Statement from Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson on proposed bill:
As Gary Goes . . . .
Many Northwest Indiana residents acknowledge that the success of the city of Gary and the entire region are inextricably linked. Indeed, Gary, Indiana is home to the flagship of one of the largest corporations in the world, an international airport and other rich transportation interests, as well as one of the most beautiful lakefronts in the Midwest. At the same time, Gary has seen its share of challenges from debilitating property tax caps and increasing unemployment to escalated poverty levels and crime.
Over a year ago, our administration proclaimed a new day that was supported by the emphasis on transparency and ethics in government, image building, fiscal responsibility, and targeted economic development. The wisdom of this approach is evidenced by the substantive opportunity presented by Senate Bill 585—an academic medical center, a port, land based gaming, and the airport. The challenge inherent in retaining assets and being at the center of regional development is also clear.
Critics of the bill will say, “Why should anyone help Gary?” or “they are trying to take our airport.” My response to the shortsighted is that Gary has spent over 100 years providing an economic engine to this region and the entire state. Looking forward, it is clear that regional prosperity requires a vibrant and flourishing Gary. As evidenced by Senate Bill 585, Indiana state leadership understands this and is open to assisting the city with a path forward to achieve this end. As to the concern that something is being taken away from the citizens of this city, our position is simple: no one can take something that you are unwilling to give away.
Finally, it is important to understand that we are actively engaged with our local legislators who are leaders in the general assembly, other members of the Northwest Indiana delegation and the entire general assembly to put our best economic development foot forward for the benefit of the city and citizens of Gary, Northwest Indiana, and the entire state.
-Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson