Our 25 Candidates for 2020
Maureen Bauer - House District 6
I am running to represent the residents of South Bend in St. Joseph County as District 6 State Representative in the Indiana General Assembly.
I was born in South Bend, to Pat and Karen Bauer, who met while teaching – my mother was an art teacher, and my father, an English teacher. I was raised in the same neighborhood I live in today. As a child, I would ride my bike with neighborhood kids along the St. Joe River and East Race Waterway, and curfew was when the fireflies came out.
I attended St. Matthew Cathedral School on the city’s south side, and first became interested in how Indiana government works at a young age, serving as a House and Senate Student Page. I chose to attend John Adams High School, where I graduated with honors and led my swim team as captain. I spent many weekends and hours after school working at our family operated coffee shop, which was my mother’s dream to open. It was during my high school years that my interest in state government was further developed when I was invited to attend Hoosier Girls State by the American Legion Auxiliary, which is a leadership program that teaches young girls across Indiana the spirit of service, not self.
As a college student studying at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), I began working in state government for the House of Representatives. My job was to help develop a groundbreaking system in the Indiana legislature that increased transparency and allowed easier communication between citizens and their elected officials. The hours I spent observing House floor sessions and committee meetings instilled an understanding of how our government works and an awareness of the challenges that often occur in the legislative process.
After undergrad, I branched out into the tourism industry and spent time gaining work experience working for small, family-owned hotels, wineries and restaurants, including the longest family owned and operated winery in Indiana. Through these experiences, I met and worked with the most hardworking group of talented restaurant, service and wine cellar staff, who would often work multiple jobs, nights, every weekend and holidays to serve other people. While working in this industry, I joined a team of 250 chefs to participate in Chef’s Cycle – biking 300 miles in three days in an effort to raise funds and awareness for child hunger in America. While this route was different from the banks of the St. Joe River, it was the challenge of a lifetime, and the issue of food insecurity and providing basic resources for our children remains a personal cause.
Eventually, I returned back to my hometown of South Bend to be closer to family, including my four nephews who grow way too quickly, and for the opportunity to further my education. I enrolled at Lake Michigan College, and received my degree in viticulture and enology – the sciences of grape growing and winemaking – specifically focused on the cool growing climates of the Midwest. Since returning to St. Joe County, I have worked in vineyards in Southwest Michigan and for the only vineyard in South Bend. The grape-growing community of this region places a strong importance on sustainable farming practices, and how farming impacts our waterways and land. I learned firsthand, from our farmers, the importance of protecting and preserving our environment – including our farmland, water sources and the air we breathe – and how we individually make an impact. This knowledge led me to start a local agrotourism business working with grape growers and winemakers.
Although I didn't know it then, many of my experiences with state government as a child were leading me to where I find myself today. I know the importance of public service and I want to use my experience to help others and improve our community. That is why I am running to represent South Bend as District 6 State Representative in the Indiana General Assembly.
I will serve the people of South Bend by listening to the thoughts, opinions and ideas of all citizens and using what I learn from them to advocate for issues that matter to local residents, including:
- Support for education that includes providing a safe, inspiring environment for students and increased pay for teachers
- Better access to quality, affordable health care, lower prescription drug prices, and investing in nursing, counseling and memory care training to provide proper proactive care
- Good-paying, 21-century jobs that support a family with a livable wage, and provide opportunities for advancement
- Protect and preserve our farmland, waterways and air quality so that we provide a future for our young citizens that resembles what we remember, including chasing fireflies in Indiana
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