Statement for Regional Center Hearing:
The proposed development by Buckingham Companies continues a long tradition of gentrification along Indiana Avenue. As the group Reclaim Indiana Avenue has recently described it, “Indiana Avenue is ground zero for the battle for Black Indianapolis’ heartbeat.” As Mari Evans wrote decades ago about the process of gentrification along Indiana Avenue and its effects on the community, “The community is gone. Razed. Bulldozed. Its striving, hopeful population scattered to the fringes of nowhere. Removed in the name of progress, to make room for the new population waiting, figuratively, on the drafting board. A new area, smart, new people–very few of whom look anything like those dispossessed.” I speak as a member of the Housing for All Committee for the Central Indiana DSA. We stand with community members calling for community control of the development of the neighborhood. This development project continues to ignore the community’s needs and history. This development is a prime example of racial capitalism, which prioritizes profit over people.