letters to the Editor: March 5, 2020 | Opinion – Indianapolis Recorder

Posted: March 5, 2020 at 5:58 pm

To the Editor,

The Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) staff and board of directors resoundingly applaud the Indianapolis City-County Council for unanimously adopting the Special Resolution on Feb. 24, 2020, in support of a public commitment to addressing the historical inequities of race, place and identity throughout our City-County government. For far too long, racist systems, institutions and structures have not been inadvertent oversights, but intentional barriers put and kept in place to extinguish opportunity and humanity from people of color, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, families experiencing poverty and many other marginalized populations.

This has led to generations of Hoosiers with purposefully designed inequitable access to education, jobs, housing, health care and so much more. This has led to Black residents of Indianapolis, on average, dying up to 14 years earlier than white residents because of these inequities. This has led to the vast majority of Black students in all 11 school districts in our city to have lower academic outcomes than their white counterparts. This has led to the average Black worker in Indianapolis making 56-cents-on-the-dollar of the average white worker. This has led to an unforgivable percentage of Black men in Indiana being incarcerated five times more than whites and families lives ruined.

The City-County Council and Mayor Hogsetts commitment to dismantling racist policies and practices that lead to these racial disparities is an amazing first step. Thank you for working across departments and agencies to identify the specific issues to address and to name and measure key indicators toward success. CICF was proud to initiate this work by providing grant funding for dozens of municipal leaders to go through the first phase of Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) training. We pledge our continued support and vocal leadership as we all must work together to dismantle the barriers and empower our neighbors for a truly inclusive city where all residents have an equitable opportunity to reach their full potential no matter place, race or identity.

Sincerely,

Gregory F. Hahn, Chair

Central Indiana Community Foundation

Brian Payne, President and CEO

Central Indiana Community Foundation

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To the Editor,

Economic Freedom Fighters Indiana (EFFI) is in the process of becoming an independent party with a specific agenda for people of African descent. To realize this goal, we have approached the Indiana State Election Division (IED) concerning having ballot access. Dale Simmons, Indiana Election Division co-counsel, told us the following:

In Indiana, currently the Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian Parties have all established automatic ballot access. The Libertarian Party established automatic ballot access across the state by first running a candidate for Secretary of State. Initially, the Libertarian Partys Secretary of State candidate got on the ballot by obtaining signatures on petitions in the amount of 2% of the vote cast for Secretary of State in Indiana. These signatures were certified as valid signatures by the county voter registration offices in the counties where the signatures were obtained. Since the Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State received at least 2% of the votes cast for Indiana Secretary of State in the election, the Libertarian Party had automatic ballot access for the following four years.

We were up for the task and asked for the petitions. Mr. Simmons informed us it was the IEDs tradition not to give out the petitions so far in advance of the Secretary of State election. After negotiations Angie Nussmeyer, co-director, Indiana Election Division summarized with the following:

In our conversation, I noted that the CAN-19 for 2022 might be approved in July-ish 2021, or the year preceding the 2022 election, if tradition holds. You had asked if our office would consider releasing the 2022 CAN-19 petition form in July of 2020, which would be after the June 30, 2020, filing deadline for 2020 minor party or independent candidates to submit the 2020 version of the CAN-19 to the county VR officials for review and certification to gain access to the November 2020 ballot.

Im certainly open to your request, though I cannot unilaterally make this determination. In case this hasnt been brought up before, state law requires that both co-directors are to approve forms, and case law stipulates that both co-directors must agree on a position in order for it to be the official position of the election division.

EFFI feels we are being treated differently than the Libertarian Party was treated. So on Sept. 3, 2019 we filed a civil rights complaint with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. Tradition is not the law. There is no legal reason for IED to not release the petition. However, if IED agrees to release the CAN-19 petition to us on June 1, 2020, then we would strongly consider withdrawing our complaint.

Elder Mmoja Ajabu

Founder, Economic Freedom Fighters Indiana

Excerpt from:
letters to the Editor: March 5, 2020 | Opinion - Indianapolis Recorder

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