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The theme of my campaign is "Grow Local".  

Grow Local Business

We need to focus on helping local residents start businesses and help established local businesses grow.  Local business is more likely to stay in the community and contribute to that community.  Money spent at local businesses will stay in the community.  Tax increment financing (TIF) or tax abatements should be used sparingly.  We need to provide more support to our local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) whose role is to assist entrepreneurs in turning their ideas into a profitable business.  

Grow Local Engagement

We need better communication between the Bloomington City Council and its constituents.  Your alderperson needs to have regular communication with residents about what the City Council has done and plans to do.  More importantly, however, your alderperson needs to listen to your ideas and concerns.  As your alderman, I will hold weekly listening sessions, continue to go door to door in various communities and report on council activities through my webpage and through a short newsletter.

Grow Local Accessibility

More than 20 percent of Bloomington residents have some sort of disability that prevents them from fully engaging in what our City has to offer.  Our City has failed to take adequate action to fix deteriorating streets in downtown and the west side.  Our City has failed to create any kind of incentive for business owners to make their establishments more accessible.  

A Grow Local Budget

The City's budget is a moral statement, meaning that city leaders show us mathematically what areas, issues, things, or people are most important to them, and, in turn, least important.  With a reduction in revenues, the City of Bloomington needs to look at areas to cut.  Tough choices need made.  Those choices, however, should be based on having the least impact to the most vulnerable.   

A Grow Local Library

We have more than a 1,000 people a day using an extremely old and out of date library building.  Our city leaders have lacked the political will to take action on multiple studies and plans.  For at least 20 years, the City has known the library needs a new location or at least significant expansion.  About 10 years ago, the plan was to double the size of the library from 50,000 to 100,000 square feet.  However, the City only funded a renovation that added 7,000 SF.  Other cities of similar size have done it, look to Champaign's new library, which exceeds 124,000 square feet.  

A library is an equalizer, meaning that it provides a benefit to all socio-economic levels.  My canvassing has revealed that a majority of people visit the library on a regular basis.  Building a new library should be a top priority for the City.

Grow Local - O'Neil Park Swimming Pool

A marker was recently dedicated at Miller Park to recognize the racial segregation of public beaches at Miller Park from 1908 to 1953.  Today, the City has failed to address the deteriorating conditions of O'Neal Pool which serves mainly the west side, as compared to pools in other parts of the city.  Children need a place to play and enjoy themselves, especially in the summer, no matter what side of town they live in.  

Grow Local - West Market Street Council

Ward 8 is on the east side, yet the people in Ward 8 care about what happens to the rest of the City.  A thriving west side benefits everyone.  More businesses, more economic activity, means more tax revenue, a win-win.  Thanks to Laurie Bell and Arthur Haynes for helping to start and lead the West Market Street Council that will revitalize the area near West Market and Howard.  

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