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Don’t believe that local elections don’t matter…or that the polls look too lopsided and your vote won’t make a difference.  Don’t believe that what happens at the ballot box doesn’t impact our business climate.  Reject all the excuses – this is your reminder to get out on Tuesday (or before) and make your voice heard in the municipal elections. (Check out where and when you can vote here, your registration status and more.)

And sure, we want you to exercise your civic duty because it’s the cornerstone of our democracy.  But we won’t miss the opportunity to remind you about our Business Advocacy Committee (BAC) endorsements – your guide to pro-growth candidates who share our values of a more connected, competitive region where all people and employers have a fair opportunity to contribute to a growing economy.

So read on, choose wisely, and above all, go vote! (And spread the word – tell a neighbor, bring a friend, post a selfie with your ‘I voted’ sticker to shame your social media followers into going, whatever works.)

Four more years:
Starting at the top of the ballot in our capital city, the BAC supports incumbent Joe Hogsett for re-election as Mayor of Indianapolis, along with a bipartisan group of City-County Council candidates who are united across party lines by a common-sense commitment to issues like economic and workforce development, investing in infrastructure (including mass transit), neighborhood redevelopment and public safety.

We’ve worked closely with Mayor Hogsett on a more inclusive economic agenda, restructuring local incentives to upgrade our job market as we attract new business opportunities.  He’s launched initiatives like ‘Indy Achieves’ to upskill our workforce, and understands the link between personal mobility and upward mobility in supporting improved transit across Indianapolis.

It’s also notable to us that many key votes in the City-County Council end up with lopsided majorities.  Spirited debate is a good thing, but at a time of increasing political polarization, we value the bipartisan cooperation among City-County Councillors to balance city budgets and maximize investments in public safety and infrastructure.

This led the BAC to endorse a number of incumbents, along with a few challengers bringing new ideas and a fresh perspective to the campaign…after all, we have plenty of work yet to do to broadly promote economic inclusion, fight poverty and crime and find comprehensive, enforceable solutions to issues like panhandling and homelessness.

The BAC on the CCC:
With that in mind, our endorsements for City-County Council are:
District 2 – Colleen Fanning
District 3 – Dan Boots
District 4 – Michael McQuillen
District 6 – Janice McHenry
District 7 – John Barth
District 9 – William (Duke) Oliver
District 10 – Maggie Lewis
District 11 – Vop Osili
District 12 – Blake Johnson
District 13 – Keith Graves
District 14 – LaKeisha Jackson
District 15 – Jessica McCormick
District 16 – Kristin Jones
District 17 – Zach Adamson
District 18 – Michael Paul Hart
District 19 – David Ray
District 21 – Frank Mascari
District 22 – Jared Evans

Back to business on November 6th
In case you forgot over the last few paragraphs, the big takeaway from this message is to go vote on Tuesday, November 5th.  But after Election Day, no matter what happens, it’s back to the business of governing.

That brings us to Senator Jim Merritt, who has run a spirited campaign informed by an impressive career of public service.  He’s been a leader on government reform and a champion of pro-business priorities who clearly loves Indianapolis and has routinely earned the nod from the BAC for his legislative campaigns.

Just two weeks after Election Day is Organization Day for the 2020 session of the General Assembly – and if Jim Merritt is a member of the Indiana Senate next year, we’ll be seeking him out as a partner on local and regional concerns, building on some of the important ideas he’s raised during this mayoral race.

This includes the need for regional cooperation on economic development and quality of life priorities along with addressing the revenue disparities and constraints that have left Indianapolis at a structural disadvantage in funding infrastructure and keeping up with the costs of essential services.

Mayor Hogsett and Senator Merritt have both advanced plans for regional infrastructure investment, while the ‘investment hub’ concept championed by Mayor Fadness of Fishers and others targets funding for transformative capital projects.

We need an active, ongoing conversation among metro mayors and state lawmakers about addressing both goals.  Don’t believe the hype that it’s too hard to build regional consensus overcoming politics and parochialism…we have to, because after Election Day, another competition keeps going: The Indy region versus other major metros, as a destination for talent, business opportunities and investment.

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