As a lifelong resident of South Bend, successful small business owner of 18 years, parent, coach, and community activist, I, Jo M. Broden, am a candidate for the 4th District Common Council seat. I seek elected office because South Bend needs leaders capable of working strategically across all sectors of our community to leverage the tremendous public and private assets of our area to grow our region’s economy and shape a vibrant, unique city full of opportunity.
My first obligation will be to serve and represent citizens of both the 4th district and of the city as a whole. I can fulfill this duty, having spent nearly 30 years serving and advancing our community, most notably, at the Alzheimer’s Association Northern Indiana Chapter (9 years as Executive Director), St. Margaret’s House (17 years volunteer service/Board leadership), in area schools with our youth, and within my neighborhood (I am in my twenty-first year living, working and raising a family in the 4th District). With a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame and a graduate degree in Applied Gerontology from Ball State University, I have shaped public policy as a Governor Bayh appointee to the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Senile Dementia Task Force (1992-1996) and championed the Family Medical Leave Act and expansion of Indiana’s C.H.O.I.C.E. home care program. I have gained an awareness of the rich diversity, needs and strengths of our community. I have consistently sought and will continue to broaden the socio-economic, racial, cultural, gender, and age mix of those involved in shaping our community.
As a Common Council Member, I will prioritize tax dollar spending to deliver effective, efficient city services and strategic investment in our city’s growth. I will work to meet expectations for safe neighborhoods & parks, environmentally sound water, sewer and trash services, along with well-maintained streets, sidewalk, bike, and bus routes. As we pivot to serve and strengthen our neighborhoods, the core building blocks of South Bend, and expand opportunities for all residents citywide, it will be my priority to listen, engage, collaborate, plan, and advocate to bring about tangible change and progress across our City.
As an elected leader, I will foster partnerships to create an economic climate friendly to entrepreneurs, advanced manufacturing, medical, information and science technologies, while supporting existing businesses in efforts to expand and thrive. To connect people to jobs, I will support workforce development initiatives including quality k-12 schools, early childhood education and all-day kindergarten, job skill retraining, increased wages and benefits, and the research-to-market efforts of our colleges and universities.
While we shape our life today, plan and work for a vibrant future, I will bring my knowledge and passion for our community, a dedication to service, a strong work ethic, outcome-focused leadership skills, and professional demeanor to the South Bend Common Council. My work, volunteerism, educational background, and life experiences have all prepared me well to serve my neighbors, the business community, institutions, and all the citizens of our city.