Mayor Melton Hosts Community Forum; Sets New Standard for Civic Engagement in Gary

GARY, IND. – Members of the Gary community gathered at the Temple of Deliverance on Thursday, June 20, for a groundbreaking Community Forum held by Mayor Eddie Melton and his team. This event, where residents had a chance to engage directly with employees from multiple city departments, set a new standard for transparency in government for the City of Gary.

“Tonight, we’ve brought City Hall to you. We may not have every answer for you today,” Mayor Melton stated, “but the objective is to hear you, listen and figure out how we can answer your questions to the best of our abilities.”

The forum was an opportunity for members of the Melton Administration to provide updates on the progress over the last six months and share their vision on the city's future. It was followed by a Q&A session with the Mayor and concluded with an open forum, where residents could circulate, speak with department heads and address any remaining questions or issues at dedicated stations.

In previous meetings, residents raised concerns about unanswered questions due to the absence of certain city departments. The Chief of Staff, Ellis Dumas, kicked off the event and addressed the estimated 150 residents in attendance. "We were listening,” he stated. “We’re back with a new format. When you come and engage in your community, we want you to feel like it was worth it. This new format will create a more meaningful, community forum.”

From the City of Gary, the Departments of Constituent Services (311), Communications, Gary Police Department (GPD), Gary Sanitary District (GSD), Gary Fire Department (GFD), Code Enforcement, Building and Zoning, Health Department, Gary Chicago International Airport, Department of Community Health, Green Urbanization, and Human Resources were all in attendance.

The Melton Administration felt it was important to have representation from all departments, to ensure that each team could get direct feedback from the citizens.  “We are changing the way that we engage with our community,” said Director of Constituent Services Kianna Grant. “We are partnering with our citizens so that we can ensure that our actions address our community’s needs and concerns.”

Over the past six months, the Melton Administration has been working towards creating growth in the City of Gary. Notable highlights from administration include:

While Gary is moving in the right direction, there is more work to be done. Mayor Melton made clear his intention to remain transparent and pragmatic in his communications with the community. “We are making progress, but we have a long way to go,” he said.

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