Monday, May 4, 2015

I Support Councilor Mansfield and Councilor Scales

EDITOR'S NOTE: I have contributed financially to both of these candidates and will be working as a volunteer for a few hours Tuesday morning for Angela Mansfield.

I do not live in any of the districts that have contested primaries for this year's municipal election. But if I did, I would be supporting Councilor Angela Mansfield in District 01 and Councilor Christine Scales in District 3.

While both come from different political parties, both have a history on the council of independent voting, sometimes voting against their own party.

I came to know these two women in completely different ways.

When I first started following the council, Councilor Mansfield was one of the minority members on a committee dealing with some budget item from the Capitol Improvement Board. She was the only no vote on that committee. I thought that took courage, when even members of her own party would support it but she couldn't.

Legislative representatives have almost perfected a craft in talking about how hard votes are and how they really want to vote one way but just have to vote the other and on and on. Councilor Mansfield isn't like that. She's just going to come to a conclusion and stick to it. She'll listen to you if you disagree,  but I haven't seen her fold under public pressure.

She has also been one of the most articulate critics of Mayor Greg Ballard's administration within the second term. Some Democrats, on the council and off, think it is enough to say that Mayor Ballard is a Republican and thus his policies are bad. But Mansfield doesn't settle for that. She will tell you precisely what policies they are and why they're bad. She'll even have suggestions on how to fix it.

I do not want this to be construed as being against Councilor Leroy Robinson, who is running against Mansfield in the Democratic primary. Councilor Robinson and I have not always seen eye to eye. But I think he has grown into the council and it suits him well. But his perplexing strategy of avoiding candidate forums and declining to appear on Amos Brown's radio program (probably the easiest booking opportunity ever for any candidate on a ballot within Marion County), as well as the massive amount of money he is raising for this race, are causes for concern. 

The district is also roughly what my grandfather, Gordon Gilmer, represented during his time on the council. 

District 3 is also on the northside of Indianapolis (northeast rather than northwest), and it should come as no surprise that I fully support and endorse Councilor Christine Scales.

I don't know if I can recall exactly the first time I interacted with Councilor Scales directly. But several years ago, I received an invitation from someone inviting me to a meeting. I get a lot of legit looking spam via e-mail due to this blog, but I thought this sounded legit. The proposed sale of the water utility company had been proposed, and Councilor Scales was organizing a blogger round table. We were given the opportunity to directly question representatives of Citizens Energy Group on the proposed sale of the water utility. It was a very productive and informative conversation. 

Since then, Councilor Scales and I kept in touch. About a year or so ago, she was voted out of the caucus of the Council Republicans. I remember writing her shortly after about the possible switch of her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. There were some Democrats (both on the council and off) who were absolutely targeting her as a party switch, while others were working behind the scenes. I wrote to her saying that if she didn't believe in her heart of hearts that she was a Democrat, then she should sit outside during caucus meetings with pride. She is one of the hardest working council members out there and will always hear you out, even if you don't live in her district.

If you live in one of these council districts, I hope you consider supporting one of these courageous councilors. In an election where we're very likely to get more of the same from the powers-that-be, it'd be nice to send two councilors back to the City-County building who aren't bought and paid for.