INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Mayor Joe Hogsett stepped up to the podium in the midst of applause. On the campus of IUPUI Wednesday, inside Hine Hall, Hogsett delivered a 48-minute speech on his plans for Indy’s future.
In front of a packed house, Hogsett shared his ambitious agenda. He will push the city to tear down eyesores, and add lighting in some of the city’s darkest corners.
During his address Hogsett spoke passionately about teenage gun violence. He spoke briefly of Semaj Jordan, a 15-year-old victim who was gunned down last week near 35th and Martin Luther King Jr. Street.
“We must get guns out of the hands of our children and must get guns out of the hands of young people,” said Mayor Hogsett.
Teens will have finical incentives to help combat gun violence. Teens are urged to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS, or (317) 262-8477 with a tip on illegal gun use. If someone is charged in the called tip, the caller will get $750 for a felony charge, and $350 for a misdemeanor charge.
“We thought about it the last couple of months. I think there is a message out there that it is cool to have a gun. We want to change that message,” said IMPD Chief Brian Roach.
Hogsett also talked about the importance of improving city’s landscape by improving affordable housing options, to the tune of 2,000 homes in two years.
“I believe the plan will work. We will have to have a heated debate on how to fund it, but it is my understanding there is some funding available,” said City-County Council President Maggie Lewis.
For the past year, Hogsett’s administration has worked with local business owners to create job opportunities for teenagers during the summer. In the summer of 2017, 2,000 teenagers will have summer jobs thanks to the city’s initiative and willing businesses to hire teens.
Other topics on the agenda included crisis intervention training, creating neighborhood trash sweeps in blighted areas, and Mayor Hogsett even unveiled an executive order.
It’s called the Indianapolis Promise. According to the Hogsett administration, by 2020, 62% of Indiana jobs will require post-secondary educated workers. The goal of the promise is to get corporate partners to invest in today’s youth to help every child in the city get some type of credential or certificate after high school graduation.
“I thought it was a good speech. We all want a clean and healthy city. I’m very concerned about the structural deficit, we have bond-mania going on at the City-County Building, ” said Indiana Republican Senator Jim Merritt.