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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Census to Indy’s leaders: minorities; not whites, power city’s growth

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Between July 2012 and July 2013, the white non-Hispanic population of Indianapolis/Marion County had a net increase of 1,457. In a city-county that’s been hemorrhaging whites for nearly 50 years that should be a cause for celebration. Except, the city’s white leadership wants the impossible.

During his State of the City speech, Mayor Greg Ballard endorsed the impossible scheme of city leaders like Chamber of Commerce head Mike Huber and Ballard’s Chief of Staff Ryan Vaughn who believe the way out of Indianapolis government’s fiscal woes is to convince 50,000 high income individuals (read whites and some Asians) to move here from the suburbs and rest of the nation.

The only independent measure of whether the city’s goal is attainable is the annual Census Bureau race and ethnicity population estimates.

The 2013 data was released June 26 and the hard numbers make the Ballard/Huber/Ryan dream more ephemeral than usual.

Yes, more whites remained in the city-county between 2012 and 2013 than left. That’s a positive development. But during the same period, the city-county’s Asian population had a net gain of 1,499. Hispanics grew by 2,100 and African-Americans grew by 4,459.

Notice the pattern?

Since 2010, the Census estimates Indianapolis-Marion County’s gained 2,609 non-Hispanic whites; 3,660 Asians, 5,960 Hispanics and 12,425 African-Americans.

Despite the good news of net gain of whites in Indianapolis-Marion County, Blacks continue to fuel and pace the growth of this city.

Based on the rate of white growth in the first third of this decade, the city-county’s white population will rise 8,000 to 10,000 by 2020. That’s because despite the growth of new housing downtown, to be successful, white growth can’t be concentrated in one part of town. Meanwhile, white families and whites over 55 continue to move out of Indy.

Meanwhile, based on current growth patterns, Hispanics in the city-county will increase 20,000 to 30,000; while African-American will grow 28,000 to 40,000.

The Census says that as of mid-2013, 42.6 percent of Indianapolis’ population is minority; a percentage that’ll continue to increase.

If the Chamber of Commerce and the Ballard administration were serious about improving the tax base, they’d develop meaningful strategies to improve employment opportunities and living wages for Indianapolis’ Black and brown communities – the population with the lowest median household incomes and highest rates of child poverty.

The business community, mayor’s minions and educational reformers always rail about African-American school dropouts; especially in IPS. But they ignore Indy’s white dropout crisis. Another reality that’s holding Indy back economically.

Between 2007 and 2013, of the 3,276 students who dropped out of IPS; 1,018 (31.1 percent) were white non-Hispanic. This in a school district that averaged 23 percent white enrollment during those seven years.

(For the record, there were 1,852 Black dropouts during the same period, 56.5 percent of the total. This in a district that averaged 55 percent Black enrollment during the same period).

Ignoring the actual reality that Blacks, browns and yellows are driving Indy’s continued growth is a true case of “demeaning minorities”!

What I’m hearing in the streets

In a major shift, the Ballard administration seemingly endorses that every police officer and sheriff deputy should live in Marion County. Chief of Staff Vaughn, in attempting to diss City-CountyCouncil Democrats’ crime plan, challenged them to go to the legislature to change state law which allows law enforcement personnel of a city to live in that city’s county or contiguous adjoining counties.

In articulating this major change in mayoral policy, Vaughn said 241 IMPD officers, some 15 percent of the force, live outside the city-county. That revelation shocked many in our Black community who’ve long believed that a larger number, perhaps a majority of officers, lived outside the city.

Members of the Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America, the union representing some 100 Indianapolis Star journalists and building service workers, demonstrated in front of the newspaper’s offices last week protesting Star management’s lack of bargaining in good faith.

In three months, the Star moves from the building they’ve owned into the old Nordstrom’s at Circle Centre mall, a facility built, in part, with taxpayers money and partially owned by the city.

Given that relationship, and that the Star’s moving into a building we the people helped build, the least the newspaper and parent Gannett could do is bargain in good faith with the quality employees who make their newspaper and products relevant.

* * * * *

After stalling for months, the Ballard administration now admits that key documents a City-County Council committee had been requesting about the bizarre arrangements involved in building the ROC (Regional Operations Center) in the old Eastgate Mall “can’t be found.”

Oddly, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, who asked the Indiana State Police to investigate, says the ISP couldn’t find evidence of criminal activity.

Let’s see, documents that should be available are missing. Records of the deal are incomplete. The lease arrangements didn’t follow proper procedures. It sounds like a “Scandal” episode. But it’s real.

I don’t understand why Prosecutor Curry didn’t convene a grand jury to bring the witnesses in, put them under oath and get to the bottom of this mess.

Maybe the U.S. Attorney can.

See ‘ya next week.

You can email comments to Amos Brown at acbrown@aol.com.

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