Feb 7, 2024 - News

The top 3 problems Black Hoosiers face

Marhsawn Wolley, a principal at Crossroads Public Affairs, speaks at the Indiana Statehouse.

Marshawn Wolley, a principal at Crossroads Public Affairs, speaks during Community Day at the Indiana Statehouse. Photo: Justin L. Mack/Axios

New data suggests that Black Hoosiers say community violence, affordable housing and mental health are the top three problems they want solved.

Driving the news: Crossroads Public Affairs shared results from its study, which surveyed more than 80,000 Black residents in urban and rural Indiana communities, at the Statehouse on Tuesday.

What happened: In addition to sharing the results of the study, Tim Brown, managing principal at Crossroads Public Affairs, walked event attendees through how the legislative process works, how to find their local representative and how to track bills they're interested in online.

  • Plus: House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) and House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) participated in a Q&A.

Between the lines: Indianapolis Urban League CEO Tony Mason says he often hears stories of Black Hoosiers not getting involved in the legislative process because of concerns over the integrity of their votes and not liking any of the candidates on their ballots.

Meanwhile, African American Coalition of Indianapolis president Duane Ingram said issues like community violence, affordable housing and mental health only grow larger as lawmakers allow inequalities related to wages, transportation and economic development to persist.

  • "The Black community in the state of Indiana is under attack. And the attack is very subtle," he said.

What we're watching: Marshawn Wolley, a principal at Crossroads Public Affairs, said survey respondents said the top three actions they were willing to take right now are meeting with a local legislator, supporting a grassroots campaign and writing to a lawmaker.

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