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At-large city council member runs for fourth term on arts and affordable housing



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Susan Sandberg, 67, is running for re-election for one of three at-large seats on the Bloomington City Council. If elected, Sandberg said she’d continue fighting for housing affordability and arts visibility. Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

At-large city council member Susan Sandberg celebrated her birthday, April 10, by going to work.

She went to IU’s Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs where she's a career consultant first. Then she went to Bloomington City Council.

Sandberg, 67, is running for reelection for one of three at-large seats on the council. If elected for a fourth term, Sandberg said she’d continue fighting for housing affordability and arts visibility.

“I feel very strongly that I have another four years,” she said.

Sandberg said she’s concerned about the impoverished people of Bloomington. Bloomington’s cost of living is higher than other areas, and many people are left out.

Sandberg said the development of workforce housing units also needs to be looked into.

Visibility for the arts is another cause she would fight for, Sandberg said.

“Bloomington’s got a lot to be proud of in respect to our arts community,” she said.

Sandberg herself is a musician and plays the ukulele in a band called the UkeTones.

Band member Kathy Romy, 64, said she met Sandberg because of music, and the pair has played in the UkeTones together for about five years.

Romy said she admires Sandberg’s drive and commitment. Her integrity stands out, Romy said.

“If she says she’s gonna do something, she does it,” Romy said.

Romy said there’s a running joke in their band that it was bankrolled by Sandberg because every member has an amp or instrument she let them borrow.

“She will loan you anything,” Romy said.

Romy said Sandberg is invested in the arts, and she used to volunteer with New Leaf-New Life, an organization that would visit jails and sponsor enrichment programs. Sandberg would read plays to the inmates.

“She’s not a one-issue candidate, and I like that about her,” Romy said.

Gabe Colman, owner of Colman Art Appraisal Services, 37, said he first learned about Sandberg through her advocacy for the arts. Later on, she encouraged him to enter Bloomington politics, and he went on to serve on the Bloomington Arts Commission for four years.

Colman said Sandberg listens to people. In May 2017, she came to him for his opinion on public safety in the downtown Bloomington area. Later on, she incorporated what he said into her own arguments.

“It really showed to me a strong connection between the public and her,” Colman said.

Colman said he thinks of Sandberg as someone who takes part in the community, from her involvement in the UkeTones to going to local events.

“I know her to be an invested citizen,” Colman said. “She’s incredibly empathetic to her community.”

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