One aspect of being mayor is swinging constantly from the micro to the macro and back.
The micro can mean paying attention to the details of Bloomington and doing what we can to improve life a bit for some people, for some places, for some time. Recent initiatives include:
Sixteen units of affordable housing to be built next to our newest public park. The first new housing to go in by Switchyard Park will be permanently affordable housing, developed by the new nonprofit affiliate of our Bloomington Housing Authority. This is walking the walk at a micro level: protecting the mix of residents in this neighborhood and helping ensure our new park will be enjoyed by all our residents.
A pilot program to employ people experiencing homelessness or deep poverty in servicing and protecting some downtown public parks. We’re contracting with Centerstone, our community mental health provider, to employ several individuals starting this month, to offer them a job with accompanying wrap-around services and a decent wage. This is helping a few people to start; we hope it works well and we can expand it.
The macro can mean responding to state, national, or global issues, from our place in Bloomington:
Last month we sued the state of Indiana for violating our state constitutional protection against special legislation, when the legislature singled out Bloomington and shut down an ongoing annexation process. The fundamental issue is protecting local democracy and autonomy against a conservative state government’s intervention in response to special corporate interests. From affordable housing, to environmental protection, to public schools, to local finance – we face constant meddlingin very local issues, and we must stand up against it.
Like many people, we were aghast and outraged when President Trump announced the plan to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement to address climate change. We were an early joiner among 180+ cities who have formally protested and committed to continue the efforts outlined at Paris. (see our letter here) We won’t stop our resistance to national disasters like this, and will keep acting locally to do what we can.
From micro to macro, we keep working daily to put progressive values into action. This is our city, and country, and planet, and we need to do our level best to create the city and country and planet that we want to live in and pass on to the next generations. Thanks for all you do.
Ps Look for house parties this summer where we can meet and talk about our city – where we are, and where we want to go. Details to come atJohnHamiltonforMayor.com.