Housing advocates face frustration with legislative challenges

Phil Goodchild, Deb Goodchild, Diana Hadley, Clark Hadley and Mary Blackburn met with Rabbi Dr. Aaron Spiegel in early February to discuss our mutual concerns about housing issues in Indiana. We were impressed with the work the Greater Indianapolis Multifaith Alliiance (GIMA) was doing to lobby for better lives for all Hoosiers and offered IFCL support with that effort.

Despite the many contacts with legislators, the effort has not been successful. Rabbi Spiegel describes the situation in the Capital Chronicle article “Housing is not a human right in Indiana.” https://indianacapitalchronicle.com/2023/03/02/housing-is-not-a-human-right-in-indiana/

Advocates find it difficult to lobby with a supermajority. Requests for meetings often are ignored and emails and phone calls may not be acknowledge beyond an instant response that they were received. However, it is still important to lobby for good causes and speak for Hoosiers who may not be able to speak for themselves. In my own district of approximately 60,000 people, only 255 returned a survey about issues sent to every household prior to the session. That’s less than a half percent response about issues that affect our health, schools, environment and a multitude of other concerns for our families and our neighbors. We must do better. Watch for updates as the second half of the session begins and help us connect to our legislators in positive ways.