Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dems In Control

For the first time since January 1, 2008, the Democrats are in control of the Indianapolis/Marion County City-County Council.
Democratic City-County Councillors
take the Oath of Office from
Federal Judge Tanya Walton Pratt

I was honored to attend a swearing-in ceremony that included a crowd that could not even fit in the Indy Fringe Theater earlier today.  It was a crowd that included dignitaries, elected officials, former candidates, and media, but the vast majority of the people that were there were just involved citizens of Indianapolis.  They came to watch a Council that they voted for and worked to elect become the Council of our city.

John Layton, Marion County Sheriff, said it best when he said that he had referred to the Council as, "My Council," a few times.  He got to thinking that it sounded a little strange for an elected official to refer to the Council in that manner, but Layton said,  "The fact is that not only is this my Council; it's your Council, and it's everyone's Council."

Congressman Andre Carson spoke calling this the most "diverse and inclusive" City-County Council in the history of the city.  This, I think, was a reference to the fact that we now have the first openly-gay countywide officeholder in Indiana Marion County history on this Council in Zach Adamson.  As always, Carson is right.  It is a diverse group.

That diversity was also shown by the crowd that attended.  Chief Paul Ciesielski was there from IMPD.  As far as Republicans in the house, the always classy Councillor Marilyn Pfisterer was the only sitting Republican that I saw that broke ranks with her caucus and attended the ceremony.  

Republicans had been sworn in earlier at the Mayor's Inauguration, but it didn't have to be that way.  The Democrats actually had reached out to the Republicans only to never get an RSVP from them on whether they would participate in a separate, joint swearing-in.  I'm told that as a caucus, the Democratic majority thought it was important to make a distinction between the legislative and executive branches of city government.  

That's why the Dems were surprised to receive an invitation to the Mayor's Inauguration that had all 29 City-County Councillors listed on it as being sworn in at the same ceremony with the Mayor.  I'm told that no one in the Democratic Majority had any communication with the Mayor's Office, the Inauguration Committee, or the Republican Caucus.  So, the Republicans ended up swearing in with Ballard, and the Dems canceled the reservation at the Central Library for the joint swearing-in and moved it to the Indy Fringe Theater.  

All-in-all, these are just ceremonies, but I credit Pfisterer, the former Council Vice President, for being there with the Democrats as they were sworn in.  She's one of the best on that side of the aisle.

Now, the hard work of governing begins.  With Maggie Lewis at the helm of the Council, it's going to be a much different way of doing business than it was under Ryan Vaughn.  There will no longer be an open rubber stamp available.  Greg Ballard is going to have to be a negotiator, and the Democrats are going to have to give, too.

Bottom line, the next four years have a lot of twists and turns in store for us, and I'm interested to see where we go!

Zach Adamson is the first openly-gay Marion County officeholder.  I have corrected the blog post, and I regret this error.


Anonymous said...

There was a phrase in this post that I had to read twice to make sure it wva as intended: "as always, Carson was right.".

Forgive me for any disrespect, but what planet are you from?. Andre, like his grandmother, are almost always wrong...

Jon E. Easter said...

Well, I'm from Earth. On my planet, Carson is usually right. Perhaps always was a bit too strong. I did not agree with his controversial comments on race. The vast majority of his public comments and what he does in Congress I would consider, as a moderate to liberal Democrat is right.

No disrespect taken. We all have different opinions.

Greg Purvis said...

Jon, I am with you on this. I agree FAR more with Andre Carson than I do with my own Congressman, Dan Burton, who might easily be the Worst Member of Congress. I would take Carson over Burton any time.