FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 4, 2019
Announces Statewide Listening Tour
Gary, IN. — TODAY, in front of a packed house of teachers, parents and community members, Indiana State Senator Eddie Melton announced his formation of a gubernatorial exploratory committee and statewide listening tour at the Gary Teachers Union.
Melton, who introduced a bill that would address the startling lack of compensation Indiana teachers receive, has been adamant about prioritizing public education and educators in order to properly invest in Indiana’s children. Indiana, which currently ranks 18th in teacher pay and 49th in per pupil spending nationally, also faces a prevalent and ongoing teacher shortage.
“This announcement is not about me seeking a higher office,” Melton said.“This is a call to refocus on inclusive policies that reflect the voice of every Hoosier, not just a select few. This is about Indiana investing in a better future for ourselves and for our children.”
In a refusal to adequately address the teacher pay crisis, current Governor Eric Holcomb announced a Teacher Pay Commission which has been criticized for its lack of transparency and seriousness. The commission, which does not include anyone with experience in a classroom, has only met a handful of times and only behind closed doors without public input.
“Behind-the-scenes negotiations are not how we should be solving our state’s issues,” Melton said. “Especially not when it comes to our educational system. No investment is more important than our students and teachers.”
Melton went on to discuss the need to capitalize on Indiana’s economic opportunities and to create jobs across the state. Melton co-authored bipartisan legislation that re-purposed Gary’s historic lakefront as a North American inter-modal hub, allowing for the relocation of the Majestic Star Casino and the provisional allowance of world class gaming operations in Terre Haute — a move that would yield millions in new tax revenue and advance thousands of new jobs across the state.
“When I introduced a bill to raise our minimum wage to restore honor and dignity to Indiana’s working families, the Republican super-majority refused to even hear its terms, let alone learn why it would be so important to working Hoosiers.”
“We can continue to be silenced or come together to be heard. We must make the investments required to innovate and shape our future – not let it leave us behind.”
Speaking about the need to provide quality healthcare and restore trust in the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs, Melton referred to his own father’s experience. Eddie J. Melton, the State Senator’s father, a decorated Vietnam Veteran who earned a Purple Heart and Silver Star, was disabled due to his service.
“We must ensure every Veteran receives the treatment and benefits they have earned.”
Melton, who is 38 years old, was joined by his wife Crystal and their four children. Glen Eva Dunham, President of the American Federation of Teachers for the State of Indiana welcomed attendees and acknowledged Senator Melton’s commitment to public service. Melton was introduced by Frank Mrvan Jr., North Township Trustee, who highlighted Melton’s leadership and ability to unite Hoosiers to achieve lasting progress.
Melton said in the coming days he would announce a statewide listening tour schedule where he will discuss and highlight the inaction of state leadership and opportunities for the future of Indiana.
For full remarks, please visit www.EddieMelton.com.
State Senator Eddie Melton represents Indiana’s 3rd District in the Indiana General Assembly. His lifelong career in social work and youth mentorship includes positions at the Legacy Foundation, State Board of Education, and President Barack Obama’s “My Brothers Keeper Initiative.” He serves as the Ranking Minority Member on the Senate Education and Career Development Committee and in 2017 was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. Melton and his wife Crystal live in Gary Indiana and have four children.