All Hoosiers deserve the same freedoms and opportunities, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age, or disability. While progress has been made, much work still remains. Many still face discrimination in health care, housing, employment and public accommodations. I will continue the fight to ensure full equality in all aspects of life for Hoosiers.
Indiana has the sixth largest gender wage gap in the United States. On average, Hoosier women make 26 cents less on the dollar than men. The pay gap is even larger for minority women at nearly 38 cents. These disparities lead to women having a higher poverty rate, a lower homeownership rate, a lower business ownership rate, and less retirement income. To have true equality for all Hoosiers, we must work to fix the pay gap for women. I will work to implement stronger equal pay laws, encourage more collective bargaining by women, and advocate for a living wage.
Indiana is a prime example of the effects of gerrymandering. Allowing elected officials to draw the political district boundaries encourages one party to favor itself over the other. In the 2016 state elections, Indiana Republicans received close to 58 percent of the votes. However, they currently control 82 percent of the state Senate seats and 70 percent of the state House seats. It is no coincidence that Republicans controlled the process of drawing the district lines in 2010. I believe voters should pick their elected officials rather than elected officials picking their voters. To ensure fair elections, we need to implement an independent commission to draw the district lines so that all Hoosiers’ voices are represented fairly.