Community pushing for development on the west side
SOUTH BEND, Ind – Second District Council Member Henry Davis Jr. joined nearly 50 community leaders and residents at a town hall on Tuesday night, pushing for change in neighborhoods west of the river. The last comprehensive plan was established back in 2006 for the area, but now the community believes it’s time for action.
“Certain parts of the community get more attention than the others and I think that all these communities should have some input of getting things done,” said Reverend Lonnie Hosea who lives in District Two.
Hosea is just one of the community members who showed up for a town hall Tuesday night. Hosea said he wants to see improved streets and more measures taken to combat gun violence. Some of the many issues Councilman Henry Davis Jr. said plagues the area.
“They’re going to talk about affordable housing, they’re going to talk about crime in the area, they’re going to talk about food desserts in the area, they’re going to talk about the traffic patterns that have interrupted our daily lives in our neighborhoods. They’re going to talk about the quality of life we so desperately need this side of the river in our neighborhoods,” added Davis.
Under the Common Council’s new Resolution 4925-21 passed in august, neighborhoods west of the river make up about four districts and many at Tuesday night’s town hall said they’ve been neglected for years.
Which is why Davis said he’s rallying around the community to call on the city to use COVID-19 funding for an area that's overlooked.
“The ARP monies are going to go support those who’ve needed it the most. We’re in a situation now where we are looking at the dollars from those infusion of dollars from the federal government, that are going to places that were not necessarily agreeable with and also know that the federal government did set a mandate that we do need to invest in areas where there are disparities. So, we are asking for that to happen,” explained Davis.
Davis also said he is calling on the city to hire an urban planner to help improve the existing parts of the neighborhood along with adding new developments. He believed Tuesday’s town hall was just the first series of meetings to get things started.