NORTHERN INDIANA ADVOCATES OVERVIEW
The competition for resources gets tougher by the day. Across our region, Northern Indiana communities and counties have come to recognize they have received the short end of the stick historically when it comes to receiving our share of state dollars for a variety of issues including infrastructure and quality of life issues.
Despite the best efforts of local business advocacy groups, the public dollars that are required to catalyze private investment in Northern Indiana disproportionately remain in Central Indiana.
Northern Indiana communities and counties have also recognized that collectively we are woefully under-represented on state boards and commission. When locals are present on these key state boards, decisions and dollars tend to flow in favor of those regions who are making their presence felt.
“Home Rule” is a concept that slips further and further into our past as legislators change the balance of power between local and state governments.
Northern Indiana is fortunate to be represented by world class chambers, tourism bureaus, foundations and local economic development organizations. We are home to world class higher education opportunities, world class recreational and tourism opportunities, world class businesses and industries, and world class people. If Northern Indiana wants to have a world class future, we are going to have to band together to speak with a unified voice when it comes to demanding our share of resources, appointments, and local control.
Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission (NITDC) is leading an initiative to augment the fine work of our region’s chambers, tourism bureaus, community foundations, economic development and government authorities. We seek to add a layer of collaborative, coordinated, and complementary advocacy to issues of regional importance. Working with public and private partners, our goal will be to help our state legislators bring a bigger piece of the pie home to Northern Indiana.
We have named this initiative “Northern Indiana Advocates” (NIA). NIA is a bi-partisan regional government affairs and advocacy effort that draws on the strengths and vitality of existing organizations to amplify a sustained advocacy effort on behalf of our region. The lack of an initiative such as this has prevented our region from obtaining its share of resources, appointments and local control from state government.
Northeast Indiana pulled together a similar regional effort to advocate for their region more than a decade ago. Through the combined effort of regional advocates, Northeast Indiana has been the beneficiary of an unprecedented distribution of resources that has spurred growth across the region. Like our counterparts in Northeast Indiana, NIA is laser-focused on advocating in the executive and legislative branches for a richer allocation of resources, state board and commission appointments as well as any measures that will enhance local control.
NITDC has developed and implemented a plan that puts our region in the best position to demand its seat at the table. We want Northern Indiana communities to enjoy a fair piece of the pie and to never again be an afterthought for state policymakers. We need your help to fill this unmet need by uniting and working collectively to bolster the economic prosperity of our region. We will always be stronger together than we ever are individually. Let us strive together to make Northern Indiana the best of version of itself it can possibly be.