(A name given to me by the City Controller since I regularly attend the Council Meetings and 14 Budget Hearings)
Poverty in South Bend
Although South Bend's downtown may sparkle, there are many in our community who are struggling.
NOTE: "Racial Wealth Divide" was a study paid for by the City of South Bend.
Unemployment is low, but some people are working more than one job to survive. When there are 50% of children in the schools qualifying for a free lunch we have our youngest residents getting off to a hard start. There are many Seniors having to decide between food and medicine. There are the disabled who struggle privately and are mostly unseen.
As I have watched the Budget and the spending priorities, I am dismayed that only grants have gone to community problems while the City accumulates debt for the projects of the rich. There are many wealthy investors that fly in and out of South Bend for investing in business projects. The private jet area of our airport is a busy one. I think that is the resource that needs to be tapped for development.
My grandparents started Habitat for Humanity originally for poor sharecroppers in South Georgia who generation after generation were never going to be able to break out of the poverty cycle. "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a life time." It's about interrupting the cycle and creating/funding resources that do that.
How do we do that? We grow our economy from the ground up, not the top down.
I look at how they do it all over the world. For the multi-millions we have spent hoping "trickle down" works, the real lasting successes come from giving micro loans and starting seed level companies so people can determine their own destiny. I believe "Community Development" needs to be at the community level. Places like Tennessee have had excellent success. I'm not talking "hand out", I'm talking about "hand up". That means investing in people at the street level. There is some of that, but not at the level I would like to see it happen.
Patterns for success are out there. I think the City can facilitate it better and join with community partners. I feel energized when I go to the "Food for Thought" meetings and see all the amazing people in our community doing great things. I'd like to see that ramped up so organizations are not operating in silos. There's a lot going on out there, but it needs to be better coordinated and it needs to include the Seniors, the disabled and the disenfranchised. I have some ideas on how to make that happen.
Source: State of Indiana .gov
Indiana University --> South Bend and Elkhart Forecast for 2019
It is my goal as an Advocate to involve YOU in the process.
If these are your priorities, I need your VOTE and Donations!
My campaign is a grassroots one. Donations are appreciated and helpful!
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