Pence returns to Indiana to applaud anti-violence organization

By Shelby Mullis
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS — Vice President Mike Pence praised the Ten Point Coalition for leading the nation in finding peaceable solutions in violent neighborhoods.

Pence applauded these initiatives during the faith-based coalition’s annual luncheon Friday in Indianapolis. The Ten Point Coalition, known for its work in combatting gun violence in the state’s capital, designated Pence as this year’s keynote speaker.

Vice President Mike Pence praises the efforts of the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition, known for its efforts in combatting gun violence. Pence gave the keynote address at the coalition’s annual luncheon Friday. Photo by Shelby Mullis, TheStatehouseFile.com

“The Ten Point Coalition is not only going to be inspiring to cities across Indiana,” Pence said. “I promise you, it will continue to inspire cities and communities across the United States of America.”

During his term as Indiana governor, Pence participated in several Ten Point Coalition events, even walking in several peace walks through the streets of downtown, calling it a highlight of 2016 for he and his wife, Karen. He also honored Ten Point Coalition leader Rev. Charles Harrison in his final State of the State address last year.

Pence praised Harrison Friday for his work in making both Indianapolis and Indiana “a safer place.” He said the statistics exemplify Harrison’s work in the city.

After highlighting the work of Harrison and the coalition, the vice president also called for stronger welfare reform to bring people out of poverty.

“The truth is, we can’t solve poverty from Washington D.C.,” he said.

Citing the Trump administration’s “bottom-up” approach, Pence said change must start at the local level. He encouraged Hoosiers must stay engaged and bring forth ideas to create a pathway out of poverty.

Luncheon chairman Aaron Williams, who invited Pence to speak at the event earlier this year, introduced the vice president to the stage Friday.

Rev. Charles Harrison, founder of the Ten Point Coalition, addresses the audience at the coalition’s annual luncheon. Harrison founded the Indianapolis faith-based group in 1999. Photo by Shelby Mullis, TheStatehouseFile.com

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the vice president for nearly a decade,” Williams said. “From the first time I met him up until our most recent conversation, he has remained the same humble and patriotic ambassador of Hoosier hospitality.”

Williams said Pence has remained a champion for safer communities in both Indiana and the country.

The luncheon comes just two days after Attorney General Curtis Hill launched a program to replicate the Ten Point Coalition model in other cities across the state to reduce crime. Hill, along with Gov. Eric Holcomb, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, attended the annual luncheon.

One individual ticket for Friday’s fundraiser, held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, cost $250. Additional packages costing up to $25,000 were available for purchase and included the opportunity to meet Pence.

Shelby Mullis is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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