By Chris Bavender
Victoria Garcia Wilburn, an assistant professor of occupational therapy in the School of Health and Human Sciences at IUPUI, has filed to run for the new Indiana House District 32 seat.
A first-time office seeker, Wilburn, an Indianapolis resident, is seeking the Democratic nomination in the May 3 primary. She is the only Democrat who has filed so far. The general election is Nov. 8.
“Through my work as a community-engaged researcher and a university professor in health and human sciences, I see firsthand how Indiana’s poor overall health and mental health outcomes devastate our communities,” Wilburn said. “We can and must do better for all Hoosiers and it will take leadership and public health expertise in the Indiana Statehouse to solve these problems, which is what led me to run for House District 32.”
The House District 32 seat was created from the 2020 census and brings together the communities of southern Carmel, Delaware township in Fishers and northern Indianapolis.
“(The communities) share common ties in terms of maintaining and enhancing strong public school systems, ensuring access to quality health care and creating safe and prosperous neighborhoods,” Wilburn said. “This marks a critical moment for electing a legislator who will advocate for these important policies and who will represent the rich diversity within these communities. We know that the continued growth of these areas reflects a strong commitment to creating a high quality of life, so this new district presents an opportunity to advance those interests even further in the Statehouse.”
Wilburn, 40, said she would bring a “deep level of experience in working alongside community members to improve Hoosier public health outcomes” to the role, if elected.
“This practice requires collective listening, gathering evidence and data and seeking broad input from stakeholders, which are the same skills and ethics that I’ll bring to the job of representing the constituents of House District 32,” she said. “Further, as a mental and behavioral health expert, I will bring that knowledge to the legislature while advocating for better public policy, adequate funding and greater access to care.”
If elected, Wilburn said she would focus on three pillars – safety, public health and education.
“We need community to succeed, and we need safe, healthy and accessible communities to thrive,” she said. “I believe that investing in and improving public health, public education and public safety are foundational to building a stronger Indiana for all Hoosiers.”
Wilburn said her family supports her decision to run.
“Our family understands what is needed to live a life dedicated to service, with my husband having served our community as a police officer for over a decade,” she said. “He is thrilled to support me as I seek to serve District 32 just as I supported him. My children have grown up watching me use my voice to advocate for change, whether it’s teaching future health care professionals, testifying in the Indiana General Assembly and U.S. Congress, or organizing within our community. To them this is just the next thing that mom will do.”
For more on Wilburn’s campaign, visit wilburnforindiana.com.