Elise Shrock: After tough year, it’s time to show up to vote

This summer, many of us spent our time engaging with our legislators, participating in letter-writing campaigns, raising our voices in the streets and in the halls of the Statehouse in the fight for basic bodily autonomy. An effort preceded by another fierce round of fighting for the human dignity of trans children, specifically trans girls, and their ability to simply play school sports.

And the year prior, despite massive public support, a litany of town halls, study committees and bipartisan forums, we saw the decade between redistricting bills come and go without the creation of a nonpartisan redistricting commission, leaving our representation out to languish under Statehouse districts created for the people in power rather than the people of the state.

Just weeks from Nov. 8, we’re staring down the midterm elections in a world that continues to offer up challenge after challenge within systems that were created without many of us in mind. As our consciousness of institutional inequity grows, those who continue to benefit from the status quo have anted up their tactics and tried to turn back time.

Now is not the time to let our advocacy fizzle out—because the good news is that we have a host of Democratic candidates ready to step into the arena, bring their uniquely equipped problem-solving skills to the table and lead us out of the land of last-on-the-list health indicators and backward national headlines.

It is exciting to see bold leaders like Andrea Hunley (candidate, State Senate District 46) step onto the court. A teacher, mother and small-business owner, Hunley approaches policy with her proven experience of how to best support Hoosier students, their education, and how their success affects all of us.

It is exciting to see a courageous candidate like combat veteran Destiny Wells (candidate, Indiana secretary of state), whom we can trust to preserve our freedom, security and opportunity. An unflappable fighter who has worked at every single level of government and NATO, she fought for her country and will safeguard democracy and the freedom to vote right here at home.

It is exciting to see rising-star candidate and public health expert Victoria Garcia Wilburn (candidate, Indiana House District 32) entering the field when our state desperately needs voices like hers to help us build better public health infrastructure.

And it is powerful to know that we have an opportunity to re-elect a prosecutor like Ryan Mears, who listened to Hoosier women from the moment Roe v. Wade was in jeopardy and who has reassured us that he isn’t going to waste one resource prosecuting women or medical providers for abortion care.

When you go to the polls this year, remember that, in the face of our state’s difficulties, you have the opportunity to vote for dynamic leaders who are ready for the challenge ahead. Do your research, make a plan to vote and be sure to get to the polls by Nov. 8!•

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Shrock is a local communications professional and policy advocate whose work intersects in the areas of spirituality, women’s empowerment and Hispanic affairs. Send comments to ibjedit@ibj.com.


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