Posts Tagged ‘TAP’

Donnelly ducks, Puckett panders

October 14, 2008

(from WSBT)

SOUTH BEND — Thousands came together Sunday to ignite change in the community. They also put local leaders and those running for office in the hot seat.

The group is called “Transforming Action Through Power” or TAP. It’s a faith-based outreach group made up of 12 local churches from Catholic and Baptist, to Jewish and Pentacostal.

The group focused on four major issues facing South Bend: education, economic development, racial profiling and immigration.

The contagious engery and cheers of promise from more than 1,200 people in the Washington High School Gym were also laced with concern about very real issues.

“There are so many barriers,” said one speaker. “Sometimes it’s language, sometimes it’s color, sometimes it’s gender.

That’s why the non-partison group TAP tried to break down those barriers, putting elected officials and those running for office in the hot seat.

“They are working for us,” said TAP civil rights leader Eva Patterson.

On Immigration, South Bend Mayor Steve Luecke committed to work toward reforming national immigration laws.

“Federal law really needs to identify a path for citizenship for residents who are here,” Luecke said.

Indiana Second Congressional District Republican candidate Luke Puckett promised to temporarily stop immigration raids if he’s elected.

“I asked to put a moratorium on this, on the ICE raids until we can literally sit down and put a process together for those who are here illegally to get their residency,” Puckett explained.

Incumbent Congressman Joe Donnelly does not support that. In a statement, a spokesperson for Donnelly’s campaign wrote “Cracking down on employers who knowingly employ undocumented workers is one way we enforce our laws. Joe does not believe we should be making it harder for the federal government and our law enforcement officials to do their job.”

Another issue addressed at Sunday’s meeting — racial profiling — right here in South Bend.

“In [a] study, it showed that Blacks and Hispanics were stopped more than others of a different race in South Bend,” said Eva Patterson.

When WSBT asked whether racial profiling is a problem in South Bend, police Sgt. Christopher Voros replied, “not that we’ve seen.”

In the meeting, Sgt. Voros spoke about the police department’s commitment to being fair — fitting the TAP theme of giving a voice to everyone, regardless of race, color, gender or age.

Several of the current South Bend School Board members and those running for the board were also at Sunday’s meeting. They collectively answered “yes” and “no” questions from TAP representatives.