Members of the Indivisible NWI Steering Committee had the pleasure of interviewing Rodney Pol. Below read some highlights as you consider your choices for the primary on May 3.
Learn more about Rodney Pol at his website, https://www.indianasenatedemocrats.org/senators/s4/
Most pressing issues
- Pathway to public education funding.
- Affordable higher education and trade school.
- Good teachers leaving. Teachers disrespected by the state. Wages are low for teachers and support personnel.
- Indiana has the most polluted waterways in the nation.
- Quality of air and water impacts for generations.
- Environmental issues in the state make it harder to attract people to Indiana.
One of reasons he ran and is running is to fight for public education.
If teachers and students can’t discuss diversity, or anything that could be ‘harmful to students’, we can’t grow as a society. Although Rodney was not on the education committee, he was as involved as he could be; he went to every meeting, and he was in constant communication with legislators.
Indiana already has transparency. Keeping teachers from teaching factual history is chilling.
Cutting business taxes
Legislators tried to cut business personal property tax this year.
After personal property tax cuts and caps, business personal personal tax was all schools, fire, and other community services had to rely on.
Businesses don’t even ask for this tax cut.
Look at Ohio. They have higher taxes and more regulations, but they have a workforce that wants to live there.
We have stagnant wages and low business taxes. It makes no sense.
- Restrictions and regulations come with all constitutional rights.
- 11,000 permits were denied before the permit-less carry law passed. People are now emboldened; even if they know they’re not allowed to carry, they will. It will lead to more gun violence.
- We must step back. Vermont passed permit-less carry but still requires a universal background check.
We must provide more services to communities that face violent crime. Many face issues of poverty, mental health, and lack of affordable housing
We must be preventative, not reactionary.
Poverty and lack of affordable housing impact health. People can’t make healthy choices when they work but don’t earn enough. They don’t have affordable access to health care.
Rodney is pro choice, a woman’s right to make a personal choice.
During the last session, Rodney filed a bill to regulate and dispose of coal ash. It had bipartisan support. But republicans said the federal government was stepping in. Then he pushed for a summer study session to study coal ash and that passed. IDEM needs regulatory framework to address coal ash.
Indiana must provide local control. Communities need the ability to regulate from zoning and land based standpoints to address affordable housing and evictions.
Provide counties adequate funding. Getting poll workers is difficult.
We are not doing enough for equal access to voting.
Working across the aisle
Republicans and democrats can work together. He found reasonable republicans that helped him defeat harmful bills. He amended bills to make them better.