This month let’s talk births and budgets.
We’ve seen a couple of high-profile memorial services in the past week, celebrating long lives in the public eye. Births are typically less noted – full of potential rather than accomplishments. The future rather than the past.
Our Bloomington community averages three or four births a day. New residents who count on all of us to help them thrive in our city and world, into the 22nd century!
Budgets are about the future too, laying out our collective priorities. We’ve outlined for the city council about $160 million in proposed 2019 investments and spending (details available here).
The following are some of the new ways we’re proposing to invest in our children – our future:
Youth Participatory Budgeting – this program, borrowed from Boston, brings high school age kids into city government, dedicating some money for them to decide how to invest and creating early experiences in our democracy.
Pre-K Support – for the second year in a row, we’re proposing $100,000 in city funds to support healthier and better starts for some of our youngest residents (while the state dithers).
Sustainability Planning – we have a 2018 Sustainability Plan for our community, and next year we’ll develop our first ever community-wide climate change assessment, to do our part to respond to this generational challenge (while Washington dithers).
Social Worker at Police Department –often we ask police officers to respond to family breakdowns or social stressors; for the first time ever, we’re proposing a full-time social worker join our police to serve our community, to help more kids get better starts.
Rehab of Public Housing – hundreds of kids in our community live in public housing, many in 50-year-old buildings in great need of repair. Our Housing Authority is planning a new program to rehab all 312 units within the next six years instead of the 26-year pace we were on when I took office.
Switchyard Park – creating great parks is a fundamental way we invest in our kids and our future. This new biggest-ever investment in a public park will mean future generations will enjoy a greener, healthier, better Bloomington.
Finally, a monumental challenge facing our children and families today is the rising pressure of substance use disorder. All levels of government and civil society must collaborate, as we increase Jack Hopkins funding for nonprofits, encourage more volunteers at CASA, and more.
Budgets address many things. These are just a few new goals for 2019 that particularly invest in our kids, remembering that every day another few young residents join our community, looking to us to make the right choices for their future. Let’s keep making Bloomington shine brighter for all.
Ps: THE PICNIC IS HERE!! Remember to join Dawn and me and hundreds of Democrats this Sunday, Sept 9th from 4 to 7pm, for the fourth annual Hamilton Family Picnic at Bryan Park. Sen. Joe Donnelly, our next Congresswoman Liz Watson, and many more local and state candidates on hand. Enjoy music and food for political momentum building for the upcoming critical mid-term elections.