Tag Archives: campaign for hoosier families

Too Much is Apparently Not Enough


Growing Income Inequality in Indiana and Across the Country

By Rob Krasa, LUM Intern

The gap between the 1% and the rest of the country continues to grow.  While our state falls somewhat behind the pace of the country as a whole in terms of the ever-growing increase in income inequality, the average income of Indiana’s top 1% is still more than seventeen times that of the average income of the entire remaining 99%.  In addition, in comparison to the rest of the states over the last decade, Indiana has seen some of the highest growth in income inequality when comparing the wealthiest 20% to the rest of the population.  Indiana’s middle class has seen the 5th largest decline in their share of total income across the state during that time period as well, coinciding with a recent loss of nearly 5% of the state’s manufacturing jobs – one of the largest such declines across the country.  Hoosiers who experience the far less prosperous end of these discrepancies face steep barriers to resources and opportunities readily available to those with a stronger financial foothold, including adequate health care, educational opportunities, easy access to basic needs, and stable places to call home.  Educating ourselves and each other about income equality at home and across the country – this being the first in a series of articles on issues surrounding wages and income – is the first step toward making substantive changes that can really make a difference.

Relevant policy change on local, state, and federal levels alike becomes more and more difficult to achieve for those who would benefit from it the most.  Money talks, and more often than not, politicians listen. The few and wealthy are far more able to make their voices heard in the political arena on account of the power and influence represented by their financial capital than the vast majority who do not hold such wealth.  Couple this with the fact that a disproportionate amount of non-voters fall into a family income range below $30,000 annually, and the result is often a disadvantaged, underrepresented, and disenfranchised majority who are caught between a rock and a hard place by policies supported by the wealthy minority.  

When income inequality grows, opportunities and resources for those on the lower end of the income spectrum tend to become more sparse.  Health care and nutrition are a glaring example.  Not only do those making lower incomes face barriers accessing and paying for proper health care coverage and services, but nutritional challenges contribute to these health care problems as well.  Due to much less freedom and flexibility in choosing where they live, over 16% of Hoosiers live in areas known as food deserts – parts of cities and rural areas where there is no easy access to nutritional food options, and where the food options that are available frequently come at a higher cost.  As a result, rates of nutrition-related diagnoses and complications, such as diabetes, heart disease, and many others are higher in those with lower incomes.  Conditions related to obesity like these in turn raise health care costs in America by almost $150 billion annually, which averages out to nearly $1500 per person – a cost that most cannot readily absorb.  Those living below the federal poverty line are ultimately twice as likely to die from diabetes, for example, and one study estimates that nearly 4,500 fewer Hoosiers overall would die each year if everyone statewide had equal access to health care resources.

Educational opportunities which can help people improve their financial standing become more difficult to engage as well.  This can be attributed at least in part to influence in policy by the wealthy – educational programs and support tend to come at least in significant part from public funding sources, and as the influence of the wealthy on political decision making gets stronger, funding and policy in support of such programs tends to decrease. Societies with wide income disparity like ours tend to have a lower overall education level on average, but a relatively higher number of educational elites than societies with more equally distributed income.  Income inequality not only creates resource disparity, but perpetuates a society of intellectual haves and have-nots which only reinforces the power of the wealthy.

On top of all of these concerns, it is important to remember that years and years of income inequality helps those with high incomes consolidate their assets and power.  Not only is there such a gulf in average incomes, but the inequality of wealth – a measure of total consolidated assets and net worth as opposed to how much money comes into a household in a given time – is even more egregious, and has consistently become more so since the 1980s.  The top 10% in America hold about 78% of the total wealth in the nation.  When invested and manipulated, “money makes money,” which only leads one to conclude that the problem perpetuates itself with very little effort.  Those who have accumulated such wealth, and who receive such high incomes, have the capital to keep expanding these gaps year after year, especially in the wake of the recent passing of the tax bill supported by Trump and the GOP, which cuts taxes for corporations and the country’s highest individual earners while raising taxes for nearly half of the country in the next ten years. A concerted effort to raise the minimum wage significantly not only here in Indiana but across the country is necessary to begin to balance the distribution of this wealth and bring us us at least closer to bridging the income gap.

These facts and figures can be uncomfortable and discouraging, but the best solution is to take action.  Continue to educate yourself and others regarding the wide-ranging impacts of income inequality. Support one another, by directly helping family and neighbors or by giving and volunteering when and where you can.  Learn not only about federal political races but certainly those on a state and local level, and find out what candidates are saying or planning to do about the causes and effects of income inequality. Speak out and support policy changes, such as supporting the introduction of a bill in the upcoming 2019 General Assembly session to raise the minimum wage in Indiana. The introduction of bills for this session has already begun; there’s no better time to take action than now.  And by all means, vote. Vote in all elections, whether local, federal, primary, or general. One fact stands above all others we’ve examined: the 99% will always outnumber the 1% as long as we make sure our voices are heard.


  1. The new gilded age: Income inequality in the U.S. by state, metropolitan area, and county. epi.org/publication/the-new-gilded-age-income-inequality-in-the-u-s-by-state-metropolitan-area-and-county/?blm_aid=20193l#epi-toc-3
  2. Economic disparity: 10 States where the middle class is being left behind. usatoday.com/story/money/economy/2018/03/01/economic-disparity-10-states-where-middle-class-being-left-behind/378376002/
  3. The Party of Nonvoters. people-press.org/2014/10/31/the-party-of-nonvoters-2/
  4. Indiana Healthy Food Access Coalition. http://inhealthyfoodaccess.com/
  5. County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/sites/default/files/state/downloads/2015IndianaHealthGapsReport.pdf
  6. A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality. https://www.cbpp.org/research/poverty-and-inequality/a-guide-to-statistics-on-historical-trends-in-income-inequality

New LUM Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy Intern


Meet Angela Weaver – New LUM Intern

Angela grew up in Wheatfield, Indiana and graduated from Kankakee Valley High School. She and her husband, Kyle Brown, currently live in West Lafayette with their beagle, Bailey. Angela & Kyle grew up together and are both students at Purdue.

She will complete her degree in three years this May with a bachelor’s in Law & Society. After she graduates, Angela plans on working in advocacy within Indiana government.

At LUM, Angela is an intern with the Campaign for Hoosier Families.


Make a Donation Button
Social Justice Ministry

Campaign for Hoosier Families – Signs Available


“Reform Redistricting Now!” Yard Signs Available

Campaign for Hoosier Families has “Reform Redistricting Now!” yard signs available while supplies last in the LUM Office.

Please email (sbrouillette@lumserve.org) to reserve your sign or just stop by the LUM Office (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette) M-F, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and pick up a yard sign.

The yard signs are free and available immediately. Get yours while supplies last.

T-Shirts – Campaign for Hoosier Families


stand up | speak out | inform


T-shirts are now available for the Campaign for Hoosier Families. Share with the World that you think it’s important to “Stand Up, Speak Out & Inform.”

The T-shirts are only $15 and available in all sizes. Get your Campaign for Hoosier Families’ T-shirt TODAY by stopping by the LUM Office or emailing Susan Brouillette at sbrouillette@lumserve.org. They also make great gifts. “WE are the government, you and I.” ~Theodore Roosevelt.

The Campaign for Hoosier Families engages local, state, and federal officials on behalf of low income families and children. Since it was founded in 1975, LUM has included “advocacy” as part its mission.  In service to this mission, staff, board members, and volunteers have lobbied public officials so that the working poor are treated justly and that public assistance programs lead to real and sustainable economic stability.

Citizen Advocacy Training Coming To West Lafayette


Common Cause Indiana is bringing the popular Citizens Advocacy Training on Redistricting to West Lafayette.

The details are as follows:

WHAT: Citizens Advocacy Training on Redistricting
WHEN: Saturday, July 22 at 1 p.m.
WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Church, 333 Meridian Street, West Lafayette
WHY: It will take a massive outpouring of citizens support and grassroots lobbying to persuade the legislature to end gerrymandering and put citizens in charge of redistricting. Come learn how you can help and gain the information you need to be an effective advocate for fair redistricting.

Space is limited so please RSVP today to Joyce Field at jfield@nlci.com (please include your name and phone number).

WL Student Gives Advocacy a New Tagline


Aidan Britton is a 13 year-old social advocate who has given Campaign for Hoosier Families a new tagline. Aidan, a West Lafayette Jr. High School student, submitted a questionnaire in preparation for his visit with Indiana State Representative Sheila Klinker. He stated that young people should “stand up, speak out, and inform” others to create change in our community.

Aidan encourages those who would be afraid to stand up for victims of bullying and oppression to

“think about how these individuals feel” and “get involved and have not just one person stand up, but have, like, five standing up.”

When Aidan isn’t swimming or playing in his school’s marching band, he enjoys learning about current events and history. Only a few years ago, he moved to West Lafayette from Dublin, Ireland, where he attended a speech by President Barack Obama. Aidan has continued to stay active in local social movements, having attended the 2017 Women’s March. He is passionate about education and providing more programs like after-school care for families in impoverished areas.

After graduation, Aidan would like to get his law degree from Indiana University and run for U.S. Senate. In the meantime, he plans to continue his advocacy and political involvement by joining his school’s debate team and running for student council.

Thanks again to Aidan Britton for the Campaign for Hoosier Families’ new tagline —

STAND UP, SPEAK OUT, INFORM.”


Make a Donation Button
Social Justice Ministry

Campaign for Hoosier Families—Placed 2nd


Campaign for Hoosier Families—a program of the LUM Social Justice Ministry—placed 2nd nationally in the “Ignite Your Advocacy” Photo Contest. As one of the top 4 photos, the Campaign for Hoosier Families will receive a year’s subscription to Ignite, a new digital advocacy campaign software that will allow C4HF to create a professional, mobile-friendly action center — plus receive a dedicated Customer Success Manager to help build a C4HF advocacy page, help with training and support—and we’ll have our advocacy mission featured on Connectivity, CQ Roll Call’s resource site for nonprofits, associations and advocacy professionals—total value $6,000.

Thank you for taking the time to vote for LUM! To learn more about the Campaign for Hoosier Families — click HERE.


Make a Donation Button
Social Justice Ministry

Vote Now for Campaign for Hoosier Families & Lulu MacFluff


 VOTE for Campaign for Hoosier Families — click HERE

{be sure to Hit “Vote Now” below the LUM picture.}


Campaign for Hoosier Families—a program of the LUM Social Justice Ministry—is competing in the “Ignite Your Advocacy” Photo Contest. {See the photo to the left.}

If the Campaign for Hoosier Families wins — the program will receive a year’s subscription to Ignite, a new digital advocacy campaign software that will allow C4HF to create a professional, mobile-friendly action center — plus receive a dedicated Customer Success Manager to help build a C4HF advocacy page, help with training and support—and we’ll have our advocacy mission featured on Connectivity, CQ Roll Call’s resource site for nonprofits, associations and advocacy professionals—total value $6,000.


PLEASE VOTE for the Campaign for Hoosier Families. You may vote each and every day from NOW until April 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Please SHARE with others.


To VOTE — click HERE

{be sure to Hit “Vote Now” below the LUM picture.}


LIFE IS BETTER WHEN YOU HAVE SOMEONE BY YOUR SIDE! LuLu MacFluff, the dog featured in our photo, is a beloved local rescue dog that embodies our belief that all individuals have value and are deserving of love, respect and support. The Campaign for Hoosier Families engages local, state, and Federal officials on behalf of low income families and children. Since it was founded in 1975, LUM has included “advocacy” as part its mission. In service to this mission, staff, board members, and volunteers have  lobbied public officials so that the working poor are treated justly and that public assistance programs lead to real and sustainable economic stability. To learn more about the Campaign for Hoosier Families — click HERE


Make a Donation Button
Social Justice Ministry

Vote for Campaign for Hoosier Families


 VOTE for Campaign for Hoosier Families — click HERE

Campaign for Hoosier Families—a program of the LUM Social Justice Ministry—is competing in the “Ignite Your Advocacy” Photo Contest. {See the photo to the left.}

If the Campaign for Hoosier Families wins — the program will receive a year’s subscription to Ignite, a new digital advocacy campaign software that will allow C4HF to create a professional, mobile-friendly action center — plus receive a dedicated Customer Success Manager to help build a C4HF advocacy page, help with training and support—and we’ll have our advocacy mission featured on Connectivity, CQ Roll Call’s resource site for nonprofits, associations and advocacy professionals—total value $6,000.


PLEASE VOTE for the Campaign for Hoosier Families. You may vote each and every day from NOW until April 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Please SHARE with others.


To VOTE — click HERE

LIFE IS BETTER WHEN YOU HAVE SOMEONE BY YOUR SIDE! LuLu MacFluff, the dog featured in our photo, is a beloved local rescue dog that embodies our belief that all individuals have value and are deserving of love, respect and support. The Campaign for Hoosier Families engages local, state, and Federal officials on behalf of low income families and children. Since it was founded in 1975, LUM has included “advocacy” as part its mission. In service to this mission, staff, board members, and volunteers have  lobbied public officials so that the working poor are treated justly and that public assistance programs lead to real and sustainable economic stability. To learn more about the Campaign for Hoosier Families — click HERE

Campaign for Hoosier Families—A Legislative Update


Campaign for Hoosier Families
A strong, public voice for Hoosier families and children in need


Dear Fellow Advocates,

The 2017 Legislative Session is well under way and the Campaign for Hoosier Families is watching out for your interests. An important and popular topic this Session is the issue of mental health. While many bills have died because they were not heard in their respective committees before the committee report deadline, some key mental health bills have passed through third reading.


House Bill 1430, provides that, after June 30, 2018, each school corporation, charter school, or accredited nonpublic school shall require certain school employees to attend or participate in at least two hours of evidence based in-service youth suicide awareness and prevention training every two school years. HB 1430 has been referred to the Senate and assigned to the Senate Education Committee.

Senate Bill 506, also provides important measures regarding suicide prevention training in educational institutions. Requires the division of mental health and addiction to: (1) establish a psychiatric crisis intervention pilot program; (2) develop a statewide program for suicide prevention; and (3) employ a coordinator of the statewide program for suicide prevention, which will be implemented in schools. The bill also requires continual education for school employees on child suicide awareness and training. SB 506 passed on the Senate Floor and has been referred to the House.

Bills such as HB 1430 and SB 506 are critical to Hoosier families because of how prevalent the issue of suicide is in the state of Indiana. Based on the most recent Suicide in Indiana Report, produced by the Indiana State Department of Health, the “overall suicide rate in Indiana was higher than the U.S. and Midwest [suicide] rates.” The focus of these bills on youth suicide prevention is significant because, according to this same report, “suicide was the second leading cause of death in the 15-34 age group, [and] the third leading cause of death among those 10-14 years of age.”

Other bills seeking to better the mental health of Hoosiers are Senate Bill 435 and Senate Bill 63. Senate Bill 435 requires a school corporation’s health education curriculum to include mental health wellness education. It also provides that the governing body of a school corporation may provide mental health screenings to students. SB 435 has passed on the Senate Floor and has been referred to the House. Senate Bill 63 establishes a two-year community mental health center telemedicine pilot program to be administered by the division of mental health and addiction. It also provides that the purpose of the program is to provide mental health counseling and services to children through the use of telemedicine. SB 63 passed on the Senate Floor and has been referred to the House.


What this means for you?
Indiana schools and youth are going to see an increase in suicide prevention and mental health programming facilitated by the state. Hopefully with more education, involvement from the community, and support from the state, less Hoosier families will have to endure the pain of suicide. The stigma of mental illness is also a target of this legislation, which will help create a safe environment for those suffering from mental illness. Through this legislation, Indiana is taking an important step toward supporting appropriate mental health care and resources for Hoosiers.


What can you do?
Contact your State Senator and Representative to express your support for bills that involve providing mental health resources and education to Indiana youth.

Unsure of who your state legislators are? Follow this link to find out: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/. Every phone call and email makes a difference as we work to protect the interests of Hoosier Families!

For more information about mental health in Indiana and the U.S. check out the following links: http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/Suicide_Report_2013_final(1).pdf OR http://www.nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI-Media/Infographics/GeneralMHFacts.pdf


As we’re sure you’ve gathered, there is a lot going on regarding immigration right now. The Trump administration has announced plans to ramp up enforcement and deportation efforts, causing great fear in immigrant communities, while lawmakers in Congress have proposed legislation to drastically limit future legal immigration. Your advocacy is more needed now than ever.


Today we’d like to give you a few actions you can take immediately on local, state and Federal levels to support immigrants in our community.

Local:
Join Greater Lafayette Immigrant Allies:
GLIA is a group that was recently formed by local restaurant owner Kirsten Serrano and others to support immigrants locally with a focus on fellowship, advocacy, and education. The group has already put on several successful events, including a recent postcard-writing event that generated 800 postcards to send to politicians. You can find GLIA on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/GreaterLafayetteImmigrantAllies/

Support local “Welcoming Cities” ordinances:
LUM Immigration Clinic is committed to making Greater Lafayette a truly welcoming place. To that end, we have joined together with GLIA and other community members to propose and promote welcoming ordinances in both Lafayette and West Lafayette. These ordinances would assure that both cities do what is in their legal power to support local residents and their due process rights regardless of immigration status. We will be meeting with local officials soon to discuss these issues and lobby for their support. If you are interested in speaking directly to city officials that represent your district, please contact us immediately. In the meantime, sign our petitions to show them that these are provisions you support. The more people we have on board, the better.

You can find the Lafayette petition here: https://www.change.org/p/lafayette-city-council-make-lafayette-a-welcoming-city

The West Lafayette petition is here: https://www.change.org/p/west-lafayette-city-council-make-west-lafayette-a-welcoming-city

UPDATE: David Sanders from the West Lafayette Council will be introducing a “Welcoming City” resolution on Monday night, March 6th. Below is a link to the resolution: http://www.westlafayette.in.gov/eGov/documents/1487788678_20227.pdf

GLIA is hoping to have a large contingent of supporters at the event and is asking all those who want to ensure that the City of West Lafayette continue to evoke an a welcoming attitude attend the event, especially those who live in West Lafayette.


State:
The Indiana State Senate recently pass a bill that is designed to prevent “sanctuary” campuses (SB 423). The full text of the bill can be found by going to https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2017/bills/senate/423. This past Tuesday, February 28th, the full Senate approved the bill which will now go to to the house. Call and write your senators ASAP to encourage them to vote NO on SB 423. The phone numbers and email addresses for house members can be found at: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/.


Federal:
U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) has introduced the Protect Immigration Act (S-303) bill in the US Senate that would basically repeal the president’s executive orders on immigration. More specifically the bill would discontinue the Secure Communities program which authorizes State and local law enforcement officers to investigate, apprehend, and detain aliens in accordance with a written agreement with the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and to clarify that immigration enforcement is solely a function of the Federal Government. More about information about the bill can be found by going to https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/303/all-info. A similar bill, H.R. 912 has been introduced in the House of Representatives. The full title of the bill is “Protecting Immigrants from Legal Exploitation Act of 2017” and the text can be found by going to: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/912?r=73. To find/contact your house member go to: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/. If you are uncomfortable with the current approach to immigration enforcement we urge you to contact Senator Todd Young and Senator Joe Donnelly to express support for S-303 The phone numbers and email addresses for Young and Donnelly’s offices are available by going to: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information


To find out more information about bills that are being watched by the Campaign for Hoosier Families go to www.lumserve.org/bill-watch-list/.


Campaign for Hoosier Families is an alliance of faith-based organizations that engages local, state and federal officials on behalf of low-income Hoosier families and children. To find out more information about bills that are being watched by the Campaign for Hoosier Families, please click HERE.

Thank you for helping to support Hoosier Families!


If you wish to make a donation to the LUM Social Justice Ministry, click HERE.

Make a Donation Button
Social Justice Ministry