By DANA BLACK
I have not lived anywhere else in the world, but there must be some truth to the notion that America is the greatest country on earth to live in.
In America, your birth does not determine your ability to serve your community via the political system. No matter where you are from, or what your history is, you can work to earn a voice and a seat at the table. As with many things, America is not perfect, but she continues to work toward a more perfect union.
I have the same love and affection for Indiana, the state I grew up in. But like America as a whole, Indiana has much work to do to become a more perfect state. That is why I am running for the Indiana House of Representatives, District 88. I am running against a 30-year incumbent and Speaker of the House, so winning this seat is going to require hard work, perseverance and a huge amount of support from all voting demographics – including my Republican neighbors.
As humans, we are not going to agree on all of the social issues that have dominated the conversation in our statehouse over the last several legislative sessions. We have different experiences that shape how we see the world. But something we can agree on is when we drive up and down Indiana roads and highways, we should not have to purchase new tires every year.
I found it offensive that Gov. Mike Pence told the nation at the Republican National Convention that Indiana had a $2 billion surplus; yet I-65 was shut down for weeks at a time and our roads and bridges have been graded a D+ over the past several years. We are supposed to be the Crossroads of America, but one of our main arteries was shut down. How could that be acceptable to the leaders of our state?
As an African-American woman who is gay, I am not going to suggest that discussing social issues is not important. But our leaders should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Lately they have shown they do not have that capability.
No one has more of a responsibility to ensure our elected officials are living up to their commitments than the Speaker of the House Brian Bosma. Under his leadership, it appears he is unable or unwilling to keep our legislators focused on the issues that matter to all Hoosier families. How many more years are we going to let our infrastructure crumble under our feet, while Bosma and his supermajority focus on issues that divide Hoosiers, instead of the issues that bring us together?
We don’t have to keep doing the same thing over and over again hoping for change; we can create the change we seek.
We can elect a candidate who loves Indiana and wants to work to move it forward with fresh ideas. It’s time to move Indiana forward, and that is the goal of Indiana’s Own.
Dana Black is the Democratic candidate for Ind. House District 88, which includes parts of Marion (Indianapolis), Hamilton and Hancock counties. For information, see www.indianasown.com.