Our 25 Candidates for 2020
Kat Hardwick - House District 69
From Brownstown to Dupont, Elizabethtown to Deputy, and all points in between, there are over 65,000 unique voices in District 69. I believe that each one of them has a story to tell!
I was born, raised, and still reside in the heart of District 69: Seymour. My father works for the city and my mother worked as a housekeeper at the hospital. They showed me what it was to work hard, set goals, and to strive to achieve them. In October of 2019, my mother passed away after a short battle with a rare liver cancer. Even through her illness, she still found time to volunteer at the hospital. She was a deeply caring woman who always thought of others before herself, and it is with her spirit of humble service in mind that I am seeking to be added to the November ballot as an independent candidate for your state representative in District 69.
My father and I are graduates of Jackson County's public school system and my mother was a graduate from Jennings County. We were so blessed to be molded by some of the finest teachers at some of the best schools in the country. Sadly, as the world has grown and society has marched forward, our educational system has been under attack through lack of funding, an inconsistent standardized testing system, and teacher salaries that are lower than that of the MAJORITY of the other 49 states. My commitment to education is a top priority and that work will begin on day one. My belief is that we cannot introduce new taxes to fill in these gaps but rather, we must prioritize our burdened education system by streamlining and diverting funds that are going towards beautification and other non-essential spending into funding for a bold new educational system that sees its teachers being paid on par with the rest of the country. No Hoosier teacher should have to drive past decorative signage or landscaping that was paid for by the government on their way to a job that does not pay them what they are worth. This must be a priority and my work toward this in District 69 will be of the highest priority.
While making sure that the children of our district receive the education that they so richly deserve, we must also educate ourselves by looking at the benefits of the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis. Not only has marijuana proven to be a MILD drug with effects on par with those of alcohol when used recreationally, but recent years have shown that it can also be used for innumerable medical purposes with very few side effects. Just last year, Colorado reached over 1 billion dollars in revenue after only 5 years of legalization. Much of this money has been filtered back into the state’s education program, as well as their general reserve fund, health care, mental health services, and youth drug-prevention programs. District 69 residents want decriminalization and legalization for our own state. The ill among us need this to happen and the farmers in our district deserve for this to happen. The time is now to bring Indiana into the 21st century and to be a leader on this issue.
Even without the added revenue, mental health services are another essential function that we simply must begin to take more seriously. Whether running a family farm, working on a factory floor, or filling the fundamental role of being a stay-at-home parent, the availability of mental health services greatly reduces the medical cost associated with anxiety, stress, and even drug abuse. A mentally healthy district 69 is a happy and profitable district 69!
Most experts believe that between 10 and 35% of all inmates in our jails and prisons suffer from some sort of mental illness. We cannot continue to incarcerate people (many of whom haven't even been convicted of a crime but simply don't have the resources to post bail) who are mentally ill or who have only been accused of minor infractions, just to add to the profitability of a revenue based privately owned prison system. Many of our neighbors have been tried, convicted, and sent into a system that gets paid based on the number of prisoners that they have. A for-profit penal system and a despicable cash bail system reeks of a conflict of interest and needs to be abolished. The best way to accomplish this goal is to stop treating those who are mentally ill, poor, or otherwise marginalized as hopeless, when we have the means to turn them into healthy, vibrant, and productive success stories. It's what they deserve as human beings and their rehabilitation will benefit every person in our district.
As a proud working mother and an active member of our community, improving the lives of every man, woman and child in District 69 is my highest priority. No Hoosier family should ever have to feel undervalued based on whom they love, how or if they pray, or their race, creed, or the color of their skin. It is with this in mind that I will make certain that those who commit a hate crime or an act of violence against a domestic partner or spouse receive the highest level of punishment available under the current law. If that is not enough, a new law will be introduced. A district that works for the weakest among us works for us all!
Please consider being an ally in the fight to return our district to the civil, safe, independent cornerstone of Hoosier values that we have always known it to be!
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