I am myself a Citizen of No Mean City

March 31, 2015 By Tom

the cornerstone of my favorite building in Indianapolis

I’m proud of my city. I’m proud of so many who call Indianapolis home. I’m proud of those of us who believe in genuine equality and have stood strong and vocally at multiple points in the last year.

Being a twenty-eight year old Hoosier in this amazing city is a privilege. Witnessing the huge growth that Indianapolis has experienced over the last decade has given me goosebumps of pride more times than I can count.

Hoosier hospitality has grown Nine13sports, was there in response moments after The Crash, has helped me through the highs and lows and allowed me to meet amazing people along the way.

I was interviewing a potential intern yesterday from California and I asked him, “how did a California kid find his way to the Midwest?”

“Hoosier Hospitality” was his reply.

This has been an ugly week for our state of Indiana when it comes to national press and negativity that has had to be absorbed by the Indy business community. Regardless of interpretation of the RFRA bill signed into law last week and the impact it will have; the fact is that our elected officials were warned well in advance of the backlash from the business community and the impact this would directly have on the thriving business sector in Central Indiana.

They chose not to listen.

I’ll fight like hell for Lady Victory atop our monument

Their belief that this would blow over quickly was not because they didn’t understand the depth of passion against this bill, but because they simply didn’t care about what many of us in the business community were telling them.

Attempts to streamline the bill and add protections from the Democrat side (or “clarifications” as they’re now being called) were directly rebuked by the Republicans in mid March. Now they’re scrambling to try and save face.

That is not the Hoosier way.

The Hoosier way is rolling up your sleeves and working hard, building something, creating a dream, understanding the role and impact you can make in the community.

It’s not pushing through legislation that we all knew would hurt all Hoosiers.

Being a Hoosier is working together, collaborating and understanding anything is possible.

It’s not finding ways to ruin the business community we’ve worked so hard to build.

In the midst of all of this, I’ve never been more proud to be a Hoosier. I’m so proud of the community that has stood up, issued statements and spoken loudly against this and has followed words with actions. Large companies, small companies, non-profits, Mayor Ballard, many of our representing organizations (state and local chamber, Visit Indy, ISC and others), and many of the powerful individuals who have chosen to call Indianapolis home.

At the same time, in the days after this bill, I’ve paid attention to who has not come out strongly and swiftly against this bill. That’s something I will remember in the future when I decide who I do business with, who I benefit with my charitable dollars and what panels and committees I’m willing to speak on.

I’m proud to be a Hoosier that is hiring and growing an organization within Indianapolis. I’m proud that we’re currently hiring three people and expect to hire four more as we get towards the end of the year. I believe I represent the majority of young Hoosiers in my beliefs on both sides of  the political aisle and have built relationships that are both red and blue–something I hope will translate well in my future political life.

We’re all Hoosiers and in this dark moment for our State, we are standing together and finding the best way to navigate to represent the greatness that we stand for.

For my non-Indiana friends, please know that the politics playing out do not represent the core values of the majority and we are a welcoming place.


I am myself a Citizen of No Mean City,