Mayor Ballard Chief of Staff Ryan Vaughn Discusses State of City Speech; Emphasis On “Selling Indy’s Neighborhoods”, Fighting Crime, Fixing Streets

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Ryan Vaughn, Chief of Staff to Mayor Greg Ballard expanded and amplified on mayor Ballard’s 7th State of the City Speech emphasizing the Mayor’s efforts to make Indianapolis a desirable place for people to want to live. Appearing on Afternoons with Amos’ Friday edition with Amos & Abdul, Vaughn expanded upon the themes Mayor Ballard spoke of in his address February 27th at the University of Indianapolis.  Vaughn spoke extensively about the city’s new effort to emphasize the city’s neighborhoods. Vaughn said the Ballard Administration will be making a series of investments in neighborhoods, including downtown to make them more attractive to suburban residents and out of towners to move into.  On Education, Vaughn was asked would the Mayor begin to place charter schools in areas of the townships where township schools have underperformed academically.  Vaughn announced the Administration would begin “RebuildIndy 2″ an effort to repair streets and sidewalks.  Asked where the money would come from Vaughn said from additional gas tax monies approved by the State.  On crime and violence, Vaughn  confirmed that Public Safety Director Troy Riggs attended the launch of President Barack Obama‘s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to help provide support for young boys and men of color.  Vaughn indicated that in a few weeks the Ballard Administration would unveil their plans to try and reduce violence among young Black males and strategies to engage them and provide support services. On the recent financial troubles of the Martin Luther King Community Center, Vaughn flatly denied that the Administration had designs on acquiring the building where the center is located, adjacent to Tarkington Park where the Mayor plans to spend $5 million to make the park a destination park. Vaughn was directly asked about Mayor Ballard’s refusal to be interviewed by the Indianapolis Recorder, the oldest Black newspaper in Indiana; third oldest in the nation. Ballard is the first Mayor in the modern Indianapolis era not to grant the Recorder an interview; though Ballard’s granted numerous interviews with The Indianapolis Star. Pressed Vaughn wouldn’t directly commit that the Mayor would break his boycott of the newspaper.  Click to Hear the Full Interview with Mayor Ballard Chief of Staff Ryan Vaughn. Runs 44 Minutes ©2014 WTLC/Radio One.

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