The Big Picture
I have spent three decades watching and helping Indy grow from “Naptown” to one of Forbes Magazine’s next big “Boom Towns.” I remember when runaway taxation almost drove out tens of thousands of Indianapolis homeowners. I have experienced, first-hand, the trials of searching for work in a horrible recession.
I have had the honor of working in our Indiana statehouse (twice) during the transformational Governor Daniels years starting in 2004 and have seen, from the inside, how hard work and tough decisions there led our state to the top of the Midwest and our nation during these tough times.
I will fight to keep Indy and Indiana moving forward with innovative ideas - without resorting to the failed tax-and-spend policies advocated by our former leaders who were voted out of control over the direction of our city and state.
The Tipping Point
After the 2011 Primary Election, I was the first of several "late addition" candidates to run for City County Council in Indianapolis. Job Number 1 for my campaign was to help our Mayor get re-elected so that he could continue his work to bring Indianapolis back from the taxation and crumbling infrastructure that had the city set on a path to a slow downward spiral. While my chance of victory was virtually non-existent in a district where the odds were overwhelmingly stacked against me, my team and I campaigned hard.
We knocked on over 5000 doors (many which had not seen a candidate for office in generations), made thousands of phone calls (I personally made over 3000 in the final days of the campaign). One thing that set us apart from most other campaigns was my willingness to give each voter every possible means of contacting me - my personal email, cell phone number, and all my social media information.
While we did ultimately lose the race as expected, we turned out twice as many votes (many Independents and Democrats) as any Republican had ever managed in the district and helped Mayor Ballard to victory. Shortly before Election Day 2011, the incumbent State Representative representing me decided she would not seek re-election and instead pursue the State Senate. Due to our strong showing and the unexpected open seat in a newly redrawn and more favorable state representative district, I was asked to consider a possible run for the statehouse.
The tipping point came the day after the election when our mayor went to the statehouse to pitch to state lawmakers the culmination of two decades of work on devising a long overdue public transportation plan for our city. The mayor's reception by those in the statehouse was described as tepid, and the plan failed to gather the necessary momentum needed to allow Marion County residents an opportunity to decide for ourselves if we valued the plan enough to fund it following a referendum.
I saw a need for an ally, not just for our mayor but for urban issues and cities as well, in the statehouse. I vetted my decision to run with friends, family and local and state leaders from both sides of the aisle and ultimately decided to leave my job serving the Office of the Indiana Secretary of State and announced my candidacy for Indiana's House District 97 on February 9, 2012.
After helping launch Indianapolis-based Cause.it LLC, a company I partly own which helps connect nonprofits and socially-conscious businesses with volunteers, I took administrative leave from my duties as Director of Community Development on June 1, 2012 so that I could fully dedicate myself to the rigors of full-time campaigning until the November 6, 2012 General Election. I still give out all my personal contact information and challenge every voter I meet to keep me and the rest of our state leaders accountable.
I believe I have the right mix of public and private sector experience to represent the very diverse District 97, and I hope you join me as we march toward the statehouse to fight for jobs and the issues that matter most to the men, women and families of Indianapolis!