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Communities of Faith Backing Indianapolis Transit Funding Referendum

Transit investments in Marion County, Indiana, could be funded through a proposed increase of income taxes. The proposed funding referendum has the backing, and the phone-banking, of a coalition of local church congregations.
August 21, 2016, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"For a group of Indianapolis faith leaders, better public transportation means more than adding a few new buses to an old system," according to an article by John Tuohy.

Specifically, the "ministers, priests and pastors in the Indianapolis Congregation Action Network (IndyCan) have launched a three-month campaign to pass a voter referendum to fund mass transit improvements in Marion County," reports Tuohy. IndyCan advocating for the transit funding referendum in support of the belief that transit provides sorely needed resources to low income people—especially access to jobs, healthcare, and fresh food.

Volunteers for IndyCan will be working phone banks four nights a week until Election Day, Nov. 8, calling registered minority voters in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. They will encourage the voters to back the ballot measure to raise income taxes by 0.25 percent, or 25 cents per $100, to raise $56 million per year for IndyGo, the city bus service.

The new transit funding is necessary for IndyGo to expand service hours and frequencies. Also needing the funding: "the electric bus rapid transit Red Line and two other proposed lines, the Purple and the Blue." Tuohy, along with Biran Eason, also reported on the transit referendum when it was approved for the ballot in May.

It's not just the faith-based community that supports the transit referendum, the business community does as well, writes Tuohy. The Indy Chamber, which represents 2,500 businesses, is also planning a publicity campaign in support of the referendum.

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Published on Thursday, August 18, 2016 in Indystar
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