Meet City-County Councilmember Nick Roberts, District 4

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Shortly after the Nov. 7 election, Nick Roberts was still recovering from his high-energy, successful campaign for Indianapolis City-County Council, District 4, representing the Geist-Castleton area.

At 23, Roberts had youth on his side to help him knock on what he estimated at 20,000 doors (repeat visits included), and log millions of steps through his fitness tracker. The Democrat is the youngest elected city councilor in the nation — at least for the top-50 cities — and won one of the more conservative districts in Marion County.

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District 4 Councilmember-elect Nick Roberts estimates that his campaign knocked on thousands of doors, wearing out at least one pair of shoes. (Photo courtesy of Nick Roberts)

Roberts said his age mostly helped him on the path to victory.

“Of course, I had a few people that said, ‘You’re too young to vote for,’ but it was vastly outnumbered by the amount of people that told me they love my age, they love (that) there’s fresh perspectives coming into our government. And I’m in a very affluent area, you know, being Geist. The average voter in my district was 63 years old. So, I really did not have a whole lot of younger people, really. But I think people, especially with the political environment right now, people really want to see fresh perspectives; they want to see new voices.”

Roberts said his dedication to door-to-door campaigning was a deciding factor.

“I have the energy level. I love being out there,” he said, adding that the personal contact helped him overcome partisan politics with enough voters. “Jefferson Shreve, the Republican candidate for mayor, won (District 4) by 200 votes and I won by over 800 (against Republican Natalie Goodwin). So, there was a lot of crossover in my direction and I heard time and again on Election Day, ‘Nick you’re the first Democrat I’ve ever voted for,’ or ‘You’re the first Democrat I voted for in X years.’ Because the people saw the work ethic and it meant a lot to them. I think it’s easier to demonize somebody or assume the worst about them when you’ve not met them in person. But when you’ve met them multiple times, it really goes a long way toward your view of them.”

It probably didn’t hurt that Roberts was basically endorsed by Luke Skywalker. Early in the campaign, actor Mark Hamill — who is active on X, formerly Twitter — started “liking” Roberts’ campaign posts and they later connected on a more personal level.

“He and I actually have messaged each other privately a lot,” Roberts said. “He’s given me a lot of wisdom and he shared with me that I remind him a lot of himself at his age. He told stories about how he got involved with politics for the first time, back in the early ‘70s when he was about my age. It was just a very humbling thing for him to reach out to me. He likes pretty much all my tweets now, which always makes my day whenever that happens because I’ve always loved Star Wars.”

Public service runs in Roberts’ family, he said, noting that his father is a disabled Purple Heart veteran, and many others in the family run small businesses.

“I always kind of grew up with that — just great work ethic, obviously, but also the drive to always try to commit yourself to something bigger than yourself,” he said.

And now that he’s achieved the first goal — getting elected — he can work on the issues voters want addressed, namely infrastructure and public safety.

Road improvements will be a focus, Roberts said, with numerous major thoroughfares in his district needing work. But it’s not only the main roads.

“There’s also a lot of neighborhood roads, even around Geist,” he said, noting that some streets are 40-plus years old and need attention.

From a citywide perspective, Roberts said maintaining a vibrant downtown and supporting public safety and law enforcement are two top goals.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re investing in our law enforcement,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re supporting not just our (Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department), but our sheriff’s deputies, too, and I would really like to see mental health as a priority for the entire city from a public safety perspective.”

Roberts graduated in 2018 from Lawrence North High School and works as director of community relations at the Lawrence Township Trustee’s Office. He’ll be sworn into his seat on the City-County Council in January.


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