On March 23rd, the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown in Indiana, Hoosier Action leaders made clear that we refuse to go back to business as usual. We came together because we know that business as usual has made the pandemic in Indiana much harder than it had to be. For too long, the few have had their say over the many by keeping us divided, but on March 23rd we showed how powerful we can be when we come together across our differences.
Over 200 Hoosiers showed up in person at the Statehouse and online to mourn at a powerful interfaith vigil, and to demand that all of us have what we need to recover from this crisis. From our smallest towns and our biggest cities, we joined one another because we know that the future is what we do together. Over the past month we’ve lobbied in-person at the statehouse multiple times and encouraged Hoosiers to send hundreds of emails and phonecalls into their legislators.
Our actions at the Statehouse in the past month alone have garnered over 50 press hits and helped shape the narrative of this year’s legislative session. For too long greedy corporations and the politicians they pay have put their profits ahead of the health, well-being, and lives of everyday Hoosiers. Together we’re holding them accountable and building the power necessary to ensure we can all thrive–whatever the color of our skin or the content of our wallets.
“Together We Have Power”
(Together We Have Power)
“And Our Voices Matter”
(And Our Voices Matter)
What we've been up to
Reclaim Our Future: Vigil & Call to Action for All Hoosiers
Hoosier Action leaders from Indiana’s smallest towns and biggest cities across the state joined together at the Statehouse on March 23, 2021 for a socially-distanced vigil and press conference to mourn what we’ve lost due COVID-19 and call on the Indiana General Assembly to support our needs.
Tour the Toll – Stations of Grief
Tables and displays share what Hoosiers struggled with in the past year, from environmental contamination to unsafe working conditions to mental health.
Vigil: Reclaiming Our Future Together
Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh faith leaders held an interfaith vigil where they shared their perspectives on grief. “We are one in our humanity,” said Rabbi Brett Krichiver from the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation. “Plague has brought us together in sacrifice and celebrating our freedom.”
During the vigil, Hoosiers built a memorial altar with flowers, photographs, and other mementos representing loved ones who passed last year as faith leaders read their names out loud. As Pastor Amanda Meade from First Christian Church in Jeffersonville explained, “Death won’t get the last word. We must acknowledge our grief and finding meaning in it.”
Press Conference: Call to Action for All Hoosiers
At the press conference which followed, leaders from different backgrounds with different struggles aligned in their shared struggle to have their voices heard at the statehouse. As Hoosier Action leader Kim White-Mills explained, “The hope for the future is that our legislators can take a look at the individual experiences of Hoosiers from across the state and they should take that into account as they pass legislation.”
From navigating unemployment to the overdose crisis to unsafe working conditions, Hoosiers all shared how COVID-19 has exacerbated challenges many of them were facing even before the pandemic.
Hoosier Action in the news
The Statehouse File
WRTV – ABC
IndyStar Hoosiers hold vigil, highlight impact of COVID throughout state ahead of Holcomb address by Lawrence Andrea
ONE YEAR UNDER COVID
In conjunction with the event, Hoosier Action Resource Center released “One Year Under COVID-19: What Hoosier’s Faced and the Indiana General Assembly’s Response, ” a white paper report outlining how “for too many lawmakers, the pandemic provided cover to ignore their constituents while favoring powerful, monied interests. This report details the struggles Hoosiers have faced over the last year, the failure of the legislature to advance bills to support everyday Hoosiers, and how we can move forward toward a brighter future for all people in Indiana.”
INDIANA FAILS TO PROTECT PREGNANT WORKERS. . .
HB1309 – Senate Votes 31 to 19
I’m disappointed and angry. My employer didn’t listen when I asked for accommodations and neither has the Indiana General Assembly. I always had the right to ask.
What moms need are actual protections, not political theater.
— Samantha Kern (Hoosier Action Mom)
For the past three years, Hoosier Action alongside a coalition including some of the largest employers in our state, four local Chambers of Commerce, and countless nonprofits and labor unions have built bipartisan support for the passage of workplace accommodations for pregnant workers. Hoosier Action member-leaders and moms like Samantha Kern of Fishers and April Lopossa of Martinsville have helped draw significant public support for this issue by sharing their experiences as pregnant workers. Both women asked for accommodations while pregnant. When their workplaces failed to accommodate their pregnancies, Samantha miscarried and April was forced out of her job.
However, the Indiana Manufacturers Association and the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce have fought tooth and nail against any bill which would mandate protections for pregnant workers. Faced with mounting public pressure, these special interests have instead used their power and influence to author and ensure the passage of HB 1309, a substanceless which they hope will appease the public.
Despite resounding public support, powerful public testimony, extensive press coverage, and hundreds of phone calls, emails, and meetings, HB 1309 passed the Senate on April 6th and will now head to the Governor’s desk. A group of 19 bipartisan Senators opposed the bill.
The fight to protect Hoosier Moms now moves to the federal arena. “We’re not going to go away, and we’re not going to accept this inadequate bill,” explained Moms Organizer Eva Bell. The Moms of Hoosier Action are working to pass the H.R.1065 – Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. No-one should have to chose between their job or their pregnancy. Email your member of congress TODAY to ask that them to protect pregnant workers and new moms!
UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTION
Hoosier Action Orientation
ZOOM CALL April 15, 2021 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM ET
Join us to learn about Hoosier Action! We’re working with people all across Indiana to build a state that works for everyone. Join us on Thursday evening to get acquainted with our organization and to learn about our upcoming work connecting with thousands of Hoosiers!
Mom’s Coffee Hour
ZOOM CALL April 18, 2021 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET
Join us for our digital parents coffee hour on Zoom! This coffee hour is for parents to connect, build community, and talk about our future together.
On May 15th we are going to launch an unprecedented season of outreach, base-building, and leadership development! Hoosier Action leaders and organizers will hold 10,000 deep conversations across the state. Keep your eyes peeled for more information soon about our Hoosier to Hoosier program! In the meantime, join us at one of our upcoming events. To find and register for all our upcoming events go to hoosieraction.org/events.
FUND THE FUTURE OF INDIANA
April 15th marks the 4th Anniversary of Hoosier Action! With your support, we’ve grown so much in the past four years. To build power and create real change in Indiana we need your help.
Become a dues-paying member of Hoosier Action for just $5 a month to fund the future of Indiana!