Over the weekend, South Bend Common Council President Tim Scott resigned from his position as 1st District Representative, as well as President of the Council.
This comes after the organization, Black Lives Matter, held a protest in front of his home demanding he vote against the police pay raise bill last week.
Black Lives Matter-South Bend has issued the following statement:
South Bend, IN-Black Lives Matter South Bend Chapter coordinated a protest on Monday morning at Tim Scott’s residence on Forest Avenue to pressure Tim Scott to vote against the police pay raise spending bill; to draw attention to his Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) ties and his call for more policing in his district last year; and to highlight the continued assault of the program started by Scott and Pete Buttigieg called “Vacant and Abandoned Properties.” Black Lives Matter rallied around the abuse, especially in the first and second districts, that showed clear disparities in targeted demolitions and takings of properties in parts of the districts that are predominately Black.
“Today marks the start of a new era for our communities of color, one where we stand up and demand that immediate action is taken to stop the abuse of communities of color in South Bend” said Jorden Giger, organizer with Black Lives Matter.
End of the Beginning
This has been a hard-fought battle beginning to expose what has been allowed to happen for the last 25 years here in South Bend. Starting with the appointment of now Judge John Broden (who also selected the Special Prosecutor in the case of Eric Logan) from a Council position to being elected in the State Senate, where he caused legislation to be enacted that created the framework for what became the “Vacant and Abandoned Housing” program. South Bend has relied on white male political control that allowed this inner circle to implement new statutes and change the law in Indiana and that action has disproportionately targeted poor communities of color.
What seems to be lacking in their understanding is fundamental. The crimes happening in South Bend are largely crimes of poverty. Until we address opportunity for our people we will never be successful in turning the tide.
Over the last 25 years, South Bend political leaders (on the Council, School Board and all elected positions) and their aligned backers, including former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, have aligned with a push out strategy, with the police serving as a weapon to more forcibly and pointedly target residents. Today, now we have the podium and your attention, we propose that a hand up rather than a hand-out is what we are seeking. That starts with moving forward projects that are aligned with our ability to provide opportunity.
Today we celebrate as the largest opponent to those opportunities still in office, who we personally witnessed pushing his and his backers societal agenda of clearing the poor and Black communities for new development, has resigned. Three years have passed since others finally stood up despite the consequences, and today we say, “Welcome to the end of the beginning, but we are just getting started.”
Black Lives Matter — South Bend has created a central point of the Black voice in South Bend to push through the darkness and finally be heard. Our movement gained momentum out of the senseless killing of Eric Logan when Pete Buttigieg held the national spotlight. Now as Tim Scott witnessed we are many and we won’t be silenced by the tactics of the past in targeting our jobs and employers and through intimidation where no one would speak up. We are here to stay and we will keep exposing the past and pushing for new opportunities for our residents.
Black Lives Matter-South Bend