Indiana NAACP leaders express concerns over new infrastructure plan

Indiana NAACP leaders express concerns over new infrastructure plan
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 7:05 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Local leaders from the NAACP are calling on Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to reject an infrastructure plan from the Indiana Department of Transportation.

INDOT submitted a plan to use $100 million to create a network for electric vehicles, and 14 News reporter Brady Williams spoke with some people who feel it isn’t fair to all Hoosiers.

The concern that NAACP leaders have raised is that the current plan isn’t entirely equitable.

They said the first issue is that a large subset of Hoosiers was not able to weigh in on this.

They said only three public hearings were held to determine how these funds would be used, and it severely limited how many people could attend.

NAACP leaders also said they would like to see contracting opportunities become more diverse.

They want at least 10% of contractors working on the plan to be minority entrepreneurs.

Denis Abdul-Rahman is president of the Indiana NAACP environmental justice program. She said their main goal is to ensure that minorities are receiving an equitable share of the benefits this electric vehicle plan can provide.

“If you build the infrastructure, you will have a lot of economic benefits by having it within the community, the jobs and the contract opportunities,” Abdul-Rahman said.

NAACP leaders said they are going to call on the federal government to reject the plan until some of these issues are resolved.

They are also asking for Buttigieg to visit the area so they can show him some of their plans and how communities are affected by infrastructure.