I came to South Bend in 1986 with my husband who is a professor at Notre Dame. We raised our children in a historic home on West Washington Street and sent them to the public schools.
I have a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning and have worked developing affordable housing over the last 30+ years. From 1990 to 1997 I was an employee of South Bend Heritage Foundation and coordinated financing for the development of several local projects including Robertson’s Apartments, Heritage Homes Southeast, and West Washington Homes. After that, I started a consulting business, Neighborhood Development Associates. Over the last 22 years, NDA has worked with partners to obtain financing for over 1,000 affordable homes and apartments. Some of our projects include the YWCA of St. Joseph County, Hope Rescue Mission Women’s Apartments, and Dogwood Estates in Walkerton. Six of the projects received Project of the Year Awards from the state of Indiana. In partnership with South Bend Heritage Foundation, we developed South Bend Mutual Homes, a cooperative housing development consisting of 24 new single-family affordable homes on South Bend’s Near West Side. We also obtained over $100,000 in grants and donations to start a neighborhood pocket park on the near west side.
I’m running because we need to continue the progress made over the last few years. South Bend has changed for the better and we need to stay open to new possibilities to keep the city growing. Issues that are important include:
- Expanding Development to the Neighborhoods: While downtown South Bend is thriving, the new development needs to expand to every neighborhood. We need to be strategic about our investments and target them to achieve results.
- Fostering Open, Honest and Accountable Government: I believe in equality for all citizens. Everyone has something to contribute and progress needs to include all residents. Government should be transparent and accountable and should focus on investments that produce results.
- Infrastructure: Street improvements, sidewalks and curbs, adequate lighting, and solid storm water drainage and sewer systems are needed to support neighborhoods and to protect home values. I support planning to evenly distribute improvements among neighborhoods and distribution of information so citizens know the timing of planned improvements. We can’t do everything all at once but if the improvements are handled in an open manner, it will give people knowledge so they can make informed decisions.
Since I’ve been in South Bend, I’ve learned to work with all kinds of people. I know that teamwork is critical. I understand money, budgets, development funding, and lending. For many years, I have worked with neighborhoods and local and state governments from the outside to promote positive change. I’ve seen that great things can happen when diverse people work together for common goals. Based on my experience and knowledge, I believe I can be an effective South Bend Common Council member. I’m asking for your support in this election. Let’s work together to keep South Bend moving!
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.