Andrew Downs

Araceli Gomez-Aldana & Katy Anderson

Civic Engagement


In the first hour, we take a look at civic involvement in Indiana. What are organizations doing to engage citizens in public concerns, politics, and deliberation? Have we become less engaged over time? 

A panel of experts weigh in with moderator, Morning Edition host and reporter Zach Bernard. 


Andy Downs

Director, Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics

Rebecca Reeder

WBOI Presents brings you The Politics of Time.

Here is the conversation between Andrew Downs and James Toole, associate professors of political science at IPFW.

This event was sponsored by the IPFW Department of Political Science, the American Democracy Project, and the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics. Audio was provided by College TV.

Music in tonight's episode was provided by Mark Waldick.

Opinion: Economic Development that Is Worth It

Aug 25, 2016
Andrew Downs / Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

Businesses in Indiana pay a property tax on non-real estate items owned by the business.  These include things like manufacturing equipment and tools.  In many cases the businesses apply for, and are given, tax abatement on new equipment.  This abatement is a tool used by communities to encourage economic development.

Filling a Ballot Vacancy

Jul 28, 2016
Andrew Downs / IPFW

On July 26th, the 24 members of the Republican State Committee met in a caucus to fill the ballot vacancy created by Governor Mike Pence accepting the Republican nomination for vice president.  The 22 voting members* decided that Eric Holcomb is the best candidate to replace Pence. 

Ireland in June

Jul 5, 2016
Andrew Downs / Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

My wife Jill and I spent time in Dublin, Ennis, and

Now That the Primaries Are Over...

May 24, 2016
Courtesy / Andrew Downs

When it became apparent that the presidential primary in Indiana was going to matter, it dawned on me that many voters might think this is the norm.  For those who have looked at the past or who have lived through it, they know that 2008 and 2016 are not the norm.  The presidential primary in Indiana usually includes very little excitement.

What Do Voter Registration Numbers Mean?

Mar 31, 2016
Courtesy / Andrew Downs

Recently in class a student said that he did not know how to register to vote.  I directed him to  After I gave the web address, another student said he registered to vote that way.  The registered voter mentioned that he needed his driver’s license to register and the unregistered person said he would have to register later because he did not have his license with him.  I didn’t have a chance to ask the unregistered person if he completed the form before Indiana’s voter registration deadline on April 4th. 

Tom Arthur from Orange, CA, United States, via Wikimedia Commons

The primary election in Indiana is not until May, but already many people in Indiana have been researching the presidential candidates diligently (and less diligently) in order to find their preferred candidate. 

Get Ready for the Education Session…Again

Dec 28, 2015
Courtesy / Andrew Downs

 It seems like every session of the Indiana General Assembly is labeled as the “education session” by someone.  This certainly is not surprising for several reasons.  First, education spending makes up approximately one third of all state spending in Indiana.  Second, education is a key component of economic development.  Third, as Horace Mann and others have said, education is the great equalizer in society.  Why shouldn’t education be featured prominently in each session?

The Indiana General Assembly: Let the Games Begin

Nov 25, 2015
Courtesy / Andrew Downs

The Indiana General Assembly held its organization day on November 17.  Even before this ceremonial start of the 2015/16 session, there were rumors and announcements about what was going to happen.