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Sat Nov 30, 2019, 10:06 AM

Meet Sabrina Haake, candiate for Congress, First district of Indiana!

(The Democratic rep from this district who has served since 1985 has announced that he will not be seeking re-election in 2020)

the early years
I had a tough upbringing, I wonít hide it. As is true for many families today, we struggled. My home life was fraught with chronic and extreme domestic violence, untreated mental illness, and acute substance abuse. We need to stop the stigma and have a bold, honest discussion about trauma in the home so that children living with violence and substance abuse know they are not alone. Itís also about social justice. If weíre going to end financial inequality, we have to close the education gap. Before we can do that, we need to understand that children from households like mine canít conjugate verbs or learn algebra if theyíre thinking about whatís waiting for them at home.

breaking the cycle
Like many children, I had a natural sense that what was happening in my world was not right. Somehow I found a way to right my internal compass and find a way out of the cycle. Later, after my niece Renee was born into the same environment, I reached back and pulled her out as well. She is a now a Princeton grad, recently married, and traveling the world as she works. Proof that the success of one can spur on the success of others!

I believe, by speaking boldly and openly, we can, together, pull back the curtain of secrecy and take away the inherent shame that surrounds ďfamily problems.Ē As your Congresswoman, I will focus on solving the basic issues that hold our children and families back, especially access to mental health services and drug/alcohol treatment, so that lost opportunities can become stories of success and happiness.

From waitress to the state house

I began working at an early age, mainly to get out of the house. The work ethic stuck. I waited tables through high school, and when I got to the University of Southern Indiana, if I didnít earn enough tips to pay my tuition, I didnít take the class. Nonetheless, I finally made it through and left with a BA in Political Science.

Armed with a college degree, my first ďreal jobĒ was as a legislative intern with the Indiana House of Representatives. I was then chosen from among Indianaís top college graduates to serve as a Governorís Fellow, where I spent a year rotating among state agencies to observe policies in effect and to suggest ways to improve services.

My first passion- before I became a lawyer- was figuring out how to get mentally ill offenders out of the criminal justice system, and how to effectively treat offenders for whom there was no other option, because I believed from first-hand experience that untreated mental illness is the root cause of our countryís worst social problems. Early in my career, I fought to convince Indianaís legislature to pay for treatment programs for mentally ill offenders- a group few people care about- by showing how cost effective mental health treatment is, as compared to the non-ending rotating door of recidivism.

from the state house to china

I went to law school at night at Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis while I worked during the day for the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, and left Indianapolis to study abroad. I spent my last year of law school studying the commercial codes of China and the European Union, and attended classes in Shanghai, China followed by a comparative law program in London, England. I became General Counsel of Marbo, Inc. in 1993, and helped grow a small family-owned business into a world-class beverage distributor with trademark and distribution agreements all over the world including Russia, Latin America, and emerging markets in Africa and Eastern Europe.

back to my Indiana roots
I moved back to Indiana part time in 1997, and hung a shingle that eventually grew into a successful litigation practice. As a private attorney today, I represent the City of Chicago Board of Education in federal court; most of my cases involve either Constitutional law or education law. I also represent plaintiffs fighting to end discrimination in the workplace. When I was litigating from my kitchen table in Gary, Indiana, I tried the first successful discrimination case against the Village of Schiller Park. I also took on a formidable adversary everyone warned me I couldnít beat- Oracle. Oracle filled my home office with boxes and boxes of documents, but I went through every single box and file, and read every page. I stuck with it and voila! We eventually won.


The things that matter

My family
My family today consists of my wife, Jill, and my niece, Renee, whom I helped raise, to show her there was another way of life. Iím sorry to say she came from the same home I did, but Iím proud to say she escaped- like me, and made it to Princeton! That's her and her new husband Mark on their wedding day August 2019.

Feeding the hungry and lonely
I loved delivering meals to Aids and HIV hospice patients through Open Hand Chicago, because our clients were shut-in, lonely, and discarded by society. Sometimes I was the only person theyíd see that day, and they liked the company as much as they needed the hot meal. I also loved cooking and cleaning at Port Ministries on Chicagoís south side, where we cooked and served up whatever we were lucky enough to get- sometimes it was fresh turkey turned into noodle soup, and sometimes it was peanut butter. I can honestly say that I learned more from people who eat at soup kitchens than I learned in law school.

caring about animals
Something I wish I didn't have to do - but do anyway- is search for abused dogs who live out their entire lives at the end of a chain. Itís not only cruel, itís senseless, because it doesnít cost a dime to bring your pet into your warm home, instead of leaving them outside in the cold, alone and on a chain. In 2017, I started looking into how we could help those poor creatures, and I started a coalition of local animal lovers in Gary. We began by researching animal cruelty laws throughout the country, and succeeded in changing the outside tethering laws in Gary in March, 2019. If you check out GaryAnimalWelfare.org, thatís us!

campaigning for Gary's new mayor
The abused animal experience convinced me for the first time that I could actually make a difference. About this time, I met a man running for mayor whom I believed in, someone I thought would bring strength to Gary. Itís not easy to unseat a sitting mayor, but I knew heíd help turn Gary around. I campaigned and fought hard for Jerome Prince because he shared my values of helping the underdog. He wanted to turn Gary around- not for the politically connected, but for common people who deserve to have a decent grocery store. After the successful campaign, I became Senior Advisor to the Prince mayoral transition, reviewing documents, writing correspondence, and staffing the innovative ďReimagine GaryĒ process. Princeís election as Garyís new mayor has ushered in a new era of hope for Northwest Indiana, and good things are coming, I can feel it!

a new chapter
my love of the constitution comes from the heart
Iíve been a lawyer for 22 years. I practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Iím a long standing member of the federal trial bar and my litigation history is public record thru Pacer.gov. I have represented the City of Chicago Board of Education since 2007.

I have the distinct honor of having both litigated Constitutional law extensively, as well as publishing Constitutional scholarship in several law reviews. A lot of us forget that the Constitution was wrought from extreme adversity. It was written at a time when murderous foreign soldiers could knock on your door, take your food, and sleep in your bed. Itís a living and breathing blueprint to the greatest human experiment of all time, with adaptations for the future already built in.

The flawed men who wrote it were inspired by a vision of the future where everyone would someday be equal, guided by a set of basic (and unheard of) human guarantees. Iím humbled by- and in awe of- the inspired genius of it.

Our nation is still a work in progress, with miles to go between the ideal and the real. But the Constitution didnít happen overnight either, it started five hundred years earlier with the magna carta. The point isnít a history lesson, itís to stress how long it took to build our democracy to its imperfect state, and if we lose it, how long it could take to get it back. Iím running for Congress because I love our democracy deeply, and weíre seeing now that it is also fragile. Like no other time before in our nationís very troubled history, our democracy, and our Constitution, are in need of a fierce advocate.


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Reply Meet Sabrina Haake, candiate for Congress, First district of Indiana! (Original post)
ehrnst Nov 30 OP
TreasonousBastard Nov 30 #1
ehrnst Nov 30 #2

Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 10:14 AM

1. That there are people like her give me hope. They are the rocks civilization is built upon.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 30, 2019, 10:30 AM

2. She's good people. I've known her for years. (nt)

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