September 2017 Newsletter


Dawn and I hope you can join us for our Third Annual Hamilton Friends and Family Picnic – this coming Sunday, Sept. 10th, from 4 to 7pm at Bryan Park. (Henderson St side). We need each other more than ever these days. We’ll get to talk with and hear from local officials and candidates, too – and eat barbecue and hear live music from Huckleberry Funk! Free and open to public, contributions of side dishes and desserts welcome.

What we do together matters. Millions of our raised voices (and phone calls, marches, protests, and emails) recently saved American health care from potential disaster. Similar joint action rises to counter disgusting racial bigotry as seen in Charlottesville and elsewhere, and to seek to protect our Dreamers from shameful, terrible dislocations from their homes. 

I’m still reeling from President Trump’s pardon of the Arizona county sheriff convicted of blatantly violating a federal court’s direct order to stop racially discriminating against his residents. Is it a signal to radical right-wing activists that this president will have their backs? That personal loyalty and political expediency matter more than the rule of law?

Last fall President Obama said that no one really changes in the office of the presidency, but that the office “magnifies” who you already are. So it seems. And that’s trouble. It means all of us, in cities around the country, must stand up for what we believe in, for who we are, and against the divisive and backward leadership from Washington. This is our country, and it is up to us to fight for its future, for the coming generations.

Locally, this summer Dawn and I have enjoyed talking with several hundred residents in ten listening sessions in homes around the city. It’s inspiring to hear voices of compassion and creativity envisioning great things for Bloomington. Thanks to all who attended or hosted, and thanks for the questions, ideas, concerns, and dreams for our city. It’s up to us, so let’s keep working together.

Democratically Yours,


PS  At this Wednesday evening’s city council meeting, I’ll be supporting affordable housing by advocating for a pilot program for Accessory Dwelling Units (‘granny flats’) in town. Some of our neighborhood associations are concerned about the details. If you can join and support innovation and experimentation to study the effects of a pilot of 30 units throughout Bloomington, I’d appreciate your voices of support.