Back to Top

 

 

Economy

When I am out speaking directly to Hoosiers, I find that no other issue matters if they do not have a job. Even those with jobs worry about how they are going to pay the bills and put food on the table. Many Hoosiers are just one paycheck away from being evicted or going hungry. We have to do a better job of connecting Hoosiers to jobs that are open. That means, among other things, improving our mass transit system to help get these Hoosiers to the best job to support their family.

More importantly, I want to ensure that we are securing high-paying jobs. It does not make any sense that our students are receiving an amazing education studying at some of the best colleges and universities in the country, then leaving Indiana after they graduate. Indiana needs to be doing all that it should to attract and retain this talent by creating a welcoming state, investing in developing new industries, and raising wages for all working Hoosiers. The minimum wage in Indiana is the Federally mandated $7.25 an hour. I would like to see the minimum wage increased to $15.00 an hour so that any person who works a full time job can live above the poverty line.

Here in SD 29, we've seen the closure of brick-and-mortar stores across, particularly Sam's Club on 86th Street in Pike Township. When this happens, what happens to these employees? We should be prepared and have the ability to re-train these employees to get them into new jobs.

Moreover, almost gone are the days of finding a high wage entry-level factory job. In today's world, most manufacturing operations have some sort of robotic component that requires specialized skills. Indiana is a hub for manufacturing and logistics companies. I want to work with these industries to continue to see them thrive in our State. I can also see that the information technology and services industry is making their home in Indiana and I want to ensure this industry has what it needs to thrive here as well.

Another focus is attracting top talent from outside of Indiana and once those folks get here we ought to be focusing on our arts and leisure amenities so they can have something to do after they get off work. Taking this holistic approach is necessary for the long-term and strategic approach of economic development in our State. 

 

 

 


Education

Our youth are the future and education expenses make up half of the state's budget. I support and will work to strengthen our public schools and demand that we spend more time listening to teachers. As someone who has taught in the classroom, I have seen first-hand how Indiana is under serving our children and educators. 

I am a product of public schools and I believe that education is the way for people to be lifted up. I also believe in providing the children nutritious meals, which will allow them to focus while in the classroom. I know that teachers are on the front lines and they are most knowledgeable about what's best for their pupils. We ought to allow them to do their jobs, but sadly, this is not the case in our State. 

I believe we need to expand Pre-K and support the call for all-day kindergarten. In fact, I believe we should lower the compulsory age from 7 to 5. We know that early investments in students leads to more successful academics and social skills. 

In terms of school funding, I would oppose any further expansion of the school voucher system and private school tax credits.  The issue of private school vouchers and the effectiveness of private charter schools themselves must be studied thoroughly before any more Hoosier taxpayer money is diverted to voucher programs.

In regards to school counselors, I would like to see more counselors in our schools and will work to find the funding in our State to make this happen. Furthermore, I think we need to have an open and honest dialogue about keeping our schools safe. We need to put everything on the table to ensure that our children are safe in their schools. 

On the subject of higher education, I have worked on a college campus and understand the burden students have with their student loan debt. I, too, am still paying off my student loan debt. Additionally, I have seen our students struggle with mental health issues and food insecurity, two issues I'd like to work on when I'm elected. 

As an education professional myself, I understand the importance of a quality education that is available to all Hoosiers.  I will be your advocate in the Indiana General Assembly and always have an open door for teachers, students, and their advocates.

 

 


Election Reform

Re-districting reform is a huge priority for me and we simply are running out of time to address it here in our State. State Senate District 29 is the perfect example of a gerrymandered district. District 29 stretches from Main Streets in Carmel and Zionsville all the way down to Rockville Road on the West side of Indianapolis. This is a clear example of legislators picking their own constituents instead of the other way around. I have been incredibly disheartened to see zero progress made on this issue in the Indiana General Assembly.  The cornerstone of a functioning democracy is a system of voting and establishing districts that do not disenfranchise or minimize the power of any voter.

In regards to campaign finance reform, we have also got to find a way to reduce the effect of money on political outcomes. Special interest money is stifling the voice of our constituents. Politicians are listening to the source of the money rather than to the people they represent. I would like to see a cap on the amount a campaign can spend. Campaigns can be costly. Money is spent on television, radio, direct mail, flyers, etc. Thousands of dollars is spent and for what? Think of all the money that is spent on a campaign and how much money we could be spending on kids' education, veterans, the sick, the poor, the homeless, the elderly, etc.

I am also dismayed at the recent efforts to purge voters from the rolls.  Missing an election or two should not be used as a reason to disenfranchise a Hoosier citizen.  These efforts to make voting more complicated have got to stop and I pledge to do everything I can to make voting easier and more intuitive, including a push for universal vote-by-mail and automatic voter registration when a citizen turns eighteen. I would also like to see the polling hours extended or perhaps having Election Day as a state holiday, thus, making it easier for Hoosiers to vote. We should be doing everything in our power to make it easy to vote instead of putting up barriers. 


Equality for ALL Hoosiers

Proponents of robust civil rights protections are not advocating for special treatment, merely equal treatment and protections under the law. The Supreme Court decision on marriage equality ensured that all Hoosiers could marry the person they love, but here in Indiana you can still be fired from your job for being who you are and loving who you love. Indiana also lacks basic protections for the LGBTQ+ community related to housing discrimination and bias-motivated crimes.

I was honored to help organize and speak at several RFRA rallies after then Governor Mike Pence led the effort to write discrimination into Indiana law. The public relations nightmare and damage to our reputation of Hoosier Hospitality was immeasurable and did nothing to solve any of the actual problems facing Hoosiers. I was also honored to play a small part in helping pass the human rights ordinance for the City of Carmel, where I gave testimony to the Council on the importance of protecting everyone from discrimination.

In previous legislative sessions, we saw legislators try and divide the LGBTQ+ community by leaving out our trans brothers and sisters. This is not acceptable. All Hoosiers deserve to live free of fear and discrimination.  I will fight every day to ensure everyone has a voice in the Indiana General assembly.

We have also seen unprecedented attacks on other communities such as the Muslim community and also immigrants. I will continue to stand up and be a voice for ALL Hoosiers who have been silenced and marginalized by my opponent and this GOP super majority.

 

Immigration

In order to truly embrace Hoosier Hospitality we must pass legislation that is welcoming to all Hoosiers.  Including Hoosiers who are undocumented, also known as UndocuHoosiers. Students who were raised in our state should be eligible to receive in-state tuition regardless of their immigration status.  Last but not least I believe undocumented immigrants should have access to dialysis. Currently, in our state undocumented immigrants do not have access to dialysis.  This is not how we show Hoosier hospitality. Ultimately, I believe families should be able to stay together and we should embrace all of the contributions the undocumented community provide to our state.

 


Environment

I will work to protect our environment. More and more, Hoosiers are demanding clean energy alternatives to coal. We need to invest in wind, solar, hydro-power, geothermal, and biomass industries to take Indiana from a leader in burning coal to a leader in renewable clean sources of energy.  The failure to do so will result in the continued desecration of our state’s water resources.

Coal ash and runoff from agricultural chemicals are putting serious strain on our freshwater resources.  According to the Indy Star Editorial Board (5/21/17), more than 60% of Indiana's lakes and rivers are so polluted they should be classified as impaired and 80% of utilities report that pollution hinders their ability to deliver clean water to customers. Indiana should takes steps now to protect this precious resource.

Public transportation can also play a role in improving environmental factors in Indiana. We need to provide affordable and convenient alternatives to Hoosiers who want a choice in transportation options.  While Indianapolis was once a leader in public transportation during the heyday of the “Interurban” rail lines that connected almost every corner of the city and state, now the supermajority in the Indiana General Assembly ties the hands of cities and towns that want to expand public transportation.

The recent logging at Yellowwood should have us all concerned about the status of the forests in our State. Selling off logging rights to the highest bidder is not a sustainable forestry plan. Hoosiers deserve better. 


Mental Health Services

During the last legislative session, I was surprised that the Indiana General Assembly did not do more to address issues of access to mental health services. During my graduate school years, I completed my Master of Science in Education with a specific emphasis on human services. I completed a 300-hour internship with the Midwest Center for Youth and Families. The Center is a residential/inpatient facility and I had the opportunity to work (under supervision) with adolescent males who all had different diagnoses. This was an eye-opening experience and a very humbling experience for me. It was also here that I realized that we must be doing more.

Additionally, I would love to see our State assist with putting more School Counselors in schools. I would love to convene a commission with some of the best mental health professionals from around the state to discuss what we can be doing better for Mental Health Services in the State of Indiana.


Medical Cannabis

Hoosiers are beyond ready to have an adult conversation with their elected representatives to reassess the impact that the current marijuana laws have had on our society.  I believe that it is time to work with law enforcement agencies, healthcare groups, and other stakeholders to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize the possession of small amount of marijuana.

According to an article in TIME magazine, 85% of Americans favor legalization of medical marijuana and according to a recent Gallup Poll, 64% of adults believe recreational marijuana should be legal. Although this issue has been around for quite some time, we are finally starting to see this issue gain momentum. 29 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico allow certain patients to use medical marijuana. That’s almost 2 million individuals who use medical cannabis to treat their pain.   I personally know people who have benefited from the recent availability of CBD oil in Indiana.   The science clearly implies that medical marijuana could have the potential to have a positive impact on issues like seizure prevention, Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, autism spectrum disorder and diabetes treatment.  Medicine derived from marijuana has the potential to improve the lives of thousands of Hoosier veterans too, just ask the American Legion for the State of Indiana.

Here in Indiana, the Hoosier state is grappling with the Opioid Crisis. I strongly believe that medical cannabis can play an integral role in fighting this crisis. The Journal of American Medical Association has shown that opioid overdoses are as much as 25% less common in states where medical cannabis is legal and the Journal of Health Affairs found that states who legalized medical cannabis saw a significant drop in prescriptions for painkillers and other drugs where marijuana may be an alternative. This is a serious issue that deserves serious attention as opioid abuse racks up more than $72 billion in medical costs alone each year in the US. In addition to the potential health care uses, the harsh penalties inflicted for possession of small amounts of marijuana has led to the unnecessary incarceration of thousands of Hoosiers and a huge waste of resources related to our court system.  

Furthermore, the potential benefits, as seen in the example of Colorado, are too great to ignore.  The only fiscally and socially responsible path forward requires significant reform to the current laws that regulate marijuana.  Join me in bringing some sanity back to the Indiana General Assembly on this very important issue and others.


Choice

I believe a woman should make decisions about her body-not government. 


Veterans

We owe our active duty servicewomen/men and veterans a debt of gratitude for their service and sacrifice. When they are finished, I want to make sure that Indiana has jobs waiting for them upon their safe return. I will tirelessly work for them as they have worked for us.

I'd like to look into the Military Family Relief Fund and make sure that all veterans can have access to those resources.

I would like to see the re-reinstatement of the Women Veterans Coordinator.



Quality of Life

Although I will never understand fully what it's like to be a person of color, as a candidate; I want constituents to know I hear them and see them. I do not have all the answers but I am willing to listen. In short, I respect the dignity of all people. Below is a list I am aware of: 

Indiana ranks number 2 for parental incarceration

Indiana ranks number 2 for in/out-of-school suspensions. The majority of these students are students of color.

Indiana is ranked 10 least diverse states (Wallethub)

Voters are being purged from the voter roll

Members of the latinx community who are living in shadows and afraid of being deported. Particularly, our DREAMERS

We need criminal justice/bail reform here in Indiana

Again, the above list is not exhaustive. There are many more issues. Please let me know what you think would improve our quality of life.

Being a melting pot and celebrating diversity is a gift. We should embrace and cherish those who do not look like us, talk like us, etc. 

 


Healthcare

I believe in health care as a human right. 


Your Issues

What keeps you up at night? What issues has your family been discussing around the table? Drop JD a line. He wants to hear from you!



Friends to Elect JD Ford
Powered by CampaignPartner.com - Political Websites