Our 25 Candidates for 2020
Martha Lemert - House District 52
I moved to Indiana 20 years ago and have made Fort Wayne my family's home. I am a lawyer, mother, wife and community volunteer who has never held public office. I am running now because I see much that needs fixing at the Statehouse.
I want to work for you. We need to create more living wage jobs, improve our schools, and make public safety a top priority because our economy is not healthy unless our families are. With nearly two decades of legal experience, I know what it takes to find solutions that will pass muster in our courts, navigate complicated governmental agencies, and get things done.
School vouchers are taking away millions of dollars from our public schools and are not producing better results for our students.
Taxpayers should not be subsidizing families who decide to place their children in private schools.
We need to start listening to educators to craft solutions on the issues they face each day; from standardized testing concerns, to pay stagnation, teacher shortages, school safety etc.
This pandemic has made our unemployment rate skyrocket. But a healthy economy will not return unless our families are healthy. Reopening requires more testing, more tracing and more social distancing and mask wearing. But jobs are not enough if they don't pay enough. Our Republican legislature has made Indiana state that works for less. Gutting teacher bargaining rights, eliminating the common wage law and refusing to adjust the minimum wage law for the last decade have resulted in Indiana falling farther behind other states in economic prosperity. Families in this state and in this region deserve better.
Indiana should be expanding healthcare access to Hoosier families, not taking steps to restrict it. Trying to kill the Affordable Care Act in the midst of a deadly pandemic is lunacy. Placing work requirements on Medicaid recipients and allowing the sale of plans not covering essential health services will cause Hoosiers to get less health care for more money.
Climate change is real. It is happening. Ignoring this reality and its consequences is irresponsible and foolhardy. We need to be doing everything we can as a state to promote renewable energy, upgrading our water, sewage and power infrastructure, keeping lead and other contaminants out of our water supply and holding polluters accountable for the damage they do to our environment and communities.
While attending Vassar college, I spent 13 months my Junior year living and studying abroad in Taipei, Taiwan. The experience was invaluable. I lived in a foreign land, as a minority, with a limited grasp of the language. I had to learn a new culture, language, legal system and way of life. There were some difficult times during that year, but I was struck at the kindness of complete strangers.
Indiana needs to do much better to support its minority and immigrant populations. We need to welcome the strangers among us and remember our nation's original motto: E Pluribus Unum - Out of many, one. This is what makes America great - our diversity. The fact that we came from many lands, many cultures, many religions and many ethnicities. Unified under the notion that we are all created equal.Indiana needs a hate crimes statute.It needs toissue professional licenses to Dreamers. It needs to welcome Syrian refugees and encourage immigration to the state.
Having worked with many businesses in my legal practice I understand the need for business to make a profit. But this does not mean all regulation is bad. Corporations may enjoy legal "personhood" status but they are not Hoosiers. Hoosiers need a living wage, affordable healthcare, a healthy environment and an affordable, quality education. These things are not bad for business either. Companies need well educated, healthy employees who can afford to spend money on their products and services.
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