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Joe Hogsett sworn in as mayor of Indianapolis; cites crime, budget, poverty as major issues

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 1, 2016) – Joe Hogsett is officially the new mayor of Indianapolis.

Hogsett took the oath of office during a noon ceremony Friday at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis. After taking the oath, which was administered by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, Hogsett laid out his vision for the city.

He touched on the “crime epidemic” in Indianapolis, saying it “spreads each day and grows more violent.” Hogsett also said the city has a budget problem that must be addressed immediately.

"Each year, we face a $50 million structural budget deficit, and time has run out on the accounting methods of the past," he said.

Hogsett said childhood poverty is also a main issue, with one-third of the children in Indianapolis born into poverty.

"These are our children," he said.

The new mayor said the issues facing the city are years in the making and can’t be solved by government alone. He challenged residents of Indianapolis to step up and do their part to make their communities better.

"I'm asking the people of Indianapolis for your help. I ask for your time, your talent, for more of your thoughts and ideas, more of your compassion and kindness, more of your dedication and commitment," he said.

He said he believes Indianapolis has a desire to rise above and be exceptional.

“Fear and the belief that things will never change comes all too easily,” he said, vowing to do what’s right “no matter the cost even if that cost is the next election.”

After Hogsett was sworn in, several Indianapolis Marion County City-County councilors took the oaths of office.

Both new members of the council and seasoned leadership said they're committed to working across the aisle to solve issues.

"The key is it's a 13-12 split, so it's really going to take working together, because you're going to find very few situations where everyone is on the same page of one party," said Mike McQuillen, Republican Minority Leader.

"My expectations are just to work hard with the whole team, Republican, Democrats, it doesn't matter," said new councilor Colleen Fanning, a Republican from district 2, "None of the issues we face on the city council are partisan."

Council leadership said the first order of business is dealing with crime.

"Crime continues to be the number one issue that we are up against," said City -County Council President Maggie Lewis, "The conversations will continue. We'll continue to look at funding for law enforcement."

Hogsett is holding a public safety forum Saturday with federal, state, and local leaders. It's expected he will outline plans for his first few months in office.