Gena Martinez Candidate Profile
NUVO: Introduce yourself in 200 words or less.
Gena Martinez (né Hancock) was born and raised in South Central
Indiana. Upon graduating from Columbus North High School, Mrs.
Martinez moved to California where she attended Orange Coast College
while working as the Executive Assistant to the President of an
Aerospace manufacturing company. This position offered Gena a unique
perspective on defense spending, as well as experience in diplomacy
and an expanded knowledge of International relations.
While living in California, Mrs. Martinez met her husband and shortly
after they were married, the two moved back to the great state of
Indiana to start a family. Upon returning to Indiana, Gena worked in
Human Resources at Cummins, Inc. and was among the founding members of
the companyÕs first affinity group providing resources for the
companyÕs LGBT employees.
Shortly after the birth of her first son, Gena left her position to
become an entrepreneur. As a small business owner, Gena returned to
college to complete her education. Mrs. Martinez is currently a
student at IUPUI and community advocate who has been invited to the
White House as a participant in the ÔCommunity Leaders SeriesÕ.
2) Describe your district, name some features that make it special or unique.
District 33 is a beautiful and diverse collection of neighborhoods in
our State's Capitol. I'm blessed to be able to offer my services to
represent such an eclectic and hard working group of Hoosiers. Without
a doubt, the strongest and most flourishing communities are built upon
cooperation between widely diverse groups of people representing a
variety of different ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural identities.
District 33 is a testament to that fact.
District 33 has many amazing landmarks that exhibit our dedication
cultural enrichment; namely, our dedication to education - with
universities such as Butler, Marian, and Ivy Tech. We also lay claim
to institutions such as the Children's Museum, and the Indianapolis
Museum of Art, as well as the Major Taylor Velodrome. In addition, our
district also encompasses many thriving neighborhoods ranging from
portions of downtown and extending northward to include areas such as
Watson- McCord, Michigan - Highland, Rocky Ripple and portions of
3) List three serious issues facing your district and note how they
would translate to your legislative priorities.
A top priority for my first term as a State Senator would be
education. The children and young people of District 33 represent our
future success or failure and their educational progress dictates much
of that outcome. Much has been said regarding the current state of
IPS, and many perceived 'solutions' are floating around as to the best
plan of action for current and future generations. I believe an
emphasis on privatization could have disastrous consequences. As a
parent, I am a staunch proponent of parental choice with regards to
school selection, however I believe that Indiana's funds should be
allotted to Indiana's PUBLIC Schools. Many families within my district
simply do not have the resources to send their children to private or
charter institutions, and while I applaud those who do, it is critical
that a quality education be made available to all of the children
growing up in Indiana - not the select or fortunate few.
I also believe we need to address the system by which we measure a
school's success or failure. I firmly believe that Indiana teachers
are among some of the Nation's finest and hardest working
professionals. As a product of Indiana's schools myself, I know that
we are doing many things right - my concern is that we collect our
data via Scantron and there are certain characteristics of a
well-balanced education that cannot be standardized tested. I am also
concerned with how our funds are spent. Education represents a huge
portion of our state's budget, yet it is widely known that our
classrooms lack the basic supplies needed to support each room's
classload. In addition to reducing class size, we must make certain
that these funds find their way into the classrooms and not the
administration; if we have Superintendents vacationing in Boca Ratton
while our teachers are filing for food stamps and purchasing classroom
aids out of pocket - we have a problem.
District 33 could also benefit from an influx of employment
opportunities; simply stated - more jobs. While I firmly believe that
government cannot simply create jobs (though government can certainly
employ people by creating bureaucracy), as State legislators we can
find ways to promote an environment that attracts major employers to
our state and encourages more small business owners to expand their
enterprise, thereby creating job opportunities for our neighbors.
If District 33 is to fully benefit from such an employment market,
some consideration must be given to our mass transit system, our roads
and infrastructure, and our bike trails and lanes. Transportation to
and from one's workplace is critical to the success of these working
relationships and sustainability should be an utmost priority in such
an urban area as District 33. I hear from constituents often that our
current bus lines are inconsistent and inefficient and in some
situations a constituent's reliance on the IndyGo system has placed
his or her job in jeopardy and this is counterproductive.
4) If you could provide one element of constructive criticism about
the 2012 General Assembly, what would it be?
The 2012 General Assembly seemed to be plagued by an air of
complacency and a lack-luster attitude towards bi-partisanship. In
addition to their inability to bridge the gap between the two major
parties, they wasted tax payer monies chasing pieces of legislation
that served to single out and harm select portions of Indiana's
residents and add absolutely no value to the quality of life for
anyone living in Indiana. More specifically, House Joint Resolution 6
has already cost Hoosiers over $78,000 to pursue (more than double the
average cost for a single piece of legislation), and if it is
successful its only contribution to our state will be:
a.) to concrete an already existing law (same-sex marriage is already
denied by the State of Indiana), b.) diminish protections (including
domestic violence provisions) for ALL non-married Hoosiers, c.) it
will (and has already) discourage many employers from moving to
Indiana in an effort to protect their LGBT employees and to remain
competitive while they attempt to attract talent.
In short - if the 2012 General Assembly succeeds in passing HJR-6,
they will have wasted our money to harm our state and that is the
5) How you do think an extended era of solid Republican control over
the General Assembly will influence legislators' work at the
Statehouse? Could you comment on how you envision bi-partisanship and
checks and balances functioning in this environment?
If the current state of affairs in the Indiana General Assembly is any
indicator of the effects of an extended era of solid Republican
control, Hoosiers need to reconsider our political priorities. We have
legislation being rushed through the system with countless unknown
earmarks and additional considerations that some legislators admit
they aren't even able to read, let alone weigh and consider. At a
recent debate, I heard a Republican incumbent admit that often times
Senators' names are added as co-authors to bills they have never even
read! If there is a shred of truth to this (and I suspect there is),
it is a shameful state of affairs.
As I see it, the greatest flaw in the present system is a total lack
of accountability. If a legislator co-authors a bill that lines the
pockets of another politician at the expense of Indiana's tax payers,
he should be made to answer for his actions - in this particular case,
the lawmaker not only shirked any responsibility for the consequences
of the bill's passage, he insisted he had never read the document that
he was clearly listed as having co-authored. To me, this is
unacceptable - and I doubt that I am alone in that sentiment.
Ideally, bi-partisanship itself should serve as a check and/or
balance, but as there has been no balance between the two heavily
embraced parties in Indiana, this has not been the case. I believe
this imbalance, in itself, indicates a clear necessity for a third
party to assert itself into the situation and work to create a
solution that benefits the constituents of Indiana's General Assembly
members. The lack of a balance has led the minority party to have to
physically leave the state to avoid signing legislation into law that
many firmly believed would be detrimental to the people living in
their districts. This is a total breakdown of bi-partisanship and a
clear indication that our General Assembly is in desperate need of an
6) If you could ask one question of your opponent, what would it be?
Let me begin by stating honestly that I have the utmost respect for
State Senator Taylor. The smart ass in me wants to teasingly ask if
there's a mini-fridge in my new office for my pudding cups, but the
reality of the situation is that I'm a freshman candidate running on a
third party ticket - If I am elected to office it means I ran a good
campaign and my district stood behind me (while we watched pigs fly
overhead and snuggled close to Satan to keep warm).
During his first term in office, Senator Taylor has served the people
of our district in a manner that I am proud of - my only criticism may
be that he wasn't aggressive enough. To that end: Senator Taylor, why
did you not present more legislation with the intent to proactively
protect Hoosiers in your district as opposed to only responding
appropriately to defend them from the predatory bills of other
7) What question do you wish we'd asked and how would you answer it?
I do wish NUVO would ask all of the candidates this election round how
they intend to set aside party obligations and tend to the needs and
requests of the citizens they are sworn to represent. Political
parties are powerful tools that serve to win elections, but people are
called to legislate, not parties. Voters should bear this in mind
when selecting candidates, not parties.
To their credit, The Libertarian Party of Marion County does not
dictate my position on any issue. In fact, my party serves as an aid
or a tool to offer me resources and assistance while simultaneously
sitting back and sweating bullets wondering just what will come out of
my mouth next. This allows me the freedom to take a stand and protect
Hoosier interests. It allows me the liberty to ignore any financial
interests of any major contributor or corporation who seeks to benefit
from Indiana's tax funds. It guarantees my supporters that I vow to
represent them, as individuals and pay no regard to corporate cronyism
- perhaps the greatest and most welcome CHANGE that the world of
politics could anticipate.