As a youngster, Jill Bush learned the type of multi-tasking skill needed to buy groceries, watch after family members and handle the finances.
Now she wants to harness that energy to help restore Austin’s vitality and rebuild its image.
“There are a lot of young people who need direction; seniors need direction,” the lifelong West Sider said. “We need to connect the dots between organizations and generations, and together we can build community. Austin has so much potential.”
Bush wants to see the 29th Ward gain the kind of amenities that are common across Austin Boulevard in neighboring Oak Park. She wants to bring a Starbucks here so she can stay local for her coffee fix. The community continues to be a “food desert,” lacking healthy choices for residents to fight diabetes and high blood pressure, she said.
And Bush wants safe streets and better schools, too.
According to her: to move Austin along, the area’s next alderman must work full time and be engaged; have strong communication, networking and organizing skills; and be someone who can inform residents more about what’s happening in the community.
Bush intends to work with businesses and corporations to bring more businesses in. As the associate director of the Loretto Hospital Foundation, Bush said she’s had to secure funding for programs. With that background, she insists that she can find money for educational and training programs to retrain displaced workers and help young black men leaving prison.
A product of Genevieve Melody/Cole Elementary School and a graduate of Marshall Metro High School, Bush earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from DePaul University, and a master’s degree in organization and leadership from Lewis University. She’s married with two sons.
-Deborah Kadin, Austintalks.org