I am a Hoosier to my core, and I have lived in Indianapolis all of my life. My grandparents graduated from District 16’s George Washington High School, and my parents- a then-stay-at-home mom and a Union Carpenter- raised my sister and me on the west side of town. I graduated in the Top Thirty of my thousand-person class at Ben Davis High School, and I traveled to Greencastle to attend DePauw University for my undergraduate degree. While double majoring in Biology and Spanish, I founded the DePauw Global Health Initiative, I was elected to our Student Senate, and, throughout my junior and senior year, I advocated for a very special child caught in the judicial system as a Court Appointed Special Advocate.
When our national economy was at a historical low- and when jobs were incredibly hard to come by- I graduated from DePauw, and I accepted an offer to attend IUPUI for a Master’s program in Biology. Throughout graduate school, I conducted diabetes research with the IU School of Medicine, and I volunteered for a group of physicians who provided healthcare services for underserved populations on the city’s east side.
Literally inundated with student debt after school, I decided to enter the workforce, and I found luck with an Indianapolis-based business consulting company. After traveling for several years on behalf of my job, and motivated by the birth of my niece, I applied to Indiana’s largest minority-owned business consulting firm, where I have worked more locally for the past five years. I am an Information Technology Program Manager, and in my position, I have contributed to a number of successful software development, research, and marketing campaigns- both in the public and in the private sector.
While my first memory in politics is admittedly watching Bill Clinton playing the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show, I began to become more politically engaged after Mike Pence’s disastrous decisions to introduce both Right-to-Work and RFRA to our state. I saw how entire families were impacted by these terrible rulings, and as a result, I got to work. I spent countless hours volunteering with Freedom Indiana- committed to updating our state’s civil rights laws and protecting all Hoosiers from discrimination- and I met with my dad’s Union partners to understand how adversely their qualities of life were impacted, across the state. At that point, I decided enough was enough.
I ran my first campaign in 2016, when I was elected to represent Indianapolis voters at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, as a district-level delegate for the Bernie Sanders campaign. And while I think the convention united Democrats less than it created a rift among us, I am appreciative of this experience, and of the progressive influence that folks like me had on the Democratic Party Platform that year. I’ve now decided to direct my attention more locally, and I am seeking the Democratic nomination to represent Indianapolis’ Sixteenth District in the City-County Council.
Selfless service and speaking up for the marginalized were central to my upbringing. I look forward to the opportunity to pair these core values of mine with my professional experience, in order to align stakeholders and to create architectures of change for my community. My vision for Indianapolis is a sustainably developed cityscape- with accessible pathways to the middle class- that is safe, inclusive, and can be proudly passed to our posterity. As your City-County Councilperson, I vow to be a voice for my neighbors, for progress; for all.
Patrick Joseph Wagner
Your Democratic Candidate
Indianapolis City-County Council, District 16