I love Bloomington. It is my home, my place of work, where I am getting my education and where I have grown as a person and as a citizen.
Don’t get me wrong, there are things about ?Bloomington I would change.
I would implement, ideally, a policy that provides more shelters for our growing homeless population in order to keep them safe and healthy.
It costs more to care for the sick than to house the homeless.
I would like to see a series of aggressive tax abatements to businesses coming into Bloomington, to spark economic booms in areas of Bloomington that are falling behind other sectors.
These abatements would preferably go to sustainable businesses, locally-owned shops and businesses with a history of charitable civic ?engagement in the area.
I would like to see a budget that exemplifies Bloomington’s commitment to being a city that proudly stands by its promise to have safe streets for every child.
I would like to see our police forces trained extensively in race relations so we can continue to enforce justice in an equitable, safe fashion.
My love for this city runs deep enough for me to stand by it when it needs me and to speak up on how to improve our city.
I truly believe the strongest patriots and the most engaged, proud citizens are those who stand up and offer to try and improve their ?communities.
Though I trust Bloomington is working toward all of the goals I listed above, we can always do more.
Collectively, the people of Bloomington can have an enormous impact on the direction our city takes, and they can do so primarily through municipal ?elections.
This year, the City Council and mayor are up for election, and we need to get involved in order to make sure the best candidates are chosen for their respective ?offices.
In the last City Council election, one candidate won his primary with around 150 votes.
And in a city of more than 80,000 people, that, to me, is simply unacceptable.
And at a University with more than 42,000 students, I’m surprised that we do not do a better job of getting out the vote.
We can do better than 150 votes.
And we as students can do a better job of getting civically engaged in our city.
Bloomington is our home, and we ought to try and ?better it however we can.
We can have a city where students and permanent residents can work together to forge a new path of prosperity, of progressive policies and of a proliferation of new, exciting ideas.
We can make Bloomington a shining beacon to the rest of Indiana, a city where the many help the few, where the healthy help the sick, where the rich and the poor can join together to fight for a brighter tomorrow.
The next round of City Council elections is in 2019. I hope to see students at the polls this time around, and again in 2019.