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Show up to tell the City-County Council that the people of Indianapolis REJECT this fascistic attack on our neighbors! This proposal will be heard at the following times:
- Monday, July 11 at 7:00PM: Introduced in the City-County Council
- Wednesday, July 20 at 5:30PM: Referred to Public Safety Committee
- Monday, August 8 at 7:00PM: Possible attempt to pass through full Council
Did you think Republicans’ anti-poor Proposal 291 from two years ago was dead? Thanks to Democratic Party councilors Zach Adamson, Vop Osili, and Kristin Jones, you’d be wrong.
When Councilor Michael Hart introduced Proposal 291 in the fall of 2020, the people of Indianapolis quickly rose up in protest. The original proposal introduced a number of bureaucratic obstacles to mutual aid, and would have levied fines on those who failed to jump through the hoops. It was, very obviously, nothing more than an attempt to deter people from assisting our poor and working-class neighbors by legislating the commons.
Leading Democrats on the City-County Council refused to pass that proposal—not, as some may have thought, because they recognized that the legislation was cruel and unnecessary, but rather because they wanted to claim it as their own!
Proposal No. 256 is nothing more than a reboot of the failed Prop. 291, this time with some flowery words from the Democrats about how noble and important “charitable donations” are. These words do not change the fact that they, just like their Republican counterparts, are engaging in an outright class war against our working and oppressed neighbors.
There are a few changes to the proposal, none of them meaningfully beneficial, most of them outright harmful. The original proposal levied a fine of $500 on individuals or organizations who were reported to have created litter in the distribution area. The Democrats’ version allows one written warning—followed by an initial fine of $250, jumping to $500 for subsequent “offenses.” More sinisterly, the Democrats’ proposal allows for a permit to be revoked if IMPD reports at least one incident “occurring on site during or immediately after a charitable distribution of goods that result in serious bodily harm to an individual.”
Those wishing to distribute aid in an emergency, such as a natural disaster, would be prohibited from doing so as distributions must be reported to the Office of Public Health and Safety 48 hours beforehand, with no exceptions for emergencies—even for registered groups.
Leveraging the language of those who actually care about our communities, the Democrats responsible for this attack claim that they’re trying to protect the “most vulnerable members of our community.” We know this to be a lie. If they truly cared about the most vulnerable among us, they would be fighting for the right of all Indianapolis residents to live in a clean, safe, affordable home! They would fight for the right of all Indianapolis residents to have access to healthy, affordable food! They would fight to expand our public transportation system, they would support tenants rights, they would raise the minimum wage to something people can actually afford to live on!
Instead, they’ve put their time into Proposal 256, because organizations stepping up to actually care for the people is a much bigger problem to the business owners and corporations that fund their political campaigns. It’s no mistake that this ordinance only affects distribution on public property, leaving the nonprofit industry exempt from its stipulations when donating on their private property. The fact that Councillor Osili’s wife Una is “Efroymson Chair of Philanthropy” at the IUPUI School of Philanthropy is not a coincidence. We reject the criminalization of aiding our neighbors in the people’s public spaces!
Join the Indianapolis Party for Socialism and Liberation on Monday, July 11 at 7:00PM to tell the Democrats that their war on the poor will not go unopposed!