Government for the people, by the people

I believe in a government that works for the people and is by the people. This is not a crazy idea; in fact, this is from our very own Founding Fathers. The future of Indiana lies in the talents and vision of its very own citizens—and I know we can do this because we Hoosiers are some of the most resilient and hardworking people. From my grandfather, who worked the line as a UAW 5 member at the Studebaker plant in South Bend to the steel workers who are my neighbors, I am proud to be an Indiana native. I’m even prouder to be part of Lake County, where we are proud to be the second fastest growing economy in Indiana.

But today we live in a state and nation where partisan politics and divide have begun to plague every part of our values and our state’s fabric. We see an Indiana legislature that refuses to act when there is a 230% increase in the number of foster care children from the opioid and Governor Holcomb has supported legislation that cuts health care in a time when we’re facing a growing opioids crisis (Indy Star, 5/2017). Indiana State Leaders refuse to fully fund education at a moment when we need to be preparing our future leaders (Indy Star, 2/12/2018). Government has stopped working for you because it is working for the millionaires and billionaires.

But, there is a solution for this. I am running for the Indiana Senate because we can make the Hoosier State work for us again. Government needs to work for the people to create a community—and world—reflecting our core values, Hoosier values. You see, when government is for the people and by the people, as our Founding Father’s intended, we are greater and better. We bring each other up, no matter the uniform we wear to work or faith we observe. It is time. It is time for us to Renew Indiana Together.

This is important to getting Indiana back on track and why I’m running for State Senate. As fellow Hoosier, I believe in an Indiana for the people, by the people. As your state senator I will do just this: represent your interests and push back against the agenda of the millionaires and billionaires.

Mark Kurowski for State Senate District 1

Mark Kurowski is first and foremost a dad and husband, proud of his 5 grown children; a community organizer, uniting families across Northwest Indiana to make change; and a priest, supporting those in need and living a life of integrity . Currently, he is the pastor of St. Raphael Church, Munster and teaches ethics at Purdue University Northwest and Indiana University Northwest.

Kurowski holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Indiana University South Bend and a Master of Divinity from Duke University. He attended the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary for priesthood studies. He is a published author, publishes a weekly podcast, and is the founding priest of The Church of St. Raphael the Archangel, Munster, IN.

  • Fund Foster Care: There has been a 230% increase in foster children due to the opioid crisis. The Foster Care Director (Department of Children Services), a respected national leader on children’s issues, told us what to do. We have the money to do it, but the Governor called for a “consulting firm to make recommendations”. All the while, our children, left deserted by the opioid crisis are now being slow walked by the State Leaders. This is not acceptable. We deserve a Hoosier State Government that works for Hoosiers. These children are Hoosiers.
  • We need individual outcome based care. Too often we are funding statistics and not children. Each child deserves their own treatment plan while in foster care. Right now we have baseline driven outcomes: as long as a certain percentage make it, we fund it. This leaves children behind.
Indiana is the 27th of 50 in Education on a national level. We can do better for our future leaders and our teachers. Fighting together, we can renew Indiana education together by:
  • Independent Audit of the DoE: Demanding an independent audit of the Indiana Department of Education. We should have full funding of education. Right now, the state legislature does not even know how much they are willing to fund education for our children. (Post Tribune 2/2018) First they said they were short $9 million, then $22 million, and then possibly as high as $60 million. Clearly there needs to be some fiscal oversight of the DoE. Our money needs to be spent wisely.
  • Equal Access Laws: All schools which take public funding should have to provide all services and be responsible for students for the entire funding period. Forcing public schools to take students from institutions that get funding for the student is not fair.
  • We need a systemic solution: Our teachers need to be teachers; not parents, not social workers, and definitely not police officers. Children cannot learn if they cannot eat, if their parents have to work 2 or more jobs just to pay the bills, or if the state is not incentivizing higher wages for parents and teachers. It is time to call for a School Funding Summit that is not bogus or just window dressing. It is time to fully fund public education.
  • Unionizing Teachers at All Levels: When the work force has high unionization, average household income rises.
Now is not the time for a passive response from our government. Now is the time we invest in our future and put an end to this terrible and divisive opioids crisis plaguing our families and children.
  • Taking on opioids: The opioid crisis is right at our back doors. In Indiana, we simply must not accept this as the new norm. We need to stop over prescribing, putting Hoosier health over profit. We need provide treatment for those addicted, which means we need to expand Medicaid, not cut Medicaid. We need to stop stigmatizing people and treat them like the children, brothers, sisters, and partners they are.
  • We need to join states that are creating single payer systems: Small businesses are finding it harder and harder to provide health care for their employees. The employer based, profit driven, private insurance system is not working. We can work with other states to find an integral solution.
Together we can create solutions to our evolving and changing economy. A changing and increasingly connected, world economy means we need all voices to be at the table when passing new legislations.
  • Tax deductions for hiring new workers: small business should get a $5,000 deduction for new part-time workers and a $10,000 deduction for new full-time workers, for workers employed two years or more.
  • Incentivize unionization: Companies with a labor/management board should receive a tax rate deduction. If you hire union workers, the State should help.
  • Understanding the new economy: Today’s economy is complicated. In a global and increasingly connected world, we see trends like digital commerce and automated manufacturing that have changed the game. This is not a bad thing; nor should we be afraid of change.
  • Increase wages through strengthening unions: Our unions are the backbone of a fair and ethical economy. Indiana is 31st of 50 in household wages. When we increase unionization household wages increase by 20%.
    • Equal presentation laws: When corporations fight against unions on the clock, unions should have equal time to present the argument for unionization.
    • Tax breaks for companies that unionize. See above.
  • Fair share taxation: The wealthiest Hoosiers need to pay their fair share of taxation. They reap the benefits of public works, publicly educated workforce, and public infrastructure. The poor and middle class should not have to bear these burdens.
    • Repeal the $.10 gas tax.
  • Comprehensive Pro-Life: It is time for the old language of Pro-Life/Pro-Choice to move over. We need solutions that favor bringing a child while supporting the mother every way we can. Support for mother and child should extend into stability for both. Here is how we do it:
    • Education grants for mothers
    • Employment protections for expectant mothers
    • Pre/Post natal health care coverage
    • Expanded FMLA
    • Eliminating the economic pressures that put children at risk