Hobart City Council At-Large
What I promise
I believe climate change is real and poses a threat to ourselves, our children and grandchildren. We must prepare our city for change while doing what we can to mitigate its effects. I promise to be the member of the Hobart City Council who is laser-focused on environmental issues.
Life and work experience
For 38 years, I worked as a professional journalist at the Hobart Gazette and Post-Tribune newspapers, and at Modern Physician and Modern Healthcare magazines and digital publications. Much of my time in the press was spent as a watchdog, covering government at the town, city, county, state and national levels. I know what makes for good government, and bad. I’m for good government, which, at its best, is a tool box to do the work of the people they can’t reasonably and efficiently do for themselves as individuals. I promise to apply the good government principles I’ve learned over the decades — truthfulness, transparency, empathy, curiosity, intelligence and, hopefully, wisdom — to my role as a Hobart city leader.
As a Hobart resident for more that 50 years, I’m concerned about our local local environment. I remain active in Hobart’s No Re-Zone grass roots movement to halt the city’s plan to turn 660 acres of farmland south of 61st Avenue on both sides of Colorado Street into an industrial zone. If fully built out with factories, warehouses and truck terminals, the industrial park could draw as many as 2,100 truck trips a day to what is now a residential and agricultural area. Both of the two incumbent At-Large city council members who are running for re-election voted for the industrial zone. I intend to make this campaign, in part, a referendum on their decision and finding alternatives to this bad plan for Hobart with a transparent process open to the ideas of our citizens.
I am the chair of the NW Green Party. Our aim is to break the two-party stranglehold on our politics that have forced Americans to vote far too often for the lesser of two evils. I’m also a co-founder and treasurer of NWI Medicare for All, a cross-partisan educational organization advocating for improving existing Medicare benefits and expanding it into a national health insurance system that covers all Americans. I am proud to have worked with and supported the Beyond Coal and NWI Just Transition environmental campaigns to ensure a complete cleanup of NIPSCO’s toxic coal ash dumps at its Lake Michigan lakefront power plants.
I was elected seven times as union president of Local 14 – Gary Newpaper Guild and helped bargain two labor contracts, represented my local at the Northwest Indiana Federation of Labor an at TNG’s regional councils and national conventions. I’ve walking picket lines with the Steelworkers and healthcare workers’ union members and was proud to join this year with retired area union workers as part of the Third Act environmental demonstration outside Chase Bank in Merrillville. I held an Indiana real estate broker’s license, invested in, lived in and rehabbed five Hobart houses and opened Sweeney Fid’s Sweet Shop ice cream parlor in downtown Hobart that employed more than 20 workers in the peak summer season. I served four years in the Peace Corps as an agricultural extension agent in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
Education and professional training
Hobart High School, English major. Played football under Coaches Don Howell and Tom Kerr.
Valparaiso University, BA English, minors in business administration and journalism. Football team captain, sports editor of student newspaper and yearbook. Organized on campus Public Interest Research Group.
VU, master’s level course in small business administration.
Accepted in the MBA program at Indiana University Northwest, completed graduate level course in labor relations.
IVY Tech, computer basics; Purdue University Ag Extension course in urban agriculture.
Investigative Reporters and Editors, computer assisted journalism boot camp, GIS mapping software training.
Divorced, father to a daughter, Rachel; step father to a son, Phil.
I coached 7th grade football for four seasons at Hobart Jr. High School. I’ve restored the Poca Loca, a 24-foot MacGregor Venture sailboat built in 1972 and have solo sailed her up the Lake Michigan coast from Michigan City, IN, to Frankfort, MI, more that 210 nautical miles. This summer I hope to achieve my ultimate goal, sailing the Poca Loca under the Mackinaw Bridge, completing a journey of more than 360 nautical miles.
I’m continuing my father’s organic vegetable garden. I enjoy bicycling, downhill skiing and hiking the dunes.
YouTube: Conn for Council @connforcouncil5987
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