“There is a saying around the east side of Indianapolis that we are the ‘least side,’ like we are the side of town that gets forgotten.” said John Barnes, father of Eddie Barnes (D) who is running for city council this November.
Eddie, a 19-year-old sophomore at IUPUI this year, is studying Political Science. He interned with the U.S. Attorney's office when he was a junior in high school. He lived on the east side in Warren Township for all but the first six months of his life, and he has seen the good and the bad of the east side.
After realizing that the District 18 City Council chair was open this year, Eddie decided to take the opportunity and run for the spot. He says that his reasons for this include the fact that there hasn’t been enough said by the public to help the ‘least side’ to make it a better place.
“We need things on the east side that people are actually going to use,” Eddie said. “We need to get the priorities back to what the community needs.”
One of the things Eddie says sparked his fire was when Mayor Greg Ballard put a 5.1 million dollar cricket stadium on Post Road in his district. The intent was to bring in a national cricket tournament with this sports stadium, but Ballard broke off hosting this event when the “communication deteriorated” Parks & Recreation Director John W. Williams said in a letter to the USACA.
This stadium is being unused and Eddie says that he would like to be able to change that stadium into something that can be used, like a little league ballpark.
Traffic flow in part of the Franklin Township area is another thing needs to be a focus, according to Eddie. On Thompson and Five Points, there was a round-a-bout put in to help the flow, and Eddie says more of that money needs to be put back into the community.
“There is so much more work that needs to be done before we start thinking about bringing in a cricket tournament,” Eddie said. “We need to focus on fixing up what is already [in the district].”
Eddie wants to use this opportunity to not only help the community, but to learn how the process works so he can continue to help the community. His campaign style be going door-to-door to learn about what the people want upfront.
John, a former member of state legislature, says that he is proud of his son for taking the opportunity to help the people from where he lives.
“There aren’t enough young people paying attention to politics these days,” John said. “When he came to me and my wife and asked what we thought about him running, and we said that we were excited for him.”
People want to see the change, Eddie says, and his goal is to listen to the voters and understand what they want. He wants to be that guy who actually gives the people what they want.