No to Prop 291 = Yes to Human Rights


No to Prop 291 = Yes to Human Rights

This petition made change with 1,542 supporters!
Killian Kinney, MSW, LSW, ABD started this petition to Indianapolis City Council Council Members

PROPOSAL NO. 291, 2020 will hurt communities.  Prop 291 will legally limit the right to charitable distribution of goods (aka sharing food, clothing, first aid, and other care to those in need) by:

  1. Requiring the registration of donors
  2. Restricting donation activities
  3. Requiring registering for a permit with 48 hours notice for any public or private distribution to 10 or more people

Prop 291 is scheduled to be heard by the Indianapolis City Council on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020.  The following will be shared along with the petition signatures:

City Council members,

We represent concerned community members, including educators, students, sociologists, social workers, medical doctors, and nurses, among others who find Prop 291 unnecessary, unethical, and cruel.  Prop 291 will create bureaucratic barriers to giving aid to others in public and private spaces, which pointedly impacts unhoused individuals.  We are individuals who share our time and resources in mutual aid to improve our unhoused neighbors' lives.  Freely sharing food, clothing, and hygiene and health supplies (including masks and hand sanitizer) to those in need should not be controlled.

The Wilson Kehoe Winingham law firm states, in regards to Good Samaritan Law, “In Indiana, any person who comes across an emergency can provide aid in good faith. That person will be immune from a lawsuit.  This immunity covers any acts or omissions that happen in the course of offering help.”  To be clear, those who are unhoused are experiencing one or more emergencies. The National Health Care for the Homeless Council states, “Homelessness doesn’t merely change lives—all too often, it ends them. On average, people without homes die 30 years sooner than people with housing, and they are 3-4 times likelier to die.”

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the January 2020 Point-in-Time Count found 1,588 unhoused individuals in Marion County, a 77% increase from the previous year. The need to assist unhoused individuals is evidenced by the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention (CHIP). Despite collective efforts, our existing social services do not support the needs of everyone. If you consider the challenges faced by those who are unhoused, it becomes clear that Prop 291 would unnecessarily exacerbate these circumstances.

When people are sick, starving, and dying on our streets, we have appallingly neglected a portion of our Indianapolis community.  In a country that prioritizes profit over people, it is a gift of hope when we compassionately connect with our fellow human beings.  Though our current sociopolitical climate indicates a need for more social service support and humanity, Prop 291 is a punitive policy that will cause unnecessary harm to an already marginalized population.

For these reasons and more, we ask the Indianapolis City Council to value the lives of all Hoosiers and vote NO to Prop 291.

In addition to this petition, you can voice your concerns with the Indianapolis City Council at 317.327.4242 (8-5 M-F)


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