(BLOOMINGTON) – Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton gave the 2019 State of the City address on Thursday, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.
Under the title “It Starts Here,” Hamilton emphasized the untapped potential Bloomington has going into its next 200 years and highlighted the major accomplishments and challenges his administration has had in its first three years.
During the speech Mayor Hamilton made a major announcement, forming a new task force to create a report on the creation of an anaerobic digestion plant as a part of the City’s wastewater system. An anaerobic digestion plant could convert up to 40 percent of the city’s wastewater into Compressed Natural Gas, allowing the city to effectively power city vehicles, reduce our carbon footprint, and make Bloomington a more resilient community.
The announcement was the most recent effort in a string of endeavors by the Hamilton administration to push Bloomington forward.
Since taking office Mayor Hamilton has focused on improving basic city services: doubling our investments in assuring safe water, improving sanitation services with the sanitation automation program, improving public safety by investing in new equipment and vehicles for the fire department, and working with the police department to focus on community policing endeavors. The police departments recent hiring of a full-time social worker is emblematic of that effort.
Outside of City Hall, Mayor Hamilton and the city worked with the business community to retain and create thousands of jobs, and open The Mill, a new co-working and business incubation space, in the growing Trades District. Through its Affordable Housing strategy, the administration has helped create 600 bedrooms of affordable housing units. This unprecedented investment in local affordable housing serves a range of residents from those previously homeless, to low-income elderly, to workers.
Mayor Hamilton highlighted several of the notable awards received by the community during his administration, including: a 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign 3 years running, a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly City, Tree City USA for the 34th year running, the 2018 National Gold Medal Award Winner for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, and the National Award for Local Arts Leadership, among others. Bloomington has also been featured on national top-ten lists for the best cities to be an entrepreneur and to raise a family.
Those national awards reflected Mayor Hamilton focus on enhancing the quality of life for all Bloomington residents. The Hamilton Administration has allocated new funding for pre-K childhood education, major increases in solar production and trail investments, and a comprehensive Sustainability Action Plan to steer future efforts. He also celebrated major increases in support for Bloomington parks and arts.
Mayor Hamilton ended his address as a call-to-action, challenging Bloomington residents to strive for even more progress in the future. The mantra “it starts here” reminded residents that there is power in local movements and individual action. As community, Bloomington can make a difference on a host of issues and oppose the regressive, decisive actions of the White House and the radical right-wing actions of the Indiana State House. With the challenges our nation and state face, the world needs Bloomington to do everything it can.
Mayor Hamilton is seeking re-election to continue his administration’s progress in making Bloomington a more sustainable, inclusive, and progressive community.
Additional information is available on the campaign website: JohnHamiltonForMayor.com