Category Archives: Social Justice

The Right to Drive – Possible Legislation Coming

An estimated 4.5 million undocumented immigrants nationwide are driving regularly, most without licenses. In 2019, legislators in several states introduced legislation to provide driver’s licenses to undocumented residents including Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. Legislation in New York passed in the State Assembly and is now in the State Senate. At the moment only twelve states issuing licenses without proof of legal residence in the United states; those states being: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Vermont and Washington.


It is our understanding that State Representative Chris Campbell, who represents a large portion of Lafayette/West Lafayette, will be authoring legislation that will allow persons residing in Indiana, who do not possess the necessary immigration documents to otherwise qualify for a standard drivers’ license, to receive a driver’s card


Many states have adopted tough new laws to prevent illegal immigrants from driving, while expanding immigration enforcement by state and local police. The Department of Homeland Security figures show that at least 30,000 undocumented immigrants who were stopped for common traffic violations in the last three years have ended facing deportation. The numbers are rapidly increasing, and as a result are aggravating tensions in the national debate over immigration.

What has been asked of Indiana, multiple times, is for the state to approve a permit for undocumented residents. This permit would allow individuals to fearlessly travel to work, take their children to school, and to give them a peace of mind. In this day and age it is difficult to live depending on public transportation. The permit being discussed would provide reliable transportation to undocumented residents. Sadly, time and time again that legislation establishing a permit for undocumented residents to drive has been proposed it has quickly been rejected.


by Brenda Barrera, Campaign for Hoosier Families Intern

“Never Again Is Now” Rally – Powerful Event

LUM Immigration Clinic Participates in Rally

Last Sunday, the LUM Immigration Clinic staff members attended and participated in the “Never Again Is Now Rally” organized by the Interfaith Leaders of Greater Lafayette.

ILGL members planned the rally at St. John’s Episcopal Church, stating that the members are “horrified at the conditions in the detention centers on our borders, wherein children are abused, denied medicine, refused soap and toiletries, and are forced to sleep in freezing temperatures on concrete floors. This dehumanization is immoral!”

Lafayette Urban Ministry was one of the event sponsors, and the Rev. Susan Brouillette, the LUM Immigration Clinic director, was an invited speaker (pictured above). Other speakers included the Rabbi Michael Harvey from Temple Israel representing the Interfaith Leaders of Greater Lafayette, Purdue Professor Jay McCann representing the Greater Lafayette Immigrant Allies and Annabel Prokopy, 10th grade student at West Lafayette High School (and daughter of LUM program director, Josh Prokopy). Each speaker was well received, and the rally drew more than 300 participants and local media. The overarching message throughout the rally was that,

“Our community will not stand for these violations of human rights.”

For more information, please email interfaithleadersgl@gmail.com.


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Immigration Clinic

Rev. Rodney Lynch Spoke at Pizza & Perspectives

Theological Reflections on the “Urban Ministry”

As a part of the on-going training of the LUM Board of Directors, each quarter their meeting features a program called “Pizza & Perspectives.” At last week’s board meeting, the Pizza & Perspectives program featured remarks from the Rev. Rodney Lynch, pastor & director of the Baptist Student Foundation at Purdue University.

The evening began with a wonderful meal at Jane’s Gourmet Catering followed by the Rev. Lynch who shared his Theological Reflections on the Urban Ministry. His presentation was lively, informative and inspiring. The Rev. Lynch gave an overview of the importance of “urban ministries” incorporating Bible verses as well as personal stories to highlight his message. The event was well attended, and the participants were engaged and appreciative of the timely information.

The Rev. Rodney Lynch earned a BA in Social Science from The College of New Rochelle, as well as a Master of Divinity & Master of Sacred Theology from Drew University (Madison, New Jersey). He is married to Felicia M. (Myles) Lynch, and they have three children: Jeremiah, David & Michael. A special thank you to the Rev. Rodney Lynch for taking the time to share his thoughts and expertise with the friends, board members and staff of Lafayette Urban Ministry.

To view more PHOTOS from the LUM Pizza & Perspectives program, click HERE.

LUM Reflection – Always More Left Over

A Message from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director

LUM has focused a lot in recent weeks on issues of food distribution to those in our community who don’t have enough good, nutritious food for themselves or their children. During this process I have paid special attention to the miracle story Jesus Feeds the 5,000. Found in all four Gospels, it remains one of scripture’s most powerful teachings of faith, compassion and service. And it is a teaching that touches, in real and practical ways, virtually everything that goes on at LUM.

As the disciples gathered to figure out what to do about the hungry crowd, they could only pool 200 denari. A young boy had five loaves and two fish. It wasn’t enough, but Jesus was filled with compassion and miraculously, faithfully, moved quickly forward. The story is a lesson to us about beginnings. But it is also a powerful lesson about endings. Because miraculously, faithfully, there was more left over than Jesus started with — 12 baskets full of broken pieces! I love this story, because during my time at LUM, I have always found there to be more left over than when we start something.

There are more children doing better in school now than we ever imagined when LUM first started the After School and 5th Quarter Summer Learning Programs. There are more neighbors receiving paralegal help and support through the LUM Immigration Clinic. There are more chronically homeless individuals who have turned to addiction getting help because LUM found creative ways to offer information and support.

Service fosters deeper relationships with others. If you volunteer at LUM, you can’t help but develop a keener knowledge of poverty and income inequality. When you see the faces of those we serve, learn their names and hear their stories, you can’t help but grow in understanding. Your friendships are strengthened. Your perceptions are broadened. Your heart is expanded.

I believe so very firmly that our faith is enriched through service at a place like LUM. We are challenged to be more loving. We become more generous with our time and treasure. We respond more fully to the prophet’s call to justice. Thank you for joining with us; for your prayers of support; for the service you render; for the dollars you donate; for performing miracles at LUM each and every day!


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LUM Hosts Purdue Religious Leaders

Last week, LUM hosted the regular meeting of the University Religious Leaders of Purdue. URL is a consortium of religious leaders who serve Purdue students in West Lafayette. LUM provided the space, the LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center, and a simple lunch.

Joe Micon, LUM executive director, attended and welcomed the group, and the Rev. Susan Brouillette, the LUM Immigration Clinic director, was their featured speaker after lunch (pictured above). She presented an overview of the types of services that the LUM Immigration Clinic offers for legal immigrants as well as updates on immigration policy, statistics and common issues in our community.

LUM has enjoyed a good partnership with the URL — and this was a great opportunity to strengthen that relationship.

Helpful Tech for Contacting Your Legislators

Making Your Voice Heard in a Few Simple Steps

by Rob Krasa, LUM intern

The 2019 Session of the Indiana General Assembly may be nearing its conclusion, but the need to let your representatives know where you stand should not end with it. Today’s technology has made the process of reaching out easier than ever. It offers us a chance to contact those who represent us, whether locally or on the national stage, with just a few mouse clicks or text messages. Here are a few ways to utilize the internet to get involved in the legislative process:


Indiana General Assembly Website

This page on the Indiana General Assembly website makes it easy to find who represents you in both the Indiana State House as well as in the United States Congress. Simply entering your home address will provide phone numbers, email addresses and web pages to allow you to contact your elected officials with relative ease.

Indiana General Assembly, click HERE.


ResistBot

ResistBot is an automated system which not only provides contact information for legislators that represent you, but allows you to generate and send correspondence directly to your representatives with a few simple text messages, tweets, or Facebook messages. Simply text the word “resist” to 50409, tweet it @resistbot, or send it in a message to ResistBot on Facebook and follow the system’s prompts to generate and send a formally-formatted letter to the representative of your choice. You can also use ResistBot to make your opinion known to relevant legislators based on particular topics and issues as well.

Click HERE.


Capitol Call

Capitol Call is an app for Android and iPhone which will locate your legislators for you and get you in touch with their office via phone with just one tap of a button. It also provides alternate contact information and easily links you to other ways to get in touch if you don’t prefer making a call. The app also maintains an Action Center to keep you up to date on current issues, and how to best direct your opinion to make a difference where you want to see it the most.

Click HERE.


Countable

Focused primarily on the U.S. Congress, Countable is another website and app for Android and iPhone which not only offers opportunities and assistance for contacting your legislators, but also stays up to date with summaries and progress updates for all legislation moving through Congress. Simply visit the website or download the app and follow the prompts to begin your bill tracking or contact efforts.

Click HERE.

Capping Payday Loan Interest Rates

Hoosier Are In Need

by Angela Weaver, Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy intern

It is a sad day for all of us at Campaign for Hoosier Families.  Senate Bill 104, which capped interest rates on payday loans, was defeated in the third reading with a vote of 22 yeas and 27 nays and will not continue any further this session. Consequently, the bill which we all had high hopes for is now dead. Originally authored by Senator Greg Walker and Senator John Ruckelshaus, this bill seemed to have the support needed at the State Capitol in order to pass both houses and become law. At the time of third reading, SB-104 had eight co-authors.Senate Bill 84 and House Bill 1098 which also addressed small loan finance charges did not make it passed the first reading.

To share your story, click HERE.

by Angela Weaver, Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy intern

Indiana Minimum Wage Update

As you know raising the minimum wage is a priority for Campaign for Hoosier Families. While the minimum wage bills introduced in this current session did not move through the Indiana General Assembly this year, we encourage you during the off session to let your State Representative and State Senator know that you support raising the Indiana minimum wage as well overall income equality so that they may be persuaded to address it next year.

To find your legislators, click HERE.

Biased Crimes Legislation – Senate Bill 12

Progress for Indiana

A biased crimes bill (IN Senate Bill 12) authored by Senators Ron Alting and Mike Bohacek and sponsored in the House by Representatives Gregory Steuerwald and Anthony Cook, has now moved through the Senate and is currently awaiting hearing in the House of Representatives. In its current form the the bill’s language allows a court to consider bias as an aggravating factor when imposing a criminal sentence. Prior to final passage in the Senate, the bill was amended regarding victim characteristics and replaced with the words “including bias.” Supporters of the bill in its amended form site that it would allow judges to more freely determine whether bias was an aggravating circumstance when a crime is committed without being constrained by specific language. While some legislators are pleased with the bill in its current form, a number of individuals in the House and Senate are pushing for the bill’s original language. Many legislators are displeased with the lack of specificity. Foremost among them are the bill’s original authors, Senators Alting and Bohacek. Indiana’s Governor Eric Holcomb also supports reinserting victim characteristics in the bill. The Governor has indicated that any so called hate crime bill that did not include victim characteristics would signal that Indiana is reticent on hate crimes in general and would not have the intended effect of portraying the State in a favorable light. The business community in Indiana is pushing for the passing of this bill along with a list of specific victim characteristics, as many believe that having legislation regarding bias crimes would improve Indiana and its reputation, especially for business owners. It is noteworthy that Indiana is one of five states that do not currently have their own law regarding bias crimes.

by Haley Compston, Purdue Communication student

Legislative Report – End of Third Quarter

Update for the C4HF Director

Dear Advocates –

As we enter the 4th Quarter of the 2019 Indiana General Assembly, I just wanted to let you know that we have a new C4HF Advisory Board, Haley Compston. Haley is a Junior at Purdue and is majoring in Communication. An interesting fact about Haley when she was 16 she was chosen to represent the City of Indianapolis at the Sister Cities Youth Leadership Summit. Haley has always been interested in government, politics, and writing. She joined the C4HF Advisory Board thinking it would be a great way to be more informed and to do her part for the community while gaining professional experience at the same time.

I also wanted to share with you that we will be losing our student leader, Angela Weaver. Angela will be graduating from Purdue in May and following graduation will be spending the summer in DC and then relocating to Indianapolis in August. When asked about her experience as the Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy Intern, Angela shared “I enjoyed getting to learn about the legislative process and different efforts the Indiana General Assembly is doing to provide for low-income families.” We are grateful to Angela for recruiting new ambassadors as well as advisory board members as well as adding additional content and interest to the newsletter. Under her leadership the quality of the content as well as the reach of the C4HF newsletter has improved. We wish Angela much success in her future career.

We are always looking for volunteer C4HF Advisory Board Members. C4HF volunteers have the opportunity to contribute newsletter articles, engage legislators, build the C4HF listserv, and assist with grassroots mobilization and community outreach activities. As Haley pointed out “it’s great way to be more informed and to make a difference in your community while at the same time gaining professional experience.”
I am grateful to all of you for your interest and support of issues impacting low income families and individuals. Please continue to make your voice heard.
Godspeed,

The Rev. Susan Brouillette, Director
Campaign for Hoosier Families