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Charbonneau: Bipartisanship Can and Does Work


Bipartisanship can and does work in Indiana. Though the headlines don't always tell the story, there is far more bipartisan work happening on a local, regional, and state level than many are aware of. This state has a rich history of legislators working for Indiana here and in Washington, and I regularly see examples where common goals bring good minds together for excellent end results.

Working with Joe Donelly for many years, I have seen him as the kind of legislator where we worked on bills together. If he calls me it is not going to be an "R" or a "D" thing. It is what "do we need to get done," and "How do we make things better?".

On the local level, I am impressed by both Democratic and Republican Mayors across NWI who are finding ways to grow their cities, while enhancing the assets and strengths of their community. Mayor Snedecor has led an outstanding resurgence of downtown Hobart and their lake front park. In Crown Point, Mayor Uran has used public-private partnerships to make Crown Point the hub of activity with their sports complexes and parks. In Portage, Mayor Snyder is working on new fire and police facilities while developing a downtown style district and expanding the already strong retail presence in the city. Mayor Costas in Valparaiso continues to develop their robust downtown with Central Park Plaza and the new pavilion and skating rink.

The state has fine examples like Richard Lugar and Pete Visclosky, who have represented Indiana across party lines for the region on so many issues important to Hoosiers, and specifically Northwest Indiana in Pete's service. They remind us all that we are in the business of people, not party.

We all can agree to disagree on issues while remembering the value of the golden rule; treat others as you wish to be treated. Though they do not always get the most press, there are countless examples where those trusted in public service, regularly work on behalf of their constituents in a bipartisan fashion..

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