In Elkhart this week, correspondent Mark Shephard asked, "Change is a theme that has been used in recent elections, and now as we ramp up for the 2014 election season it will surely be part of the rhetoric. What other themes would you like to see political candidates at any level address in the months ahead?"
Amber Smith, CNA, receptionist and promoter, Elkhart:
"Maybe just stuff pertaining to kids — I have small children." Follow-up question: Do you have educational concerns? "A little bit, especially with the violence and bullying in schools and that kind of stuff."
Iesha Wallace, manufacturing team leader and criminal justice student, South Bend:
"Education is one. I would like to see more housing for low-income people, and the crime rate go down a little more. Mentors would probably talk to some of these young people, and that would help reduce the crime. Education plays into some of the crime I believe. I think the rules for kids dropping out of school should be a little stricter."
Brian Hall, controller, Goshen:
"In addition to change, probably just tax reform — I’m still living in the ’80’s, so I’m looking for a little bit more of the Reagan era in all aspects, both the economy and taxes and everything. So if we could move in that direction, that’s kind of on the top of my mind."
Terry Tompkins, retired, Elkhart:
"Well, I would say the economy and the national debt would be the two biggest things." Follow-up question: What would you like to see politicians strive to do as far as those things? "Well, one way or another they’re going to have to not spend more than comes in. And you’ve only got two ways to do that. You’ve either got to quit spending some place, or take in more money. I’d say probably both."
Marilyn Horvath, retired, Elkhart:
"At my stage in life I think the theme that I most look at is health care, and we’re worried about how much help we’re going to have in the future with our insurance and Medicare, and so on and so forth." Follow-up question: What do you think about the report Wednesday that one million more people are on the rolls of the Affordable Care Act? "But can they really afford it is my question. I’ve already seen with a change in my insurance an increase with what I’m having to pay. That’s my concern."