Ryan Kramer, Bates Hendricks Resident

Dear Indy,

17 years ago I moved to Greenwood, Indiana when I was in 8th grade. Although I lived only 20 miles away from you, my family and I rarely visited you. Frankly, you were an afterthought at the time. I was born in Cleveland, had family in Cleveland, and all my allegiances were sworn to the state of Ohio (I still have a soft spot for the Cleveland Browns and Indians).

Fast forward 9 years later. After graduating from Indiana University, I was fortunate enough to land my first job working for the City-County Council of Indianapolis and Marion County. While it took me some time to truly understand the landscape of Indianapolis, my passion and commitment for you grew. It was in this job that I saw this firsthand and truth be told, I immediately got swept up in the excitement and momentum for making you the best place to live, work and play. I saw supporters from the public sector, private sector, non-profit sector and government join forces and work to create jobs, economic development opportunities, but most importantly, commit to making you better each and every day.

From a young 23 year old to a now 30 year old, I continue to be amazed as you have matured and grown each and every year. From the eclectic array of bars and restaurants on Mass Ave. and Fountain Square, to the flourishing tech and sports scene, you continue to impress and hold your own against others. Indy, you paved the way for me to meet some of my closest friends, introduced me to my first old fashioned (and many hundreds more), introduced me to my wife (and my mother-in-law who dared me to get her daughter's phone number at a concert), and gave me a sense of belonging and community. It is here where my wife and I have decided to lay down our roots, pursue our careers and ultimately raise our future family. Why? Because we know you will only continue to grow, prosper and you have an amazing ecosystem of supporters and activists who will refuse to let you fail. So when people ask me where I am from, I proudly say Indianapolis.

Indy, I do have one ask of you. Promise our community this: Promise to never get complacent, promise to continue to embrace people of all races, genders and ethnicities, and promise to be a voice for all. Continue to push the limits of what you can be. Continue to shock the world.



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