It’s a busy time with lots going in our city. I appreciate every day the chance to be Mayor of the great progressive city of Bloomington! So much good work to do. I thought I’d share three recent events reflecting community connections to the wider world:
Earlier this week I went to Indianapolis to testify in front of an Indiana House committee that considered (and ultimately supported) a terrible bill that would restrict cities from all kinds of efforts to increase affordable housing. It was a dramatic example of moneyed interest groups getting their way against the public interest, with very regressive public policy. We’ll keep fighting to protect Bloomington’s ability to chart our own future and create affordable housing: for seniors, low-income families, workers, people with disabilities – well, for everyone.
Last week I was on a panel discussing Indiana’s place in the world at a conference at IU’s School for Global and International Studies. After President McRobbie interviewed Governor Holcomb (who made news saying he wakes up thinking about how to attract the world to Indiana, and to send Indiana out to the world – basic internationalism is news these days), our panel of three mayors, one corporate exec (Pete Yonkman of Cook) and Jim Morris (chair of IU’s Board of Trustees) talked about our communities/state and the world. It was a civil, productive discussion, led by IU Provost Lauren Robel, and I found it energizing to have so many young people and students there focused on the wider world and our role in it (including our own intern Morgan Wells who got a shout out from stage!). I talked about Bloomington as a place where everyone is welcome, with globalism in our DNA. Lauren noted that international students bring an annual impact here of $250 million and support 3,500 jobs!
Last month Senator Joe Donnelly came to town, with special guest Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey to help Joe’s critically important reelection campaign. If you didn’t get the chance to hear them, I hope you will soon. Cory was moving and particularly powerful in talking about the role of passion, hard work, and neighborly love in his own life, and in our country through the generations. Keep an eye on Cory; he’s such a gifted leader. And keep working with our Joe, the Republicans’ #1 targeted Democratic Senator in 2018. Of course, ‘18 is a critical election for us all to do all we can to shake the one-party monopoly in our national and Indiana governments – and not too early to get to work!
Just three examples of how Bloomington connects with the wider world – sometimes in encouraging ways. Sometimes discouraging. But no matter what, we’ll keep plugging to make BTown as progressive and positive as possible. Thanks for all that you do.
Ps Bloomington connects with the wider world again next Friday, April 14th, when Dawn hosts an amazing collection of constitutional experts from around the country for a day-long conference on “The Future of the U.S. Constitution.” The great challenges of our time: economic inequality, immigration, discrimination and exclusion, Supreme Court nominations, our dysfunctional Congress, voting, reproductive health, the Second Amendment, and more. If you have the chance to catch any of it, you will be motivated and educated. Details here.