When it comes to the economy, tech is top-of-mind for both Indianapolis mayoral candidates. In its Election 2015 coverage on Sunday, The Indianapolis Star asked Republican Chuck Brewer and Democrat Joe Hogsett five questions about the economy — the first two questions were about key tech community issues.
Here is an excerpt from The Star:
Downtown and Broad Ripple have become the top draws in Marion County for tech companies in the past five years. Why do you think that’s happened and what would you do to further it?
CHUCK BREWER: Indianapolis is an attractive city for many start-up companies. I’ve proposed borrowing the Launch Fishers model and creating colocation spaces for entrepreneurs in every township. I will also establish coding academies in our schools to prepare students for tech jobs.
JOE HOGSETT: Great progress has been made in spurring innovation and business in certain parts of the city. But by investing in public safety, public education, and neighborhood development, we can expand these efforts to places in Indianapolis that feel left behind.
What’s your position on the proposal to pay for infrastructure for the 16 Tech park using a $75 million bond issued backed by TIF funding?
BREWER: 16 Tech could be a transformative project for our city and it deserves our support. The return on investment will far exceed the cost. 16 Tech has the potential to bring millions in private investment and hundreds of high-paying jobs.
HOGSETT: Any new TIF project must address a community need, have a definitive end goal, and be openly communicated to all stakeholders. This is clearly a unique opportunity for Indianapolis, and I support the council finding a fiscally responsible way to make it happens.
You can read the full economy Q&A with both candidates here.
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum — Republican or Democrat, Right or Left — you can be encouraged that both major party candidates are talking about the tech community and the impact of tech talent and tech companies on the overall economy.