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 environment. I remain active in Hobart’s No Re-Zone grass roots movement to halt the city’s plan to turn 680 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 terminal, the industrial park could draw as many as 2,100 truck trips a day to what is now a residential and agricultural area. The two incumbent At-Large city council members who are both 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.
I am the chair of the NWI Green Party and a co-founder and treasurer of NWI Medicare for All, a cross-partisan educational organization. I am proud to have worked with and support the Just Transition environmental campaign 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 Newspaper 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, walking picket lines with the Steelworkers and healthcare workers’ union. 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, I served four years in the Peace Corps as an ag extension agent in Sierra Leone, Africa.
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. Find out more about Joe Conn for Hobart Council At-Large at conn4council.com