As we mark South Bend’s 150th anniversary, we face a turning point. With low interest rates and gas prices plus an improving national economy, investors seek new ventures without excessive risk. South Bend is poised to respond. We have ample reserves and the best bond rating of comparable Indiana cities. Several new initiatives, from the FedEx distribution center to new Ignition Park investments, show great promise.
Yet a dysfunctional City Council is the weak link. Some members have acted in ways that could cause investors to see our city as too great a risk. We can’t afford to let good opportunities pass us by with the challenges we face:
- Our region’s falling behind. Per-capita income has fallen to 82 percent of the national average.
- Jobs are concentrated in declining, rather than growing, industries.
- In South Bend, 28 percent of residents live below the poverty line, an extremely low measure. More alarmingly, close to half of households lack sufficient income to survive. Poverty is the root cause behind concerns about our public schools, abandoned housing and crime.
I’m running for City Council At Large because we need to do better as a city and people. It begins with ending the politics of division we’ve seen so we can move forward together as a progressive, prospering city with equal opportunity for all. My top priority is to expand our economic and population base with a proactive strategy for good jobs and new business investment so we can afford to be the community we want to be – safer, sustainable and more livable.
All the candidates are honorable people and some desire this vision. Yet our Council needs more than good intentions. We need people with experience, innovative ideas and the ability to “listen for a change” because the wisdom of all of us is stronger than the smartest one of us. There are three reasons why a vote for Tom Price as one of your three choices May 5 in the Council At Large race will make a difference:
- Government Experience: I’m the only candidate who has worked in a city administration as a department head. As Assistant to Mayor Luecke, I led the All-America City effort, and promoted economic development, neighborhoods and Ignition Park.
- Fresh Innovation: Most of my career has been in the private sector – award-winning journalist, marketing/communications director and entrepreneur. I now write grants for a healthcare foundation. I’ve brought people together while on staff at the Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center – relationships that will help rebuild trust with our entire community.
- Broad Community Support: My candidacy and strategy have been endorsed by the Chamber and Mayor Luecke, signaling a desire for change – a bold choice for a new face in local politics. My supporters include business and labor, young professionals and long-time residents, people from all income levels and races – a movement seeking unity to advance economic opportunity for all. Visit my website – http://www.PriceforCouncil.com – and decide for yourself. I ask for your vote Tuesday, May 5.
Meet the Candidates is a series introducing candidates in their own words. Articles are posted verbatim. South Bend Voice has offered to publish articles for all South Bend office seekers who are on the May 5th primary ballot.