Bart Peterson

  • Spring 2008

Bart Peterson was elected the 47th mayor of the City of Indianapolis, the State of Indiana’s capital and the nation’s 12th largest city in 1999, and again in 2003. He took office on January 1, 2000.

During his campaigns for mayor, he presented The Peterson Plan, a bold and detailed vision for leading Indianapolis. Since taking office, he has focused on fulfilling the goals articulated in his blueprint: strengthening the economy and creating jobs, fighting crime aggressively, increasing neighborhood quality of life, improving public education, making Indianapolis a cultural destination and celebrating the community’s diversity.

In 2006 Mayor Peterson's charter schools initiative received Harvard University's prestigious Innovations in American Government Award, which recognized Indianapolis as a national model for improving public education.

Peterson's focus on diversifying the Indianapolis economy and supporting more growth-oriented businesses has resulted in the city leading the way in job growth among Midwestern cities. In 2006, The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released a report stating that the Indianapolis metropolitan area outperformed all other cities in the region and was the only large city tracked by the study to experience job growth between 2000 and 2005.

The city's work to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods has been recognized as well. In 2006, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies honored Peterson for his leadership in protecting local waterways and reducing raw sewage overflows.

Peterson has represented Indianapolis in leadership positions at both the state and national level. He served as the president of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns in 2006, and just completed his term as president of the National League of Cities, the oldest and largest national organization representing municipal governments throughout the United States.

Before running for office, Peterson had a distinguished career in the private sector, as well as in public service. With his family, he built The Precedent Companies, a conglomerate of 11 development and financial services companies. From 1989 to 1995, he was a member of Indiana Governor Evan Bayh’s leadership team, first as his aide for environmental affairs, and later, as chief of staff.