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INDIANAPOLIS — The new Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood Engagement for the City of Indianapolis, Judith Thomas, is reflecting on her first year in the new role. 

“That year has been quite an education. I have learned so much about all the hard work that people throughout the community and this city do,” said Thomas. 

She says it’s all been about making connections. Not only has she met a lot of people, but she’s been able to foster many new relationships for people to work together. 

She says these things will benefit Indianapolis as a whole and help her continue to enrich Black culture in the city. 

Thomas is using her past experience in her new role and learning new things. 

“The neighborhoods and the commitments people have in the neighborhoods. That’s one thing that I’ve definitely learned, and I will cherish.” 

She says in her time she’s talked to different groups, listened to their problems, and put them in contact with someone to help solve them. 

“I mean a perfect example is the Flanner house and the Flanner house neighborhood and the area. They had some challenges with people coming and dumping trash in their neighborhood,” said Thomas. 

“And so we worked with the right people to come over and pick up the trash, and the trash is gone. That’s how we need to work together in every part of this city.” 

She’s also connecting artists with different venues. 

“I probably get on Deputy Mayor Thomas’s nerves with how much I tell her, ‘thank you’, and how much I appreciate her. But I mean it,” said Anthony Murdock, II. 

Thomas was able to connect Murdock with Circle City Storyteller to the cabaret where he was able to hold his Naptown Narrative. 

“We take everyday Black stories from across the Circle City and we put them on beautiful stages. It’s difficult to put Black stories on beautiful stages… without a beautiful stage,” Murdock said.  

“There are few stages more beautiful than the one the Cabaret has to offer.” 

Murdock says on top of all that she already does, the deputy mayor has really helped give Black communities support by providing them with more opportunities. 

“She continues to provide so many names, so many opportunities and I am one of those people amongst a host of numerous names that she continues to provide opportunities for,” said Murdock. 

“I just love to see the energy here in the city. And through this past year, I’ve just met so many people and it just gives me that much faith in the direction that our city is moving to,” Thomas said. 

Moving forward for the next year, she says she wants to continue making these connections and making sure people and organizations know about different resources available to them.