July & August 2023
From protecting Hoosier healthcare to keeping low-income seniors housed, Hoosier Action members have had a busy summer! With kids back in school and temperatures cooling, we’re turning our attention to small-town organizing. The decisions of our city council members and mayors can have big impacts on our communities. The upcoming local elections are our biggest opportunity to change the futures of our towns.
Whatever the color of our skin or the contents of our wallet, all Hoosiers deserve elected officials who represent the very best of us, and who act in the interest of the many, not just the interest of money. But, in order to make this happen, we’ve got to organize and take action together. Read on to learn how we’ve been building power to make this happen, how you can get involved!
The Fight to Protect & Improve Healthcare Coverage for Hoosier Families
Since Indiana’s Medicaid Unwinding began in April, Hoosier Action leaders have been helping to get the word out about changes to the program and at the center of the fight to make HIP, Hoosier Healthwise, Hoosier Care Connect, and other Medicaid programs easier to navigate. More than 2 million Hoosiers rely on Medicaid programs for their healthcare coverage, and for the first time since the pandemic, everyone enrolled in Medicaid must go through the renewal process. Unfortunately, the process has been a struggle for many: more than 175,972 Hoosiers have been kicked off of their healthcare coverage so far!
However, thanks to the persistence of Hoosier Action member-leaders, other advocates, and changes made by FSSA (the state agency which administers Medicaid), Indiana’s disenrollment numbers have started to decline. We’ve been pushing for more than a year to try to protect and improve this essential program.
In May, Hoosier Action leaders released a report documenting the experiences of Indiana Medicaid members, and met with FSSA Director Dr. Dan Rusniayak to discuss ways to improve the program and keep more Hoosier families covered through the Unwinding period. Hoosier Action has also held biweekly check-in meetings with FSSA and monthly meetings with other advocates, which have resulted in improvements including changes to communication on the FSSA website and mailers, and greater transparency from the state. Over the course of the summer, Hoosier Action has partnered with Indiana Legal Services and Indiana Justice Project to train nearly more than 150 Hoosiers on their Medicaid rights and how to help others get and stay covered!
As summer turns to fall, we’re preparing to take our fight for Hoosier healthcare to the Statehouse: join Hoosier Action leaders at the Statehouse on Thursday, September 28th to show your support for Medicaid! We’ll be meeting with legislators and sharing our experiences of Medicaid. If you have any questions about Medicaid, would like to join us at the Statehouse, or share your experiences in writing, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By working together, organizing with Hoosier Action, attorneys from Indiana Legal Services, elected officials from both sides of the aisle, and with support from HUD, residents of Crawford Manor have made certain that their rights are respected and are continuing the fight to protect their home.
When BHI failed to respond for months to residents’ written concerns and request for a meeting, their call for support was heard by the community: Crawford Manor residents circulated a petition which has garnered more than 1,000 individual and organizational signatures, as well as numerous stories in the press. On Tuesday, May 23rd we joined together at BHI’s headquarters to deliver the petition as well as a request for a meeting, which was granted following additional press coverage of the seniors’ plight.
Although both of these victories were big steps in the right direction, negotiation between residents and BHI continues. If you’d like to lend your support to residents, consider writing an op-ed or letter to the editor. Email email@example.com for more information.
Crawford Manor Campaign Victory
Low-income senior residents of Crawford Manor scored a big victory this summer thanks to you: after hand-delivering a letter to Baptist Homes of Indiana (BHI) along with a petition signed by more than 1,000 of their neighbors, residents were finally able to meet with BHI CEO John Dattiilo! BHI and HUD are currently working with residents to try to transfer the federal contract to another developer to preserve low-income housing in the area.
We’re going all in for New Albany: this summer Ohio River Valley Chapter leaders launched their campaign to shape the future of their city through New Albany’s upcoming elections! In July and August, Ohio River Valley Chapter members met with local candidates to learn about their vision for the city and, on August 24th, members hosted their first election orientation to get more people excited about the upcoming election and learn how they can get involved.
This fall, we’ll be registering voters, knocking on doors, making phone calls, sharing non-partisan candidate guides, and hosting events with candidates to increase voter turnout and increase the number of people in our community shaping the decisions made by elected officials. We want our local public officials, whoever wins, to be accountable partners to everyday New Albanians. To learn more about the “All In for New Albany” campaign and learn how you can get involved email Hoosier Action organizer Will Stauffer at Will@HoosierAction.org
Members of Hoosier Action’s Bartholomew County Chapter are building a new vision for Columbus, one which puts the people of our community first! In July, more than 30 people attended a community dinner, where members shared their hopes for the future of our growing town. We imagined a Columbus that includes affordable housing for all, clean and safe neighborhoods, and opportunities for the community’s residents to thrive. But participants of the gathering understood that building a vision is one thing, but making the changes needed to bring that vision to life requires the participation of everyday people making their voices heard. So, Hoosier Action members hit the streets to talk with their neighbors and bring more people into our vision!
In August, Hoosier Action members launched their own local elections program that’s all about putting everyday families at the center of decision-making in Columbus and building a base of working class people ready to hold our elected representatives accountable to our vision for Columbus. Members knocked on doors and held candidate meetings to learn about the candidates positions on the most critical issues facing the community.
The next big step for Bartholomew County Chapter members is the Local Elections Program orientation, which will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Thursday, September 14th, 6-8 pm.Join us and help put everyday families at the center of decision-making in Columbus!
Building Power With Clark County Moms
In Clark County, Hoosier Action Organizer Eva Bell is building a new base of local Moms. Over the summer, she helped to gather Clark County mothers to talk about their top priorities for their families, and the high cost of housing and concerns about public education proved to be top concerns. Hoosier Moms control the majority of household spending, so when housing costs are out of reach or inflation makes feeding a family more expensive, mothers have no choice but to meet the challenge.
If you want to join with other mothers in addressing our community’s most pressing issues, please contact Eva at eva@HoosierAction.org
Our work would not be possible without contributions from Hoosiers like you. Dues-paying members fund and drive our work. Become a dues-paying member of Hoosier Action for just $5 a month to fund the future of Indiana!
Sign up today to become a monthly dues-paying member by going to hoosieraction.org/join-us.Together, we can make Indiana a place where all Hoosiers, no matter their zip code or the color of their skin, can thrive.
One time contributions can also be made at hoosieraction.org/donate.
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