Dawn and I hope many of you can join us tomorrow, Tuesday, December 4th for a launch party for re-election! We will gather at the County Democratic HQ between 5:30 and 7pm, with a brief program at 6pm - mostly a thanks for all the work we’ve done thus far and excitement about what we can do together going forward.

Last month’s election brought some encouraging change – biggest Democratic pick up in Congress since Watergate, important governors and 100s of state legislative seats turned blue (inc. 4 in Indiana), and a clean sweep in county-wide offices here. It also brought some major disappointments, with our incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly and the awesome Liz Watson coming up short, as well as some nail-biters tilting the other way in Georgia, Florida, and Texas.

Locally, we should be reinvigorated to do all we can to make our progressive Bloomington thrive. To show that living our values makes our communities more welcoming, more successful, and more compassionate, allowing people from all walks of life to enjoy an outstanding quality of life.

Let’s talk climate change, where current battles over fundamental values and priorities have enormous stakes. In October the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the gold-standard UN-sponsored group, announced alarming predictions about 2040, just over 20 years away. Then late last month a congressionally mandated report laid out the devastating effects of a changing climate on the national economy, health and environment. While the White House and Congress deny reality.

What’s a place like Bloomington to do? Communities large and small, around the country and the planet, must make ourselves successful examples of sustainable living. Places like Bloomington with important advantages – away from coastlines, with abundant fresh water, temperate climate, good ‘bones’ of infrastructure and agriculture, strong progressive values – especially should be exemplars of welcoming, sustainable communities.

In fact, Bloomington and other U.S. cities are leading the charge to meet the goals of Paris, despite President Trump’s outrageous abandonment of that vital agreement. We’ve dramatically expanded solar generation. We invest in sustainable mobility. We support compact urban development and local food. We support good jobs and fairness and equity. We protect and nurture natural resources.

And last month, building on this momentum, Bloomington adopted our first detailed, ambitious sustainability plan. We will implement and continuously update the plan together to preserve a high quality of life here with:

  • a strong, sustainable economy with plentiful good jobs

  • great infrastructure for sustainable water, energy and mobility

  • housing of many types, in sustainable design and placement, for people of all incomes

  • vibrant local food and agriculture

  • a culture of inclusiveness, justice, innovation and creativity

  • abundant and protected natural and wild places, parks and trees

  • a commitment to reason and facts, and responsiveness to the world around us  

Bloomington and other cities are leading. Thanks for your part. Our future depends on it.

Democratically yours,

Ps: Hope to see you Tuesday, December 4th at 5:30pm, 4th and Madison at County Demo HQ! And consider joining for a New Year’s Eve Party, ringing out our Bicentennial Year, at City Hall, Dec. 31st.