I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to those of you I have not yet met and to follow up with those I have. I am a candidate to fill the open At Large Common Council seat previously held by Tim Mayer. Tim has served the city with such dedication and grace that I am honored to be considered to follow him in this seat.
I moved to Bloomington 25 years ago to pursue a PhD in Biology at IU, changed focus to social work, fell in love with Bloomington, and put down roots in my adopted home town. I was finally able to marry my wonderful wife, Jenny, on the steps of the Justice center and we just celebrated our 3rd anniversary of being "legal" and our 20th anniversary of being together. I have spent these years engaged in this community I love through my work as social worker serving people with addictions, mental illness, disabilities and those experiencing homelessness, and as a grassroots organizer working for social and economic justice and full inclusion of all.
I am a person who sees a problem and immediate gets to work on it. I believe in the power of collaboration and collective action to achieve more than one person can do alone. I believe that the best solutions come out of listening to as many voices and perspectives as possible and through asking "who should be at this table and is not?" This is simply who I am and how I move through the world. And this is why I want to serve on our city council. This is an opportunity for a new level of service, to get to work on the challenges our community faces, to improve the lives of people in tangible ways, and to do that as a member of a group of dedicated colleagues and through engagement with citizens.
I welcome the challenges of this position! I have spent my professional life working with people, listening deeply, building rapport, helping people feel safe and respected, having hard conversations, sometimes confronting in a way that people can accept and feel that they were heard even if we disagree. I have used these same skills to serve effectively on the board of directors of the Indiana chapter of the National Association of Social Workers where I was the state Vice President. I know that these skills will be an asset in service on the City Council, both in my interactions with constituents and with council colleagues. I know that democracy is messy and I value that as part of the process!
I recognize that the precinct chairs have a difficult decision in choosing the next city council member. We each have something unique to offer. I can bring a new voice to the table and a set of professional and interpersonal skills that are critically needed to address the particular mix of challenges our community faces at this point in time. I look forward to talking more with you at the upcoming caucus. But in the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions about me, my qualification, or the priorities I see for our city. You can reach me at 812-325-0885 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much,