JANESVILLE — An effort is under way to organize residents of Janesville’s south side to get city hall to turn its attention to issues affecting that part of town.

Cathy Erdman, a south side resident, has created the community coalition SNOW, or Southside Now, to address what she says is a lack of a plan to promote and grow the south side ever since GM left town.

“The end step isn’t nearly important as getting to the first step,” Erdman said Wednesday at a forum sponsored by the Rock County Civics Academy. “And the first step is getting the right people to acknowledge we have a problem and that it needs addressing now. (See the 1:11 mark in the video.)

SNOW is hosting a drop-in event from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 20 at Mocha Moment, 1121 Center Ave., where residents can learn more about the group and how to have a voice in local government.

Erdman said the group will help people put their thoughts on the south side on paper and discuss how to engage with the city council and other city leaders.

“Our goal is to encourage the city council to to direct city staff to focus their initiatives on the south side,” Erdman said.

Erdman discussed the effort Wednesday evening during the forum at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater at Rock County.

The forum covered a wide range of issues affecting the south side, including a recent report that the area is a food desert, construction beginning in 2024 of Center Avenue and a planned TIF district covering the former GM property.

The forum was a followup to one last month discussing the south side’s lack of a grocery store and options for bringing one back to the south side.

Residents can contact SNOW through their email address at snowjanesville@gmail.com

By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak of Janesville is founder of the Janesville News Report