State Rep. Charlie Brown leaves after 35 years

Political veteran runs for seat on Lake County Council

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State Rep. Charlie Brown

Crusader staff report

After more than three decades in the Indiana General Assembly State Rep. Charlie Brown announced on Monday Nov. 27 that he will step down in 2018 and run for a position closer to home. He will run for the 3rd District seat on the Lake County Council in 2018.

Fresh from the Thanksgiving holiday Brown hit the campaign trail, attacking incumbent Jamal Washington, D-Merrillville.

“Citizens of the 3rd District haven’t received the kind of integrity and leadership they deserve in recent years,” Brown said in a news report. “I don’t feel the person currently occupying that office has provided it. We can’t afford to have that kind of representation on the County Council.”

“I believe I have fought the good fight for a long time, but the time has come to stop these frequent drives up and down I-65. I have discussed with my wife, my close friends, and my colleagues the possibility of not running for re-election to the Indiana House of Representatives. I have prayerfully and thoughtfully considered all the factors involved.

“And though the voters, after all these campaigns, gave me my best win in the latest primary election the time has come to leave Indianapolis. So, a few days ago, I made my last trip to an official opening day of a session of the Indiana State Legislature.

“But with my health quite good, my mind still working overtime, and my passion for good government still burning brightly, as I return to Lake County there is one more job I should do, God and the voters willing. One more thing—with my experience and intellect I could do very well for the people—one more time.”

Brown was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1982, and has served on a number of influential legislative committees. Perhaps his most prominent leadership role has been as chairman of the Indiana House Standing Committee on Public Health; even when not serving as chairman, he has played a key role as a member of this panel for many years.

Councilman Jamal Washington

Indiana State Representative Brown grew up in Philadelphia. He moved to Gary upon completion of his undergraduate studies in education at Cheyney State Teachers’ College (now Cheyney University) in Cheyney, Pennsylvania.

State Rep. Brown served as an educator in the Gary Community School Corporation from 1961 to 1968. From 1968 to 1988, he served as Youth Coordinator, Mayor’s Assistant on Youth Activities, Director of the Youth Services Bureau, Affirmative Action Officer and Risk Manager for the City of Gary.

Following his work in municipal government, Rep. Brown assumed the duties of CEO of the Gary Community Mental Health Center from 1988 to 1993.

As a long-time champion and advocate on behalf of youth- and health care-related issues, Rep. Brown has successfully worked to enact a wide range of legislative initiatives in the Indiana General Assembly. But on the state level, Brown said it was time to call it quits.

His work on the Public Health Committee has given Rep. Brown the opportunity to work toward one of his primary legislative goals: to provide affordable, accessible and high-quality health care for all Indiana citizens.

Among the most recent of Rep. Brown’s legislative achievements was the key leadership role he played in 2007 in enacting a new statewide effort to promote improved health care for Hoosiers. Known as the Healthy Indiana Plan, Rep. Brown’s House Enrolled Act 1678 (Public Law 218-2007) is one of the most innovative health care initiatives in the entire nation. The program provides expanded health insurance availability, improved prenatal care for expectant mothers and a bipartisan effort to encourage establishment of wellness programs among Indiana employers of all sizes.

 

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