Summer 2019 Newsletter
As summer turns to fall, we thought this would be a perfect time to share with you what we’ve been up to for the last two months–it’s been a lot!
We hit the doors in August! Throughout the month, we organized door-to-door canvasses in five counties: Johnson, Morgan, Greene, Monroe, and Floyd. Leaders and organizers held hundreds of conversations with our neighbors about healthcare, toxins, and what they care about.
Our Morgan County Team knocked on doors to conduct over 100 community health surveys near toxic sites in Martinsville. The team heard stories of cancer, autoimmune diseases, and heart conditions.
Action for Lower Drug Prices Now!
On August 20th, we joined together with Faith in Indiana to deliver a petition to Senator Todd Young’s Indianapolis office and to hold a press conference demanding that Senator Young take action for lower drug prices now.
At Senator Young’s office, we shared our stories with a staffer and invited the Senator to work with us to address the issue moving forward. We are not going to stop until everyday Hoosiers can afford the medication we need to live healthy lives.
On September 26th, Senator Young took a step in the right direction by co-sponsoring and ultimately voting for the Fair and Accurate Medicaid Pricing (AMP) Act, which is now law! As KATC’s reporting notes, “This legislation closes a loophole in the Medicaid rebate program which allows big pharma companies to overcharge taxpayers; it will save the taxpayers approx. $3.1 Billion over the next ten years.” We encourage our members to continue to continue to call and write Senator Young’s office to encourage him to continue to side with everyday Hoosiers, rather than big pharma.
The Iowa People’s Presidential Forum
On September 21st we were invited to send a delegation of members to Iowa to attend the Iowa People’s Presidential Forum, a massive 2,000 person event organized by Iowa CCI, a sister organization of Hoosier Action. At the event, everyday Iowans asked direct questions to presidential candidates. As Spencer Green notes in his glowing write-up of the event, our delegation was a part of “Roughly 500 of the attendees [who] were members of partner organizations in eight nearby states, including People’s Lobby, TakeAction Minnesota, and Hoosier Action. More than one speaker declared something to the effect of “No president can save us.”
September Community Forums
In September we held four different community forums across Southern Indiana. These forums were attended by over 125 Hoosiers across and two different Indiana State Representatives!
Our forums in Franklin and Martinsville (pictured above) focused on the dangerous toxins making Johnson and Morgan County residents sick. At the forums Hoosiers learned more about the contamination in their air, water, and soil, shared their stories, and took action together to address the toxic sites.
In New Albany, forty-five Hoosiers met with with their State Representative, Ed Clere, to share their healthcare stories and ask him questions. At the meeting, we secured his vocal opposition to the Medicaid work requirements and secured his support for a strong Medicaid program.
State Representative Jeff Ellington, his wife, Hope, and our event co-chair William Clapp.
On September 26th, we held a community conversation with State Representative Jeff Ellington in Bloomfield. At the meeting, directly impacted constituent-members of Representative Ellington shared their personal experiences navigating a confusing and costly healthcare program with their representative in the statehouse.
We are so excited to welcome two more Hoosiers to our staff! Will Stauffer joined us as a Floyd County based organizer in August and Eva Bell began as a Monroe County organizer in September.
An Interview with Hoosier Action Organizer Will Stauffer
What do you do at Hoosier Action?
I organize my people in rural Indiana on issues that all Hoosiers care about, from healthcare to rural internet access, because every Hoosier has the right to decent and dignified life. As individuals, we are mostly powerless to change things, but when we come together, we can become a powerful unit that gets stuff done. My job is to meet lots of people, align our interests, and start moving on an issue.
What do you love about Indiana?
I love Indiana because it’s my home. The longest i’ve ever lived outside of Indiana is two months and I never want to live anywhere else. I love the people of Indiana, my family, friends and neighbors. Hoosiers are unpretentious, neighborly, and always down for a cookout. I also love the many places of Indiana, from the hills in the south to the lakes in the north.
What did you do before?
I’ve worked as a barista, a car washer, a pizza delivery boy, and a Volunteer Income Tax Assistant supervisor. Last spring, I finished my law degree at Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
An Interview with Hoosier Action Organizer Eva Bell
What do you do at Hoosier Action?
I do data entry and currently started organizing Moms in my community to come together and join the fight to build a better state.
What do you love about Indiana?
I Moved here from Los Angeles about 10 months ago and I never want to go back! I truly love it here and love raising my kids here. People here are very kind and always willing to have a conversation about pretty much anything; they truly care about each other and the community out here.
What did you do before?
I have done data entry before becoming a stay at home mom for about 9 years and worked at Target for a little bit before moving out here.
Taking The Fight to Protect Medicaid to the Courts
On September 23rd, Indiana Legal Services and the National Health Law Program filed suit to block Indiana’s Medicaid work requirement waiver. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four Hoosiers, including one surfaced through Hoosier Action’s extensive outreach efforts.
According to Adam Mueller of Indiana Legal Services, “Hoosier Action has been a vital outreach partner for Indiana Legal Services. They have done an extraordinary job of talking to folks in the community on the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) and facing other health crisis. Our legal work in this case would not have been possible without their deep and broad community connections.”
For more information about the lawsuit use the buttons below:
Upcoming Opportunities & Events
Wednesday Work Parties in Monroe County
Join us every Wednesday evening in October from 6 pm-8 pm at our Monroe County office (1461 W. Bloomfield Rd, Bloomington) to take action together! We’ll provide snacks and a brief training, followed by lots of opportunities to build our power. In the coming weeks we’ll make phone calls, do data entry, send text messages, make signs, and write letters to the editor together. An RSVP in advance is always appreciated. Please do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table at Morgan County’s Fall Foliage Festival
Hoosier Action’s Morgan County team is doing outreach at the county’s biggest community event! We will be sharing maps and information about the contaminated sites in Martinsville and inviting people to join us. Email email@example.com to volunteer (we’re especially looking for people on Sunday!).
10/13 Member Meeting in Monroe County
Join us on Sunday, October 13th from 3 pm-5 pm for our October Member Meeting! At this meeting we will build relationships, get oriented to the 2020 Indiana legislature, and make strategic decisions together. Transportation and childcare are available if requested 48 hours in advance. Please RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
10/18 Hoosier Mom’s Community Conversation
We are hosting a special discussion for Hoosier Moms on Friday, October 18th from 6 pm-7:30 pm at our Monroe County Office (1461 W. Bloomfield Rd, Bloomington). Join together with other Hoosier Moms for a discussion about the quality of life in Indiana and the changes which need to happen to secure a better future for ourselves and our children. Transportation and childcare are available if requested 48 hours in advance. Please RSVP by emailing email@example.com.
11/2 Statewide Summit
Join us one year out from the 2020 elections for a massive statewide summit! Our communities are suffering at the hands of the corporations in power who are profiteering from our pain and we’ve had enough. This is a vital moment for us to come together around the issues that impact our lives, to build hope and solidarity, and to ask our public officials to be champions for the people! At the summit we will launch a new vision for building a healthy, prosperous Indiana for all. Join hundreds of Hoosiers on Saturday, Nov. 2nd from 2:30-5:00 pm at the First Baptist Church in Martinsville (1109 E Columbus St, Martinsville).