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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

city politics

Courtney Daily selected as new Bloomington City Council District 5 representative

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Local activist Courtney Daily will serve as the new District 5 representative on the Bloomington City Council.  

Eight Monroe County Democratic Party precinct chairs voted to select a candidate for the vacant seat on the city council during a caucus Saturday in City Hall. Daily ran against former Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore and Jenny Stevens, who previously ran for the Democratic nomination to the District 5 city council seat in May 2023, in the caucus.  

Daily will replace Shruti Rana, who stepped down from her seat Feb. 7 after serving in the position for around two months. Rana, the first woman of color elected to the council, accepted the positions of assistant vice chancellor for inclusive excellence and strategic initiatives and professor of law at the University of Missouri in September 2023. She resigned so her family could relocate to Missouri. 

MCDP Chair David Henry oversaw Saturday’s caucus. MCDP Bloomington 06 Precinct Chair Natalia Galvan read a statement at another caucus Feb. 10, alleging Henry had a conflict of interest in the District 5 City Council caucus because he is a candidate for the contested Monroe County Council at-large seat race. However, the Ninth District Democratic Party reviewed the situation and released a report Feb. 21, which stated there was no “substantial relationship” between Henry and any of the caucus candidates and it was within his rights to preside over the caucus.      

Daily has lived in Bloomington for almost 14 years. She led the Indiana Chapter of the grassroots movement Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America from 2017-20. Daily is the associate director for admission for Kelley Direct Online MBA. She also worked as an adjunct faculty member for Ivy Tech Bloomington and taught at St. Mark’s Nursery School and Kindergarten before starting her role at IU.   

Daily is also one of the eight MCDP precinct chairs who voted in the caucus Saturday.  

Related Residents call for ceasefire in Gaza, city council also approves convention center agreement The council also voted to approve an interlocal agreement with Monroe County.

Before the first round of voting, each candidate had three minutes to give a statement to the precinct chairs and the public. During her statement, Daily said she was living in New York City when she met her husband and although she originally did not want to move to Indiana, she found her home in Bloomington.  

“That’s what Bloomington symbolizes to me, it is a place where we found our safety and where we could raise our family and put down roots,” Daily said. “That is what I want for other young families and any other individual who is looking for that same, exact thing.”  

She said Bloomington faces large challenges that she wants to address, specifically mentioning homelessness, affordable housing and sustainability.  

“That means making some really tough decisions in order to be able to tackle these issues,” Daily said. “To have those tough decisions ahead of us, sometimes we’re going to have to make some sacrifices, and we’re going to have some really hard conversations and re-examine our values.”  

During a candidate forum Feb. 24, Daily said she would support using policing alternatives to help handle mental health-related calls, such as having a medical expert respond to mental health crises rather than a sworn officer. She also said the city should increase support for the Community and Family Resources department and emphasize a housing-first approach — which aims to provide individuals with permanent housing without preconditions or barriers to entry — when finding solutions for homelessness. Daily also proposed working with landlords to make housing more affordable in Bloomington.  

The precinct chairs submitted secret ballots in the caucus, meaning the public does not know how each precinct chair voted.  

In the first round of voting, four precinct chairs voted for Stevens, two voted for Daily and two voted for Moore. However, precinct chairs had to cast their votes twice for this round because one of the ballots was illegible. 

According to the Indiana Democratic Party caucus rules, a candidate must receive a majority of the vote to be selected. Since Stevens only received four votes — less than a majority — Henry called for a runoff vote between Daily and Moore. In this round of voting, five precinct chairs voted for Daily and three voted for Moore, meaning Daily moved on to the next round of the caucus.  

In the third and fourth rounds of voting, four precinct chairs voted for Daily and Stevens each. Henry then broke the tie and selected Daily as his choice for the vacancy, which is permitted under the Indiana Code.  

At the end of the caucus, City Clerk Nicole Bolden swore Daily onto the council. Daily’s first meeting on the council will take place at 6:30 p.m, March 6, in City Hall.  

Related A guide to Monroe County’s contested May primaries The deadline to file declarations of candidacy was Feb. 9.

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