Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)

Rep. Andre Carson

The Afternoons with Amos PODCAST For Monday, August 3, 2015.  (Interview with Rep. Andre Carson Starts At 2:27 Mark On PODCAST Media Player). It’s the sixth straight year that Congressman Andre Carson has sponsored a job fair to help residents of his district find employment or upgrade their current employment. The Job Fair is this Wednesday, August 5th, from 9am to 3pm at Ivy Tech Conference and Culinary enter, in the old Stouffers’ Hotel at 2820 N. Meridian Street. Over 130 different employers will be on hand. With many hiring on the spot. In an Afternoons with Amos interview, Rep. Carson talked with me not just about the Job Fair, but the two most important issues facing Indianapolis’ African-American community at the moment. The closing of two Chase Bank locations in Black-majority neighborhoods and the closing of the four Double 8 Stores, creating an even larger food desert in northern Center Township. Regarding the Double 8 Stores crisis, rep. Carson didn’t mince words, criticizing Double 8 for not upgrading their stores and instead allowing them to get rundown and not provide quality products at fair prices in an inviting atmosphere. Asked if there were resources the Federal government might provide in this crisis, the Congressman said that the Department of Agriculture may have programs that could help provide some assistance in the short term. Carson acknowledged that the solution is has to be long term. Agreeing with Amos that there needs to be frank conversation with other grocery retailers as to what holds them back from opening stores in the areas formerly served by Double 8.  Carson also addressed the Chase Bank situation acknowledging that his office had been in touch with Case officials who cited reduced business and customer traffic for the closings. Rep. Carson saluted Afternoons with Amos for bringing the community’s attention to both the Chase and Double 8 closings.

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amos in the studio 8-3-15

Dr. David Wantz, New Public Safety Director

(Interview with Public Safety Director Dr. David Wantz Starts At 50:30 Mark). With the resignation of Troy Riggs, Mayor Greg Ballard reached into academia for the city’s next Public Safety Director.  He’s Dr. David Wantz, on leave and loan from the University of Indianapolis where he’s Vice-President for Government and Community Relations. In his first extended media interview, Dr. Wantz talked with Afternoons with Amos about his new responsibilities and how he plans to move forward. Wantz says he will be an active and engaged Public Safety Director.  Not just an interim fill-in. On a number of key public safety issues, Dr. Wantz weighed in. He didn’t commit himself to how Indianapolis what kind of policy Indianapolis should have to release police bodycam video of fatal police action shooting incidents. With violent crime increasing in other large cities, Wantz is glad that trend hasn’t occurred here. He feels last week’s arrest of members of the Block Burners Gang is a big step in keeping violence and homicides from increasing. Wantz believes the efforts Chris Reeder, the city’s head of re-entry efforts, is making a big difference in reducing crime.  Though when asked what his department would do, with the seemingly tight job market, about encouraging employers to hire ex-felons who’ve had clean records for a number of years, Wantz seemed reluctant to commit himself.  Wantz was optimistic that Animal Care and Control would be moving in a positive direction.  Wantz praised leaders of both the Indianapolis Police and Fire Departments for their leadership. Wantz said that his agency and the city are working with Gleaners Food Bank and other agencies that deal with hunger in Indianapolis to help provide food for residents in the neighborhoods where Double 8 had stores.  Questioned directly on looking at crime data to see if crime and store theft contributed to the Double 8 closing, Wantz was sympathetic towards helping compile that data. As a university official, Dr. Wantz understood community concern about the training of university police officers in the aftermath of the fatal murder by a University of Cincinnati policeman of an unarmed Black man. He stressed the type of training university police receive and stressed more could be done.

amos in the studio 8-3-15

Jim Walker, Big Car

amos in the studio 8-3-15

Bob Schultz, Downtown Indy

amos in the studio 8-3-15

Scott Manning, Dept Public Works

(Interview On New Entertainment On The Circle Starts At 19:20 Mark). Monument Circle, the heart of Indianapolis, is the setting for a 10 week experiment in people having more places to relax, play games, exercise, socialize and enjoy creative programming through an effort called SPARK. Between now and October 16th, the Circle will be alive seven days a week with a variety of events and activities for people of all ages.  Scott Manning of the City’s Department of Public Works were joined by Downtown Indy Vice-President Bob Schultz and Jim Walker from Big Car Collaborative to explain the concept and way to engage more people in using the Circle.  Walker and Schultz stressed that community organizations are welcome to be part of the SPARK effort by signing up at CircleSpark.Org. All three stressed that the Circle will continue to allow, with proper permits, to be a place where protests can exercise their 1st Amendment free speech rights and major activities will continue to be held on the Circle. The Afternoons with Amos PODCAST For Monday, August 3, 2015 Runs 97 Minutes. PODCAST Starts After Brief Video Ad.  [theplatform account=”BCY3OC” media=”u1Gr1vR5rg2H” player=”xFJXq1diB1tB”]