What's In This Issue
  1. Redistricting Reform Update
  2. New Opioid Treatment Centers to Open Statewide
  3. Meet Indiana State Senator Brian Buchanan
  4. How a Group of Elementary School Students Made State History
  5. T-Shirts for Sale and Redistricting Yard Signs Available for Free
  6. Upcoming Event - C4HF Table at Mosey Down Main Street (9/1/18)
Redistricting Reform Struggles on House Floor
League of Women Voters Lead State Efforts
By Kathy Matters and Eileen Drennen
Although the bill to reform redistricting standards in Indiana passed the Senate easily this year, its companion bill was blocked in committee and never made it to the House floor for a vote.

So supporters of making Indiana's districts more representative of the voters who live there will have to wait a year for another chance to fix what's broken.

Which, in a word, is gerrymandering.

The last time the legislature redrew the lines of Indiana's voting districts, they carved them up in such a way to favor the majority party. Making districts representative of the voters who live in them - rather than favoring the majority party in the state legislature - is the goal of redistricting reform.

Gerrymandering doesn't just affect who represents us in the state legislature, but who goes to Washington in our name.

In 2016, House speaker Brian Bosma appointed a study committee to make recommendations to the legislature about how the voting districts should be redrawn.
It recommended an independent citizens' committee handle the job - which has been successful in other states. Supporters of redistricting reform will try again for the 2019 session.

You can learn more about the issue at the League of Women Voters' website ( lwvin.org/redistricting.html) and make sure you let your representatives know how you feel about the issue.

Indiana's districts will be redrawn in 2021, after the 2020 census.
House Bill Addresses Increasing Opioid Problem
State to Open 9 New Opioid Treatment Centers
By Kathy Matters and Eileen Drennen
Nine new opioid treatment centers will open their doors this year thanks to the passage of House Bill 1007, increasing Hoosier treatments centers by fully one third, from 18 to 27.

Opioid use has dramatically risen in Indiana, affecting both adults and teens. In 2016, Indiana recorded 1,518 drug overdose deaths which represents a 100 percent increase in the past 10 years. According to one of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer, some Hoosiers must drive more than two hours to receive treatment because of the lack of treatment centers in the state.

Prescription painkillers like Percocet were responsible for 488 deaths in 2016 according to Indiana State Department of Health. Lumping all opioids together, the death total was 785. Heroin and cocaine deaths totaled just over 400.

The new treatment centers will be operated by local hospitals. Services at the centers will be covered by Indiana Medicare.
Meet State Senator Brian Buchanan
The Power of Advocacy in the Statehouse
By Morgan Torres, Intern, Campaign for Hoosier Families
In a recent interview with current Indiana State Senator Brian Buchanan , he expressed the fact that there is a lot to say when it comes to advocacy. No matter the situation, the bottom line is, the power of impacting legislation falls in our hands and everyone around us. Senator Buchanan had learned early on about the legitimacy of this statement.

He pointed out that there were times when a proposed bill seemed almost unstoppable and then the fate of its future was abruptly challenged. The bill’s future was primarily challenged due to engagement from the constituents by an unexpected flood of citizen concern. Whether your concerns come in the form of e-mails, phone calls, letters, or any other form of communication, this is how our constituents express their legislative concern. Within 5 weeks, Senator Buchanan stated that “when individuals speak, its heard.”
One of the best ways to be heard is to do your homework! Senator Buchanan urges his constituents - us - to get involved, informed, to share your thoughts and opinions, and he challenges us to research the other side of the argument. Not everyone in a community is going to agree upon a particular topic, but just reaching out and seeing the other side is a step in the right direction for a cohesive community.

I personally ask you to start getting informed about the current legislation if you haven’t already and to formulate an understanding for why something may make you feel a particular way. The best thing you can do for yourself and those around you is to do your homework about your stance on a topic, sincerely voice your opinion, share your story, the impact new legislation may have for you, and get engaged. The roots of our society are in our very hands, so we might as well determine how tall we will grow.
Firefly: 1st State Insect Thanks to Local Students
Cumberland Students Campaign is Successful
By Meron Tamene, Intern, Campaign for Hoosier Families
The ability to take part in civic engagement and influence the way our government works is often times seen as an activity only relevant to adults and something that very few children could care less about. It’s made to be seen as too complex for young children to grasp, when that truly isn’t the case.
Kayla Xu and her former classmates at Cumberland Elementary School in West Lafayette, are a unique an exception to this myth.

It all started in Kayla’s second-grade class, in which her beloved teacher, Ms. Maggie Samudio, was teaching a science lesson on state insects. During the class, Kayla was searching through state fact books and found that a particular piece of information sparked her attention- there were only three states in the U.S. that still did not have a state insect, and Indiana was one of them. The absence bothered Kayla and her classmates, which caused them to then take on a passionate effort to turn it around and finally establish Indiana’s official state insect. Their first choice was the Say Firefly, well-loved by the students for its heavy presence on warm Indiana summer nights.

During an interview with Kayla, who is now about to start the 6th grade at Happy Hollow Elementary School, she credited much of her and her classmate’s perseverance in reaching out to lawmakers across the state about making the Say Firefly Indiana’s first state insect to the encouragement they received from their teachers Ms. Samudio and Ms. Molly Griffin, as well as other teachers and role models at the school. With these teachers’ help, Kayla and her classmates started off the effort by writing out letters to legislators about why the Say Firefly was important to them.

Kayla describes the process of reaching out to legislators as exciting and something they were truly enthusiastic about- but it did come with its roadblocks. The journey of getting the Say Firefly to pass as Indiana’s official state insect in the Statehouse took four long years, with it failing to pass the first time a bill for its approval was brought to the house floor. Although she and her classmates were clearly disappointed by this first-time loss, Kayla said that they all quickly brushed it off and “kept persisting”. With this continued determination, Kayla and her classmates caught the attention of important leaders across the state, including that of Governor Eric Holcomb who quickly supported the student’s cause.

Finally, in January of this year, after hours spent presenting to and testifying to lawmakers on the house floor, Kayla and ten of her former classmates from Cumberland Elementary saw their long-awaited dreams come true- the Say Firefly was unanimously voted by legislators to become Indiana’s first official state insect . Kayla looks back fondly at the journey she participated in which established such a historic change in state government, but she insists that her and her friends’ success was all due to the encouragement and support they received from the teachers and staff at Cumberland Elementary as well as Happy Hollow Elementary. People like Ms. Samudio and Ms. Griffin truly believed in these young students abilities to influence the way the government works and to take part in a process many of us believe to be out of our reach. Kayla and her classmates’ efforts prove that we can all take a stand for what we believe in and have the ability to make a lasting difference in our communities, no matter how old you are.

Take these wise words of advice from Kayla herself: “The wheels of the government move slowly, but they do turn.”
Campaign for Hoosier Families - Signs & Shirts
T-Shirts Available - While Supplies Last
Take a look at Mayors Tony Roswarski & John Dennis showing off their brand new Campaign for Hoosier Families T-Shirts.

T-shirts are now available for the  Campaign for Hoosier Families, while supplies last . The T-shirts are only $15 and available in all sizes. Get your Campaign for Hoosier Families’ T-shirt TODAY by stopping by the LUM Office or online.

Ordering Your Shirts Online:
  1. Visit lumserve.org/donate-online
  2. Go to "Social Justice Ministry" and click on "Make a Donation"
  3. Enter $20 as your total amount ($15 per T-shirt, plus $5 for shipping and handling)
  4. Under "Special Instructions," please include the "size" and enter "Campaign for Hoosier Families T-Shirt"

Make sure to get a hold of your very own Campaign for Hoosier Families T-shirt and be a part of the movement. Share with the World that you think it’s important to “Stand Up, Speak Out & Inform.” They also make great gifts.
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!
Visit Us at Mosey Down Main Street
Sat., Sept. 1 | 6-9 p.m. | Downtown Lafayette
Come stop by C4HF's information table at the next Mosey Down Main Street on Saturday, September 1, It's a spectacular summer event series held along the stretch of Main Street in Downtown Lafayette filled with live bands, food vendors, family areas, dancing, games, and much more!

Make sure to talk to representatives from Campaign for Hoosier Families' about all of the ways C4HF is committed to taking a stand for families in the Lafayette community and across the state!