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ITW: Mayor Greg Ballard discusses his successes

Posted at 8:56 PM, Dec 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-27 18:31:30-05

On Indianapolis This Week, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard sat down with Indianapolis This Week Host Rafael Sanchez as he prepares to leave office. 

“I will tell you there’s a couple things I’m really proud of. One is, I think we created a new generation of leadership," Ballard says. 

“I also think there’s a sense of optimism in the city. There’s a sense of the future, that we’re moving, that we’re a cutting edge type of city now, because we pushed on certain things and kind of looked toward the future. And so I’m proud of all that, frankly." 

Ballard also discussed the city's violence. 

“I still believe mandatory-minimums are important. I don’t think the state is going to go there, but I really would like them to. Crime would be, violent crime, would be significantly down if we had mandatory minimums at a certain level,” he says. 

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Ballard also talked about RFRA, and how he felt "the weight of 40 years" during the process. Ballard expressed disapproval for the "Religious Freedom" measure. 

“This was not a media event. Conventions, sporting events, so much of how the city built up over the last 40 years was at risk. Anybody says otherwise, I’m sorry, I think they’re just wrong. I know we have to go through this again, but let’s not forget that a third of the state’s economy is the region, and Indianapolis is a big part of that. So we need to make sure that all those things that we have built up over the last 30 to 40 years, the great reputation that we have continues.” he said. 

Watch the full interview in the video player above. 

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Plus, Kip Tew, the former Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party and Robert Vane, Ballard's former communications director joined us to talk about Ballard's legacy. 

“I think if you look at Mayor Ballard’s legacy as a politician, you have to say it’s an unqualified success. He ran two times and won both of them. First one, one of the biggest upsets in Indiana history, and the second time, I still don’t think he was the favorite and he came out with a W. A lot of people didn’t expect it. So as a politician, I would say an unqualified success as a politician. As a mayor of the City of Indianapolis, I think it’s much more mixed,” Tew said. 

“I would say Kip’s being very gracious, especially part of the political legacy. Kip’s been a county chairman and the state chairman, he’s certainly qualified to talk about surprises and upsets and legacies of this matter, but Greg Ballard winning mayor of Indianapolis, twice, is the greatest political achievement of my lifetime. I’m 48 years old,” Vane said. 

Watch the full interview in the video player above.

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