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Former Congressman Hamilton Proposes 'Bicentennial Visioning Project'

courtesy State of Indiana

Indiana is gearing up for a celebration of its 200-year history -- and former Congressman Lee Hamilton says the upcoming bicentennial party can’t just be about the state’s past, but also about its future. 

Hamilton – who co-chairs the Indiana Bicentennial Commission – says he wants the state’s Bicentennial Celebration to be about trying to make Indiana’s future a better one. 

He says the Bicentennial Visioning Project -- his brainchild -- will gather input from thought leaders around the state and from other interested Hoosiers to help steer the course of Indiana’s next 50 years.

“Where do we want the communications business, the financial business, the agricultural business, commerce, the arts, the culture of this state headed 25, 50 years down the road?  I think that’s a needed element in our state’s thinking today,” Hamilton says.

Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, the Commission's other co-chair, says that report will be substantial, meant to help guide the state into the next 50 years.

“What we hope is that it will cause our state to have some different conversations going forward at all types of leadership, from the business community to civic leaders to elected leaders," Ellspermann says. "We are not creating a coffee table book.”

The project will be led by Norm Heikens, a long-time journalist with the Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis Business Journal.  He will hire students from Indiana colleges and universities to help prepare the project’s final report to be released next summer.  That report will come out of recommendations from yet-to-be-chosen thought leaders and ideas Hoosiers will be able to submit online.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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