Kokomo's Non-discriminatory Ordinance: What is it?

With misinformation flying all over the place I wanted to take a moment and explain what it will actually do.

Let's start with the text, word for word.

UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES. It is the public policy of the City of  Kokomo to provide all of its citizens equal opportunity for education, employment, access to public conveniences and accommodations, and acquisition through  purchase or rental of real property including, but not limited to, housing, and to eliminate segregation or separation based on race, religion, color, sex, familial status, handicap/disability, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, Veteran status, marital status, and age, since such segregation is an impediment to equal opportunity. Equal education and employment opportunities and equal access to and use of public accommodations and equal opportunity for acquisition of  real  property  including, but not limited  to, housing are hereby declared to be civil rights. The exclusion of person from or failure or refusal to extend to a person equal opportunities because of a protected class status or the promotion of racial segregation in any  manner, is hereby declared to be unlawful discriminatory practices and is hereby declared to be illegal.

That's the opening text of the proposed additions to Kokomo's new Non-discriminatory ordinance. The protected classes that will be added are in bold. The ones not in bold have already been protected classes for years. This is not "special treatment" as so many like to say. But rather it is a necessary step to ensure that everyone is receiving fair and equal treatment in the workplace, and while seeking public services.

So this means if this ordinance passes: sexual orientation, gender identity, Veteran status, marital status, and age will be added as protected classes and receive the same protections: race, religion, color, sex, familial status, handicap/disability, national origin or ancestry have been receiving for years. So no longer can someone be fired, denied housing, refused to be served at a restaurant, etc for just being gay, bi-sexual, transgendered or for being part of any of the other listed classes.

This is not just a civil rights issue, it economic one as well. Businesses that want their employees to feel welcomed and – just as importantly – to feel safe. That is why many of our state’s largest businesses like Eli Lilly, Cummins, Angie's List, Salesforce, and Anthem, spoke out against RFRA, a bill that legalized discrimination statewide. If Kokomo wants job creators to locate in Kokomo we must pass this amendment.

Already false rumors are flying all over the place. They are coming from far right wing extremists. Don’t let these rumors change anyone's mind on the issue. We must make sure the right info is getting out there.

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Representative Karrickhoff puts big corporations' interests over taxpayers

Howard County Democratic Party
Contact: David Tharp, 765-461-7626
March 1, 2016

Representative Mike Karickhoff says no to penalizing companies like Carrier who take advantage of taxpayers, only to ship jobs out of the Country. 

When given the opportunity to penalize companies like Carrier who take advantage of taxpayers, only to later ship jobs out of the country, Representative Mike Karickhoff said no.

In February, United Technologies announced it would be closing two Indiana Carrier plants and move those operations to Mexico, a move that would put some 2,100 Hoosiers out of work. This is after they have received millions in taxpayer-funded assistance. Today's vote was a chance to take back some of that assistance. Representative Karickhoff voted no.

"Representative Karickhoff has put the interests of greedy companies like Carrier ahead of the taxpayers he is supposed to represent," says Howard County Democratic Party Chairman David Tharp. "Instead of standing with the thousands of workers and communities that lost these good paying jobs, Karickhoff chose to vote in favor of a multinational corporation to use your tax dollars to ship jobs out of Indiana. The vote was not along party lines, it had widespread support in both parties. This illustrates just how out of touch Karickhoff is with Hoosiers. Howard County and the rest of District 30 needs a representative that will actually protect our interests and our tax dollars. That person is Natalie Guest.”

For more information on the amendment and what it will do you can go here.


Natalie Guest announces candidacy for State Representative.

Yesterday Natalie Guest filed her paperwork and officially announced her candidacy for Indiana State Representative in District 30.

Guest, an educator, will make teacher retention and recruitment a major issue in her campaign.

“The number of first-time teacher licenses in Indiana has decreased by nearly 20 percent in the past five years. With the current climate created by the state legislature, schools have struggled to staff their classrooms with qualified teachers. Providing quality education for Hoosier students is vital to the growth of Indiana. Making sure we are attracting talented and passionate teachers is critical to the long term success of our public schools. That is why if elected I will work with Superintendent Ritz in her efforts to encourage more young people to become educators and to protect those who are already serving our community as teachers.”


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Dr. Jacquelyn Thomas-Miller announces candidacy for Howard County Auditor

Dr. Thomas-Miller, passionate community servant and educational leader looks to bring her decades of experience to the Auditor's Office.

“I look forward to bringing my skill set to the office. Over the last few months I’ve been exploring how to best serve my community. This search has lead me to the Auditor’s race. After taking a close look at the duties and responsibilities of the office and the direction I believe it should go, I have come to the conclusion that I’m well suited for the job. That is why, with excitement and humility I officially announce my candidacy for Howard County Auditor.”

Dr. Thomas-Miller highlights why she is well suited for the Auditor’s office.

I am confident that my professional experience and community affiliations have prepared me for the responsibilities of the office. My passion to be of service to others is what guided me throughout my 30 plus years as an educator and is what compelled me to be active in my community.”

With her combination of experience and innovation thinking, Dr. Thomas-Miller can fulfill the duties of Auditor while looking for new solutions to our most pressing challenges.


Erik May announces candidacy for Superior Court Judge.

Kokomo attorney Erik May announced his candidacy Monday for judge of Howard Superior Court 1.

For over a decade, May, a Democrat, has served as a part-time judge for the Howard Circuit Court Juvenile Division, where he presides over all juvenile delinquency and paternity cases in Howard County.

May, who will challenge incumbent Republican William Menges in the general election, also oversees a drug court program that was the first certified juvenile drug court in the United States, according to a press release.

“By utilizing objective, evidence-based practices and engaging various community stakeholders, juvenile delinquency has seen a historic decline in Howard County during Mr. May’s tenure, which has resulted in a significant decrease in the number of Howard County youth who are held in secure detention,” said the release, which was distributed by the Committee to Elect Erik J. May.

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