March 20, 2019
Time is growing short for meaningful action by the Indiana General Assembly this session on redistricting reform. SB 105, the redistricting standards bill passed by the Indiana Senate last month, needs a hearing by the House Elections and Apportionment Committee to stay alive this year.
Please join us for a rally and march in Indianapolis on March 26 — “Slay the Gerrymander!”
See below for more event details. This event is sponsored by All IN for Democracy, the coalition working for redistricting reform of which IFCL has been a part.
Thank you for your interest and activism.
Will SCOTUS Slay the Gerrymander?
On March 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two partisan gerrymandering lawsuits: one from North Carolina where Republicans used redistricting to their advantage, and one from Maryland where Democrats did the same. It’s time for the Supreme Court to take a stand on this issue — and declare partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional.
If they do, it will absolutely help our efforts to win redistricting reform here in Indiana. As it stands now, without a definitive decision from the highest court in the land, politicians know they can get away with drawing maps that serve political interests,not the public interest. This has to stop.To call attention to the important cases being heard at the Supreme Court on March 26th — and to highlight the need for a hearing and vote on SB105, the redistricting standards bill that passed the Indiana Senate last month — the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting is holding a rally and march for redistricting reform.
WHAT: Rally and march for redistricting reform
WHEN: March 26th at 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Federal Courthouse (corner of Ohio and Meridian Streets in downtown Indianapolis)
RSVP: Email Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ll meet at noon in front of the Federal Courthouse in downtown Indianapolis — at the corner of Meridian and Ohio Streets — for some brief remarks by activists and legal experts. Then we’ll march three blocks to the State House to send a message to legislators that Hoosiers want action on redistricting reform this year.I hope you will be able to join us next week to stand in solidarity with the attorneys and activists who have brought this litigation to the nation’s highest court — and to call for Indiana legislators to take action on redistricting reform this year.
March 12, 2019
IFCL has been working with over 60 faith-based, service and military groups to oppose SB 613, an expansion of payday lending services. See the recent update from our partners at Indiana Institute for Working Families
Erin Macey, Senior Policy Analyst, Indiana Institute for Working Families 317-270-0874
Broad Coalition Gathers at Statehouse to Oppose Large-Scale Expansion of Loans at Loansharking Rates in SB 613
Indianapolis, IN – Indiana veterans’ groups, faith leaders, social service agencies, and community advocates gathered Monday at the Statehouse to send a strong message to the Indiana House of Representatives: Reject Senate Bill 613.
Advocates walked through the bill using this chart and offered those present a copy of this bill analysis, noting that while Indiana made an extremely limited exemption to its loansharking law in 2002, SB 613 would open the floodgates to high-cost lending by authorizing multiple larger, longer products outside that 72% cap and even rewriting the definition of loansharking itself. It will also substantially increase the allowable costs on all kind of consumer loans – from auto loans to personal installment to lines of credit and beyond.
“The bill this year is far worse and more far-reaching than past years,” said retired Brigadier General James Bauerle of the Indiana Military / Veterans Coalition.
In fact, former Department of Financial Institutions regulator Mark Tarpey issued a written statement calling SB 613 “the single most negative piece of consumer credit legislation that I have seen in over 40 years as a former regulator of consumer credit in Indiana.”
Indiana’s current payday lending law – narrow as it is – has already created problems for borrowers like Steven Bramer, Jr. who came to speak at the press conference. “I got myself in a horribly expensive cycle,” Iraq War veteran Bramer told the audience. He called on Indiana lawmakers to reject the even larger loans proposed in SB 613. “I protected you at one point. Now, it is time for you to protect me.”
Outreach Minister Marcie Luhigo from The Creek Church in Indianapolis also shared the story of a Bill and Misty, working homeowners who came to the church for assistance after a cycle of payday loan debt caused them to fall behind on their mortgage and other bills. Bill and Misty finally sought help from the Church’s generous ministry. “We see a lot of Bills and Mistys,” she said.
Leaders representing Episcopal, Catholic, Pentecostal, Muslim, Unitarian, Quaker, and Christian faiths also stood with the coalition. “We are called to address injustice,” said Pastor Tammy Butler Robinson of House of God Church, speaking on behalf of the faith community, “and SB 613 opens doors for lending practices that are unjust and which take unfair advantage of people in desperate circumstances.”
Social service agencies represented at the press conference expressed concern that SB 613 would increase the workload of these agencies, as many families seek out help only after trying to manage a financial crisis with high-cost debt. “Adding larger, longer term and higher rate loans to vulnerable families will only make their lives, and our work, more difficult,” said Mark Lindenlaub, Executive Director of Thrive Alliance.
President and CEO Tanya Bell of Indiana Black Expo, Inc. put it more simply: “Making loan sharking legal in the guise of helping is absurd.”
Bell concluded the conference with an appeal, “I urge lawmakers to stop listening to the lenders, and start listening to this coalition. We represent your veterans, your faith based groups, families, your social service agencies and community organizations. And we are ALL telling you to reject SB 613.”
An online file folder with resources, copies of statements, and photos is available here.