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Bloomington, IN – January 29, 2019 – The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, along with Mayor John Hamilton, the Bloomington City Council, and the Monroe County Commissioners are signatories on a letter to Senator Rodrick Bray in favor of the passage of an inclusive hate crime bill this legislative session.

Indiana is one of just 5 states without a hate crimes law in place. Hate crimes laws allow judges to enact stricter sentences for criminals that target victims based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, disability, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

The Chamber reached out to elected officials with the idea of collaborating on a statement or resolution. “This legislation is finally gaining traction because Hoosiers recognize that it is the right thing to do. It is not only good for residents and visitors, but it is also good for business. Indiana will struggle economically if we can’t attract or retain a talented workforce. I’m pleased the business community is lending its voice to this important cause,” said Erin Predmore, president and CEO of the Chamber.

This is not the first time the Chamber has spoken out on issues like this. In 2014 the Chamber opposed the House Joint Resolution (HJR-6), which would alter the definition of marriage within the Indiana Constitution. In 2016 the Chamber reiterated its support of efforts to expand the state’s civil rights law to include protection for sexual orientation and gender identity. “The Chamber believes that any proposed legislation to limit or exclude protections offered to individuals hinders efforts to recruit new business, appeal to top talent, or grow our economy,” said Predmore.

The Chamber, Mayor Hamilton, the Commissioners, and the President of the Monroe County Council have all approved signatures to the letter. The City Council will vote on the letter tonight. This is a time-sensitive issue, but the Chamber welcomes other organizations and municipalities to join as signatories. If interested, please contact Anne Bono at abono@chamberbloomington.org to be added.

About the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce:

The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit membership organization serving as our community’s leading advocate for business. We offer unique leadership opportunities, meaningful volunteer activities, and exclusive business-building programs focused on critical economic, civic, and social priorities. Chamber members support each other and community initiatives, sharing information and resources to help create economic opportunity and community well-being. At the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, we believe that better business leads to a better community.

Contact:

Anne Bono
Vice President and Director of Advocacy and Public Policy
812.336.6381
abono@chamberbloomington.org

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