January 15, 2021 Newsletter
Mosque faces Opposition
Masjid E Noor, located on 5355 Lafayette Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46254, is looking for a new home for its seminary, Alhussnain, in Clermont Village, Brownsburg, IN. The proposed project will offer a safe, walkable community where all people can live, work, worship and study freely. Given that a very anti-Muslim petition has sprung up to oppose the project, IMAN Associates has joined forces with Muslim Advocates to ensure that Muslim Hoosiers receive a fair and impartial evaluation of their application.
The weekend prior to the public hearing, IMAN Associates sent a blast text to Hendricks County residents to garner their support. We also reached out to Brownsburg residents on social media and rallied them behind the cause. Our efforts have resulted in over 700 letters in support to be sent to the Hendricks County Board of Zoning Appeals. Furthermore, we lined up faith leaders and members to testify at the hearing. Both letters and testimonies echoes welcoming sentiments from Brownsburg residents who believed that Clermont Village will enrich Brownsburg’s religious diversity and build its tax base.
The Hendricks County Area Plan Commission voted to recommend the rezoning application be approved with a 4-3 vote sending the proposal to the county commissioners. Local media outlets, including IndyStar, WFYI, WishTV, WTHR13, and WRTV, covered the story. We want to thank everyone who sent a letter, testified in the hearing, shared our social media posts, and stood in solidarity with Muslim Hoosiers.
A legislative session like no other!
Convening a general assembly during a pandemic can be challenging! The 2021 legislative session started on January 4 with legislators attending sessions in-person. However, members of the public testifying on a bill must do so in person at the Capital building. They can testify on the floor or from a separate room via video.
As the second week of the session has come to an end, roughly 580 bills have been proposed in the House, and 420 bills have been proposed in the Senate. Here is a quick run down of the bills we are monitoring this legislative session:
A. HB1131 - BIAS MOTIVATED CRIMES (BOY, P)
B. HB1185 - BULLYING (PORTER, G)
C. HB1209 - BIAS MOTIVATED CRIMES (PORTER, G)
D. SB192 - LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING (TAYLOR, G)
E. HB1440 - RESETTLEMENT OF REFUGEES (DELANEY, E)
Hazem Bata, IMAN Associates Public Policy Advisor, is attending weekly meetings with the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus and Indiana Coalition for Human Services. Those weekly meetings help advocacy organizations connect and coordinate their lobbying efforts to take action on different proposed bills.
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