I am a graduate of Washington High School and Indiana University, who has worked both in the public sector, 5 ½ years as a corrections officer, and the private sector, 6 years in sales and management and almost a decade at a family owned business. I am a 4th generation resident of South Bend’s 6th District who has regularly attended council meetings since 2015.
If elected to the council I would work to make sure we are implementing strategies and deploying resources to attract good paying job for local workers of all educational backgrounds and skill levels. South Bend has an average income of $21,000 per person compared to the national average of $31,786. Imagine how many of our problems we could solve if people were making an average of $10,000 more per year. Housing would be more affordable, with more money to spend we could see local businesses opening up in long forgotten neighborhoods, and we might just help some of our neighbors struggle less financially.
We need to make sure we are doing everything we can to make our neighborhoods safer. This starts with adding back the 30 police officer positions eliminated in the 2019 budget. If we had 30 additional police officers we might be able to reinstitute a traffic division to reduce the reckless driving occurring in every neighborhood and possibly have officers out walking their beat and getting to know the neighbors in the areas they patrol. We need to continue to support and expand the GVI and SAVE programs. We also need to partner with local agencies, like the Robinson Center that offers a program that teaches students Non-Violent Conflict Resolution skills. These are a few of my ideas, but I also think a key component would be having voices at the table from the most impacted neighborhoods, to see what ideas they have to make their neighborhoods safer.
I also want to make sure we are prioritizing infrastructure improvements. While knocking on doors in every neighborhood of the 6th District one of the things that has stuck out to me is the terrible conditions of many roads and sidewalks, if there is even a sidewalk present. If we truly aspire to be an inclusive city we need infrastructure everyone can use, and with the current conditions of our roads and sidewalks if you have any mobility issues that is not the case.
Voters should chose me to be their representative for South Bend’s 6th District because I have the experience, dedication, and passion to make a positive impact from Day One. Having attended council meetings has let me see what the city does well and where it needs to improve. I want to put that knowledge to use to benefit all of the in the 6th District by working to attract better paying jobs, implementing programs and making sure our police department has the resources needed to make our neighborhoods safer, and focus spending on critical needs like fixing roads and sidewalks.
Meet the Candidates is a series introducing candidates in their own words. South Bend Voice has offered to publish statements from all South Bend office seekers who are on the May 7th primary ballot. Statements are posted verbatim. Find out more about the candidates on the ballot at Vote411.org.