Jefferson Shreve’s Alarming History Makes Him Unfit to Serve Indiana’s Most Diverse City

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INDIANAPOLIS — In the wake of Sunday evening’s mayoral debate hosted by the African American Coalition of Indianapolis, the Indiana Democratic Party is reminding voters of Jefferson Shreve’s abysmal record on issues of diversity.

Last week, Jefferson responded to a question at a town hall regarding diversity by saying that he’ll be “colorblind” as mayor. Indianapolis just has to look at how Jefferson ran his multi-million dollar company to understand what that means.

In an interview earlier this year with IMPORTANTVILLE, Jefferson was unable to name a single Black person that he hired or promoted in 30 years to serve in an executive position as owner of Storage Express.

While on the City-County Council in 2019, Jefferson voted against additional funding for the Office of Public Health and Safety to expand food access in communities of color.

It’s clear that a Jefferson Shreve administration would roll back the progress Indianapolis has seen under Mayor Joe Hogsett. Indianapolis currently has the most diverse administration in city history, and never has the City-County Building looked more like the people of Marion County. 

Mayor Joe’s cabinet is 44 percent people of color, representative of the 38 percent of Indianapolis residents who are people of color.

“When it comes to issues of gun safety, women’s healthcare, or a city’s right to have an administration that represents its diversity, Jefferson is focused on moving Indianapolis into the past, rather than the future,” said Indiana Democratic Party Vice Chair Myla Eldridge. “From the way he ran his company, it’s clear conservative Republican Jefferson wants to return Indianapolis to the ‘good old days’, and this November the people of Marion County won’t let him move the city backward. 

“Mayor Joe has built the most diverse administration in Indianapolis’ history. He knows the importance of making sure that all of the city’s neighborhoods are represented and respected. His record shows his commitment to building a cabinet that looks like Indianapolis.”

Jefferson’s business record of failing to provide adequate opportunities for employees of color shows he is simply unqualified to serve as mayor of Indiana’s multicultural hub and its largest and most diverse city.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration consists of the most diverse mayoral cabinet in city history, and for the first time features three women deputy mayors. His administration also consists of multiple leaders of color in executive positions, including the Chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department, the Deputy Mayor of Public Health and Safety, Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood Engagement, Director of the Office of Public Health and Safety, Director of the Office of Women and Business Development, and Director of Indy Parks. In addition, Hogsett appointed the city’s first Chief Diversity & Equity Officer in December 2022.

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