IndyCAN E-newsletter, February 2017

In this issue:



Mayor Hogsett's Pledge: ‘Not One Dime’ will aid federal immigration enforcement

Approximately 2,000 immigrants and Jewish, Muslim and Christian IndyCAN faith leaders united Feb. 12 to get a commitment from Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett declaring Indianapolis a City of Inclusion.

The large crowd responded with hopeful cheering as the mayor stated that he will work with IndyCAN and the City-County Council to pass a resolution to forbid the use of local resources to be used to enforce federal directives proven to be unconstitutional or discriminatory, like unlawful Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) holds, Muslim registry, or stop and frisk. 

"As a city, we are committed with all stakeholders to ensure that not one dime of city resources funds anything that a court has determined to be discriminatory or unconstitutional," Hogsett said.

While he technically is unable to declare Indianapolis a Sanctuary City (as others across the country have done) due to legislation state lawmakers passed in 2011 that prohibits local governments from refusing to cooperate with customs officials, he did say that common ICE practices that have been proven unconstitutional will not be tolerated in our city.

Sheriff John Layton planned to attend the event but backed out, citing a pending a lawsuit filed by the ACLU. The lawsuit charges Sheriff Layton with holding immigrants without charges. This practice, though common, was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. More than 600 jurisdictions cite these rulings and no longer violate the Constitution as requested by immigration officials.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Department has been identified among the top 6 percent of U.S. counties with the harshest anti-immigrant policies. It spends substantial local time and resources enforcing federal immigration policy at the local level.

Real people face real fear

Several speakers shared their stories about how these unlawful practices are playing out in the Hoosier heartland.

“My husband went to the mechanic to fix his car in September and never came home,” said Alicia, shown at right, who was accompanied at the podium by her young daughter. “He is being deported. We have lived here 22 years, and he is a good man. We have four children who may never see their father again.”

It’s critical that the sheriff knows that people care about these unlawful practices and won’t stop fighting them until they stop. So before the event ended, many in attendance made plans to show up at the sheriff’s office the next day, bringing their message directly to him. Read more in the article below.

During the event, Mayor Hogsett also committed to work with IndyCAN to protect our health care. He agreed to sign on to a letter from the U.S. Conference of Mayors urging Congress to protect health care and encourage his colleagues from across the state to do the same.

Clergy launch Sanctuary and Solidarity Movement

At the event, 50 clergy from diverse faith traditions vowed their congregations will be safe havens to protect immigrants, Muslims and vulnerable communities targeted by President Trump’s agenda.

The IndyCAN Sanctuary and Solidarity Movement will begin with 40 Days of Prophetic Action, with community members pledging to take action of some kind every day during the Lent and Passover season. Together, IndyCAN leaders will take 20,000 actions to protect vulnerable communities from discriminatory federal policies, racial profiling, mass deportation and the erosion of our nation’s health care.

“As a faith organization, our clergy and leaders are compelled to oppose unjust, racist and harmful policies that are designed to separate families,” said Rev. Linda McCrae, IndyCAN Pastor of Central Christian Church. “We will challenge, at every turn, any policy that is contrary to our faith and values. We will create dozens of rapid response teams, train our members on their constitutional rights and on bystander intervention, and generally be a public witness for justice.”

Read more

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Above: This group of IndyCAN leaders arrived at Sheriff Layton's office the day after he backed out of plans to meet with 2,000 Hoosiers to discuss fair treatment. Below: Julio stands with Sheriff Layton with a poster signed (on front and back) by hundreds of residents who urge him to end unconstitutional ICE holds and more.

IndyCAN to Sheriff Layton: Stop honoring ICE detainers that pull families apart

The day after Marion County Sheriff John Layton did not appear before the gathering of 2,000 fighting for a City of Inclusion—despite his pledge to attend—a group of IndyCAN delegates personally delivered a message from hundreds of Hoosiers: “Not One More: Uphold the United States Constitution and Stop Detaining Immigrants Without a Warrant from ICE.”

The fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution prevents searches and seizures of property (including their persons) by the government without probable cause.

Sheriff Layton promised to assign staff to work with IndyCAN to review federal and state laws and come to a decision about action in the coming weeks.

To stay updated on the Sheriff’s promise, text INDYSANCTUARY to 228466.

Meanwhile, if you’re like many who are unclear about how the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE’s) detainer program operates unlawfully, read this brief from the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Immigrant Justice Center.


Constitution of the United States of America 1789 (rev. 1992):
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


IndyCAN leaders urge legislators to act responsibly for health care.

Protect Your Health Care: Call Your Senators on Feb. 23

Feb. 23 is the day before Congress takes a recess, and Senators Todd Young and Joe Donnelly will be heading home on Friday. Let's flood their phone lines — especially that of Republican Senator Young, who has yet to schedule any town halls to talk with and hear from the people he represents—on Feb. 23, to remind them their constituencies back home in Indiana will not stand for stripping 22 million Americans of health care.

Let’s lock up their phone lines with hundreds of IndyCAN voices that care about our health care.

Call Senator Todd Young at (202) 224-5623
and Senator Donnelly at (202) 224-4814
on Thursday, Feb. 23!

Use our registration page to let us know you're participating. Numbers are powerful, and we want to know how many calls are being made!

Why is it important?

As Republicans in Congress move forward with their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), PICO National Network, in partnership with Health Care for America Now!, People’s Action Institute and CPD Action, released a new report that shows the impact of repeal on our state to urges Indiana’s Congressional delegation to reject repeal.

More than 566,000 residents of Indiana depend on the Affordable Care Act for coverage. The report compiles data about the specific impacts of repeal for covered people, as well as broader impacts on jobs, hospitals and doctors, plus Indiana’s economy and budget.

As repeal efforts continue in Washington, DC, there is still no clear plan for replacement of the ACA that would:

  • Guarantee affordable coverage for all
  • Provide the same protections against discrimination based on gender or pre-existing conditions, which currently exist in the ACA
  • Lowers costs for more people while providing quality care.

In addition to repealing the ACA, Republicans are discussing plans to dismantle Medicaid and privatize Medicare.

Read the New Report

Read “A Cost Too High: The Financial Harm of the Republican Plan to Eliminate Health Care,” a report by PICO National Network, in partnership with Health Care for America Now!, People’s Action Institute and CPD Action.


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40 Days of Prophetic Resistance
launches Feb. 23

Spend the Lenten/Passover season acting to protect families!

Feb. 23 is the start of 40 Days of Prophetic Resistance, a time when we ask everyone to commit to doing one thing—big or small—every day to protect vulnerable communities from discriminatory federal policies, racial profiling, mass deportation and the erosion of our nation’s health care.

Several things happen this Thursday, Feb. 23:

  • Senator Call-in. Read more in the article above. Plan to call Senator Todd Young today! Use our registration page to let us know you're participating. Numbers are powerful, and we want to know how many calls are being made!
  • Clergy Council. IndyCAN clergy will meet at 10 a.m. for training on how to provide sanctuary to those who feel threatened. Register now!
  • Leadership Assembly. Be at North United Methodist Church (3808 N. Meridian St.) at 7 p.m. to learn how YOU can practice 40 Days of Prophetic Resistance. We’ll even make it easy and provide a calendar of recommended actions you can take. Register now!

Transit reaches the finish line Feb. 27

Be sure the council votes for the people!

It’s not over yet!

IndyCAN’s Ticket to Opportunity campaign ended in a decisive victory on Election Day. But the story is not yet complete. Next, the City-County Council must vote to fully fund the transit plan.

Some councillors find it difficult to carry out the will of the people—nearly 60 percent of voters in 79 precincts overwhelmingly voted yes for transit—instead suggesting they may still vote no. 

We will rally transit to the finish line on Feb. 27! Plan to be at City Market at 6:30 p.m. for a transit rally, then head over to the Council Chamber at 7 p.m. in the City-County Building. The Council will be taking its final vote to secure funding for transit at that meeting.

Our passionate action is on track to triple access to jobs in marginalized communities. Let's make sure the council carries out the will of the people and implements the transit tax at the full level. Mark your calendar!

Let us know you're coming!


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Immigrants, faith leaders and more gather for U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements

Nearly 700 faith and community leaders from 12 countries—including more than a dozen representing IndyCAN from Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and South Bend—gathered in Modesto, Calif., for the U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements (#USWMPM) earlier this month.

The meeting was the first U.S. Regional Meeting and convened in conjunction with three international meetings that have taken place in Rome and Bolivia since 2014. The purpose is for grassroots groups to push for workers’ rights, housing and environmental justice, as well as deepen relationships among these organizations and the faith community.

It was also intended “to inspire and embolden faith leaders to aggressively work toward poverty reduction, fair and humane immigration policies, criminal justice reform and environmental and racial justice,” said Scott Reed, executive director of PICO National Network.

This historic meeting of faith and social-justice movement leaders was organized by the Vatican’s Integral Human Development and included PICO National Network federations (including IndyCAN), Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the latter’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

Pope Francis addressed the meeting in a letter directed specifically to the leaders in attendance, those who work to address racism, migration and the economy of exclusion.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, NJ, lamented "the concentration of wealth in our country in the hands of a few has created historic levels of economic inequality, which has placed a great burden on working families and the poor. This pain cuts across all regions, all racial and ethnic groups. This pain is real and must be engaged by both pastors and community organizers." (view full address here) 

IndyCAN leader Araceli Martinez attended the USWMPM and was moved out of her own fear by one undocumented woman’s story.

“There were so many undocumented people there who risked everything to fight. If we deny ourselves and always live in fear, there will be no one to fight for these causes that are so needed,” said Araceli (in the forefront of the photo below). “It’s worth it to be part of this movement, because someone has to sacrifice, work and fight for the well-being of our families. If this means sacrificing time, work, energy and even our lives to achieve something, you have to gather up your strength and courage to do it.”

We couldn’t have said it better.

Read more

Above: The group of delegates to the World Meeting included representatives from IndyCAN, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the Diocese of Fort Wayne. Below: Araceli (front) and other IndyCAN leaders listen during a presentation at the World Meeting.


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Two new positions available

Communications Director

Are you a master storyteller? Want faith, race and power at the center of the public square? We’re seeking a dynamic, justice-focused communications guru and online organizer who can hit the ground running. This is a pivotal role that will shape the moral compass of Indiana and elevate the voice of marginalized people in the public arena.

Part-time Bilingual (English and Spanish) Executive Assistant

We’re seeking a highly experienced, energized and self-motivated candidate to provide structural and administrative support to IndyCAN’s executive team, organizing staff and major campaigns. The person filling this position will work in tandem with IndyCAN’s operations manager to create and implement systems and protocols for effective and efficient office and project management.

Learn more and apply!


2016 was an incredible year!

IndyCAN is changing the narrative around race, equality and opportunity for all in Indianapolis! In 2016, we empowered 1,304 Hoosier residents — marginalized families, returning citizens, faith leaders and more — to make real change in our state.

Our annual summary highlights our major accomplishments, including wins for economic dignity, criminal justice reform and immigrant inclusion!

You should be proud of the work we have done and the changes our actions have brought forth for Indianapolis. You are changing the future for families and individuals! You are proof that working together for good is powerful!

Read the annual summary.


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