Proposal 289: Opportunity For All Our Citizens

UPDATE: On April 2nd the City/County Council’s Administration and Finance Committee passed Proposal 289. Next step: full council meeting & vote on April 22nd

Statement on City/County Council Proposal 289:

Every year, Indianapolis spends millions of dollars on equipment, goods and services to help run our government and build our city.

That’s a lot of money, and as the leaders of the City-County Council we take how we spend every dime very seriously. But we want more value for our taxpayers’ dollars – we want to help local businesses grow and create jobs and opportunities for all our citizens.

This is why we authored Proposal 289 which amends the city’s code to create a program for utilizing disability-owned business enterprises in a similar way the city has programs targeting minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses. All are sound programs that reflect the diversity of our community, help new businesses grow and create jobs, and level the playing field.

We feel strongly that Proposal 289 is an idea whose time has come – and is long overdue.

Only 18% of people with disabilities are employed and 70% live in poverty. These workers often face discrimination from employers who may doubt they can contribute in the workforce. But we know this is not the case, and we want to break down the barriers to employment and create a pathway to greater independence.

Proposal 289 is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when everyone focuses on an important goal – helping people with disabilities enter the workforce and to become small business owners.

This proposal will be heard in the Council’s Administration and Finance Committee on April 2 and we hope it will soon become law in Indianapolis.

Maggie Lewis, City/County Council President

John Barth, City/County Council Vice President

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