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Monday, September 20, 2021

Poor peoples’ campaign

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Special to the Recorder

The Baptist Ministers Alliance has launched a poor peoples’ campaign entitled, “Where are the jobs?” in an effort to highlight issues affecting the poor in the Indianapolis community.

The alliance is a historic religious organization that has been in existence for 141 years.

The aim of the campaign is to place a face on the rising number of unemployed and the working poor in the city of Indianapolis. According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, unemployment among African-Americans is 15.7 percent compared to 8 percent for whites.

It has also been recently reported that more than 35,000 jobs have been lost in Indianapolis, according to the alliance.

Stephen J. Clay, president of the Baptist Ministers Alliance, said, “There seems to be a direct correlation between high unemployment and rising crime. When people feel hopeless and have no voice of advocacy, their despair may lead to violence and crime. It is for this reason that we are advocating for the poor and unemployment is one of our primary concerns.”

“Crime has been reported to be down; however, unemployment is certainly up,” Rev. Clay added. “We are not looking for more rhetoric, we are looking for results and asking the question, where are the jobs?”

The Baptist Ministers Alliance wants to put a face on the number of unemployed and working poor in the city. For those people who are jobless or among the working poor (employed but your annual wages place you at or below the federal poverty line), the BMA said it wants to become their voice and assist those people with improving their condition.

“We are asking for those who are unemployed or underemployed to provide us a current resume along with a photograph. The BMA will ask our congressional representatives to take the collected photos and resumes to Washington, D.C., and enter them into the Congressional Record,” the release said.

The ministers’ group asked that resumes and photos be put in PDF format and e-mailed to BMAindy@messiahmbc.org.

In addition to collecting the photos and resumes, alliance members will provide voter registration for those individuals who have not registered for the upcoming election cycle. The BMA will call upon candidates seeking public office to address the matter of unemployment and underemployment in a real and tangible way.

The federal guidelines that determine poverty level are :

If you’re a family of one (1) and make $10,890 or less.

If you’re a family of two (2) and make $14,710 or less.

If you’re a family of three (3) and make $18, 530 or less.

If you’re a family of four (4) and make $22,350 or less.

For a list of ministers alliance church locations that are accepting resumes and other information for the initiative, go to www.indybma.org.

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