Meet the candidates running for City-County Council District 24
Two candidates are running for Indianapolis City-County Council District 24: Democrat Dominique Davie and Republican incumbent Mike Dilk. Davie, 33, currently works as a controls systems technician for Amazon. Dilk […] The post Meet the candidates running for City-County Council District 24 appeared first on Indianapolis Recorder.
Two candidates are running for Indianapolis City-County Council District 24: Democrat Dominique Davie and Republican incumbent Mike Dilk.
Davie, 33, currently works as a controls systems technician for Amazon.
Dilk is the current councilor serving District 24. He took office in 2019. A lifelong Perry Township resident, he is experienced in finance and real estate. Councilor Dilk served on the Perry Township Merit Board and is a member of Southside GOP Club.
The Indianapolis Recorder and WFYI sent each candidate six questions to help voters learn more. Davie’s responses to the survey are below. Dilk did not respond to the survey.
Editors’ note: Responses were edited for style and grammar, and any numbers used were checked for accuracy. When a statement required more clarification or could not be independently verified, WFYI reached out to candidates before publication. Those instances, and those candidate responses, are noted throughout in editors’ notes, marked by an * and presented in italics.
Early voting started Oct. 11. Election Day is Nov. 7.
What are the top concerns that your district’s constituents have shared with you, and what are the issues that you foresee affecting them most in the next 2-3 years?
Many of the constituents that I have spoken with are hard working individuals that value safety and quality of life. District 24 is very diverse and has a lot of issues to address that range from federal to local issues. However, a few of the issues that have been spoken of are the lack of safety in our communities, the toll that inflation is taking on families that are struggling to pay their monthly bills, reliable and accessible public transportation, and safe pathways for bicyclists. I have also spoken with constituents regarding access to mental health support and support for families that want their children to receive top tier education in our public and charter schools. We must invest in the community in order to see it improve, and that is what I will work towards doing as City-County Councilor.
Affordable housing is a major issue in Indianapolis. What measures should the council take to address this?
I believe that we must challenge the system that is plaguing the thousands of renters and homeowners, not only in District 24, but all throughout Marion County. Most landlords will tell you that the inflationary rates are based on market prices. With the increase in the construction of single-family homes and a number of apartment buildings throughout the county, one would expect that as demand is reduced, so will the rates. But we have yet to see that progression.
We must put an end to predatory investing and ensure that Hoosiers are able to purchase affordable homes and are able to rent units in housing complexes and multi-family complexes at rates that are no more than 1/3 of the head of household’s monthly income, and hopefully one day ¼ of their monthly income.
What is your top concern regarding public safety in Indianapolis? What steps will you take as a council member to address it?
One of the greatest issues that this city has been facing for years now is not unique to our city. It is an issue that is being experienced throughout the country; and that is gun violence. Mayor Hogsett has been doing a great job leading the movement to get guns out of the hands of people who seek to do harm to themselves or others. There has been a steady flow of weapons coming into our city and landing in the hands of many of the youth. The efforts by IMPD to get these guns off of the streets have been remarkable. There is no magic solution to this issue. It must be handled pragmatically to avoid targeting law-abiding citizens through investigative and policing methods and potentially damaging the relationship that is being built between law enforcement and the community at large.
We must also address the influx of lethal drugs into our city. The use of fentanyl-laced drugs is killing people in our communities at an alarming rate. We must work with law enforcement to find the source and sever their ability to poison our city. The city has already taken steps to mitigate the dangers of our law enforcement responding to calls where mental health issues may be occurring. The Crisis Intervention Team is doing a great job of making sure our citizens are receiving the support that is needed and helping law enforcement best tackle the spectrum of public safety issues. We need to make sure these groups are funded and well supported by the entire community.
What specific steps will you take to address environmental concerns in your district that affect your constituents’ quality of life and life expectancy?
It takes a cohesive effort by local representatives and public agencies to ensure that the city is in optimal condition. Already we have seen bridge replacements and improvements to the cleanliness and walkability of the district. However, there is still much more to do. We need to make sure that the conditions of our pipes are not degrading, and if they need replacement or are on the Department of Public Works schedule for replacement, that those projects are being carried out, and in a manner that doesn’t inconvenience the residents for very long periods of time.
We must also ensure that every public street has space for pedestrians and bicyclists. Many of our constituents want to live healthy lives, and the pursuit of their happiness in that regard should not be impeded by a lack of pathways that connect them with neighborhood resources or dangerous roadways. We also need to make sure that the roadways are safe for the thousands of commuters that use them every day. There are a number of traffic transitions and roundabouts that need to be re-engineered. We have pretty high levels of traffic through the district and need roundabouts that are of sufficient size and engineered so that in heavy traffic flow drivers can navigate them safely.
What specific steps will you take to connect minority-owned businesses in Indianapolis with contracts for city projects? How else will you support growth opportunities for minority-owned businesses?
Indianapolis is a continuously developing city. There are a number of projects in the pipeline and it is important for us to ensure that the bidding process is inclusive of minority-owned businesses. We need to make sure that competition is enabled through the selection process. It is important to consider the current workload and past projects completed when selecting contractors. So, it is equally important to ensure that all businesses have opportunities available to develop their portfolio and projects are spread throughout the best large companies, small companies, national and local contractors. I would also like to see a program that fosters and harnesses the incredible power of using minority-owned and local contractors. The development of these companies will only increase their ability to scale, contribute to the Made in America movement and their ability to become national and international players.
There are a number of systemic issues that minority-business owners have faced, even in the present. Although, as a minority, I consider us to be extremely resilient. However, we need to ensure the barriers to licensing and permitting are torn down. We need to make sure that our local agencies are operating as efficiently as possible in order to make sure we create an environment that minority-business owners can thrive in. Local programs specifically geared toward the development of small and minority-owned businesses should operate with the intention of helping these businesses to run efficiently and scale.
What would you like to see happen for K-12 education in Indianapolis, and how would you work as a city-county councilor to achieve that?
Education is a sensitive topic to a lot of Americans and most certainly to Hoosiers all over the state. It is my goal to work with the Indianapolis City-County Council to guarantee funding for our public and township school systems; and programs that will increase the district’s ability to expand STEM programs that will better prepare our youth for tomorrow.
It is also important to ensure that every student receives the best education possible. We need to safeguard our educational resources to ensure that every book and topic is available for every student that would like to explore it.
I would also like to see a bridge built between our education systems, vocational institutions and labor unions. Together they can help to provide students with post-high school pathways that are alternative to college and the military.
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