, your Northwest Indiana Green Party is ready, set and go for the Summer of 2022. We need your help to kick this summer off as we will be participating in the Hobart and Portage July 4th festivities. Join us at our June meeting to plan our activities for the two events over the Independence Day weekend. The Portage parade and festival happens on Saturday, July 2. The NWI Green Party looking to have a table at the festival and if there is enough folks to march in the parade. The Hobart parade is on Monday, July 4th and we will need people to march behind our banner. Join us in kicking off this summer with our Planting 10,000 Milkweeds for a Green Northwest Indiana campaign!
June NWI Green Party Monthly Meeting
Urschel Pavilion, 63 Lafayette St, Valparaiso
at one of the picnic tables
Sunday, June 12, 2022 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Our June NWI Green Party meeting returns to downtown Valpo as we get ready for a summer away from our computer screens. On June 12, 2022 at 2pm join us at one of the picnic tables at the Urschel Pavilion in downtown Valparaiso for an open air gathering. Organize with us as we look to our Green activities coming up - including signature drives for upcoming campaigns here in Northwest Indiana. Any updates to the meeting will be posted on Facebook. In the event that there is an event filling the pavilion, we will find a suitable location near by.
A Word From Your NWI Green Party Chair - Joe Conn
You would not overstate the case to say the future of Hobart will be decided Wednesday by its city council.
Up for a final vote is a proposed ordinance to re-zone 157 acres of farmland to light manufacturing. Spokesmen for an Illinois-based developer, Becknell, say they plan to build on that acreage six, giant, concrete-box warehouses more than 40-feet high covering more than 2 million square feet.
Their future owners or tenants will employ 520 people and pay wages totaling nearly $63.2 million, according to numbers on a spreadsheet presented by a Becknell rep to the Hobart City Council last week.
Doing the math, though, that averages out to more than $121,500 a year per worker, or $58 an hour. Hmm. According to Salary.com, $16 is the average hourly rate for a warehouse worker in the United States.
Becknell’s estimates of the property taxes the development will generate were odd, too. But the trouble with the Becknell proposal isn’t just with some improbable numbers on its spreadsheet. The problem is they’re pushing the wrong project for its proposed location. And that’s the fault of far too many Hobart city planners and leaders.
They proposed in an obscure and ill-conceived, 2016 Hobart “master plan” to turn 680 acres of farmland near the center of the city into an industrial park.
Becknell’s proposed industrial development would be the first “domino” to fall as part of the city’s bad plan.
The imminently threatened acreage is at the corner of 61st Avenue and Colorado Street, just about 4,000 feet as the blue heron flies, from the 300-acre Hobart Prairie Grove enclave of the Indiana Dunes National Park.
Hobart’s Plan Commission Chairwoman, Maria Galka, a heroic apostate who cast the lone vote against the Becknell re-zone petition back in February, publicly queried the company’s rep on how many trucks would be drawn to its industrial development, if built. She had to ask twice.
Reluctantly, he disclosed it would be 200 to 300 trucks a day. Actually, those numbers were likely fudged, too. Since the trucks that pull into the project will pull out again, it’s logical to assume the impact on connecting Hobart streets and drivers probably will be doubled – to 400 to 600 truck trips a day.
If all 680 acres of the industrial park are built out – using Becknell’s numbers for a guide -- as many as 25 big box warehouses could be built there, with a potential 2,100 truck trips a day.
Runoff from all those trucks in all those parking lots outside all those warehouses would quickly make its way into either Deep River or Turkey Creek, but either way, it would flow right past Hobart’s chunk of the national park.
The hoards of trucks would – over and over, for decades to come -- pound to rubble Hobart’s major arterials, Colorado Street and 61st and 69th avenues and destroy the property values of neighboring home owners.
All of which goes to the point made at the beginning; it’s no hyperbole to say the fate of Hobart hangs in the balance Wednesday night.
The Green Party of Northwest Indiana has been opposed to the Becknell re-zone proposal since we first heard about it in February. That’s when several of us attended an early Hobart Plan Commission meeting on Becknell’s re-zone petition and found the council meeting room jammed to capacity with a crowd of protestors that spilled out into the hall.
We became believers and have supported the No Re-zone grass roots movement spiritually and financially. At its last meeting, the council split, 4-3, voting in favor of the re-zone. But one council member in the majority said he was unconvinced and voted yes to buy more time to research both the pitches of its proponents and opponents. So, Wednesday’s vote could kill it or see it pass.
Folks interested in the city’s future need to show up at the City Council meeting at Hobart City Hall Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Make a Contribution or
Become a Member Today
Support your Northwest Indiana Green Party by making a contribution to our green movement. Contributions can be made through our secure square site at nwigreenparty.square.site. While you are there consider becoming a member of the NWI Green Party. Annual membership are $10 for adults, $5 seniors and students. You can join by clicking on the appropriate membership to add it to your cart. Your contributions will help us to engage the political machines in our region and to promote Green candidates in the upcoming election cycles.
Portage Democrats Silent on Local Gun Reform
On Tuesday night Rev. Michael Cooper (2018 Green Party Candidate for Portage City Council District) gave public comment about gun control. In the wake of mass shooting two weeks ago at Robb Elementary in Uvaldi, TX, it is time for our elected officials to act. Rev. Cooper asked the Portage Democrats to pass a resolution supporting an assault rifle ban in Indiana, to close the three licensed gun shops in residential neighborhoods, to donate campaign funds from the gun lobby to youth mental health programs and to allocate taxpayer funds for a gun buyback program. The silent response showed that our local elected officials will continue to do nothing to stop the spiral of gun violence. You can watch the video here, start it at 54:30