Indianapolis – Council President Monroe Gray expressed on his and the behalf of all Council members sympathy to the entire Black family on the recent passing of Elwood Black.
President Gray said, "Elwood Black was a man of strong principle, a leader, and a friend to many. As hard as he worked on legislation to improve people's lives, he always had time for friends and family. He was well-liked by many, including the Councillors, his many constituents, and current and former council staff. We all mourn the loss of such a good man and extend our sympathies to his family."
Mr. Black served the citizens of Indianapolis from 1992-2003. During his time on the Council he worked tirelessly to create and pass legislation that would benefit all working people in both the public and private sector. He was an ardent supporter of the living wage proposal and union recognition. Although the living wage proposal did not pass, a study of city employees salaries was undertaken, which garnered increases for many underpaid city and county employees. He, along with Councillor Joanne Sanders, authored the living wage proposal and a proposal to allow collective bargaining rights for all city and county employees. Collective bargaining rights are enjoyed by city and county employees today. He also fought to keep the water company under local control, rather than allow an out-of-state company to take-over.
Mr. Black served as President of the United Auto Workers (UAW), Local 550 and the Marion County Community Action Program (CAP) Council. He served as a delegate to many Democratic Conventions and was a founder of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU).
After retirement, Mr. Black continued to work as an advocate for civil rights and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), but did manage to find time for travel and to make a host of new friends.
President Gray said, "We will miss our friend and mentor."
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