What's In This Issue
  1. Growing Income Inequality in Indiana & US
  2. What's Redistricting & What's the Big Deal?
  3. Highlighted Legislator - Indiana State Representative Sheila Klinker
  4. Survey Regarding the Minimum Wage in Indiana
  5. Campaign for Hoosier Families T-Shirts for Sale
Growing Income Inequality in Indiana & US
Too Much Is Apparently Not Enough
By Joe Micon, LUM executive director & Rob Krasa, LUM Immigration Clinic intern
There’s an alarmingly wide income gap both here in Indiana and across the country, and it only continues to grow. To put it plainly, the average income among the top 1% of Indiana’s earners is seventeen times more than the average income of the entire remaining 99%.  Seventeen times more. This obscenely large gulf in income means that the richest Hoosiers are gathering a larger and larger share of the proverbial pie into their coffers and converting it into an even wider gap in wealth - total assets and net worth - that has also been growing since the 1980s. This coupled with a recent significant downturn in manufacturing jobs in Indiana means that more and more Hoosiers are left with less and less to make ends meet.

The effects of this income inequality are wide-ranging and significant. Less than ideal nutritional resources and difficulty accessing health care resources for those on the wrong end of the gap contribute to nearly $150 billion in increased health care costs nationwide, and one study estimates that over 4,000 fewer people would die in Indiana annually if all of us had equal access to needed health care. Educational opportunities become harder to take advantage of when the wealthy hold power in that arena as well. Lawmakers and politicians are swayed by the lobbying efforts of those who hold the majority of the wealth, and in turn reinforce the effects of inequality. The recent passing of the tax bill by the current administration has only made matters worse. But as the stifled majority, what can we do to change things? Educate yourself about what the income gap means for you and those around you, and take action in your community and at the polls to ensure that the voices of the many are heard.
What's Redistricting & What's the Big Deal?
Redistricting is a major problem in not just Indiana, but the entire United States of America. What is redistricting? Redistricting is the process in which new state and congressional legislative district boundaries are drawn. Every ten years new district lines are redrawn during the United States census. This is a problem because the 150 state legislators are elected by different political districts. Howard Dean, a man who served as the 79th Governor of Vermont, the Chair of the Democratic National committee, and an American physician, once stated, “So the part of the problem is not just the rhetoric. It’s the fact that we’re so polarized in what we’ve done to each other as parties over the last thirty years in redistricting that it’s very, very hard to overcome your own constituencies and move to the middle."

So, what is the big deal with this? Redistricting may be used to sway the political outcomes of the elections, making one political party win even if they did not get the popular vote in the entirety of the state. A term we should become very familiar with is gerrymandering. This refers to the manipulation of the district lines in order to change or protect the current political power. Gerrymandering directly affects political power. Because of this, Gerrymandering determines which of the parties control not only Congress, but local and state governments as well. By drawing the lines certain ways, this can reward Republicans and punish Democrats or reward Democrats and punish Republicans. It should also be known that the people deciding where to draw the lines are often times politicians themselves. By deciding which politicians will run against each other and which party the majority of citizens in each district identifies with, politicians are able to strategically plan out who will win each election. Furthermore, the politicians that win will then decide which legislation they would like to push for and which legislation they would like to put on the back burner to collect dust.
FREE - 'Reform Redistricting Now' Yard Signs
Make sure to get a hold of your FREE Campaign for Hoosier Families' "Reform Redistricting Now!" yard signs, available at the LUM Office. These signs are a part of a movement to hold our legislators accountable for making sure that party politics has nothing to do with how districts across the state are formed and all to do with those who belong in each district.

Be a part of this effort to create change and get ready to place these signs in your own yard today!
Indiana State Representative Sheila Klinker
Highlighted Legislator
by Angela Weaver, Campaign for Hoosier Families intern
Representative Sheila Klinker has been a huge help with all our efforts at the Lafayette Urban Ministry. She is currently elected as the Representative for the Indiana House District 27. Elected in 1982, Representative Klinker has a lot of experience and definitely plays a huge role in helping the families and companies around the Lafayette area. Representative Klinker is married to her husband, Victor. She also has three children: Kerri, Kevin, and Kelly.

Before becoming our Representative, Representative Klinker worked in the Lafayette School Corporation for over 34 years. In addition, she also served for 15 years as the Outreach Liaison for the Purdue School of Education. As a fellow Boilermaker, Representative Klinker can oftentimes be caught on campus volunteering for different events, such as the famous Grand Prix. She earned her BS in Elementary Education from Purdue University in 1961. She went on to earn her MS in Elementary Education and her MS in Administration and Curriculum both from Purdue University in 1982.
Survey Regarding the Minimum Wage in Indiana
Speak Up to Make A Difference
The Campaign for Hoosier Families is interested in your opinion regarding the status of minimum wage in Indiana. We seek this information to guide our efforts in regards to the upcoming Indiana General Assembly Session. The Campaign for Hoosier Families strives to best represent those it advocates for and would greatly appreciate your input.

Please complete this survey by clicking the Survey button below.
Campaign for Hoosier Families - T-Shirts
T-Shirts Available - While Supplies Last
Take a look at Sheila Klinker & Ron Alting showing off their brand new Campaign for Hoosier Families T-Shirts.

In an effort to gain publicity and raise funds for our wonderful cause, Campaign for Hoosier Families are selling T-shirts! The shirts are $15, you can come pick them up from the Lafayette Urban Ministry, or we will ship it to you for an additional $5.

If you are interested, please contact our intern, Angela Weaver, at weaver85@purdue.edu or fill out our attached order form, click below.