Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jane Adams' Candidacy

Received the following email/press release from Jane Adams regarding her reasoning for running for city council:

Jane Adams threw her hat in the ring for City Council Monday,
November 15. She seeks a Council seat because, she says, "I want to
make a difference for Carbondale through promoting renewal,
reinvestment, and revitalization of the City”.

If elected, Adams says she will promote policies and programs that
encourage reinvestment in Carbondale's neighborhoods and business

Adams served on the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee, which was
recently adopted by the City. The Plan, Adams said, "provides a basis
for guiding our development in the coming decades."

"We need to position ourselves so that, as the economy comes back, we
can take advantage of opportunities for sustainable development,"
Adams said. "This will require a close look at our zoning and building
codes, our tax structure, and our infrastructure."

"In these tough times, we must revisit our tax structure," Adams said.
"There may be tools available to spread the tax burden more equitably.
And there may be ways to tighten our belt without sacrificing the
City's core mission."

Adams and her husband have restored several older homes in the Arbor
District. "New houses aren't built with the quality of materials in
these older homes," Adams observed. "We find old-growth, dimensional
lumber, high quality plaster and other details that cannot be
economically replicated in today's construction.

"And these homes are close to the major employers - Memorial Hospital
and the University - as well as to Downtown. With gasoline costs going
up, more and more people want to live in walkable, bikeable
neighborhoods with their workplace nearby.

“Housing”, notes Adams, “is easily the third largest industry in
Carbondale after the university and the medical center. It employs
hundreds of independent workmen and professionals. We learned in the
Carbondale Comprehensive Plan Committee that the number one concern in
Carbondale was housing. I plan to focus like a laser on that issue”.

Adams notes the wealth of talent, expertise, and entrepreneurial
energy associated with SIUC and the thriving Wine Trail. "Carbondale
is the gateway to the Shawnee Hills," she states. "We have some
wonderful synergies developing with the Farmers' Market, the
Neighborhood Coop, B&Bs, restaurants, and other businesses that are
developing based on sustainable local food production and tourism."

Returning to her core message, Adams argues that, to realize this
potential, the City must function as a place that workers and
entrepreneurs want to live in. "Many of our neighborhoods are
blighted, or just about to tip," Adams observes. "It is time to
reinvest in and revitalize the City. We must improve the environment
for local small businesses as well”.

“One must also acknowledge the great advantages we have in
Carbondale”, stated Adams. “We have a tolerant and diverse
community that welcomes everyone. We have major employers with good
wages and benefits. And we live in a beautiful natural environment.”

Jane Adams was born and raised on a farm in Jackson County, graduating
from University High School and SIUC. She taught in the Anthropology
Department for 23 years, retiring in May of this year. She
participated in desegregating Carbondale's restaurants in the early
1960s and volunteered for the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi. She
has been active in promoting sustainable agriculture since working
with farmers during the Farm Crisis of the mid-1980s and is the past
president of the ACLU. Adams has written and lectured widely on the
history of Southern Illinois farming.

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