October 20, 2023

Meet the candidates for City-County Council District 3

Democrat candidate Dan Boots and Republican candidate Mark Forcum are running in District 3. Forcum did not provide a photo or complete a survey. - Photo provided

Democrat candidate Dan Boots and Republican candidate Mark Forcum are running in District 3. Forcum did not provide a photo or complete a survey.

Photo provided

Two candidates are running for Indianapolis City-County Council in District 3: Democratic incumbent Daniel Boots and Republican Mark F. Forcum. District 3 covers the Northeast side of Indianapolis.

Boots, 62, is the incumbent and was elected as councilor in 2019. He’s an attorney and a senior partner of the law firm Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP.  

Forcum did not complete the survey or provide biographical information.

WFYI and the Indianapolis Recorder sent each of the candidates six questions to help voters learn more. 

Editors’ note: Responses were edited for style and grammar, and any numbers used were checked for accuracy. When a statement required more clarification or could not be independently verified, WFYI reached out to candidates before publication. Those instances, and those candidate responses, are noted throughout in editors’ notes, marked by an * and presented in italics.

Early voting started Oct. 11. Election Day is Nov. 7. 


The candidate provided numerous figures for WFYI. When asked if he could provide documentation, the candidate said the answers came from months of council meetings and proposals, and that the majority of his answers are publicly available information.You can view city archives of council meetings and agendas here.

What are the top concerns that your district’s constituents have shared with you, and what are the issues that you foresee affecting them most in the next two to three years? 

For my District 3 constituents, the top concerns are infrastructure, public safety, behavioral health, and climate resiliency. Our Council has done the following with respect to each of those concerns: 

  • Infrastructure
    • Residential streets - Including Fiscal Ordinance No. 262, 2023 (introduced alongside the 2024 budget), which I co-sponsored - more than $100 Million in residential resurfacing appropriations between 2021 - 2023.
    • Trails and Greenways – $25 Million
    • Allocation of first-ever dedicated funding for sidewalks in the 2023 budget – $1 Million
    • Alleys - $2 Million in 2024 fiscal package to improve alleys using data-driven approach
  • Public Safety - Gun Violence Prevention 
  • 2024 proposed budget includes $3.8 Million for the Crime Guns Task Force
  • Peacemakers and Violence Reduction Team - 2024 proposed budget makes Peacemakers a permanent annual program under OPHS
  • Behavioral Health 
  • 2024 proposed budget includes $6.7 Million increase in funds toward Behavioral Health
    • Increase of $1M to the new Clinician-Led Response program 
    • $1.3M additional general funds, combined with $500K Opioid
    • Settlement dollars, to the Assessment and Intervention Center (AIC) expansion to 60 beds and 24/7 operations
  • Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) - $30.3 Million annually
  • Aspire Mobile clinic launching fall 2023 
  • Climate Resiliency
    • The Public Works Department 2024 budget funds better technology to improve rapid response in severe weather
    • New electric infrastructure maintenance equipment will benefit community members by decreasing both the carbon emissions and noise pollution experienced with traditional gas-powered equipment 

Affordable housing is a major issue in Indianapolis. What measures should the council take to address this?

Our Council has done much in this space (see below), while much is still left to be done. 

  • Since 2020, the Council and Administration supported the creation of over 3,400 units of affordable housing through investments totaling over $100 Million
    • Including $21 Million in HOME grants and $20 Million in CBDG grants
    • Additional $2 Million in federal ESG grants was directed to initiatives in outreach, rapid rehousing, emergency shelter operations, and homelessness prevention efforts 
  • On January 9, 2023, the Council approved several new projects with a new investment policy to create and preserve affordable housing throughout Marion County
    • This new policy allows multi-unit housing developers who receive investments through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) bonds to make payments to the Housing Trust Fund in lieu of committing to certain percentages of affordable units
    • The Housing Trust Fund is used to create and preserve affordable housing throughout Marion County 
  • The Council has approved funding for agencies that offer numerous housing affordability resources, including:
    • The Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP) - Provides attorneys and tenant navigators in township small claims courts, who offer legal advice to tenants with eviction case hearings 
    • Tenant Legal Assistance Project (TLAP) - Connects tenants who believe their rights to safe, habitable rental units have been violated with pro bono legal advice
    • Eviction Avoidance Project (EAP) - Tenants who are facing eviction and need legal assistance may be referred to EAP, which offers in-court legal representation to tenants*

*Editors’ note: The information and language in this section was also included in a response from City-County Councilor La Keisha Jackson. 

What is your top concern regarding public safety in Indianapolis? What steps will you take as a council member to address it?

My top concerns are building community trust in our police force, increasing its officer count, and reimagining community policing. To that end, IMPD’s 2024 proposed budget includes: 

  • Year-end retention bonuses of 3% (capped at $2,500) 
  • First-year salary increase to $72,000 
  • Second-year salary increase to $75,000 
  • Highest starting salary in Central Indiana 
  • Two additional IMPD recruit classes, bringing 4-year new hire total to 800 officers 
  • Raised IMPD starting pay by 85% since 2016 
  • $2.335 Million investment in IMPD technology and equipment, including dashcams, drones, and an expansion of license plate readers (LPRs) and public safety cameras
  • Council supported a $500,000 ARP grant for businesses for B-Link cameras, which links their cameras with IMPD’s system 
  • Proposal No. 149 approved an additional appropriation of $225,000 in the 2023 Budget of the Office of Corporation Counsel (OCC) to hire 3 attorneys detailed as “Special Assistant United States Attorneys” to focus on investigating and prosecuting gun crimes in Marion County. This is the first initiative of its kind in Indianapolis that allows us to launch a new partnership with the US Attorney for the So. District of Indiana. The benefit here is that federal prosecutions have various advantages over state charges. 
  • In the fall of 2021, with bi-partisan support, the Council unanimously approved $45 Million of ARP funds for the Elevation Grant Program to invest in neighborhoods over three years (2022, 2023, and 2024) to address the root causes of violent crime. (As noted above, the proposed 2024 budget makes the Gun Violence Reduction Strategy (“Peacemakers”) a permanent program.) 
  • Another valuable investment has been $9 Million of ARP funds for modern policing technology for IMPD, which has seen the successful deployment of 6 new public safety mobile cameras throughout Marion County and over 200 new LPRs. 
  • Council approved $2 Million last year for the pilot of the Clinician Led Community Response (CLCR) Program. The program launched in July 2023 in the downtown district, but will expand next year. Dispatchers, trained to triage 911 calls, determine if sending the CLCR team is appropriate. If there is a weapon/safety threat, IMPD or the Mobile Crisis Assistance Team (MCAT) (a crisis response unit including a police officer) – will be sent instead. The proposed budget for 2024 includes an expansion of the CLCR program to the East District. Eventually, the CLCR program will expand to all districts. The 2024 budget requests an additional $1 Million for that program.

What specific steps will you take to address environmental concerns in your district that affect your constituents’ quality of life and life expectancy? 

Greenspaces and promoting outdoor activities will be priorities of mine as we: 

  • Break ground on the Nickel Plate Trail (NPT) (expected opening Spring 2025) 
  • Upgrade Sahm Park with a $2.7 Million upgrade (as part of Lilly Endowment’s $80 Million grant to Indy Parks) 
  • Upgrade Skills Test Nature Park
  • Improve management and maintenance of Town Run Trail Park 
  • Exploring converting Howland Ditch to a greenway connecting the NPT to Castleton Square Mall 

The Public Works Department 2024 budget funds better technology to improve rapid response in severe weather 

New electric infrastructure maintenance equipment will benefit community members by decreasing both the carbon emissions and noise pollution experienced with traditional gas-powered equipment 

The Indianapolis Office of Sustainability prioritizes community collaboration to guide the city to carbon neutrality by 2050. Initiatives include: a year-round air quality initiative - “Knozone,” an electric vehicle education and awareness campaign - “Highly EVolved,” and an energy benchmarking program - “Thriving Buildings.”

What specific steps will you take to connect minority-owned businesses in Indianapolis with contracts for city projects? How else will you support growth opportunities for minority-owned businesses? 

Our Council has adopted a “Budgeting for Equity” process, which ensures that every city and county agency and department is prioritizing equity in their annual budget requests, including in utilizing and increasing their XBE spending. 

Our Council worked closely with the Capital Improvement Board of Managers of Marion County to implement an XBE mentorship program, which connects minority-owned businesses with larger firms so they can work on major construction projects in the city. 

Continue to connect businesses with the Office of Minority & Women Business Development. That office helps businesses access contract opportunities from the city, county, municipal, and privately funded projects in Central Indiana. The office also holds regularly scheduled meetings to provide additional access to resources. 

What would you like to see happen for K-12 education in Indianapolis, and how would you work as a city-county councilor to achieve that?

Funding continues to be a critical issue for our district public schools as the broader educational landscape in Indianapolis is complex. Funding and policies for K-12 are primarily through the Indiana General Assembly, so the Council’s role is limited. As a society, we need to exercise caution and give careful consideration to any new school locations, especially with respect to existing properties and buildings. We need to ensure that all our schools remain stable, reliable, and safe spaces for our students, teachers/staff, and families. 

I would also like to see the same accountability, access, transparency, and supervision that we have in our district public schools also apply to our charter schools. One such item is that we should make sure the public has a right to learn in advance about all school board meetings for all district schools and charter schools. 

From a DPW perspective, I will work hard on the Council to prioritize construction projects that impact and render safe our routes to schools. I will strive to help the city expedite projects that impact our schools and neighborhoods. While making improvements and keeping construction zones safe, especially surrounding schools, we also need to ensure that we minimize disruption to our families in our school communities. 

In October 2022, the Council unanimously approved $1 Million of ARP funds for the “Circle City Readers” program, which is a high-dosage literacy tutoring program currently taking place in 10 locations in Marion County that will serve about 800 students for the 2023-2024 school year. 

Our Council also oversees and approves the budget for the “Indy Achieves” program, which works to increase the number of K-12 students who pursue and complete post-secondary credentials and the educational attainment level of the existing adult population, all while ensuring more intentional pathways into high demand careers. This year’s budget includes funding to auto-enroll students from low-income families into the 21st Century Scholar program, which is expected to double enrollment.

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