From our desk to yours
On behalf of IMAN Associates’ board of directors, I want to extend our heartfelt thanks to our doctors, nurses, hospital workers and first responders for their tireless efforts on the frontlines and our sincere prayers for their safety and protection during this global pandemic. Also, we want to thank Muslim Hoosiers who are staying at home and doing their part in combatting the spread of the Coronavirus. The need to pull together as one community has never been greater, and with Allah’s will, we will weather this storm.
In these unprecedented times, we believe Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network's mission is as relevant as ever. The organization is committed to keeping you engaged with politics and strengthening your voter engagement. As a community, we have to keep track of the decisions that elected officials on the federal and local levels make during this pandemic and decide whether we re-elect them or vote them out! With the absentee voting extended to all Hoosiers, we urge each and every community member to practice their civic duty and vote this primary election. You can find your absentee ballot here.
While our candidate forums were suspended, we are still eager to help our Muslim voters make informed decisions at the polls in the primary election on June 2. In the coming weeks, we plan to issue a series of Voter Education Guides to shed a light on a number of different races happening in Central Indiana and where the candidates stand on various issues important to Muslim Hoosiers.
Also, the organization is keen to empower you with information that will help you navigate the challenges that come with this health and economic crisis. Recently, the federal and state governments enacted a number of laws and issued orders placing a ban on certain evictions and foreclosure procedures. We put together the below advisory in an attempt to answer some of your questions and provide you with some guidance at this challenging time.
Finally, without your continued support, IMAN Associates won’t exist! We are grateful for your involvement and we wish you and your family good health. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, shall you have any questions or concerns.
With many blessings,
Hiba Alami, Executive Director
Mortgage and Eviction Moratorium Advisory
What is the “Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures”? The federal government and state authorities have recently enacted laws and issued orders placing a ban on certain evictions and foreclosure proceedings. The phrase “Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures” refers to these laws and orders. Please note that the ban on Evictions and Foreclosures is not universal. Homeowners and tenants must determine whether they qualify for the relief on offer. This Advisory will help you make this determination.
Can I be evicted if I am unable to pay my rent during this crisis? The short answer is no. But we will need to dig a bit deeper to answer more detailed and relevant questions. If you rent your home in Indiana there are two sets of laws which will help you answer some of your question:
Dates to remember:
May 4, 2020 Voter Registration Ends
Register to vote or check your registration here.June 2, 2020 Primary Election Day
To ensure Hoosiers practice their civic duty and vote in the primary election, Governor Holcomb moves it to June 2, and the Indiana Election Commission expands vote-by-mail options. All registered and qualified Indiana voters are provided the opportunity to vote no-excuse absentee by mail.
Get your absentee ballot here.
From our lobbyist's desk:
The 2020 Indiana General Assembly is heading into the final stretch. Although state law requires the legislative session to end no later than Saturday, March 14, legislators are expected to wrap up their work and head back to their districts by March 11.
This week will see a flurry of activity at the Statehouse. Monday (March 2) was the final day for floor amendments, and Tuesday is the last day for bills to pass from the second chamber. After that, House-Senate conference committees will get underway, as legislators work to reconcile differing versions of the same bill passed by the House and the Senate.
Because 2020 is not a budget year, state lawmakers have steered clear this session of proposals that require state funding. Instead, much of the activity has focused on proposals aimed at increasing transparency in health care pricing and protecting patients from unexpected medical bills. With the end of session fast approaching, however, lawmakers and stakeholders remain deeply divided on the details.
Lawmakers are also split on two recent proposals that take aim at efforts in Indianapolis to increase access to mass transit and provide protections to renters. HB 1279, a bill addressing transportation planning in northwest Indiana, was amended on the floor by Sen. Aaron Freeman with language to enforce a provision in the Central Indiana mass transportation law that requires IndyGo to establish a nonprofit to raise matching funds for the expansion. Under the amendment, 10% of the local income tax for public transit would be withheld from IndyGo starting on July 1, 2020 unless at least 10% of the annual operating expenses are paid from sources other than taxes and fares. The loss in funding would severely limit IndyGo’s plans for the blue and purple lines and related infrastructure improvements.
Under an amendment to a different bill, local ordinances providing protections to renters would be pre-empted by a new, less strict state law pushed by the Indiana Apartment Association. At this point, it’s unclear whether either amendment will make it through to final passage.
Although unexpected amendments can crop in conference committee reports, it appears that the 2020 General Assembly will adjourn without taking any action on redistricting reform, civil rights, or protections for immigrants. Further, a bipartisan bill that would have established a program to incentivize investment in affordable and workforce housing projects died without a hearing in the second chamber. However, because SB 123 passed the Senate earlier this session, its provisions are eligible for inclusion in a conference committee report on a related bill.
To view a brief summary of the bills that have been on IMAN Associates' radar this session, please check out the website. With the exception of SB 123, all of the bills died without a hearing in the first chamber.
Inflamed rhetoric calls for action
On the heels of the Islamophobic rhetoric that surfaced on the facebook page of Kokomo City Councilor, IMAN Associates Executive Director, Hiba Alami, joined a meeting that brought together the Islamic Association of Kokomo (IAK) leadership with Kokomo Mayor Tylor Moore on February 25, 2020 at the IAK.
The meeting focused on exploring different initiatives that IMAN Associates could foster to help building bridges between the Kokomo Muslim community and elected officials. Such initiatives will help provide visibility for Kokomo Muslims in the local political arena, denounce misconceptions about Islam and strengthen the political engagement of the Kokomo Muslim community.
IMAN Associates renews its commitment to serve as the liaison between the Indiana Muslim community and elected officials to bring positive political changes to the state of Indiana.
Are you interested to serve as a State Delegate?
IMAN Associates strives to amplify the political voice of Muslim Hoosiers. One way to bring that voice to the table is to have Muslims from different counties serve as delegates to the Indiana Democratic party as well as the Indiana Republican Party.
This is a temporary position and duties of delegates end on the day of the State Convention. Do you see yourself as 2020 State Delegate?
Here are some information about the role and responsibilities of a delegate:
1. State delegates are either elected on the May 5, 2020 primary ballot or by appointment after the primary by the county chair (if vacancies exist).
2. During the 2020 State Conventions, state delegates will elect statewide candidates (such as Attorney General), pass the party’s platform, and elect the delegates to the party’s National Convention.
3. After you get elected or appointed as a state delegate, National Convention Delegates will most likely contact you to meet or talk over the phone to garner your support.
There are two requirements to consider before applying:
1. You must demonstrate your affiliation to that party (voted in a primary for a Republican/ Democrat or registered as a Republican/Democrat).
2. You must attend the State Conventions for the party you are filing for:
- Democratic Convention on June 13 in Indianapolis downtown.
- Republican Convention on June 6-7 in Fort Wayne.
Although the filing deadline was on February 7, 2020, some counties still have vacancies and County Chairs are appointing people on a first come, first-serve basis. If you are interested in serving as a state delegate, please complete this form and we will be in touch with you.
Have questions? email us here.
Past Events: Fundraiser for Dr. Fady Qaddoura
On February 15, 2020, Supporting Friends of Fady held a fundraiser for Dr. Fady Qaddoura to benefit his political campaign. Vying to represent Senate District 30, Dr. Fady Qaddoura has been officially nominated by the Democratic Party as the party's nominee for the Indiana State Senate in the 2020 election. When elected, he will be the first Muslim American Senator to serve in Indiana's 200 year history!
Attendees had the opportunity to meet and greet Dr. Qaddoura and learn about his political priorities. They also had the chance to check their registration and/or register to vote at the voter registration table provided by IMAN Associates. The event was well-received, and surely propelled the attendees for a hot election year.
Supporting Friends of Fady is a PAC formed by IMAN Associates to raise funds to help elect Dr. Qaddoura to the Indiana State Senate. To learn more about the PAC and Dr. Qaddoura's campaign, please visit the PAC webpage.
Interested to host a fundraiser for Dr. Qaddoura? Email us here.
Excited to take part in this historic candidacy? Donate to the campaign!
And he wins the pre-primary elections!
With great pleasure and excitement, IMAN Associates announces that Dr. Fady Qaddoura won his pre-primary elections on Saturday 2/8/2020 and has been officially nominated by the Democratic Party as the party's nominee for the Indiana State Senate in the 2020 election. When elected, he will be the first Muslim American to serve in the Indiana State Senate!
He is not only a public servant and a consensus builder, but he is also an immigrant and a Muslim American. He will bring the very much needed diversity to the Indiana legislature and will strive to give the voiceless a voice.
Although his campaign has gained a great momentum, his district is split 50-50, and he will face a very tight race. We need YOU to help us win this race by getting our message out. Every dollar you donate goes a long way in getting our message out regarding our universal values of justice, equality, compassion, mercy and fairness.
Please attend the upcoming fundraiser event and show your support. It is a free event but registration is required. RSVP below!
Can't attend the fundraiser? You can still support his campaign by donating online. Please donate generously.
From our lobbyist's desk:
The 2020 Indiana General Assembly has wrapped up the first half of the short session. Monday (February 3) was the last day for House bills to pass from the House, and Tuesday (February 4) was the deadline for passage of Senate bills from the Senate. When legislators return to Statehouse on February 10, hearings will begin in the House and Senate on bills passed by the other chamber.
Of the 910 bills introduced this year, 288 are still alive. An additional 60 or 70 bills will likely die before session ends. Most of the casualties will result from the abbreviated schedule – with only three weeks to hear bills passed by the other chamber, committees won’t have time to consider every bill assigned to them.
Among the casualties are five bills addressing next year’s redistricting process. On the House side, Rep. Jerry Torr introduced the sole redistricting bill. HB 1024, which would have established a bipartisan redistricting commission, died without receiving a hearing. In the Senate, Sen. John Ruckleshaus introduced two different measures: SB 105, which would have established a redistricting commission, and SB 293, which would have established procedures for the redistricting process. Although both measures had Republican as well as Democrat co-authors, neither was granted a hearing. Two additional redistricting bills also died in the Senate for lack of a hearing: SB 87, authored by Sen. Greg Taylor (redistricting standards), and SB 138 (authored by Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (redistricting commission). Although it is possible that redistricting provisions could be inserted in another bill before the end of session, at this point redistricting reform appears dead for the year.
One bill on IMAN Associates’ tracking list that is moving forward is SB 123, which passed the Senate 48-1 and is authored by Sen. Travis Holdman. The proposed legislation would allow the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to establish a program to incentivize investment in affordable and workforce housing projects in Indiana. The program would not go into effect until July 1, 2021. In the meantime, IHCDA would be required to provide a report this summer to the Interim Study Committee on Fiscal Policy concerning the affordable and workforce housing incentives offered in other states and recommending the type of incentive that should be offered in Indiana. Based on IHCDA’s findings, the 2021 legislature could then adopt a tax credit or other mechanism aimed at increasing the supply of affordable and workforce housing.
For brief summaries of the bills discussed above, along with other proposed legislation of potential interest to IMAN Associates, please visit our website.
The legislative session is approaching midpoint.
We are nearing "Crossover". For those who are new to the legislative process, a bill must be passed out of its chamber (House/Senate) of origin by Crossover to continue on its way. If it does not, the bill is dead. This means, a House bill (labeled HB) must be out of the House by that time; same with Senate bills (labeled as SB). Some committees wrapped up their hearings last week while some still have some final hearings this week along followed by final floor debate before the first half of this year’s session ends.
Due to the tight hearing schedules of this short session, we anticipate many bills to die on the House and Senate floors.
Redistricting Reform bills need committee hearings!
The Chairs of the Elections Committee in both the House and Senate have not assigned yet committee hearings for redistricting reform bills filed in either chamber, which will make it very difficult to have a redistricting process in place in 2021. The two bills IMAN Associates, alongside other coalition partners at All IN for Democracy, are pushing to pass this legislative session are:
SB293 is the redistricting transparency legislation that the All IN for Democracy coalition wrote with Senator John Ruckelshaus. It would create a redistricting website that citizens could use to access census data and mapping software to draw their own districts and submit them to the General Assembly for consideration.
HB1024 is the redistricting commission legislation sponsored by Rep. Jerry Torr and based on the study committee draft from 2016.
48 days- a short legislative session indeed!
The Indiana General Assembly convened on January 6, 2020 to tackle a number of legislative issues, including the smoking epidemic, teacher pay and controlling health care costs in the short 2020 legislative session.
Teacher Pay has been in the frontline of issues since November 19, 2019, when Legislative Organization Day witnessed waves of red shirts engulfing the vicinity of the Indiana Statehouse. On that day, more than 15,000 teachers from around Indiana congregated to advocate for raising their pay and to demand not to be penalized for a drop in standardized test scores because of a new test adopted lately in the state.
Nevertheless, the assembly has been divided on the issue of raising teacher pay. While Democrats are pushing for it, Republicans hold firm that a short session is an inappropriate time to open up “the state’s two-year budget.” There are signs that it may have to wait until 2021.
Advocates for Redistricting Reform were present in the statehouse on Legislative Organization Day, as well as the first day of the 2020 session. ALL IN for Democracy coalition has organized a very successful State House press conference to announce two redistricting reform bills being introduced by Senator John Ruckelshaus (R – Indianapolis). We will share with you the bills once they are assigned to a committee.
Also, at the press conference, a bipartisan team of legislators pledged their support for redistricting reform by signing the End Gerrymandering Pledge – a national effort championed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Eric Holder.
Wrapping up another year...
As the year comes to an end, we take a moment to thank you for your unwavering support every step of the way. That support had indeed propelled our efforts and helped us in our endeavors to influence policy, engage the Muslim community and mobilize the Muslim voice in 2019.
We invite you to review our annual report and celebrate with us this collective effort. We look forward to continuing the journey with you to provide Muslim Hoosiers an educated, organized and amplified political voice advocating for positive civic and political changes in the State of Indiana.
A Snapshot of our efforts in 2019:
Thinking Ahead to 2020:
On November 9, 2019, IMAN Associates coordinated "Thinking Ahead to 2020," a think tank session for Muslim community leaders to craft a strategy to politically engage the Muslim community in the months leading up to 2020 election. Representatives from various mosques in the Greater Indianapolis area shared their input and came up with strategic goals that aim at building the political power of the Muslim community.
General Body Meeting:
On December 14, 2019, IMAN Associates had its second bi-annual General Body Meeting where they hosted Sen. Vistoria Spartz to discuss a highly anticipated issue for the 2020 Legislative Session: controlling health care costs in the state of Indiana. Attendees were updated by Syed Ali Saeed, IMAN Associates President, of the latest activities and events the organization partook in the second half of the year, and explored with our lobbyist, Elizabeth Kelley Cierzniak, the different legislative issues the study committees focused on in the summer and those expected to take the frontline at the upcoming session.
Also, attendees had the opportunity to meet Dr. Fady Qaddoura, a Muslim candidate running for State Senate District 30, and learn from him his political priorities and ask him questions.
January 6, 2020 marks the first day of the legislative session. Starting that week, we will issue our newsletter on a weekly basis to make sure our constituents are fully apprised of the latest updates at the Indiana General Assembly. So be on the lookout for those weekly issues and follow us on social media to stay informed!
Mayor Scott Fadness visits Alhuda Mosque:
Out of the organization’s commitment to building bridges between Indiana Muslims and elected officials, IMAN Associates arranged for Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness and Fishers City Council President Richard Block to visit Alhuda mosque on October 25, 2019.
In his brief address, Mayor Fadness expressed his gratitude for the invitation and underscored his dedication to growing Fishers as a diverse, welcoming city to all. Alhuda community members took this opportunity to meet and greet the Mayor and City Council President and engage in conversations with them about the bright future of their thriving city.
Alhuda Foundation President, Dr. Arman Siddiqui, presents Mayor Fadness with a token of appreciation for his leadership.
Your vote, your voice!
You still have time to vote early for the 2019 Indiana Municipal election. Here are the locations and times of the early voting sites in the counties where our members reside in:
Election Day is Tuesday, November 5, 2019. You can find your polling location and voting times here.
IMAN Associates strongly urges Muslim Hoosiers to go out and vote for two reasons
1) Historically, municipal elections witness a low voter turnout, and 2019 election is no exception. Hence, your vote counts and can move the needle and make a difference.
2) When elected, candidates on the ballots will shape our cities and touch our lives with the policies they create. When you vote, you choose who represents you and creates these policies.
A Muslim running for Indiana State Senate:
Given that electing a Muslim candidate aligns with the strategic goals of the organization, IMAN Associates formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) for the purpose of raising money to elect Dr. Fady Qaddoura. To learn about his campaign priorities, visit the PAC webpage.
Vying to represent State Senate District 30 (SD30), Dr. Qaddoura is the first American Muslim to run for a state senate seat in Indiana. When elected, he will sponsor and vote on bills that will impact not only his constituents in SD30, but also Hoosiers statewide. Thus, it is imperative for Indiana Muslims to support him. Here are some ways for you to get involved:
It is time to end gerrymandering..
Gerrymandering (the process of drawing electoral districts for partisan advantage) takes away people’s right to choose their representatives. Instead, legislators choose their constituents! Since it threatens our democracy by diluting the voting power of ethnic or minority groups, advocates in different states have been urgently calling for a reform... But why the urgency?
2020 census will pave the way for redistricting in 2021. Maps will be redrawn based on the size of constituents in each district. In the Hoosier state, the Indiana General Assembly has the power to draw the maps, and the majority party will draw them in their own favor. That’s why redistricting reform is desperately needed!
IMAN Associates and the All IN 4 Democracy coalition have been steadfast in their fight to bring a redistricting reform to Indiana, requesting that an independent commission of citizens takes on the responsibility of drawing electoral districts for nonpartisan advantage. Given that 2020 legislative session is a short one, the coalition wants to hit the ground running from day one! The following two events are opportunities for you to help the coalition lay the groundwork for this reform:
Meeting with Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett:
On September 17, 2019, Muslim community leaders, representing Al Salam Foundation, Indianapolis Muslim Community Association (IMCA), Masjid Al-Mumineen, Al-haqq Foundation and IMAN Associates, met with Mayor Joe Hogsett at his office. The meeting started with informing the Mayor of the diverse and growing Muslim community in the city of Indianapolis, and then touched upon different topics, including criminal justice reform and economic development. To foster the inclusion of Muslims within the city of Indianapolis, the Mayor has recommended meeting with Muslim community leaders quarterly. Such meetings would keep the Mayor informed and spur the discussion of what policies can mitigate different challenges and grow further opportunities for the Muslim community.
IMAN Associates will work closely with Chief of Staff Thomas Cook and City Financial Officer Dr. Fady Qaddoura to coordinate those quarterly meetings and advance the interests of Indianapolis Muslims.
School Voucher Program:
Given that full-time Islamic schools in the state of Indiana rely, at least in part, on the voucher program, IMAN Associates ran an assessment of the current status and the future of the voucher program in the foreseeable future, and shared it with 9 full-time Islamic schools operating in Indianapolis, Fishers, Plainfield, Bloomington, Fort Wayne and Crown Point.
To read the findings, please follow this link.
Given that electing a Muslim candidate aligns with the strategic goals of the organization, IMAN Associates formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) for the purpose of raising money to elect Dr. Fady Qaddoura.
Fundraisers to support Dr. Qaddoura’s political campaign witness a great turn out. Many community members are excited about his candidacy and contribute generously to the PAC. You too can support him by either donating or hosting a fundraiser for him.
To learn about his campaign, visit the PAC webpage.
Voter Registration deadline is few days away!
You still have few days until the registration closes on October 7. We urge Muslim community members to vote in the upcoming municipal election. Candidates running for mayor and city council seats will be on the ballot and those elected will shape the cities we live in and create policies that touch various aspects of our daily lives.
By visiting Indiana Voters Portal, you can register to vote, check your registration, find early voting locations and learn who is on the ballot. Please note that early voting starts on October 8.
A resolution honoring the life of Mustafa Ayoubi
Over the past few months, IMAN Associates had the opportunity to work closely with Sen. Ford to pass a resolution honoring the life of Musafa Ayoubi, a young Muslim Hoosier who lost his life to a heinous hate crime in February 2019. Such a resolution sends a strong message that bigotry is not accepted and should not be tolerated in the state of Indiana. IMAN Associates will continue its legislative advocacy to ensure Indiana is a welcoming state to the Muslim community.
With the presence of the Ayoubi family, Sen. JD Ford presented the resolution at the Senate Caucus room at the Indiana Statehouse on August 9, 2019.
Have you heard the news?
A Muslim candidate is running for State Senate District 30!
Just last week, Dr. Fady Qaddoura, Indianapolis City Controller and Chief Financial Officer, filed his candidacy for 2020 elections. He is vying to represent State Senate District 30, which includes portions of Hamilton and Marion counties.
Since electing a Muslim candidate to the Indiana General Assembly aligns with IMAN Associates’ strategic goals, the organization has set up a Political Action Committee (PAC) to support his campaign.
Here are some ways to get involved:
Indianapolis Mayoral Candidate Forum:
IMAN Associates, in collaboration with Indianapolis Muslim Community Association (IMCA), hosted Indianapolis Mayoral Candidate Forum on August 25, 2019.
We were honored to have State Senator Jim Merritt For Mayor (R), Dr. Fady Qaddoura (Indianapolis City Controller and Chief Financial Officer) on behalf of Mayor Hogsett (D), and Mr. Douglas McNaughton (L) participate at the event. It was a well-received event where participants discussed their political priorities and answered the attendees’ questions.
We are grateful for IMCA, Masjid Al-Mumineen and Muslim Community Center for engaging their communities at the forum.
Building Bridges with Elected Officials:
On September 7, 2019, IMAN Associates Executive Director, Hiba Alami, visited Alhuda Foundation, where she explored how to build bridges with elected officials. She dwelled on the reasons for building those bridges and the different ways the Indiana Muslim community can flex its political muscles. Such events foster community engagement, and the organization appreciates the opportunity.
President Trump's Tweets Spur Concerns
On the heels of President Trump’s anti-immigrants tweets, asking four Congresswomen “to go back where they came from,” our board members, Samia Alajlouni, Mehmood Iqbal and Syed Ali Saeed, met with U.S. Senator Todd Young on July 26, 2019 in his office in downtown Indianapolis.
Sen. Young expressed his concern with President Trump’s statements and clarified that such statements do not align with his values. He has also publicly expressed the same sentiments at a prior event. Sen. Young was specifically interested in attending events hosted by the Indiana Muslim organizations and fostering a sincere relationship with our community.
Check our newsletters for the latest updates at the Indiana Statehouse and upcoming events in the Muslim community.