My name is Dave Matthews and I’m writing to officially introduce myself as a candidate for our district’s South Bend City Council seat. I wish to use this letter as a means to share the reasons I’m a good choice to represent our district in the City Council, and share some personal details.
I love South Bend and believe in the goodness of our community. I want to see South Bend prosper as a regional beacon for people to visit, fall in love with, and stay in. I want to have vibrant neighborhoods where we visit friends, neighbors, and our families. I want our kids to grow up feeling safe and free, and as they mature, desire to stay – or return home – to have a part in building our community.
I’ve spent almost all of my years living in the 4th district, first on Sunnyside Avenue before moving to the Boehm Park neighborhood. I was raised in a modest home, and my siblings and I participated in free and then reduced lunch for many of our early years. I delivered papers in the Maple Lane and East Gate neighborhoods, starting when I was 10. We would ride our bikes to the McKinley Terrace swimming pool, walk to school at Tarkington Elementary, then Edison Middle School, and finally take the bus John Adams High School.
I went on to earn both a Bachelor and a Masters Degree in Industrial Engineering at Purdue in West Lafayette, held a Top Secret (TS/SCI/TK) clearance with the Department of Defense, and then returned to South Bend. As a typical millennial, I moved back in to my old room at my Mom’s house. Soon I purchased a house on Manchester Drive in McKinley Terrace and tried my hand at real estate development. The recession hit, and the business was tough. I pushed forward, and started to try to help build up downtown South Bend.
In 2011, I moved to Colfax Avenue, and built new houses for the first time in 30 years. I spend my time to bringing investment and attention to our great city, and the 4th district. In the last couple years, I married Velvet Canada, and we have a lovely baby girl, Eve V. We will soon have a grocery store downtown, and my personal involvement with the business will slow down.
I want to continue to help our city prosper, I volunteer in our public schools, serve on several non profit boards, and supporting our civics, arts, parks, and neighborhoods. A list of boards and organizations I’m involved with is on our website, at www.VoteSB.com. But I also want to do more. The last decade of working with the local South Bend government has taught me a significant amount about navigating the city’s bureaucracy as both a resident and small business owner.
The mayor’s administration is full of great people who want to do well for our city, but often their hands are tied by dated ordinances that frequently have the effect of mandating a bureaucracy that holds back our community. I want to help bring my entrepreneur energy and experience to the city budget process. I’d also like to simplify and streamline processes, freeing up resources to promote safety and our public schools.
We have a great community here in the 4th district. I hope you’ll consider “Dave Matthews for City Council,” and please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, and suggestions of ways to improve our city.
Candidate for South Bend City Council, District #4