South Bend Common Council candidates participate in candidate forum at IUSB

NOW: South Bend Common Council candidates participate in candidate forum at IUSB

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- On Thursday, the American Democracy Project hosted a forum for candidates running for the first, third, and sixth districts of the South Bend Common Council.

The forum took place inside an auditorium at Indiana University at South Bend. Voters, like Dan Kane from District 3, said his priorities are keeping the momentum going and pushing more resources into the neighborhoods.

“Well I think to keep moving forward where we’re at now,” said Kane.

Moderator Dr. Elizabeth Bennion touches on crime, development, and politics. On Thursday, the candidates opened with their priorities.

District 1 Candidate Karl Nichols said his priority is solving underlying issue, which can help the city’s crime problem.

“There’s poverty there’s joblessness, there’s so many issues that lead to the crime,” Nichols said. “If you address those issue the crime will decrease.”

The incumbent Tim Scott placed housing and job growth as his priorities.

“You got jobs, you got housing,” he said. “In the right housing, in the right infill, the crime is going to be less.”

Sharon McBride, incumbent candidate for District 3, said here top concern will continue to be homeless.

“To make sure that we find the permanent housing that they need,” she said. “That they also have the wraparound services that they need as well.”

According to ADP, McBride’s opponent, Barbara Matson could not make Thursday night’s forum.

Jason Banicki, who is running for the District 6 seat, said his priority is attracting quality companies that promote livable wages.

“If we work to attract quality companies that pay living wages it’ll work in our favor to reduce violent crime,” Banicki said.

Shiela Niezgodski, also running for the District 6 seat, said affordable housing is a necessity in South Bend.

“To me it’s like what are we doing to incentivize developers to lower that cost,” she said.

The South Bend Common Council race passes the mayoral race with nearly 30 people running. Sam Brown, from District 1, said the number of candidates is not overwhelming.

“If you don’t get the results, you go out and run,” he said. “I’m proud of everyone who’s running.”

A 'meet the candidate' event for mayor, council, and city clerk candidates is scheduled for Thursday, March 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Click here for a full list of election events.

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