IndyCAN E-newsletter, November 2016

In This Issue

IndyCAN leaders unite in prayer

IndyCAN leaders unite in prayer for our families and our communities in October.

IndyCAN - We Stand Together

This election season, marred by hate and division, left many in the IndyCAN community fearful for our daily lives, our families and our futures. The fear and anxiety are real.

Dear friends in faith, we see you. And we will stand with you.

This is not a time for sitting back and waiting for things to get better, while our Black, Brown, Muslim, LGBTQ, and every other marginalized brother and sister is at risk.

It is a time to ACT:

Together we will provide sanctuary in our schools and churches, and we will call on elected officials in city hall to resist the Trump administration's efforts to deport immigrants, register Muslims, or push stop-and-frisk policies. Our schools and churches will be sanctuaries for human dignity.

Together we will press President Obama to take this historic opportunity to issue a Presidential pardon to protect ALL 11 million undocumented brothers and sisters and provide clemency to non-violent people languishing years in cages for substance use or poverty.

Sign our letter to the President and recruit others to do the same.

We must take the president-elect at his word and prepare to protect loved ones. 

As faith leaders, we are called to act courageously and with determination. We must not allow mass deportations, stop-and-frisk and racial profiling, 22 million families to lose health coverage, and destruction of our hard-fought social safety net. 

We have faced hard times before. And we have won.

We have learned—even as recently as our transit win in this same election cycle—that when we come together, work together and lift our voices together, we have power to determine our shared future.  Our fates are linked together.

We need you now more than ever. It’s time to act.

Across the city, IndyCAN is organizing people to act, engaging elected officials and forming sanctuaries. Take a first step; join us at the IndyCAN Resistance Rally & Leaders Assembly. We’ll meet at North United Methodist Church on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. for dinner and a celebration of our transit victory. At 7 p.m., we’ll carve out a plan and prepare you to act for our future — a future that will allow us to protect our families.

We have a shared resolve to fight for radical inclusion of all families, no matter what it takes. We are all one. We will stand united. And we will win.

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At a voter-activation rally days before the election, IndyCAN leader Teresa Hermosillo from Holy Spirit Catholic Church (left) speaks excitedly about what an improved transit system will mean for her family.

Transit wins!

IndyCAN volunteers make powerful impact on Indianapolis’ future for generations to come

Indianapolis’ elected officials cannot ignore the power of IndyCAN. After 12 weeks of reaching out by phone, on neighborhood doorsteps and at city bus stops, IndyCAN’s Ticket to Opportunity campaign ended in a decisive victory for families usually ignored by political parties.

Black, brown and faith voters turned out in high numbers to push the transit measure through by a margin of about 20 percentage points (59 percent for it, 41 percent against). Early numbers estimate that IndyCAN influenced 13 percent of the total vote share in Marion County. That’s incredible!

The numbers tell the story

  • We trained 1,248 volunteers to be advocates for families whose lives would be improved by winning the transit measure.
  • Those 1,248 volunteers made 164,794 calls to marginalized voters.
  • We held 40,469 conversations with those marginalized voters, urging them to vote and answering questions about the transit plan.
  • We influenced an estimated 13 percent of the total vote share for Marion County. (Final numbers are not yet available.)
  • In the last weeks of GOTV (Get Out the Vote), we hired 10 dignity fellows who organized student power on 15 college campuses across the state. They talked with students, implemented a texting program (sending 15,000 text messages) and encouraged their peers to vote.
  • We expanded our reach state-wide, implementing organizing efforts in Fort Wayne (see photo at right, above). The Catholic diocese in Fort Wayne reached out to 14 counties, making 4,000 phone calls and sending 15,000 text messages.

What we did

  • We brought victory home so generations of families, particularly families of color, are included in the abundance of this region.
  • We made a conscious choice to focus on winning by reaching out to people often ignored by parties and campaigns: people of color, youth and families living in poverty.
  • We did the sacred work of building community through conversations with our neighbors, reminding them to lift their voices and lift their votes because our lives depend on one another.

The “vote on transit is a resounding affirmation that voters believe it’s time to let government do its job and invest in people, so the many — not just a few — benefit from our shared abundance,” says Rev. Darren Cushman-Wood, pastor of North United Methodist Church.

We voted as if our lives depended on it. Because they did.

“My daughter’s future is at stake,” says Rebecca Smith, IndyCAN leader and daily bus rider. “For years, my job prospects revolved around one question: Can I take the bus there? I’ve stayed in low-wage jobs because the answer is no. But this Election Day, we (got) a chance to stand by our neighbors by voting yes to expand transit, so everyone has a chance to succeed.”

Rebecca’s daughter is only one of tens and even hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers whose futures hold more potential, thanks to IndyCAN, our partners and the voters we influenced who made a deliberate choice to stand up for our neighbors and do the right thing.

You have made a difference for generations to come. Thank you, IndyCAN!

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What the transit victory means for Indianapolis

The transit measure approved by voters dedicates $56 million of tax revenue for the Marion County Transit Plan. That plan creates thousands of jobs, connects isolated communities of color to good jobs and increases bus service by 70 percent. In low-income communities and communities of color, that means a tripling of bus service.

The plan includes:

  • the addition of three rapid-transit lines along high-ridership corridors
  • buses that arrive earlier in the day and run later at night (5am-1am)
  • buses coming more often for all routes, many every 10 minutes
  • all routes running all days of the week
  • shorter waiting for passengers, resulting in shorter commutes and trips
  • improved grid pattern for faster travel times and more efficient transfers
  • advanced payment technology and real-time arrival information

“I’ve spent countless hours talking to voters this election season, because I know what it’s like to turn down a job, even when my daughters depend on me, just because I can’t get there,” said Anthony Porter, IndyCAN Leader on the Far Eastside. The transit victory “gives me hope, not just for better transit, but for a community that acts together so all people, especially people of color, thrive.”


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IndyCAN Ticket to Opportunity logoTransit in the Media

IndyCAN leaders and the Ticket to Opportunity moved a message of inclusion and abundance that resonated with voters and brought victory home on election Day. Catch up on highlighted media coverage here.

“This was more than just a vote about buses and trains,” says Shoshanna Spector, ED of IndyCAN “It's a question ‘Do we as Hoosiers believe in investing in people and investing in our neighbors?’ The overwhelming answer is that we do.

“It’s very important to make sure that my brothers and sisters are able to rely on transportation and have a system that will allow them to keep jobs and keep their homes and their families together,” says Nicole Barnes, IndyCAN. “So it’s crucial.”

“Being able to get more people mobile that helps strengthen a city and strengthens families which makes us the city we want to be,” said Shannon MacVean- Brown with IndyCAN an organization that pushed the measure for months.

Nicole Barnes, IndyCAN said grass-roots legwork helped the measure pass. The group made 153,000 phone calls and talked to people at bus stops and community meetings.


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Together We Give

Let’s talk frankly for a moment.

We need your financial support.

We put our all into winning the transit measure on the ballot this year, holding nothing back because we knew the importance of the work we were doing. We knew that work would impact Hoosier families for generations, and we couldn’t afford to miss the opportunity.

But now we need your support to fund the efforts that lie ahead. We will need financial resources to resist the efforts against families that our president-elect promises will come. And that’s just a fraction of the work we intend to do—the work we need to do.

Will you help us?

IndyCAN (and PICO National Network) is hosting a Together We Give campaign until Dec. 15. Make a donation and then join our collective efforts to gain financial support by starting your own donation page and promoting it amongst your friends and families.

We have seen what can happen when we work together: We can do amazing things!

Our Together We Give goal is significant. We want to raise $20,000 by the end of the year—and we need you to come on board, so that the future of Indianapolis families is filled with hope.

Join us! There are many victories still to be won!


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Thank You, Suzanne and Sasha!

Suzanne Thiele and Sasha Vayl committed themselves to the Indy community for more than three months leading up to Election Day via their roles as IndyCAN economic dignity fellows.

While their time with us was short, it wasn’t light; the two of them were the backbone of the voter campaign. They spent countless hours helping coordinate and support volunteers, providing technical assistance and turning the gears of a massive voter-engagement program.

And the IndyCAN community loved them!

Suzanne and Sasha, we thank you for being an integral part of our work this summer, and we wish you well as you move forward with your careers. We count you amongst the IndyCAN family, and we were blessed by your presence with us! Thank you!

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In case you missed it: Money Bail Ends!

In September, the Indiana Supreme Court issued an order that bars judges from leveraging a monetary bail unless a defendant poses a flight risk or is a danger to him-/herself or others. In other words, the state’s highest court responded to years of groundwork laid by IndyCAN leaders and allies and acknowledged that no person should be held behind bars before they are convicted of a crime simply because he or she is too poor to afford bail. This is a first step. IndyCAN continues to work diligently with Mayor Hogsett and other Criminal Justice leaders to move strong implementation and a massive criminal justice reform overhaul on track to be announced Dec 12th.

Read more about this victory in related media:

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