John’s proposal to develop a “percent for art” program was discussed on WFYI’s the “Art of the Matter” recently. Travis DiNicola, the show’s host, interviewed Councilor Barth, as well as the Arts Council’s President Dave Lawrence, and Big Car Service Center’s Anne Laker in for a roundtable discussion about funding and public art and public space. The show can be heard at the link: WFYI’s Art of the Matter
On January 7, 2013 John was elected Vice President of the Indianapolis City/County Council. The following is a statement from Councillor Barth: “I am humbled to be elected to serve as the Vice President of the Indianapolis City-County Council for 2013. I look forward to working with President Lewis to move our city forward on priorities such as strengthening neighborhoods, robust economic development and improved public safety.”
Below is the text of a letter to the editor by the AARP Indiana’s June Lyle, published by the Indianapolis Star on June 3rd, in support of Indianapolis adopting a complete street ordinance. John is proud to be a co-sponsor, along with Council President Lewis, of Proposal 208 a complete streets ordinance set to be introduced on June 4, 2012. Introduced proposal here: PROP12-208. Health by Design produced a press release in support of the proposal. The release can be found here: Complete Streets Release – Health by Design
June 17, 2012 Update:
The Indy Star’s Matt Tully covered the Complete Streets issue here: TULLY-Indianapolis Streets
The Indy Star published an editorial in support of Proposal 208 here: Indianapolis Star Editorial June 10
Letter to the Editor
Hosting the Super Bowl was a huge boon to Indiana in so many ways, and a way to show the world just what Hoosier Hospitality truly means. One way officials in Indianapolis made the city friendlier to visitors was road improvements like repaving streets and widening sidewalks. Now, let’s take those modifications and put them on a larger scale, by adopting a Complete Streets ordinance.
Technically, Complete Streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities must be able to safely move along and across a complete street. In short, we need to break out of the mentality that the car is king, and invest thoughtfully in other safe ways of getting to and from work, doctor appointments and social outings.
As the nation and our state age, Complete Streets planning presents an opportunity to increase the safety and availability of older adults’ travel options. We need streets designed to be safe and convenient for travel by automobile, foot, bicycle and transit regardless of age or ability. We need new and better sidewalks, bike lanes, trails and paths, longer pedestrian crossing times at intersections, and accessible and reliable public transit.
In a recent survey of our Indianapolis-area AARP Indiana members, 85 percent want to see a Complete Streets policy enacted. They know that such a policy will provide for a full range of mobility options for residents, allowing them to remain independent, productive and active participants in the community as they age. Their support for such an ordinance is why AARP Indiana is such an active member of the Indiana Complete Streets Campaign.
Despite the oncoming stream of older boomers, more than two-thirds of transportation planners and engineers have not begun to consider the needs of older people in their multimodal street planning and only one-third of the state and local Complete Streets policies adopted to date have made explicit mention of older road users.
Some cities in Indiana, such as Bloomington and Anderson, are ahead of the curve and have already adopted local Complete Streets ordinances. Indianapolis, let’s follow their lead and adopt a policy to make our streets safe, comfortable and convenient for users of all ages and abilities.
On June 1, 2012 Indianapolis implemented the new, enhanced smoke free policy. The Indianapolis Star covered the celebration kick-off press conference, where John spoke. Photo below from the Star and full story linked here: Supporters Celebrate Smoke-Free 6-2-12.
Below is a letter to the editor by John and Councillor Jeff Miller on the education reform discussion taking place in Indianapolis. It was published in the Indy Star on May 12, 2012.
If we want Indianapolis to attract and keep families, strengthen its neighborhoods and draw new employers, raising the bar for our schools must be our highest priority. The success of Indianapolis Public Schools and its students is everybody’s business: the City-County Council, the Chamber of Commerce, teachers, parents, and, most of all, students. It is clear that every single resident of Marion County has a stake in the success of IPS.
The good news is this: The community understands the critical importance of the K-12 education discussion and is taking notice of the ideas being proposed.
The council recently approved a new deputy mayor of education position and confirmed Jason Kloth for the job. The Mind Trust sparked a community conversation about improving IPS with the release of its December report, “Creating Opportunity Schools.” And IPS responded last month with its own report.
Both plans warrant discussion, and other ideas from all perspectives should also be welcomed to the table.
It’s time to really engage in a community conversation focused on what ideas will and won’t work for our city and our students. Under the leadership of President Maggie Lewis, the council is doing its part. Earlier this year the Community Affairs Committee heard the details of The Mind Trust’s plan. On May 17, we will hear the details on IPS Superintendent Eugene White’s plan in a public meeting.
Maybe you have an idea for how to improve IPS. Now is the time to speak up — and to listen. We encourage you to join us at 6 p.m. May 17 at 120 E. Walnut St. to add your voice to the discussion.
We need all voices at the table. If we don’t find solutions for IPS, our city — and all of our futures — are at risk.
City-County Council members
Great to hear from the mayor’s office that he signed John’s Proposal 136 – the enhanced smoke free proposal – into law. The Council made this a high priority and it’s just the beginning of the work to be done. Now let’s keep moving forward and make our city a prosperous place with great schools, great jobs, and strong neighborhoods.
On March 26, 2012 the City/Council Council approved John’s Proposal 100 (25-0) aimed at lowering the volume of unwanted animal drop offs and raising revenue at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control by charging a “surrender fee” to out-of-county residents. All the revenue from the fee will go into a dedicated fund that will promote spay and neuter programs across Marion County. Brief coverage in the Indy Star here: