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Still have questions about where the candidates for Governor and the 5th congressional district stand on the issues? Want to be a political insider without going outside…or even leaving your couch? (No judgement.)

We’ve taken the 2020 HobHob virtual, making your screen the scene of a couple of socially-distanced showdowns, again in partnership with the Indianapolis Business Journal: The October 20th program puts the spotlight on Indiana’s most hotly-contested congressional race, as 5th district candidates Victoria Spartz (R)  and Christina Hale (D) face off on federal issues.

Then comes the main event, as the three gubernatorial candidates – Republican Eric Holcomb, Democrat Woody Myers and Libertarian Donald Rainwater – debate public health and the state’s COVID response, economic development, education and workforce priorities and much more.

In between the debates, you’ll get punditry and predictions from local media luminaries like Lindsey Erdody (who’s been covering these races for the IBJ) and Jim Shella, and hometown political experts like Anne Hathaway and Marshawn Wolley. And we’ll kick things off with a dose of ‘big picture’ perspective from Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, one of the nation’s most respected political newsletters (founded by the legendary Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics).

Join us on Tuesday the 20th to hear from the candidates and commentators as this campaign season enters the homestretch – emphasis on “home.” Learn more and register here.

Speaking of the homestretch…

Right now:

It’s a departure from old school hip-hop, but we need a nod to the great Eddie Van Halen this week.

Right now, Hoosiers are already voting – and enthusiasm looks heavy. Four days into early voting, we’re seeing widespread report of lines stretched around courthouses and municipal complexes across the region. Early voting is available through November 2nd at the City-County Building and other locations (some end a day earlier – get the Marion County details here and find other county information via https://indianavoters.in.gov). Don’t forget your ID and your mask.

If you aren’t a fan of long lines (and who can blame you, especially these days) right now would also be a great time to check out your mail-in absentee options. If you meet certain age, health, or work schedule requirements, you may be eligible to vote by mail – learn more and get the forms here.

(The deadline for mail-in absentee applications is October 22nd, a couple of days after HobNob – why not go ahead and get on the list for both?)

The https://indianavoters.in.gov  portal is a great resource for all your voting information, including Election Day voting sites. However you decide to vote, right now is the time to make your plan for making your voice heard in this crucial and historic election.

Closed for Business, Open for Ballots?

As an employer, right now would also be a good time to think about your workers and their ability to exercise their civic duty (without interfering with their job duties). The Indy Chamber and a growing list of companies like Salesforce are declaring Election Day a company holiday, freeing up your team to vote and volunteer at the polls.

If you’re sensing some not-so-subtle peer pressure, you’re absolutely right. With 25 days until November 3rd, there’s time to elevate your electoral status as a workplace: Consider closing the office on Election Day, or reducing hours to account for long lines to vote in the morning and late afternoon. Flexible schedules over the next month to encourage employees to vote early is another option.

So what are you waiting for?

Civic Soundtrack:

With long lines at early voting sites foreshadowing strong turnout on Election Day, casting your ballot in person may take some extra patience this year. So with 25 days to go, here’s a 25-track playlist of  classic hip-hop to calm your nerves and strengthen your commitment while you’re waiting in line. Check it out, add your own ideas, and let us know the titles we missed (track selections by Mark Fisher and Tim Brown, annotated by the team as appropriate):

  1. Rosa Parks – OutKast (you may want to bring a folding chair to get off your feet for a while in line)
  2. Can I Kick It? – Tribe Called Quest (sadly, Tribe received no profits from this single due to copyright issues – always read the fine print, good advice for evaluating candidates too)
  3. (You Gotta Fight) Fight for Your Right – Beastie Boys (yeah, we know, it’s about partying, but take the title at face value and make sure you exercise your rights)
  4. 2 of America’s Most Wanted – Tupac and Snoop (this is how Mark & Tim see themselves walking the halls of the Statehouse)
  5. Movement – Black Eyed Peas
  6. Eric B is President – Eric B & Rakim
  7. Inner City Boundaries – Freestyle Fellowship (we’re still too divided by socioeconomic and political boundaries – the work of pushing economic inclusion and regionalism goes on)
  8. Runnin’ – The Pharcyde (every candidate should have this on repeat)
  9. Fight the Power-original by Public Enemy (needs no explanation, really)
  10. Rebel Without a Pause – Public Enemy
  11. 911 is a Joke – Public Enemy (but Indiana’s funding of public health priorities is no laughing matter)
  12. Mind Playin’ Tricks – Geto Boys (when you’re so bombarded by political ads you’re not sure what to believe anymore)
  13. What’s the Difference – Dr. Dre & Eminem (similar to #12, when you’re trying to figure out the substantive issues that divide candidates)
  14. Mathematics – Mos Def (the state budget math is going to be tough during next year’s legislative session…remember that campaign platforms come with a fiscal price tag)
  15. What’s my name? – DMX (for all those down-ballot candidates trying to get recognized in a yuge election cycle)
  16. Never Let Me Down – Kanye (thanks, Kanye, very cool!)
  17. Bombs Over Baghdad (BOB) – Outkast
  18. Respiration – Black Star, Common
  19. The Message – Grandmaster Flash & Furious Five
  20. Changes – Tupac
  21. You Got Me – Roots
  22. Growing Up – Whodini (while K-12 spending makes up a majority of the state budget, pre-K is also on the budget agenda for next year – where do your legislative candidates stand on critical investments in helping kids grow up and show up for success in the classroom?)
  23. Hard Times – Run DMC (2020 in two words, amirite?)
  24. Cappucino – MC Lyte
  25. Lean On Me – Big Daddy Kane (we’re all in this together – thanks for reading, stay healthy, and we’ll see you at HobNob in a couple of weeks.)
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