YLNI the Vote: Meet the Candidates and Rally the Vote
Sep25

YLNI the Vote: Meet the Candidates and Rally the Vote

On November 3rd Indiana voters will elect representatives for mayor, city council, and clerk. These offices don’t headline the national news, but in many ways, they can affect our community as much, if not more, than any other offices. They are positions held by our neighbors, our co-workers, and our peers, and they’ll help guide Fort Wayne through this inspirational rise in civic engagement and pride. Just 10 to 15 years ago Fort Wayne was seeing its young professionals moving to Indianapolis, Chicago and other locales after graduating from college. Recently, however, there has been a shift and more graduates are considering job opportunities right here in Fort Wayne. This year’s election will place leaders who determine what this city has to offer to help retain and attract talent. Additionally, it will shape the type of community our children and grandchildren will grow up in. Issues like safety, education, entertainment, economic development, and jobs are on the forefront. Fort Wayne has a hotly-contested mayoral race and could have as many as seven new city council members. Fort Wayne will have a new city clerk for the first time in over 30 years. Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana urges voters of all ages to pay attention to what the candidates are saying, doing, and advocating. As a nonpartisan organization that encourages young professionals to get involved, to make their mark, and to make their voices heard, YLNI finds it troubling that Indiana had the lowest voter turnout in the country last November. And, the 9.8 percent turnout in the May primary elections in Allen County was the lowest in history. Whether that was due to misinformation, lack of information, or just plain apathy, they’re not going to stand by and just hope more people turn out to vote in November. YLNI is committed to doing something about it by hosting multiple events, in partnership with several other organizations, to help engage and educate voters. On Oct. 1, YLNI will host a “Meet the Candidates” night. Candidates have been invited to give a short speech to let attendees know who they are and what they stand for. The event is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Embassy Theatre and is open to members of the participating organizations. On Oct. 8, YLNI will host “Rally the Vote” – a free, family-friendly block party open to the public from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the Landing, Columbia Street in downtown Fort Wayne. Voters can vote at the County building until 4:30 p.m. and then join us for music, food, beverages and outdoor games. Just as important as increasing turnout, is having...

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One Billion Rising Fort Wayne: Will You Rise?
Jan31

One Billion Rising Fort Wayne: Will You Rise?

Fort Wayne is often described as a big city with a small town feel. It’s a community that stands behind those residents who are pushing to make a difference. Whether it is starting your own business, taking part in a cause you believe in or putting on a local event, it’s a city that encourages individuals to try new things and make their dreams a reality. This is exactly what Lori Rose, Executive Director of Fort Wayne Trails, kept in mind when she decided to bring One Billion Rising, a worldwide campaign, to our city. One Billion Rising is a global movement to end violence against girls and women. It speaks to the statistical number of girls and women who will be impacted by violence or abuse in their lifetimes – one in three, which translates to one billion. The 2014 One Billion Rising campaign is described as: “a global call to women, survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in community outside places where they are entitled to justice – courthouses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often, do not. It is a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories – politically, spiritually, outrageously – through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever way feels right.”   At the end of 2012, Lori Rose began researching the spectrum of violence and abuse. She was astounded that as a college graduate, coming from a healthy home environment, she had received so little education on these issues and on what healthy relationships and interactions really entailed. “I knew it was bad if a monstrous man, swinging a baseball bat, were to jump out of the bushes,” she said “but I had to Google terms like ‘sexual assault’ to realize that it wasn’t my fault when someone violated me while I was sleeping, for instance.” After realizing that she had been a victim herself, and deciding to heal, Lori wondered what stories everyone else was hiding and not healing from. As she began to talk with others, she realized that violence and abuse had no borders, affecting men and women of all ages and backgrounds. She also realized that that violence and abuse can take many forms, including emotional and verbal, and can happen to anyone, by anyone and at any time. During this time of becoming more informed and wanting to educate others, Lori ran across the One Billion Rising campaign and...

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