Regional Transportation is a Moral Obligation


Our View: Struggling families suffer from lack of viable transit

5:22 PM, Jan. 30, 2012 |  The Indianapolis Star
As clergy leaders of the Indianapolis Congregation Action Network, we minister to families from all walks of life struggling to make ends meet, anxious about the future for their children, and increasingly isolated from their families and community. It is not just that we are living through economic hard times. The truth is that it has become much more difficult for working people to turn hard work into a better life for themselves and their children.

One of the principal barriers is a regional transportation system that prevents too many residents from accessing opportunity and the kind of jobs and education that provide a solid middle class life.

Our shared biblical scriptures teach us that God compels us to act in the common good and care for the most vulnerable among us (Deuteronomy 15:7-11). In providing a stable, adequate source of funding for transit, we would move toward this call and act on the promise of a region that works for all of its residents. At a time of unprecedented poverty, we must rise above short-term political interests and pull together across party lines to do what is right for our families. The House of Representatives has considered HB 1073, which would allow local government and the residents of this region a method to express their public support for dedicated revenue for a regional transportation system that connects people to work. We urge you to stand with people of faith in supporting this important legislation.

We are fueled by a vision of a region of “Opportunity for All.’ We love our neighbor by making sure those who work hard have the opportunities to support strong families, the cornerstones of our congregations, and our community.

The faith community would like to invite you to join us at 7 p.m. March 6 at Light of the World Christian Church for the Founding Convention of the Indianapolis Congregation Action Network, IndyCAN! More than 1,000 people of faith will join with public and private leaders, including Mayor Greg Ballard, City-County Council President Maggie Lewis and Public Safety Director Frank Straub to discuss what it will take to transform Indianapolis into a region of opportunity. At the convention we will recognize the leadership of our state representatives in investing in a regional transportation system that works for all.

IndyCAN develops the leadership capacity of ordinary people to work together across economic, racial and religious lines as strong partners with public officials to improve the quality of life for families in the Indianapolis metropolitan region. IndyCAN is strictly nonpartisan and is not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party.

This letter is signed by Rev. John McCaslin, co-chair of the Indianapolis Congregation Action Network and pastor of St. Anthony Catholic Church; Rev. Carlton Beever, St. Philip Neri Catholic Church; Tom Bogenshutz, St. Bernadette Catholic Church; Beryl Cohen, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation; Rev. Ronald Covington Sr., Friendship Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. Larry Crawford, St. Gabriel Catholic Church; Rev. Barbara Dahl, Gethsemane Lutheran Church; Rev. Charles Ellis, 25th Street Baptist Church; Rev. Melvin Jackson and Sister Angela Eubank, Christian Love Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. Bruce Farr, Overcoming Church; Rev. Tom Glenn, Emmanuel Christian Fellowship Church; Rev. Al Goertemiller, Pilgrim Lutheran Church; Debbie Good, St. Monica Catholic Church; Rev. Carey Grady, Bethel AME Church; Rev. Mac Hammond, Castleton United Methodist Church; Rev. Robert Harvey, Robinson Community AME Church; Rev. Charles Harrsion, Barnes United Methodist Church; Rev. Philip Karl James, Mount Zion Baptist Church; Rabbi Brett Kritchiver, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation; Rev. Keith Kreisel, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church; Rev. Linda McCrae, Central Christian Church; Rev. Clarence C. Moore, Northside New Era Baptist Church; Rev. Sue Shade8burn, Downey Avenue Christian Church; Rev. Steve Schwab, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church; Rev. L. Bryant Parker, Witherspoon Presbyterian Church; Rev. LeRoy Wadlington, Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church; Rev. Eric Whitaker, Mercy Seat Baptist Church; Rev. Richard Willoughby, Promise Land Christian Community Church; Rev. Brian Williams, North United Methodist Church.