District 6 of the Indianapolis City-County Council covers part of the north west side of the city. Incumbent Republican Janice Shattuck McHenry has served in the seat since 2007. Challenging her is Democrat Crista Carlino.
Crista Carlino is a graduate of Ben Davis High School and the University of Indianapolis. She earned her Master’s in Teaching from Marian University in 2012. Crista has served as an educator since 2010, and currently serves as the Library Media Specialist at Ben Davis University High School, and on the Indianapolis Public Library Board of Trustees. Crista resides in the Sunningdale neighborhood in District 6, with her husband Charlie and their daughter, Alexis.
NUVO: How will you address quality of life issues for Indianapolis residents — affordable housing, food deserts, transportation options for those without cars, air quality, water quality, schools, green space, sustainability, recycling, lack of park funding, etc.?
Carlino: All of these issues require unique solutions, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. I think leadership and partnerships are critical to creating sustainable change. However, the City-County Council alone cannot combat these huge issues - it will take national, state, and local governments working alongside private partners and community groups to truly solve these complex problems. Working together, we can build our city up.
NUVO: I want to know how they are going to support the public school system.
Carlino: As an educator, I have made supporting the public school system my life’s work. Indianapolis students deserve every effort from our city to ensure all students have access to a high quality education and in the safest environment that we can create. I encourage all residents to attend local school board meetings and write to their state lawmakers. Our schools are the foundation of our community and I plan to ensure they are a priority in our city’s agenda.
NUVO: What are your plans to help Indianapolis have a more equitable distribution of resources to help marginalized communities without contributing to gentrification?
Carlino: The unique communities in and around Indianapolis are what make it a world class city. As we allocate funding to revitalize our neighborhoods, we have to be sure we are also supporting existing communities. It is vital that we all work towards inclusive growth. Efforts can include collaborating, supporting local businesses, and preserving historic sites — but it is important that we focus on moving forward together.
NUVO: How will you address the pothole problem?
Carlino: This issue is not new — our city is currently dealing with decades of deferred maintenance of our infrastructure. One way I would approach this issue would be to serve on the Department of Public Works Committee As a strong voice on the Council, I can help advocate for the resources my district needs and help support ongoing efforts to improve infrastructure for all of Indianapolis.
NUVO: What will you do to encourage the increased use of alternate (non motor vehicle) forms of transportation in the city?
Carlino: We have to focus on expanding access to transit and trails. Indianapolis is off to a great start, but has more work to do to expand our rapid and mass transit — and we must start with listening to the people.
NUVO: How do you feel about decriminalizing possession of personal amounts of cannabis, as other large cities have done?
Carlino: This is an issue determined at our Statehouse, and I encourage everyone complete all the legislative surveys they receive, and to contact their State legislators to voice their opinion on this issue. I know I am.