Meet the Candidates: Suzan Kesim, South Bend Common Council At-Large

The Kesim Action Committee is pleased to announce the candidacy of Suzan Kesim for South Bend Council At-Large. Many of you know me as an Advocate in our community. After attending South Bend Common Council meetings for over 3 years and participating in the 14 City Budget Hearings in 2018, I have decided it’s time to step up and take my seat at the table so I can vote on important issues for you, the Citizens of South Bend.

As a Citizen Advocate I go to these meetings having…

  • Researched the background information before the meetings
  • Ask questions and express concerns
  • Give suggestions on how to improve the City and the Budget Process

Unfortunately they only allow 3 to 5 minutes for input at the meetings, so I feel I’m not as effective as I could be. Finally I decided it wasn’t enough to sit in the audience. It’s time for me to step up and have a “seat at the table” so I can vote and see the changes I think are necessary to get South Bend back to the “necessities” instead of the “wants” that are draining the budget and running up debt.

My promise to you is to work on making sure our tax dollars are spent wisely and to the benefit of the WHOLE community.  

My community service and advocacy has included:

  • Serving as an in-home Center for Hospice Volunteer for 10 years
  • Coordinating educational programs for Seniors for 7 years
  • Assisting the efforts of Unity Gardens for 9 years / Purdue Master Gardener
  • Junior Achievement Classroom Instructor
  • Founding to bring the Maker Faire to South Bend
  • Promoting a “Chip and Tag” program for animals with
  • Junior League Internal Volunteer of the Year Award  
  • PSA ~ Public Service Announcements to keep Citizens informed
  • Creating Write My to assist advocates with the ordinance writing process
  • Many Random Acts of Kindness

I grew up in Elkhart, where my mother, Eleanor Kesim, was Mayor. I have now lived in South Bend over 25 years.  I know the area and I know the challenges. I have ideas on how it can be better. My focus is infrastructure. We need to make sure the basics are taken care of FIRST. Those things aren’t glamorous for ribbon cuttings. For me there are FOUR CORE BASICS: Water, Sewers, Roads and Public Safety.

South Bend needs to do those better now and in the future. Infrastructure and neighborhoods have been underfunded for too long. I am invested in seeing South Bend succeed—for EVERYONE.

It is my goal as an Advocate to involve YOU in the process. 

I am dedicated to making sound Budget and Civic choices for you on the Council.

I am reaching out to you, my friends and the leaders of our community, to ask for your endorsement, financial support and volunteer efforts. Please join our winning team!

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

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