New Year, New Legislative Session, Same Commitment to Change
This month we came together from across the state to officially launch our legislative agenda at the Statehouse–and we’ve kept coming back! Hoosier Action has been busy this month, with members traveling to the Statehouse every week to meet with legislators and share their stories. You can watch our press conference on Facebook and check out our 2022 legislative agenda here.
However, lawmakers continue to ignore and bypass some of the most pressing issues Hoosiers are facing, from housing insecurity to environmental concerns, childcare needs and a just and humane response to addiction recovery. Despite their attempts to divide and distract us, we remain steadfast in our commitment to each other and fighting for the future of our state.
For our first month of this session, we have focused on getting our bills heard in committee – the first step in the legislative journey.
Sharing our Legislative Agenda with President Pro Tempore Sen. Rod Bray
On January 13th, Hoosier Action leaders from five counties met with Senator Rod Bray, the most powerful person in Indiana’s State Senate. We shared stories and discussed the urgent need to move legislation this session to protect Hoosier housing, expand access to quality childcare, end the overdose crisis, and cleaning up toxins poisoning Hoosier water, air, and soil.
“Hoosier Action continues to live up to its name as the group takes action across the state to better the lives of Hoosiers everywhere.”
– The Reporter Times
Taking the Fight for Hoosier Homes & Tenants to the Statehouse
On January 20th, Hoosier Action leaders from Columbus, Bloomington, and Jeffersonville joined leaders from the Ross Foundation’s Indianapolis Tenant’s Rights Union for the first ever Tenants Day of Action at the Statehouse! At this powerful event, Hoosier Action leaders Randy, Jessica, and Allison all shared their stories, and called on legislators to help keep Hoosier renters in their homes by rewriting the rules. Our leaders were featured in WishTV , NPR and IndyStar stories as well as IndyStar Photos about the day. Hoosier Action leaders then met with Sen. Greg Walker, and secured his commitment to co-sponsor SB 230, a bill to protect Hoosier homes and families by enforcing laws to keep rental units habitable.
For too long, a handful of lawmakers and the real estate speculators, corporate developers and landlords that fund their campaigns have prevented commonsense protections for renters while they jack up rents and destroy affordable options. As a result, Hoosier families are facing an unprecedented eviction and housing crisis: Indiana has been the worst state for evictions since the pandemic began, leading the country on the number of evictions filed since March 15, 2020. Nearly 1 in 10 Hoosier renters have had eviction proceedings begin against them since March 2020.
As a result of the pressure built by the Tenant’s Day of Action and Sen. Walker’s co-sponsorship of SB 230, the bill was granted a hearing on January 25th! Unfortunately, the bill was amended in committee to be further studied during the summer, due to technical complexities related to local laws in Indiana. While we are disappointed about further delays to this vital protections for renters, the movement of SB 230 does signal progress and lays the foundation for passage of the bill next year if we don’t let up!
That’s why Hoosier Action’s Research Team published an op-ed in the South Bend Tribune and Fort Wayne Journal Gazette on Indiana’s housing crisis.
Taking the Fight for Hoosier Homes & Tenants to the Statehouse
All babies deserve to be brought into the world safely and all mothers deserve to have a healthy pregnancy and birthing experience that honors them and their baby. Yet incarcerated women in Indiana are denied that dignity. That’s why we’re pushing to pass HB 1294, a bill which would ban the barbaric practice of shackling Hoosiers giving birth in jail*. Member-leader and nurse Stacy Sanchez provided powerful testimony in support of this bill on January 18th. The bill has passed unanimously out of committee and now moves to the House floor and hopefully onto the Senate and Governor’s desk.
*The American Medical Association (AMA), the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshals Service, the American Correctional Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the American Public Health Association all oppose shackling women during labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery.
They are trying to divide and scare us to promote failed policies. They don’t make us safer. They just lead to more Hoosiers being locked up.
The Justice Team is committed to working to move our state towards a more humane, public health approach to the challenges facing the criminal justice system. We know the overdose crisis is exacerbated by “tough on crime” and punishment first approach, which fosters isolation, despair and death. We need community investments in proven solutions. That’s why we are fighting SB 6-10, bills that are being used to divide and scare us by proposing the same failed policies that won’t make us safer and will just lead to more Hoosiers locked up.
Join us and take action by signing this petition: https://www.hoosieraction.org/take-action-stop-sb-610
Please join us for our next training: The War on Drugs in Indiana 101 where we will dive more into WHY we are facing such a crisis in Indiana.
Now that the #INLegis is officially in session, we’ll be providing weekly updates via email and social media about what’s going on at the Statehouse and what you can do about it! To see a weekly summary and track the status of the bills we are following, visit http://hoosiraction.org/updates. Then be sure to sign-up to get our weekly #INLegis updates in your inbox and text message.
Every Tuesday thru February
Legislative Power Hour (Zoom) – opportunity to take action
Tuesdays at the Statehouse – go with an Organizer to meet with legislators and share your story
February 3, 2022 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM ET
Training – The War on Drugs in Indiana 101
Join us for a training on the War on Drugs in Indiana. We will be learning together about what the drug war is, how it’s impacted our state, and what we can do about it.
Hoosier Action is a community organization made-up of members from local chapters and across the state. We work to build an Indiana where regular people have a say in the decisions that affect their lives. We have hundreds of members from South Bend to Seymour and everywhere in between. We run campaigns, hold trainings, and develop local leadership in the areas where we work; changing hearts and minds (and winning!) along the way.
Change both lives and politics in Indiana: become a member of Hoosier Action today!