I’m excited to launch my campaign for a fourth term as Monroe County Commissioner. I love my job, representing all of Monroe County along with two fantastic colleagues (and past colleagues, too). With 20 years as a public finance professional and an educational background in management as a foundation, I will continue to balance a progressive vision with pragmatic decision-making on the Board of Commissioners.
My colleagues on the Board of Commissioners and I have worked towards building a community that’s compassionate and caring, stands strong on issues of equity and equality, and supports targeted investments in projects that transform our public spaces for wider economic benefit. Some initiatives I’ve supported over the past twelve years include:
Building a Compassionate and Caring Community
· Firm support for our safety net, including Volunteers in Medicine, Middle Way House, and Shalom Community Center to attend to our most vulnerable.
· Took steps towards addressing affordable housing needs by partnering with Habitat for Humanity to plan for reuse of the Thomson/RCA site.
· Confronted the opioid epidemic with harm reduction measures, convening stakeholders, and empowering our Health Department to find solutions.
· Innovative efforts in our jail, providing those incarcerated with access to mental health services, New Leaf New Life programming, and other resources to prepare for reintegration into our community.
Standing strong for equity and equality
· Established the Monroe County Women’s Commission, charged with advising the Board of Commissioners on matters of gender equity and equality.
· Increased diversity in county departmental leadership and in board and commission representation.
· Supported the installation of the Sophia Travis Women in Government Plaza on the Courthouse lawn
· Fought to extend domestic partner health benefits to county employees, years ahead of federal recognition of marriage equality.
· Inaugurated an employee health clinic, to provide our employees with affordable, high-quality healthcare conveniently located near work.
· Supported the Futures Family Planning Clinic, which offers the community sliding-scale family planning services, including bilingual interpreters as needed.
Investing in infrastructure that pays dividends
· Expanded county walking trails and parks with the additions of Detmer Park and the Karst Farm Greenway.
· Added solar power to various county facilities, and consolidated employee parking downtown with the development of the county’s first parking garage.
· Partnered with the city to house joint emergency dispatch operations at the new downtown Transit Center.
· Formed the Convention Center Advisory Commission to move forward with an expanded civic and convention center south of Bloomington’s downtown.
· Partnered with Ivy Tech to build the Indiana Center for Life Sciences.
Of course, being a blue county in a red field poses challenges, and we’ll have to continue to fight back against harmful policies and practices. When the I69 project brought unwelcome construction to the midst of our community, I fought back against the state to address noise concerns from affected residents. Changes to the Indiana Criminal Code have resulted in greater burden on county jail facilities and we’ll need to continue to seek solutions and more sound policy. When the embarrassing leadership of our nation makes immigrants feel threatened, we’ll remind them, all are safe and welcomed here (my courthouse nameplate is proudly titled “grandson of immigrants”).
I pledge to continue to provide strong leadership towards a community that is caring, equitable and just, economically prosperous and innovative, and one which works effectively and efficiently for its citizens. And I hope to have your support with this in 2018 and beyond.
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