My name is Amanda Govaert Konrath. I’m YOUR 2nd District Common Council candidate because I believe that everyone should have a seat at the table. As a foster parent, I have chosen to live my life as an advocate for the voiceless. As the mom the teenagers, I know how disenfranchised our youth feel. As a renter, I have experienced firsthand how powerless it feels to not have a voice in important policy matters. These are the reasons I am running.
Out of college, I spent a little over a year in Washington DC as an intern. Legislation I helped research and draft is now federal law. 15 years ago I moved back to South Bend and fell in love with my hometown all over again. Much progress has been made in South Bend, but there is still much to do.
Our downtown progress has been amazing, but we need to ensure that progress makes its way to our neighborhoods. We need safe neighborhoods with sidewalks that are accessible to all, we need streets that can be driven without playing dodge the crater. We need our police officers to be community partners. We need neighborhoods that are inclusive to all.
On average, 3 families per day are evicted from their home in South Bend. When we talk about our homeless concerns, tenants must be part of that conversation. We need a comprehensive Tenant’s Bill of Rights that addresses the issues tenants face. Because homelessness is not just someone living outside. Homelessness is the family sleeping on a friend’s floor because they were evicted; it’s the family living in a home without heat. South Bend needs to be a city that treats housing as a human right.
The 2nd District is home to some of the oldest neighborhoods in South Bend. As a city, we need to honor these neighborhoods and invest in the local economy. We need to foster an environment that allows anyone to operate a small business out of their home. We need a city government that understands the financial struggles facing families in South Bend.
Much of the conversation with my neighbors has been about South Bend schools and while the council has no direct influence in our school system, there are things we can do to help our youth feel heard and appreciated. My platform includes a plan to partner with our local trade unions and teach our youth skills they can use for a career. We should be celebrating the kids going off to an apprenticeship with the same gusto we do the kid going off to college. Engaging our youth in the community gives them a sense of belonging and ownership they are currently lacking.
If elected, my promise to you is simple:
I will be your advocate.
I will represent all of the 2nd District.
I will be present in your neighborhoods.
I will be responsive to your concerns and ensure you feel heard.
I will be intentional in all decisions made and reach out to my neighbors when making important decisions on the council.
I believe that, as a community, we are only as strong as the weakest among us. I humbly ask that you vote Amanda Govaert Konrath for the 2nd District on May 7th.
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.