State Senate Race: Jean Breaux (District 34) 

click to enlarge Senator Jean Breaux, D, District 34 - (CANDIDATE PHOTO)
  • Senator Jean Breaux, D, District 34
  • (Candidate photo)

Introduce self in 200 words

My name is Jean Dominique Breaux. My father hails from New Orleans, Louisiana, hence my beautiful middle name and my unusual last. My father's first name is Dominique. I am the daughter of Billie Jean Fuller Breaux who hails from West Virginia. She was the 6th daughter born to a father who desperately wanted a son. Hence her name Billie. My name is a composite of both my parents. I too am a composite of both parents.

My father was a man of science who was curious about everything. I refer to him as my Renaissance man-loving music, the arts, literature, science and athletics. He tutored me in chemistry, introduced me to opera and taught me to run track.

My mother taught me to question authority and to never doubt myself or my potential.While my father liked to dictate right and wrong, mother preferred to instill in me sets of values then allow me to determine right from wrong for myself.

Both my parents worked hard and cared about the underserved. My father worked with youth from the Job Corps and my mother was a strong advocate for children; especially those in need.

Both my parents taught me to live life to the fullest while leaving a footprint of activism and love.

NUVO: Describe your district and how it relates to your legislative priorities.

I believe my district to be very diverse, which I consider a positive strength.The median income is approximately $33,000. However, there are a number of pockets within the district with significantly higher incomes. Roughly 25 percent of my district lives on Social Security income. While I have several public schools in the district distressed and under state takeover, there are several strong academic programs both from a public and charter school perspective. I have too many brownfields in areas where business once thrived and in certain pockets a strong distribution and some light manufacturing operations. These contrasts are what make my district special and very interesting to represent.

1-Jobs, 2-Meaningful and effective public transportation, 3-Neighborhood development-Abandoned Housing

Translation to legislative priorities: Support capital projects for universities and our cities such as rebuilding our infrastructure— similar to WPA— that will create jobs. Support legislation that will fund the remediation of brownfields, especially those in urban areas then offer incentives to businesses to locate on a former brownfield. Require those incentives to include hiring individuals who reside in a certain radius of the remediated brownfield and new business operation.Invest in more renewable energy devices and make become known for manufacturing those in Indiana. Fix our infrastructure to create jobs and to attract jobs.Repeal Right to Work so that workers can earn a living wage.

Support all initiatives that seek to improve and expand Indygo.

I have offered legislation on Abandoned Housing and this is an area I will continue to work.

NUVO: Constructive criticism of the 2012 General Assembly?

Focus on the issues that matter,not socially divisive that do not address real issues such as Healthcare and Indiana's response to the Affordable Care Act, Education-meaningful expansion of full-day kindergarten, pre-school and funding for traditional public urban schools and suburban schools. Indiana's high school drop rate is a big problem. We need to diversify our energy resources in the state, and we need to offer a real plan to reduce unplanned pregnancies and family planning to reduce STD's and too many very young people becoming parents.

NUVO: What will happen in an extended era of single party control in the state? What will you do to be effective?

It will affect Indiana's conversations and our priorities.While the legislature often divides along rural vs. urban issues, there are fundamental differences in how the two parties address our state's priorities-such as healthcare, education, tax policy and the environment.Democrats in the Senate will to be organized and vocal to ensure our voices are heard and our input is included not excluded or even marginalized.

NUVO: If you had one question for a candidate running for Senate, who would it be and what would you ask?

I would ask Scott Schneider why he is so opposed to Planned Parenthoods in Indiana.I would ask him if he is aware that PP provides valuable services or low and moderate income men and women in the form of breast exams, cancer screenings, and remedies for contracted STD's.These conditions, when detected early can reduce the onset of serious illness and the spread of disease while at the same time saving our state significant health care costs.

NUVO: What do you wish I'd ask and how would you answer?

What is the best thing about being a state legislator? The ability to connect a district to their representative.Constituent services is the most important part of a legislator's work. Bridging the divide between those who the need to services of state government and making sure they receive the services is paramount to me. Helping constituents in my district has been the greatest source of pride for me. I am so thrilled and proud when my office can bring resolution to a problem experienced by a constituent from the district.

Kudos to Bryan Hannon and all the Statehouse staff who play a vital role in making it all happen.

NUVO: Bonus question of Breaux:What is significance of running unopposed?

I have a write-in candidate this year.

However, I would have to say:

Pro: Don't have to raise as much money

Con: Can't raise money because going to contested races

Pro: Don't have to spend as much money on campaign

Con: Have to spend money on helping others (Not really a con!)

Pros: Don't have to campaign as hard as those in contested races.

Cons: Makes it difficult to get noticed because of the noise from the contested races.You have to work harder for visibility

Pros: A sure winner

Cons: Limits choice and debate

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Rebecca Townsend

Rebecca Townsend

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Rebecca Townsend served as NUVO news editor from May 2011 to August 2014. During a 20-plus year career, her bylines have appeared in publications ranging from Indiana AgriNews to the Wall Street Journal. Her undergraduate degree is in sociology and anthropology from Earlham College, and her master's is in journalism... more

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