From David Hittle, Near Eastside Community Organization:
Many thanks to all the Indy neighborhood representatives and residents who gathered at the Indiana Landmarks Center January 7th, despite frigid temperatures, to discuss Council Proposal 250, the billboard industry-written resolution which would allow for the conversion, within three years, of 75 existing static billboards to digital format along our city’s roadways. We’re happy to report that 29 Indy neighborhood and community organizations were represented at the meeting.
Our rapidly-growing citywide coalition of neighborhood associations, community groups, community development corporations and concerned citizens has adopted and relayed to billboard industry representatives and the City-County Council the following position:
The consensus position within our coalition at this point is that both the proposed ordinance, and the path it’s traveled thus far, are unacceptable.
Our sense is that a very strong majority of Indianapolis neighbors and neighborhood organizations oppose the introduction of digital billboards to our streets. Our hope is to make even those who do prefer digital billboards, however, aware of the jarringly unfair path this proposal has thus far taken, and of stark deficiencies in the proposed ordinance language. The proposal’s process and substance fare especially poorly when compared to the digital billboard regulations recently adopted by other cities… those large and small, east and west, urban and exurban, progressive and conservative.
Right now, there are three action steps we’re encouraging everyone to take:
1) Attend the January 26th, 5:30 PM meeting of the City-County Council’s Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee (MEDC).
A strong neighborhood presence at this hearing will reinforce for the MEDC the fact that there’s a large group of people now aware of and educated on Proposal 250, despite the billboard industry’s three years of clandestine council lobbying and clear preference for a back-door legislative path.
MEDC meeting: Monday, January 26, 5:30 PM. Room 260, City-County Building, 200 E. Washington St.
2) Prior to the January 26th MEDC hearing, contact the eight City-County Councilors who make up the MEDC via email, letter, phone or in-person. Our message and talking points are included in the attached sample letter.
3) Contact your district City-County Councilor.
You can find your district councilor’s contact info here: http://www.indy.gov/
Please use the message and talking points in the attached letter (though we strongly encourage you to put the provided information into your own words; repetitive and redundant form letters aren’t very effective). Also, please let us know if you communicate with any of the councilors so that we can stay up-to-date on their positions.
We will relay more information about the January 26th MEDC hearing about a week prior. In the meantime, additional activities, materials and updates will be posted regularly to the Scenic Indy Facebook page: https://www.facebook.
Thank you very much for your attention to this matter, and please feel very free to pass this message on to anyone else who may be interested…
David Hittle, Near Eastside Community Organization
Pat Andrews, Decatur Township Civic Association
Marjorie Kienle, Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis
Cathy Burton, Marion County Alliance of Neighborhood Associations
Norm Pace, Warren Development Association