This time of year, as one year ends and another begins, I always feel a little anxiety.
I’m never sure whether the anxiety is attributable to what I failed to accomplish in the waning year or whether I am worried about what lies ahead in the New Year. This year, there are certain things that definitely are fueling my anxiety.
I have a real sense of urgency to see the 2016 presidential election over and behind us. I am concerned that the American electorate and our friends around the world cannot stomach much more of the mean-spirited rhetoric and silliness.
I feel constant urgency to see someone or something bring an end to (or at least reduce) the cycle of nightly murders in the inner city. How can hope be restored?
I am increasingly anxious about the number of empty houses in downtown Indianapolis and the food deserts that exist all around the mile square. This city is too prosperous for us to have hungry people living in our midst.
I am also anxious to see whether the legislature, the business community, and interest groups of all viewpoints can come to terms on the civil rights and religious freedom issues that challenged our city and state this year. We lawyers in particular must make ourselves available to help the public understand the issues and the opposing views.
It will also be interesting this coming year to see how the legislature, the judiciary, the political parties, and other interested parties find a constitutional way to select our state court judges in Marion County.
We, the members of the Indianapolis Bar Association, are all stakeholders in these and other issues facing our city, state, and country. I would like to challenge every one of you to adopt a sense of urgency for some or all of these problems. Our members have influence; our members have ideas; our members have the privilege of a law license that enables us to be society’s problem solvers. Our voices need to rise, and it is time for us to be heard.
We can stand on the sidelines and watch as things get worse, or we can organize and help our elected officials find some solutions. I will soon be done with my duties as Indy Bar president and will have some time to spare. I hope that some of you will join me in 2016 to see what we can do to make a difference.
Happy New Year to all!