Strengthen Public Schools
- Fight back against the far-right war on public education
- Restore teacher bargaining rights, stop union-busting
- Multinational, multi-gendered unity against bigotry
Indiana established some of the earliest free public schools in the country, and the government has a constitutional duty to “encourage, by all suitable means, moral, intellectual, scientific, and agricultural improvement.” The Indiana Republican Party has waged war on public schools during its supermajority stranglehold on state government, to the detriment of our students and school workforce. A crushing teacher shortage that was looming has only been exacerbated by the pandemic and disastrous anti-school policy written by out-of-state special interest groups for the fascistic purpose of stamping out any semblance of acceptance of Black liberation or LGBTQ students in Indiana schools.
It is time for Hoosiers to loudly reject the old dividing tactics of racism and anti-gay, anti-trans bigotry; to reject the cynical anti-worker rhetoric that overworks and underpays teachers, overloads them with young people who are trying to survive in a crumbling society, and blames them for student failures when they demand better schools.
It is time for Indiana to roll back the decades-old assault on teachers by restoring their rights to bargain over essential factors of school health such as class size, school calendar, prep time, and more; and to support schools by investing in them rather than hoarding a vast surplus while schools close and millions of dollars are redirected to religious and private schools that are unaccountable and use state funds to promote particular faiths. Strong public schools are the bedrock of a democratic society, and Hoosiers need a State Representative who will fight to end the war on schools that has made them businesses.
Expand Childcare, Defend Abortion
- Unite to protect the right of abortion at the state level
- Expand access to free and affordable family healthcare clinics
- Ensure sex education covers all forms of pregnancy, STI prevention
Abortion rights are under unprecedented attack across the nation, with a right-wing, illegitimate Supreme Court that gutted Roe v. Wade. Indiana’s supermajority legislators have indicated their desire to further erode the already dismally weak reproductive rights Hoosiers have at the state level. We cannot rely on institutions or the idea of precedence to secure this right for the people of Indiana. Most Hoosiers agree that abortion is a procedure that we should have the freedom to choose. To help ensure that it is not the first step taken to prevent pregnancy, we should ensure sex education covers prophylactics and other means of proactively preventing pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections without morally insisting on teaching nothing but abstinence until marriage as “sex ed.”
Reproductive rights extend beyond just the right to abortion, and should be expanded. As with all forms of healthcare, reproductive care should be free to patients. Early childhood care and education, including pre-K programs, must be established and expanded across the state to ensure that no one needing access to these programs is forced to go without.
Address Root Causes of Violent Crime
- Raise Indiana’s criminally minimum wage to a livable standard; guarantee jobs
- Guarantee quality housing for all; cancel all rents and mortgages
- Defund the police and end police brutality; end mass incarceration and cash bail
Ending violent crime is a desire of most Hoosiers, who all deserve to live in peace and safety. The response from the ruling class has been to pour millions of additional dollars into the coffers of police departments across the state, with President Biden explicitly telling local governments to use unspent pandemic relief funds on the police. This heavy investment in police has not led to a reduction in crime, and an investigation of reports from Indianapolis police reveal that fewer than 16% of aggravated assaults, homicides, robberies, and sex offenses were cleared with an arrest in 2019, the last year of public data. Pouring funds into police has not led to a reduction in crime, but has led to a marked increase in incidents of brutality and police killings, especially of Black Hoosiers.
The bulk of violent crimes in Indianapolis occur in the poorest parts of the city: 80% of violent crimes occur in neighborhoods where 60% of the city’s residents live, who are held to the lowest 20% of incomes. By contrast, the wealthiest 20% of neighborhoods hold just 0.1% of the city’s population and only experience 0.02% of the capital’s violent crime. Pouring millions of dollars into police coffers will not address these root economic causes.
We need to invest heavily into Indiana and Hoosiers. The slavery wage that Indiana has kept its minimum wage at since federal law raised it to $7.25 in 2009 must be raised to a livable wage, which in Indianapolis in 2022 would be $25–30 an hour. As out-of-state land speculators turn to housing in Indiana and the rest of the Midwest as investment opportunities while thousands of people are unable to find affordable housing, we should seize vacant and unused properties to create permanent affordable housing, both private and community-owned through land trusts.
Recognize the Miami Nation
- Recognize the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana at the state level
- Continue the fight for the federal government to reinstate recognition
- Expand education about the history of Indigenous nations in Indiana
Indiana, the so-called “Land of the Indians,” is a land whose state government refuses to recognize any of the Indigenous nations whose lands now comprise the State of Indiana. The Myaamia, known in English as the Miami Nation, and their related nations of Eel River, Wea, and Piankeshaw; the Neshnabé, or Potawatomi; the Lenape, or Delaware; Kiikaapoi, or Kickapoo; and Shawnee, among others, called the lands of what is today understood as Indiana their homes. These nations built resilient and rich multinational confederacies under the leadership of many Indigenous leaders, before narrow-sighted private ownership of land by white settlers dissolved their sovereignty and power, replacing them in Indiana.
These nations did not submit willingly to genocide. The resistance exemplified by these nations and leaders such as Mihšihkinaahkwa, Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa offer us lessons even though their movements had limited success. Those who resisted the genocidal sweep from this place remain. The Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana, in particular, has made multiple petitions for recognition at the federal level after having their recognition illegally stripped in the 1890s, all of which have been denied. This travesty of justice must be reversed. As the fight with the federal government continues, the State of Indiana can and must act to extend state recognition to the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana.
Stand With Immigrant Hoosiers
- Grant drivers licenses and protection to undocumented Hoosiers
- Close ICE detention facilities across Indiana, cancel planned Indy expansion
- Ensure dignity and respect for all of Indiana’s broadly diverse immigrants
Undocumented Hoosiers have been organizing for years, collecting petition signatures and meeting with sitting state legislators to advance their demand for drivers licenses. Despite mild support from the 2022 session, a bill to accomplish this demand died in committee. In a country and state so single-mindedly developed for navigation by private transportation, denying legal access to private transport to so many of our neighbors is unconscionable.
The expansion of ICE detention facilities in Indiana is contrary to the values of Hoosier hospitality. The detention facility in Brazil should be closed and the planned expansion into Indianapolis must be canceled. Raids against and deportations of our neighbors must end. Schools serving English language learners must be staffed with bilingual educators. The dignity and humanity of all Hoosiers must be respected regardless of nationality.