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Indiana Black Legislative Caucus launches latest town hall series around the state

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Community, Government, Politics
Rep. Earl Harris, Jr. (D-East Chicago), right, is the chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus will launch its annual town hall series Saturday, visiting six cities over the next few months.

Black Caucus Chair Earl Harris, Jr. (D-East Chicago) said the meetings provide lawmakers a chance to inform people about new laws and get feedback on the issues Hoosiers want to see addressed.

“I mean, as much as I would like to say that every legislator is a genius and creates ideas on their own, the reality is we get ideas from other people — including the people we represent,” Harris said.

Unlike the last few sessions, the Black caucus didn’t have much success with its core agenda this year, as Republicans largely ignored the caucus’s bills aimed at helping increase access to affordable housing.

READ MORE: Here’s what Indiana’s Republican gubernatorial candidates have to say about housing

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Harris said that won’t affect the town halls, as lawmakers will make sure people know that legislation sometimes takes years to finally make it through.

And Harris said housing access will continue to be at the forefront of the caucus’s work.

“More and more people are finding it harder to be able to do that because of some of the things happening,” Harris said. “And we want to put in our best effort to make it easier for people who want to have that American dream of homeownership be able to have it.”

The town halls will be in Lawrence, Evansville, Elkhart, Michigan City, Fort Wayne and Gary:

Lawrence – April 13
12-2 p.m. (ET)
Government Center – Public Assembly Room
9001 E 59th Street, Lawrence, IN 46216

Evansville – May 11
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (CT) / 12- 2 p.m. (ET)
Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library-Central – Browning Event Room-B
200 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Evansville, IN 47713

Elkhart – June 8
12 – 2 p.m. (ET)
Agape Baptist Church
248 W Wolfe Avenue, Elkhart, IN 46516

Michigan City – June 22
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (CT) / 12- 2 p.m. (ET)
Michigan City Public Library-Main Meeting Room
100 E. Fourth St., Michigan City, IN 46360

Fort Wayne – July 20
12 – 2 p.m. (ET)
Allen County Public LibraryMeeting Room AB
900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

 Gary – Aug. 17
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (CT) / 12 – 2 p.m. (ET)
IU Northwest Savannah Center-Bergland Auditorium
65 W 33rd Ave, Gary, IN 46408

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.