Q&A: Meet Rep. Carey Hamilton, looking to focus on communities

By Christian Sullivan
TheStatehouseFile.com 

This story is a part of a question and answer series with newly elected members of the Indiana General Assembly. 

Meet Rep. Carey Hamilton

Age: 44  
Hometown: Indianapolis
Party: Democrat
Occupation: Executive Director of Indiana Recycling Coalition

INDIANAPOLIS – Newly-elected Rep. Carey Hamilton, D-Indianapolis, wants to invest her time in giving back to communities.

Hamilton won her election despite getting a late start in the campaign process. She joined the race when her representative, Christina Hale, dropped out to become the running mate of Democratic candidate for governor John Gregg.

“Suddenly the seat was open and there was an opportunity to run and, while I’ve worked in the environmental field, I am passionate about a range of public policy issues. So, I thought ‘OK, this is my chance,’” said Hamilton.

Newly-elected Rep. Carey Hamilton, D-Indianapolis, listens in during the House’s first session of the year. Photo by Christian Sullivan, TheStatehouseFile.com

Newly-elected Rep. Carey Hamilton, D-Indianapolis, listens in during the House’s first session of the year. Photo by Christian Sullivan, TheStatehouseFile.com

Hamilton, executive director of the Indiana Recycling Coalition, looks to tackle many public policy issues. She has filed legislation that, if passed, would create a matching grant for communities interested in building more sidewalks and multi-use paths.

TheStatehouseFile.com was able to catch up with Hamilton to discuss what she hopes to accomplish at the Statehouse. 

Question: How did you get started into politics?

Answer: “10 years ago or so, there was an issue at the local government level that was frustrating to me. I will not go into the details, but I was talking frequently to my friends about my concerns and within a couple of days a few people told me, ‘You should run for office. You should run for office. You should run for office!’ So, it just came from a few different angles from folks that I respected and I thought, ‘Gosh me?’ Then I actually did run for city council that year, in 2007.”

Question: What are some issues that you are passionate about?

Answer: “A couple of things that really rose up for me that I care passionately about in addition to the issue we already discussed [the matching fund for multi-use paths] is pre-K funding and non-partisan redistricting. So, those are two issues I’ll be working on.”

Question: What motivates you to go after the issues important to you?

Answer: “It takes a certain, strange person to want to do this, and I’ve always been very engaged in my community and really cared passionately about community and service. I’ve dedicated my career to community and service and this is just a new, exciting, different way to do that.”

Question: Are there any unexpected complications thus far?

Answer: “Not yet, but we are just getting started. I know it’s a complex animal over here and I’m looking forward to digging in and seeing what I can accomplish.”

Christian Sullivan is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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