects total $36,000. In addition, C.E. Reeve Roofing and Firestone Building Products have provided combined work and materials contributions totaling about $25,000. Local interior/architecture firm Mitsch Design is providing $2,500 in services.

“With Sharing the Dream, Citizens Energy Group reaffirms its commitment to helping the City of Indianapolis create a world-class parks system,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “This very generous donation of time, energy and resources by Citizens Energy Group’s staff and leadership showcases the community spirit of this corporate entity and exemplifies the kind of public-private partnerships we seek to support our assets for decades to come.”

Sharing the Dream 2010 marks Citizens Energy Group’s second service project with Indy Parks. Citizens Energy Group’s first Sharing the Dream project in January 2009 resulted in more than $50,000 worth of improvements to Brookside Park Family Center.

The Martin Luther King Park pool bathhouse serves Indy Parks patrons who recreate at the outdoor pool, a popular summertime destination. The Pride Park Community Center provides after-school opportunities and summer day camp programs to area children and teenagers.

“Through Sharing the Dream 2010, Citizens Energy Group is proud to continue our tradition of honoring Dr. King and his tremendous service to humanity by supporting the renovations at Martin Luther King Park and Pride Park,” said Carey Lykins, president and CEO of Citizens Energy Group. “We are privileged to work with Indy Parks while reinforcing our commitment to neighborhood redevelopment and enhancing the quality of life in our community.”

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010, Citizens Energy Group volunteers will paint, clean and undertake other projects at the Martin Luther King Park pool bathhouse. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, Citizens Energy Group volunteers will perform a second Day of Sharing at Pride Park Community Center. About 200 Citizens Energy Group employee volunteers are expected to participate during their regular working hours on Thursday and Friday. On Monday, Jan. 18, 2010, Dr. Martin Luther King Day, Mr. Lykins and other dignitaries will serve refreshments to area residents at open houses at each facility.

“This partnership highlights the heart and passion Citizens Energy Group’s employees bring to our neighborhoods,” said Indy Parks Director Stuart Lowry. “I can think of no better canvas for this year’s Sharing the Dream project than Martin Luther King Park, which honors the past with a wonderful memorial to Dr. King while serving the neighborhood today with great amenities, including our pool. We are extremely grateful for Citizens Energy Group’s gift of time and talent for this vital green footprint and look forward to sharing the upgrades with our patrons.”


Mayor Greg Ballard will give his third annual State of the City address Wednesday, January 13th at the Indianapolis Museum of Art Toby Theater.











7:00 P.M.


Three new bicycle ordinances are in place at the start of 2010 that reinforce the city's commitment to establishing and continuing a safe bicycle program for the City of Indianapolis.

The new ordinances provide safety measures for both bicyclists and motorists and give the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department the authority to ensure the proper use of bicycle lanes and paths.

"These ordinances are designed to protect both bicyclists and motorists," said City of Indianapolis Office of Sustainability Director, Kären Haley. "Mayor Ballard has shown a great commitment to making our city one of the most sustainable cities in the Midwest. These bicycle ordinances are just one example of how he is making his vision of a connected and bicycle friendly community a reality."

The ordinances emphasize that bike lanes are to be exclusively used for bicycles and cyclists have the right of way in those lanes. The ordinances also prohibit driving, standing or parking in a bike lane or bike path and establish a minimum passing distance of three feet for vehicles passing a cyclist. Additionally, the ordinances address unattended bicycles and bicycles not in operation and bicycles operated on sidewalks.

These are the first ordinances passed by the City of Indianapolis and are in line with the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly city program. City ordinances, state bicycle laws and additional details about the city’s bike lane plan are available online at:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Donation of Fire Extinguishers and Smoke Detectors tied to launch of “Fiery Grilled Wings” is first partnership of its kind for City

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mayor Greg Ballard and Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) Chief Brian Sanford met with representatives from Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) to accept the first of 33 new fire extinguishers and funding for approximately 1,000 new smoke detectors, presented as part of a pilot sponsorship program with the Louisville-based company.

In lieu of a traditional advertising campaign, KFC is promoting its new product through public-private partnership and sponsorship opportunities designed to provide needed fire safety improvements and equipment. In Indianapolis, that sponsorship means 33 new fire extinguishers in 17 Indy Parks Family and Recreational Centers and approximately 1,000 smoke detectors provided to IFD for distribution to residents in Marion County.

“Public safety is job one in Indianapolis, and public-private partnerships that help tax dollars stretch further to support public safety efforts are a welcomed investment in our community,” said Mayor Ballard. “This is an example of the kinds of partnerships we would like to increase throughout the City, and I’m glad to see KFC embrace this kind of creative approach.”

Prior to arriving in Indianapolis, the KFC team traveled to Brazil, Ind. to assist that city with needed fire hydrant repairs. KFC will also extend an offer to assist mayors of other cities in meeting their needs for fire extinguishers and hydrants in their communities.

In Indianapolis, is a portal open to all residents and companies to submit ideas for public-private partnerships that provide a true public benefit to the community and bring in revenue to help offset budgeted expenses. The Web site provides a public policy statement that governs this initiative and was designed with the help of citizens and representatives from community organizations throughout Indianapolis.

This program was developed by locally-based Third Street Partners, with the collaboration of the Mayor's Office and KFC.


United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) and Indianapolis Mayor Greg
Ballard's office team up to announce the start of the 2010 Winter
Assistance Fund and accept $355,000 in start-up contributions.

Funders include Citizens Energy Group, Indianapolis Power & Light, Nina
Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF
affiliate, The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate, and the James
Proctor Fund for Aged Men and Women, a CICF Fund.

Mayor Ballard and UWCI President and CEO Ellen K. Annala will
explain the program, urge people in the community to give, answer
questions and accept contributions.

Also available to answer questions will be representatives from local
funders, Indianapolis Urban League, a United Way agency that helps
administer the program; Connect2Help, a United Way agency that offers
confidential telephone assistance for people who need help; and, service
center case workers who guide individuals through the application

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 7.

WHERE: Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, 2nd floor, 1920 West Morris

WHY: The Winter Assistance Fund (WAF) helps ensure those who need
energy assistance the most have warm homes during the coldest months of
the year.

Last year, the fund helped 2,082 households, including seniors and
families with children, by raising $717,040 in assistance.

Calls to Connect2Help for utility assistance have skyrocketed 387
percent in the last five years.

The data was reported by Connect2Help, a United Way agency which
operates the 2-1-1 telephone information and referral service.



* Great temporary full & part-time temporary job opportunities with flexible hours

* Work in your own area

* Competitive pay from $11.00 to more than $15.00 per hour with mileage reimbursement

The 2010 Census is offering testing/recruiting sessions in your area for Census Takers and other jobs! Call 866-861-2010 for information on testing/recruiting sites, dates and times. You may also download a practice test to help you prepare by visiting

Monday, January 4, 2010

Peace Learning Center's 12th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Festival

Join the Peace Learning Center on Saturday, January 16, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at CTS (Christian Theological Seminary) located at 1000 West 42nd Street, Indianapolis, (SW corner of Butler U). This event is free an open to the public.

Enjoy Drumming...Art Workshops...Family Yoga... Hip Hop Poetry with Blair Karsch...Community groups with volunteer opportunities, vendors and Free Lunch!

This indoor festival is for everyone! Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through music, hip hop poetry, African drumming, yoga, dialogues about justice and unity, and art making activities. The day will celebrate Dr. King's vision of a diverse and respectful community for everyone.

For more information concerning this event contact Lisa Jones at, or call (317) 327-7144.

The Indiana Health Study

The Indiana Health Study is collecting information about the population of Central Indiana as a way of helping to make our community healthier. The Indiana Health Study will allow researchers to learn more about chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer that are common in our community, and may lead to better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat these diseases. The success of the Indiana Health Study depends on your participation.

People with chronic diseases as well as people who do not have chronic diseases are needed for the Indiana Health Study. If you are interested in participating in the Indiana Health Study, please call 317-238-7050 or send an email to You can find more information at The Indiana Health Study is sponsored by the Fairbanks Institute for Healthy Communities, a not-for-profit organization.

2010 Indianapolis Matching Awards for Great Indy Neighborhoods Engagement (IMAGINE)

IMAGINE ways you can enhance your community! Apply today to support projects that focus on enhancing connections in neighborhoods.

The goal of IMAGINE is to support the engagement, collective action and increased development of all neighborhoods and neighborhood-based organizations. Eligible not-for-profit neighborhood organizations can apply for between $500 to $5,000 in IMAGINE support. IMAGINE grant recipients must offer a dollar-for-dollar match, but may count volunteer labor, donated materials, supplies, services or cash as part of that match. These grants are designed to help implement improvement projects throughout the city.

In 2010, IMAGINE grants will be awarded quarterly. All applications must be submitted to INRC by 5:00pm with the following application deadlines:

· Wednesday, February 24

· Wednesday, June 2

· Wednesday, August 25

· Wednesday, December 1

All interested IMAGINE applicants are required to attend a Technical Assistance (TA) session before submitting an IMAGINE application. Technical assistance sessions will be offered before each IMAGINE deadline. The first TA session for 2010 will be from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on Wednesday, January 13 and from 10:00am to 12:00pm Saturday, February 13. Both sessions will be at the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center's (INRC) offices at 1802 N. Illinois Street.

Interested neighborhood-based organizations can access the application, guidelines and more information online, by going to,, emailing, or calling (317) 920-0330.


Mayor’s Office of Ex-Offender Re-Entry to Hold ‘First Day Out’ Mentor Training Tonight

When ex-offenders re-enter Marion County, the chances of a successful reintegration are aided by mentors and case managers that help them transition back into the community. Starting this evening, the Mayor’s Office of Ex-Offender Re-Entry and the Church of Acts will begin training sessions for men and women looking to become mentors through the “First Day Out Initiative.”

The “First Day Out Initiative,” focuses on mentoring offenders while they are still in prison and through the critical days after they return to Marion County.

“The First Day Out Initiative is key piece to the puzzle when you discuss re-entry efforts here in Marion County,” said Rhiannon Williams, the Director of Ex-Offender Re-Entry in the Mayor’s Office. “We are looking for a diverse group of mentors so that we can make lasting connections with current and soon-to-be ex-offenders in Indianapolis/Marion County.”

The program assigns each mentee both a mentor and a case manager. The job of the case manager is to coordinate services while the mentor serves as a support system, someone the mentee can contact if they need encouragement, or just someone that will listen. The first in a series of training sessions for mentors will be held this evening at 7 p.m. at the Church of Acts.

Federal funding for the “First Day Out Initiative” was provided by the Bureau of Justice Assistance with the support of U.S. Congressman Andre Carson’s Office.

About the Mayor’s Office of Ex-Offender Re-Entry

Each year in Indianapolis, approximately 5,000 ex-offenders re-enter Marion County. Many are faced with the difficult challenge of reintegrating into society after months and sometimes years in prison.

In 2010, training workshops for local service providers are being planned along with the implementation of a new re-entry website that will link ex-offenders with service providers and all other local and statewide criminal justice partners.

Last year, the Mayor formed a 26 – person Re-Entry Task Force charged with developing partnerships with government, business, service providers, faith-based organizations and community members to come up with creative solutions to the issues and problems facing ex-offenders.

The Mayor’s Office of Ex-Offender Re-Entry also held a Service Provider Forum last October which was designed to build leadership capacity within the Non-Profit Community, to define the City’s role within Re-Entry in Marion County, and to help Non-Profits assess their capacity to deliver quality services to Ex-Offenders.

To learn more about Ex-Offender Re-Entry or to become a mentor, please contact:

Rhiannon T. Williams

Director of Re-Entry

City of Indianapolis--Office of Mayor Gregory A. Ballard

Office: 327-5793


BOI Upcoming Workshops

As we welcome a New Year, let BOI classes help you with your resolution to start that business you've been dreaming of or to further educate yourself to improve the business you are currently operating. Contact us now to reserve a spot in one or more of our upcoming programs!

If you're just getting started on your path to business ownership, consider these classes:

Introduction to Business Ownership
Learn what it takes to start a business, assess your readiness, set your goals, plan your path towards business ownership and learn how BOI's programs can help you each step along the way. Cost: Free
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 6 – 9 p.m.
Read more

Business Planning 1
In this 12-hour series, take the first steps in planning for business success by learning the fundamental business principles you need to get started. Topics include researching your market opportunity, financial planning, identifying your value proposition and how to write your business plan.Cost: Variable based on income. Preregistration and prepayment are required for this series.
Tuesdays, Jan. 19, 26, Feb. 2 and 9, 6 – 9 p.m.
Read more

For anybody whose New Year's Resolution includes improved money management and a stronger personal financial position, join us for:

Get Smart with Your Money
In this 10-hour series, learn how your personal finances affect the success of your business and how an improved personal financial position increases your “bankability” when seeking small-business financing. Topics include understanding and improving your credit report, analyzing your personal budget, changing bad money habits and setting financial goals. Cost: Variable based on income.
Thursdays, Jan. 14, 21, 28 and Feb. 4, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
Read more

And for current business owners and those of you that already have your plan in place, consider these classes for further growth and improved management of your business:

Taxes for Small Businesses
Review the various tax responsibilities of the small business owner, understand what you need to do to comply with the law and review basic rules regarding business tax deductions. Cost: $10
Thursday, Jan. 7, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
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Contracts and Negotiations
Learn how to protect your interests by understanding the principles of business contract law. Understand what to look for when reviewing a contract, what to include when creating a contract, tips for negotiating favorable terms and how to minimize conflicts. Cost: $10
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 6 – 8 p.m.
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Record Keeping for Small Businesses
Examine the essentials of record keeping for your business so that you are prepared for tax time and have the information you need to effectively manage your business. Learn what documentation is required and how to put together a simple transaction ledger. Cost: $10
Thursday, Jan. 21, 6 – 8 p.m.
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Marketing and Sales Strategies for 2010 and Beyond
In this two-part series, learn the secrets to successfully finding new customers for your business and keeping your current customers coming back for more by hearing about real world sales and marketing problems and solutions for small businesses.
Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 27 and 28, 6 – 8 p.m.
Instructors: Jeff Bowe, Chief Sales Strategist, ACTUM Group and Kim Brand, President, Computer Experts
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