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Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee building a first class city

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By many measures Indianapolis would not be the kind of economically viable city that it is without the work of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee.

For more than 40 years, city leaders and concerned citizens have looked to GIPC (pronounced affectionately as “Gypsy”) as a reliable forum and resource to bolster economic improvement and reach resolutions on community issues.

“We are a non-profit, public and private partnership that addresses issues of concern and areas of opportunity that affect the progress of Indianapolis,” said Matt Hendrix, executive director of GIPC. “Our goal over the years has been to make Indianapolis a modern, attractive and exciting place in which to live.”

Formed in 1965, GIPC is a coalition of city officials, business executives and neighborhood community leaders who advise the mayor on ways to develop the city. Specifically, the committee was created by influential figures in politics and business seeking to advise the administration of then Mayor John J. Barton, which was concerned about Indianapolis being outpaced by the growth of similar cities its size.

Forty-five years and five mayors later, GPIC is still known by many as a place where “the movers and shakers” can work with “the moved and shaken” to solve problems and create opportunities. It has earned the respect of both people in seats of power and those from the grassroots.

It is easy to appreciate the committee’s impact: All you have to do is imagine the city without all the things it has helped make possible, including professional sports teams, the Indiana Convention Center, the I-465 expressway, Eagle Creek Park, Circle Centre Mall, IUPUI, White River State Park, Lucas Oil Stadium or the 2012 Super Bowl hosting rights.

“Indianapolis is fortunate to have an institution like GIPC,” said U.S. Senator and former Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar. “The host of projects it has championed will last long into the future.”

In addition to fostering infrastructure improvements that have made Indianapolis more attractive, GIPC members have launched several task force groups to solve social problems.

The diverse committee played a key role in ensuring a smooth process of desegregating public schools during the early 1980s, and in building better relationships between police and residents in the 1990s.

Today, GIPC is still supporting programs that sponsor education and business expansion and promotes Indianapolis as a place of opportunity and potential to outsiders.

For more information, call (317) 327-3828.

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