E-news • October 2019
Season of Action: Victory!
Mayor Pete Buttigieg adopts ‘Peacemaker Platform’
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY — More than 500 Faith in St. Joseph County leaders packed into Pentecostal Cathedral COGIC Church in South Bend on Sunday, Oct. 6. At this Peacemaker Summit, families directly impacted by gun violence gathered to hear Presidential hopeful and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, as well as South Bend Common Council President Tim Scott pledge to adopt Faith in Indiana’s Peacemaker Platform, a set of best-in-nation police-accountability measures and strategies proven to dramatically drop gun violence.
At the Peacemaker Summit, Mayor Buttigieg and Common Council President Scott agreed to:
- Ensure funding is allocated in the 2020 budget to design and implement a Peacemaker Fellowship program in collaboration with Advance Peace by early next year.
- Institute ongoing and robust de-escalation and procedural-justice training for the South Bend Police Department aimed at treating people with fairness and dignity and ending use-of-force incidents.
- Work with Faith in Indiana, law enforcement and national experts to design and recommend an accountability system for law enforcement that includes a progressive discipline policy. The policy mandates serious discipline action — including possible termination or criminal or civil charges — for individual officers with repeated offenses.
“Tonight, Mayor Buttigieg and the Common Council took giant steps to restore safety to black and brown communities, so all can live free of the fear of losing a loved one to gun violence,” explained Rev. Gilbert Washington, Faith in Indiana leader and pastor of St. Paul Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. “As a pastor who has grieved with too many families suffering irreparable loss, I assure you, we will continue to fight until the Peacemaker Platform is fully implemented.”
- South Bend Tribune: Buttigieg attends Peacemaker rally in South Bend, touches on police and community relationships
- WVPE 88.1 FM (NPR) Elkhart: At South Bend Peacemaker Summit, Buttigieg pledges $350K for violence prevention
Season of Action: Victory!
Faith leaders celebrate turning point in Mayor Hogsett’s approach to gun violence at LIVE FREE Town Hall
MARION COUNTY — Community members directly impacted by gun violence and Faith in Indiana leaders gathered Sept. 19 with the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Health and Public Safety to celebrate the announcement of plans to fully implement Group Violence Intervention (GVI), the nation’s most successful strategy proven to dramatically decrease gun homicides.
Earlier that week, the city of Indianapolis signed a contract with the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform to build the capacity of groups on the ground, services providers and the police department to institute GVI.
The victory comes after months of action on the part of Faith in Indiana leaders, who will continue to hold the Mayor’s office accountable. The GVI strategy has led to dramatic drops in gun violence across the nation, and it holds promise for doing the same in Indianapolis.
“GVI will work. It’s about treating people like human beings, focusing on those who are most likely to be involved in gun violence, and supporting them to turn their lives around,” explained Faith in Indiana leader Ed Ball. “There are few organizations who have a track record of working with active shooters. That’s why working with experts like NICJR is key to set it up right from the start.”
- Report by Giffords Law Center and the Black and Brown Gun Violence Prevention Consortium: How Oakland (Calif.) cut homicides in half, thanks to the GVI program.
- RTV6 The Indy Channel: Group asks for gun-violence intervention from city
- CBS4: Treating violent crime as a public health hazard
Above: More than 100 people attended the Fort Wayne Town Hall in September, which featured the sheriff’s department and county council as guests. Below: Faith in Allen County leaders hold county leaders to their word at the Allen County Council meeting.
SEASON OF ACTION: VICTORY!
Faith leaders, returning citizens urge sheriff and council to invest in treatment over jail
ALLEN COUNTY — At the Sept. 21 Treatment, Not Incarceration Town Hall in Fort Wayne, nearly 150 people gathered as Faith in Allen County leaders, and community members directly impacted by skyrocketing incarceration and the opioid crisis presented strategies for diverting individuals to treatment instead of jail to Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux and County Council President Tom Harris.
These strategies, including Mobile Crisis Assistance Teams, were piloted in Indianapolis last year and diverted 1,200 away from jail and to the services they need to address the underlying mental illnesses and addiction that lead to encounters with law enforcement.
Both Sheriff Gladieux and President Harris committed to work with Faith in Indiana to ensure the funding is in place to launch a similar strategy in Allen County in 2020.
Following the event, on Oct. 17, Faith in Indiana leaders held a ‘Pray-in for Healing’ in Fort Wayne, immediately before an Allen County Council Budget Hearing. FaithIN leaders urged Allen County Council President Tom Harris to follow through on the commitment he made in September, urging him to include at least $200,000 in the 2020 budget allocated specifically to programs to divert the mentally ill and addicted into treatment instead of jail.
While Harris and the council did not commit the funding at that meeting, Faith in Indiana will continue to press the county’s leaders to follow through on Harris’ and the Sheriff’s commitment to support such an initiative.
“As people of faith, we are bound to the belief that each person is made in the divine image. We are called to heal, not imprison,” said Rev. Kenneth Christmon, Faith in Allen County pastor of Turner Chapel AME. “Surely, President Harris and the council can find it in their hearts to dedicate a portion of the $20 million surplus to make sure people suffering from mental illness and addiction receive treatment to recover and remain with their families—not fill our county jail.”
- Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis O’Neill School blog: PPI Researchers Evaluate Indianapolis’ Mobile Crisis Assistance Team
- Journal Gazette: Less incarceration called for: Group urges county to focus on treatment
- WPTA 21: Local faith group pushes for ‘treatment, not incarceration’
You’re the reason we win!
Faith in Indiana is winning! Our top three stories in this issue demonstrate how powerful we can be when we join together in unity and stand up for humanity. We truly can’t win without your support — of your time, your prayers and your generous giving.
Help us reach our goal of receiving commitments from 150 individuals to be sustaining members — those who donate every month through an easy automatic withdrawal from their bank accounts. We currently have 111 sustaining members. Will you be the next?
Be a faith voter!
Be sure to vote your values by Nov. 5! Did you know you can vote early? To find voting information for your county:
- Allen County voter information | early voting
- Elkhart County voter information | early voting
- Hamilton County voter information | early voting
- Lake County voter information | early voting
- Marion County voter information | early voting
- St. Joseph County voter information | early voting
Faith in Indiana is hiring! Click below for more information or to apply.
This community organizer will be focused on immigrant justice, leading local, state and national immigrant-justice strategies, and engaging grassroots leaders of faith in campaigns to promote racial and economic justice.
The immigrant justice organizer will:
- train congregational leaders to build organizing teams with the power to win policy change
- lead regional, state and national campaigns to protect and expand immigrant rights
- coordinate the Catholic Accompaniment and Reflection Experience (CARE) program, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, which seeks to encounter, provide accompaniment to, and stand in solidarity with immigrant families threatened by deportation.
Read the job description for requirements and more details, and apply online. Include a cover letter and PDF of your resume as attachments to your online application.
Coming Soon: Mark Your Calendars
Click dates with links to view meeting times and locations. Watch your email for updated information as events draw closer. For other important dates, visit the FaithIN calendar.
- Nov. 23 — Strategy Meeting
- Nov. 6 — Strategy Team
- Nov. 19 — Clergy Table
- Nov. 21 — Morning Prayer for Healing
- Dec. 5 — Leaders Assembly
St. Joseph County
- Nov. 18 — Together We Give Fundraising Campaign begins
- Nov. 23 — State-wide Strategy Meeting, 10am-3pm, in Peru, Indiana