EDITORIAL: IndyTalks gives the public a civil way to speak up

 IBJ Staff
December 26, 2009
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IBJ Editorial

There’s no shortage of opinions about what our city and state need to do to prosper in the 21st century. But much of what comes across is screamed in blogs or in stinging press releases issued by political parties whose only purpose is to paint the opposition as out of touch.

As we enter the new year, a coalition of organizations is working together to provide a forum for constructive, civil dialogue about the future.

IndyTalks—a collaboration of the Athenaeum Foundation, the Indiana Historical Society, Indiana Humanities Council and several other organizations—is sponsoring a series of monthly discussions at venues around the city where the public is invited to share ideas and build consensus about some of our most challenging problems. (Visit www.IndyTalks.info for a complete list of sponsoring organizations and more information.)

Using author Richard C. Longworth’s 2008 book, “Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism,” as a starting point, participants will have an opportunity to participate in a series of discussions surrounding the question, “What is the future of Indiana and the Midwest?”

IndyTalks will begin Jan. 13 when WFYI-FM 90.1 airs a live radio interview with Longworth. Subsequent discussions will range from the role of economics and politics to faith, education, heritage, the arts, and even food practices in our collective futures.

Participants are encouraged to do more than listen—they are encouraged to talk, offer ideas, and create solutions. The idea is to keep the conversation going by using the IndyTalks Facebook page and by heading to the Athenaeum’s Rathskeller for monthly conversations on the issues raised during the IndyTalks series.

Several of the programs sound intriguing, especially the last one: “Hoosier Values: Can we Reconcile Independence and the Common Good?” That October discussion seems to sum up the difficulty we’ve had locally—and nationally, for that matter—making progress on thorny issues, such as government reform, while retaining the independent streak Americans—and Hoosiers—are known for.

Up to now, attempts at reform have gone nowhere. And there isn’t likely to be much progress on government reform or other issues in the short session of the Legislature that’s about to start. If positive change is to take place, it will take a grass-roots effort to break the logjam. IndyTalks could be the catalyst for just such an effort.

If this particular attempt to spur civic—and civil—dialogue isn’t your cup of tea, by all means find another constructive way in 2010 to become involved in finding answers to the problems that are holding us back.•


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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...