As we pursue economic development, it is important to do so sustainably- preserving our natural resources for future generations and for us to enjoy. As a member of The Trail Creek Watershed Partnership, it has been gratifying to see the collaboration among over 30 community agencies and organizations to complete many projects that keep Trail Creek and Lake Michigan clean and accessible to the public for recreation. We need to protect our parks and green spaces and make them available and attractive to all Michigan City residents.
I was glad to be involved in the establishment of the Michigan City Commission on Sustainability; I am looking forward to their advocacy and education in city matters.
Our city faces important challenges and opportunities. These include NICTD's double-track improvements and the closure of the NIPSCO coal burning plant. Both promise to improve the quality of life here. Our neighboring National Park expects significantly increased visitor traffic in the very near future; we need to plan for auto, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic. Let’s make sure Michigan City can make the most of our adjacent attraction. In the end, we must make sure that ALL of Michigan City’s residents benefit.
To plan for the future, public transportation should be attractive to residents and visitors, whether they have a car, or not. Transit-oriented development that is designed to be within walking distance of public transportation, including the South Shore train, must be equitable for families of all income levels. I will work to improve the current public transportation routes, hours and bus stops to better suit the needs of all residents. More and better bus shelters are needed. Young people starting their first job in Michigan City should not have to buy a car, register & insure it and pay for gas just to get to work.
We need to make sure that all parts of the city are walkable and/or bikeable. First, we need to improve the sidewalks, especially near our major retail areas on US 20 and Rt. 421. Then, we need to develop more protected bike lanes and paths. Walking and biking improve the health our residents and the quality of life for all. Clean water in trail Creek and Lake Michigan give many opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The Singing Sands Trail will be a tremendous city asset!
There is a current skills mismatch between those seeking work and job openings. We need to continue working with the Michigan City Schools’ Career Tech Center, Ivy Tech, Purdue, local unions and businesses to make sure our graduates have the necessary skills for jobs that pay livable wages.
Although we have many vacant homes in Michigan City, we lack safe, affordable housing. That seems a contradiction, I know, but what we lack is the right type of housing; townhouses and apartments where you can walk to stores and restaurants, small homes for young families in ready-to-move-in condition. We also need to make sure our older housing stock is in good repair. I will work to find creative ways to find builder and developer incentives and I will support innovative mortgage programs to help more people become homeowners. Families who own homes create neighborhood stability by staying longer and caring for their property; neighborhood stability increases property values.