Amidst the plethora of news about the election, the passage of the referendum to expand mass transit through a modest tax increase has almost been lost. I mentioned it in my article last week, we mentioned it during worship on Sunday, but I want to stop for a minute to acknowledge and celebrate a political decision in Marion Country that lines up with the values of our faith.
In the 12 weeks leading up to the election, IndyCAN (the Indianapolis Congregation Action Network) brought together hundreds of people to make phone calls to registered voters. Together we had 40,952 conversations to educate people and ask for their support on the referendum. We did this because we see public transportation as a moral issue. We see it – as the signs we posted outside our building indicated – as a matter of loving our neighbor. If we love our neighbor, we help them get to work, to the doctor, or to the store.
I’m proud not only that the referendum passed by a margin of 59 to 41. I’m also proud that while other organizations promoted the economic development aspect, IndyCAN raised the moral voice, speaking as and for the people who are most affected by the current LACK of public transportation. We told a different story than the usual story we hear in this city. In an environment in which taxes are nearly always seen as bad, we talked about sharing the abundance that we have. And along the way we built alliances with the Indy Chamber of Commerce, with unions, with students, and with legislators that will serve us in the future.
Numerous Central members and friends participated in the phone banks. You’re too many to name, but you know who you are! Thank you for loving your neighbor and witnessing to your faith in this way, one of many ways that we seek to “make a world of difference.”
Hope to see you Sunday.