Being available and accountable to my constituents has been a hallmark of my over fifteen years of elected office. As mayor, I started Mayor’s Night Out, a public forum where residents could ask me and my department heads any question that they wanted to pose. I have a weekly radio show on WJOB in Hammond and another radio show on WLTH in Gary where I talk about issues and answer questions from callers. I’ve also made sure that Hammond was at the forefront of social media utilizing facebook and twitter to ensure a strong presence, as well as starting GoHammond.tv, an online service allowing residents to see their government at work online if they were unable to attend in person. Being transparent and available, both in person and online, means that I will always be accountable to the voters and taxpayers of Northwest Indiana. I will continue being available and accountable to you as your Congressman.
As the Mayor of Hammond, I have fought every day on behalf of the residents of our city. Being a fighter for Hammond has allowed the city to thrive, attract new businesses, build new city features, and attract new residents. Being a fighter on behalf of my constituents is one of my best traits as an elected official – one that I will bring to my work as an elected Member of Congress. Northwest Indiana deserves new infrastructure, investments into existing businesses, strong unions, and protection of our natural resources; I have the track record to prove that I will fight harder than anyone else on behalf of the Region for these investments into our community.
Environment & Climate Change
Environment & Climate Change
Most people agree that having clean air and water is important, and that reducing waste is vital for the future of our environment. As mayor of Hammond, I have made Hammond the "trail capital of Indiana" by pioneering over 25 miles of pedestrian and multi-use trail systems. Because of my vision, Hammond has become bike-friendly and walkable, giving everyone a safe alternative to roadways. Also under my leadership, Hammond formed an energy conservation program that will reduce the city’s carbon footprint and save over $26 million in the next 15 years, all by upgrading our streetlights, HVAC systems, and outdated city vehicles with more efficient ones. We now have an electric vehicle charging station at City Hall and we created a first-of-its-kind Recycling Summit to teach residents how to recycle more effectively. When EPA regulators came to Hammond, I stood up and made sure that the sanitary district would only pay for those system changes that were necessary to keep our rivers and streams safer. If elected as your representative in Washington, DC, you can count on me to continue to be a strong advocate for common sense green solutions to make Northwest Indiana, and our country, less dependent on fossil fuels.
It is not right that in the greatest country in the world one unexpected trip to the emergency room, or medical diagnosis can leave a family financially devastated. Before Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, over 40 million people in the United States had no health insurance. While the ACA was a step in the right direction and enabled more than 20 million previously uninsured individuals to have coverage, it didn’t go far enough.
I believe in the creation of a “Medicare for All Who Want It” plan – an affordable public option. Millions of people in the US that have excellent employer-provided health insurance, and they shouldn’t have to give up their private insurance. But for those among us with no insurance, or that are underinsured, a public option would not only provide them with the ability to get the care they need; but would reign in the out of control private insurers; forcing them to bring down costs. A Medicare For All Who Want It plan is what our country needs.
As mayor of the biggest city in Lake County (and the eighth largest in Indiana) I have spent 15 years improving the city’s infrastructure: rebuilding miles of residential streets, creating a huge stormwater basin to avoid water pollution, developing new paved bike trails and pedestrian bridges, and supporting the expansion of the South Shore Railroad. I know how to bring large improvement projects to the region because I have been doing it since 2004. As your Congressman, I will work to bring home federal dollars to keep our infrastructure from decaying and keep the thousands of infrastructure jobs safe. It's estimated that our country as a whole will need trillions of dollars in the next 15 years to fix its roads, bridges, and railways. I will fight to make sure Northwest Indiana's infrastructure priorities are funded.
Quality of Life
Quality of Life
I understand what makes the Calumet Region so attractive... we have it all: miles of beachfront, quaint downtown squares, beautiful old farmhouses - all near one of America's biggest cities. The Region has been the ideal place for me to live, work, and raise my family. Quality of life and quality of place are important, and we all deserve that where we live is safe, livable, and has resources to be enjoyed when we have free time. I have worked hard as mayor to make Hammond Indiana’s "trail capital" with the most bike trails and bridges per capita in the entire state. I have aggressively demolished vacant and abandoned buildings, cleaned up blight, and drastically decreased crime. I have always supported police and firefighters, making sure they have the best available equipment, including crime-deterrent Blue Net license plate readers and body-cams. As your Congressman, I promise to continue fighting for these important investments in our cities and towns, so that Northwest Indiana remains a great place to live.