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State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon

State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon

Northwest Indiana is a place where I grew up, chose to raise my kids, and have represented House District 12 in the Indiana General Assembly since 2007. It’s been home to me for over 50 years. I’m proud to be rooted so deeply in Northwest Indiana, and I’m honored to serve as the voice for several of our region’s communities — Munster, Highland and parts of Griffith and Hammond — in the General Assembly.

I know Northwest Indiana because I am a product of it. The future of our region is bright because we value and embrace education, innovation, connectivity and diversity.

Northwest Indiana has eight of the top-performing school districts in the state, as well as colleges and universities that attract the top talent from all over our state, country and the world. Education is the foundation for success. Together we will continue to make education a priority.

Innovative businesses are attracted to Northwest Indiana because we foster an environment that gives companies, particularly tech and data companies, the ability to establish themselves and flourish in our backyard. I’m excited about the Digital Crossroads of America Data Center on Hammond's lakeshore, which has plans to grow into a $200 million campus with 400,000 square feet of lake-cooled data storage. Advancing this high-power, high-efficiency, mission-critical data center project will develop a state-of-the-art, renewable energy campus that will bring jobs and help boost the economy in Hammond and across the region.

More young couples are buying homes and choosing to raise their families here in Northwest Indiana. First-time homeowner sales are increasing in my district and across the region. According to the National Association of Realtors, the percentage of first-time home buyers has been increasing since 2015. It’s a good sign that young families are choosing communities across the state, including in Northwest Indiana, to buy a home, raise their families and grow our tax bases.

With continued expansion and improvements, the South Shore Line will better connect our region and make the commute into nearby Chicago quicker and easier for more people than ever before. We need to continue to invest in our transportation and infrastructure. These investments will only make our region more attractive to businesses and families.

I truly believe that one of our biggest strengths in Northwest Indiana is the diversity of our communities. As the first Latina elected to the Indiana House, I feel it’s important to make sure people from all backgrounds and means have a voice and stake in what happens in their community. I believe that when we include more people with different perspectives and backgrounds we do a better job of moving our communities, region, and state forward.

Elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 2006, Mara Candelaria Reardon. a Democrat, now serves as the Minority Caucus Chair. She represents Indiana House District 12, which encompasses all of Munster, all of Highland, and parts of Griffith and Hammond. The opinions are the writer's.

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Porter County Government Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.