Gary Crusader Endorsements

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Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice President

Joe Biden’s long political career in Washington includes eight years as vice president with Barack Obama, America’s first Black president.

Kamala Harris is described as a “fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants” when she was nominated as the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate by Joe Biden. We believe she is just that and so much more as her background as a senator and attorney general has demonstrated. But his close ties to the first Black president, and his selection of Sen. Kamala Harris, are not the only reason why Biden has earned our endorsement.

It’s time for President Donald Trump to go. His biggest failure is his administration’s poor leadership in stopping and containing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionally affected Blacks and Latinos more than any ethnic group. Despite the deaths of over 225,000 Americans, there’s no federal mandate that requires Americans to wear masks or practice social distancing in public.

However, the real virus lies in the White House. In the past four years, Trump has infected the Oval Office with tremendous instability, distrust and a blatant disregard for rogue cops killing unarmed Black civilians. Under his administration, racial tensions and divisions in America deepened as white supremacist groups flourished in cities across the country. The unemployment gap between Blacks and white Americans continued as Trump bragged about giving us crumbs as he aimed to cut SNAP benefits while giving rich and affluent whites massive tax breaks. While Trump and Republicans made failed attempts to repeal Obamacare, Biden has remained a loyal supporter of the Affordable Health Care Act that has helped millions of poor citizens obtain insurance and quality healthcare. Trump refused to acknowledge that he was handed a growing economy when President Barack Obama left office. Throughout his term, Trump refused to denounce white supremacy and has the arrogance to claim that he has done more for Blacks than any other president except Abraham Lincoln. We’re not buying it, and neither should you.

Woody Myers

Woody Myers, INDIANA GOVERNOR

Myers is Indiana’s former health commissioner. During his campaign for governor, Myers unveiled his K-12 Education Plan.

The plan supports funding for more school nurses, social workers and counselors. It also supports improvement measures to assess technology and broadband services in homes.

The plan calls for working with the State Board of Education to ensure the Indiana Academic Standards include culturally sensitive material and appropriate career readiness training. It calls for an end to the school-to-prison pipeline to ensure that age and developmentally appropriate approaches to school disciplinary practices and youth justice practices are fair and that they address prioritizing improvements.

Myers has called for a pause on new charter schools to create a level playing field and improve accountability standards. Charter schools have decimated public schools in Gary and other school districts around the country. Myers believe too much money has been diverted from public school districts for vouchers to charter schools.

In 1987, Myers was appointed to serve as Indiana’s state health commissioner. He gained national attention and criticism at that time for supporting teenager Ryan White during his battle with AIDS.

In 1990, President Ronald Reagan appointed Myers to serve on the President’s Commission to the HIV Epidemic. In 1990, David Dinkins, New York City’s first and only Black mayor, appointed Myers as the city’s health commissioner. A year later, Myers resigned after drawing opposition to his AIDS policies.

Myers understands Gary and will govern with compassion in the state’s highest office. He needs our support.

Frank Mrvan

Frank J. Mrvan, U.S. HOUSE, REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 1

We believe Frank Mvran as a candidate for the U.S. House District 1 will provide the effective representation for Gary and Northwest Indiana that must be continued. With his election, Indiana’s First Congressional District will receive the strong representation that we have come to expect, and we can boast of sending a strong and effective individual to Washington.

When Congressman Peter Visclosky announced this year that he would not seek another term in Congress, we were concerned about who we could send to Washington and continue the programs and effective legislation to help our region grow. We believe as does Congressman Visclosky that Mrvan is that individual.

Visclosky believes that Mrvan has the ability to fill the leadership void and has passed the baton to Mrvan. In his endorsement of Mrvan, Visclosky said, “I know that Frank Mrvan will fight with each breath and fiber of his being to further collaborate and implement his vision for the next transformational initiative that will bring people of Northwest Indiana together in order to grow our regional economy, create more good paying jobs, and improve our quality of place.”

For the past 15 years, Mrvan, as North Township Trustee, has been helping people find good paying jobs. He has worked closely with federal, state, local and the private sectors to help develop opportunities for those seeking to better the quality of their lives.

In Congress, he will use his years of experience to continue to work with all stakeholders to create more economic opportunities and help retain and attract investments to Indiana’s First District.

As North Township Trustee, Mrvan has seen the devastation that the lack of health care has had on individuals and families. One of his priorities is to work to expand health care opportunities for the underserved by working to expand the Affordable Care Act.

Eddie Melton

Eddie Melton, STATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 3

Melton seeks his second term as state senator. He is recognized as a champion of both education and youth mentoring. Melton has been instrumental in establishing mentoring organizations around the country and in 2015 was asked to work with former President Barack Obama’s Administration in implementing My Brother’s Keeper, a national initiative designed to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color.

In education, Melton has championed raising teachers’ pay, increasing performance, and understanding the value of education as a barometer of personal and professional achievement.

A Gary resident and graduate of Calumet College of St. Joseph, Melton fought against the state takeover of the Gary school district in 2017. We need a warrior like Melton to fight for Gary in the Indiana Assembly. He deserves four more years in Indianapolis.

Earl Harris

Earl L. Harris, Jr., STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 2

Harris seeks his second term as State Representative for District 2.

Earl Harris Jr. plans on pushing for “big ideas,” championed by his father. This includes a Northwest Indiana convention center and professional sports stadium and developing new business in the region.

Harris serves as assistant Democratic Whip, and on the following legislative committees: Ways and Means, Government and Regulatory Reform, and the Select Committee on Government Reduction.

On November 20, 2018, Representative Harris was named vice chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus.

Harris is a member of the Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs, Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, East Chicago Urban Enterprise Association, Enterprise Development and Management Corporation, Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, NAACP, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators.

Vernon G. Smith

Vernon G. Smith, State Representative, District 14

State Representative Vernon G. Smith became a member of the Indiana House of Representatives when Earline Rogers resigned to fill the Indiana Senate seat of the late Carolyn Mosby. He represents Indiana House District 14 at the Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis whenever the State Legislature—the General Assembly—is in session.

Prior to his election to the Indiana House of Representatives, Smith had served on the Gary City Council in 1972.

State Representative Smith is the former interim dean of Indiana University Northwest’s School of Education. He graduated from Froebel High School and earned his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Ed.D. degrees from Indiana University; and has undertaken post-doctoral work at Indiana University and Purdue University.

Vernon G. Smith has served in a wide range of civic and community leadership positions. A businessman, he refurbished the Glen Theatre. He is a member of the Indiana University Alumni Association and is a lifelong member of the NAACP.

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