INDems’ “Small Town” Tour Rolls Across Indiana, Democrats Celebrate Broadband and Public School Investments by ARP


Indianapolis Business Journal: Indiana Democrats hope to regain voters on small towns tour

LaGrange News Sun: Small Town tour lands in LaGrange

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today celebrated the successful start to its “Small Town, Indiana” statewide tour, an effort to highlight how Democrats are delivering for Hoosiers in the state’s rural communities. Leaders like Dr. Jennifer McCormick, State Senators Fady Qaddoura and Shelli Yoder, and educators like Melanie Wright have so far traveled to small towns like Cicero, Greendale, LaGrange, and North Vernon to fight back against the Indiana Republican Party’s manufactured culture wars on issues that matter most to Hoosier families, like agriculture, public education, and school boards. 

Indiana Democrats are proud of their work to create a better future for Hoosier families – no matter the Zip code. This record includes securing $250 million in broadband internet expansion, providing $540 million for childcare service providers, and fully-funding the state’s public school systems for the first time in over a decade — all thanks to President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Democrats will continue to share this (and more!) with Hoosiers in rural communities, making good on the promise to meet voters where they are regardless of the county. 

This week, the “Small Town” tour has stops scheduled for Bedford, Hartford City, and Vincennes. Details about those events are forthcoming. Until then, here’s what Hoosiers read last week:

LaGrange News Sun: Small Town tour lands in LaGrange

…the Democratic Party is developing on its promises to help people living in rural communities by putting more money into public education and help deliver broadband services to underserved areas of the state. […]

…They were joined at the head table by Lakeland High School science teacher Sherry Severson, who spoke to the crowd of about 40 about recent moves to raise the salaries of teachers and improve the budgets of local school districts thanks to an infusion of federal dollars into the state because of the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan. 

Severson said teachers across the state felt valued until 2010 when then Governor Mitch Daniels and the state legislature opted to put what she called “a freeze on public education. In the years that followed that freeze, Severson said public schools, which educated more than 90 percent of Indiana’s children saw hundreds of millions of dollars typically used to help fund public education programs and schools diverted to the state’s private school voucher program…

Severson said because of the ARP dollars pumped into state budgets, teachers saw a significant salary increase. […]

Long Thompson said she believes the county is at a crossroads right now and federal programs like the American Rescue Plan have already played an important role in bringing new investment in rural America.

“To be our strongest, we have to invest in both in our people, and our infrastructure,” she said. “We have the large economy in the world and the most productive workforce in the world. And rural communities are essential to our economic and social wellbeing.”

Long Thompson added that the work being done in rural communities across the county affects nearly everyone in the county. […]

“We’re going to be spending $250 million in broadband in rural communities. In order to survive as farmers, the need for broadband is essential,” [Shelli Yoder] said. “That investment is going to help our farmers and members of the Ag community survive.”

Yoder said touted the program’s planned investment in the food system, saying too many communities are locked in a food desert, with residents living with limited access to fresh foods.

“We’re the backbone of the Ag community, and yet we struggle to access to affordable fresh food,” she explained. “In Indiana, 80 percent of those who live in poverty are in rural communities. And so that access to food is vital.” […]

Hamilton County Reporter: INDems, former State Supt. Jennifer McCormick stop in Cicero for “Small Town, Indiana” tour

Indianapolis Business Journal: Indiana Democrats hope to regain voters on small towns tour

The statewide Small Town Indiana tour is the fourth for the Democrats this year, following trips around the state earlier in the year to promote the American Rescue Plan and the American Jobs Plan, and a tour to talk about Indiana redistricting. […]

Schmuhl was at the North Vernon stop, where he said 75 people, mostly Democrats, attended. But he said the issues the Democrats are talking about on this tour are “bread and butter” issues everyone cares about, such as child care, education, public safety, broadband and agriculture.

They are touting funding that came from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, including securing $250 million in broadband internet expansion, providing $540 million for childcare service providers, and fully-funding the state’s public school systems.

Schmuhl said the state GOP is likely “perturbed” by the Democrats efforts touring the state, moving into Republican territory in the small towns, and with a former GOP elected official like McCormick. […]

Democrats have an opportunity to use messaging to gain those voters back if they showcase their economic priorities that tend to align more with what rural and working class voters want to see.


Let’s elect more Hoosier Democrats
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