Phil Goodchild, Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation, led a press conference at the Statehouse Wednesday, September 1, that included six faith leaders from Indiana including Beth Henricks, Associate Pastor at Indianapolis First Friends.
Faith leaders unite to call for fair redistricting from Indiana General Assembly
INDIANAPOLIS — Leaders representing a diverse array of faith traditions will call on the Indiana General Assembly to provide statewide public hearings for Hoosiers to review proposed maps in this year’s redistricting cycle at a press conference at the Indiana Statehouse Chapel, Wednesday, September 1 at Noon.
The leaders will highlight why the public should be given ample time to view and provide input on the proposed district maps that the legislature will draw in September. If not, they will argue for extending the redistricting timeline. The leaders will describe why a fair, transparent, and the accountable redistricting process is needed to restore Hoosiers’ faith in state government.
- Rev. Patrick Burke, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
- Angela Espada, Executive Director, Indiana Catholic Conference
- Rev. David Greene, Purpose of Life Ministries
- Pastor Beth Henricks, Indianapolis First Friends
- Rabbi Brett Krichiver, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation
- Imam Michael Saahir, Nur-Allah Islamic Center
The Indiana General Assembly officially kicked off this year’s redistricting cycle with statewide public hearings on August 6. The meetings were held prior to new maps being drawn. Droves of Hoosiers attended the hearings to advocate for a fair redistricting process that includes plenty of opportunities for citizen participation. Yet the Indiana General Assembly has not provided any information about when or how the public will be able to provide input on newly drawn maps before the General Assembly reconvenes in September.
Last week, All IN for Democracy announced a first-in-the-state community mapping contest that allows Hoosiers to win cash prizes for drawing fair district maps in this year’s redistricting cycle. All IN for Democracy also created the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission, made up of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, to draw fair maps and end partisan and racial gerrymandering.
The mapping competition and the nonpartisan, citizen-led redistricting commission demonstrate how redistricting can and should be conducted in Indiana. These processes allow Hoosiers to have substantive participation in redistricting that results in community-driven maps, rather than racial and partisan gerrymandered maps that only benefit the politicians.