The New Faces of Northwest Indiana Politics

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HOUSE DISTRICT 1 candidate Carolyn B. Jackson is joined by her supporters at a recent reception announcing her campaign for State Representative. Pictured from left to right: Gretchen Sipp, Friends of Jessica Renslow Chairwoman, Carolyn Jackson, Jessica Renslow and Jennifer Webber, Committee to Elect Linda Lawson Chairwoman.

Carolyn B. Jackson announced her candidacy for House District 1 (HD1) on January 6, 2018 in Hammond, which is comprised of Hammond and Whiting. If she wins in November, Jackson, a Hammond Democrat, will be the first African American woman to represent HD1 in Indianapolis. Carolyn stated, “I am running because Hammond and Whiting deserve a bold progressive voice in Indianapolis.”

Jackson was born in Chicago and raised on the south side, the daughter of a social worker and a business owner. She and her husband Eric have resided in Hammond for over 18 years. She received her bachelors, then her masters degree in Sociology and Counseling from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO. As a practicing Sociologist and Counselor, she pursued a career with the Cook County Adult Probation Department retiring with 30 years of service. Carolyn is a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She is a former Adult Probation Officer and Supervisor, Past President of the Board of Directors for the Community Center Development Corporation (Ophelia Steen Family and Health Services Center) and Hammond Library Advisory Board. She is currently affiliated with the Hammond Branch of the NAACP, Northwest Indiana League of Women Voters Calumet Area, Hammond High Parent/ Teachers Advisory Board and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Carolyn believes an effective leader is one that truly listens to constituents.

ANNOUNCING HER CANDIDACY for State Representative during a recent gathering, Carolyn B. Jackson addresses an audience of supporters.

Indiana House District 3 democratic candidate, Jessica Renslow stated, “As someone who grew up in both Gary and Hammond, I understand the historic significance of Carolyn’s candidacy. I’m elated that Representative Linda Lawson has found such an exceptional woman to advocate for House District 1. I’ve loved getting to know Carolyn. She and I enjoy volunteering with the League of Women Voters together.” Renslow, who announced her candidacy in November of 2017 is hoping to represent Gary, Lake Station, New Chicago and Hobart at the state level. With a BA in Japanese and TV Production and a M.Ed in Computer Technology, New Media Design and Leadership, her career has focused on education, technology, economic development and community advocacy. Renslow is a community builder in Gary. She leads the neighborhood Spotlight initiative. Renslow has led a cross-section of people to work collectively on improving the quality of life in Northwest Indiana. They have implemented goals such as bringing Lake County its first bike share program, created a coworking space/ business incubator that is recognized on the state level, started a Jr. Block Club Program to foster young leadership, and installed northern Indiana’s first universally designed kayak launch.

Friends of Jessica Renslow Chairperson, Gretchen Sipp, explained her reasoning for endorsing Renslow’s candidacy, “As a lifelong Gary citizen and active community volunteer, I have seen people come and go. I have seen people that mean very well quickly get burned out because of some of the challenges one faces when trying to be an agent for change. Jessica Renslow, on the other hand, has taken challenges that would detour many including myself, and tackled them head on. I fully support Jessica Renslow for State Representative because she creates environments for communication, she encourages solution creation, and then she empowers people and organizations to collaborate to get it done. She is a true asset to our community, our city, and our state.”

The year 2018 may be the year of the woman. Both Jackson and Ren-slow attended the Emerging Leaders last month. 106 Hoosier women and their allies strategized in Indianapolis, with Indiana Democratic Party leaders, on how to get progressive, female candidates elected on the local, state and national levels.

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