This past fall, UUI, through our membership in IndyCAN, worked diligently to increase Marion County's investment in public transportation to benefit the neighborhoods that need it the most. Together with the 30+ different religious communities who make up IndyCAN, we met with City Councilors and community leaders, we hosted meetings with the CEO of IndyGO and the Executive Director of the Indy Metropolitan Planning Office (right here in our Cottage!), and we helped lead one of the most ambitious voter outreach programs the state of Indiana has ever seen. Over the course of 12 weeks, IndyCAN made over 160,000 phone calls and held more than 40,000 conversations about the new transit bill. UUI was a part of the work at every step of the way. The result was dramatic. The November transit referendum passed with almost 60% of the vote, and in February the City Council voted to put the final seal of approval on the new transit plan.
Why did we do this? Because access to transportation is one of the most important requirements for escaping poverty; because everyone deserves a safe, reliable way to get to their job, to get to the doctor's, to get their children to childcare, and to get groceries on the table; and because our 2nd principle calls us to work for justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. And that is just what we did!
From the IndyCAN newsletter: "The new transit plan creates thousands of jobs, connects isolated communities of color to good jobs and increases bus service by 70 percent. In low-income communities and communities of color, that means a tripling of bus service."
Much appreciation is due to the Board for their vision to support UUI's membership in IndyCAN. Much appreciation is due to the organizers of IndyCAN and to all of our partner congregations. And much appreciation is due to the people of UUI who dedicated so much time and effort to help us live into our covenant that "love is the spirit of this church, and service is its law."
You can learn more about IndyCAN at IndyCAN.org and about the new transit plan at IndyGO.org. To get involved in UUI's IndyCAN work email firstname.lastname@example.org.