Building the Indiana We Deserve
We are living in a time of unprecedented threats to our lives, families and communities.
Those in charge at the state and federal level represent corporate control and structural racism, and they’re consolidating power. Our lives are dominated by corporations, banks, and legal systems designed to serve the rich. They say there is not enough for all of us to thrive, that we must compete with one another in order to get by. If we don’t live happy, comfortable lives, they blame “those people over there,” pitting us against one another -- urban against rural, Christian against Muslim, white against black, US born against immigrant, men against women, heterosexuals against LGBTQ+ people.
The truth is we are struggling. Hard-working families are struggling to get by. People have to choose between buying food or medicine -- or paying down debt. Corporate pharmaceutical drug-pushers make money hand over fist while everyday people battling addiction are deprived of treatment.
This is not the Indiana we want. This is not the Indiana we deserve.
We live in the most abundant country in history. There is more than enough to go around. Our country is rich enough for everyone to have everything needed to thrive.
We believe that all Hoosiers deserve freedom, dignity, and democracy.
All Hoosiers deserve freedom from violence, poverty, and debt. All Hoosiers deserve the freedom to flourish, to move and to communicate, to find joy and have fun, to develop and support communities and families. All Hoosiers deserve freedom from fear for their livelihood, their home, or their family.
All Hoosiers deserve dignity: at work, at home, and in public. All Hoosiers deserve the dignity that comes from good housing, quality care, healthy food, clean air and water, protected natural beauty, educational opportunities, and free time. All Hoosiers deserve to know comfort, peace of mind, and the pursuit of happiness.
All Hoosiers deserve democracy. All Hoosiers deserve to shape the decisions that impact their lives. All Hoosiers deserve to help set the agenda for our state. All Hoosiers deserve easy access to voting and other vehicles for collective decision-making.
That is the Indiana we believe in. That is the Indiana we will fight to build.
Kate Hess Pace, Executive Director
Kate Hess Pace has worked for the past seven years as a community organizer for ISAIAH in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota) to empower people who have been left out of public decision making and to create organizations focused on building power for social justice. She led the campaign to win the Homeowners Bill of Rights, securing some of the strongest foreclosure protections in the country, she was an integral part of the successful efforts to defeat voting ID on the ballot in Minnesota, and she worked with Director Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to put forward some of the first federal rules on predatory lending. Kate is a national trainer, leading training and workshops for community leaders for several years. She is a fourth generation Hoosier and deep believer in the potential of the state and its people.
Jesse Myerson, Outreach Director
Jesse Myerson has worked as an organizer with 1199/SEIU and Working America and a communications associate with the NYS Nurses Association. His writings have been published in The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Nation, and elsewhere. He hosts the podcast From The Heartland.
Jessica Martlage, Organizer
Jessica Martlage was born in Franklin, Indiana but was raised and lived in Martinsville, Indiana for 18 years. She worked many factory jobs before volunteering as a lead organizer during Bernie Sanders' 2016 Democratic primary campaign. She went on to work for the Indiana Democratic Party in Evansville during the 2016 general election campaign.
1. Organized people + Organized money = Power
2. Relationships are the core of organizing.
3. Great ideas, good intentions, and well-written reports do not change the world; real social change happens through tension, agitation, and building power.
4. Our job is to move people from scarcity to abundance, from isolation to community, and from despair into action.
5. Advancing our vision of abundance is a direct confrontation with the forces of racism and hatred and a path forward to a society based on equality and justice.
6. We determine what’s possible, no one else.
7. We are disciplined: We do what we say we’ll do when we say we’ll do it, we show up on time, we hold honest and direct conversations, we don’t make excuses, and we don’t reward victimhood.
8. Organizers don’t help others; we invite others to join us in taking action around our collective self-interest.
9. We are afraid and angry, and the people on the other side of doors across the state are afraid and angry too. We invite them into a different vision for their lives and the state.
10. A well-functioning organization is necessary to contest for power.