An Open Letter to Mayor John Hamilton Regarding the Police Department’s Purchase of an Armored Vehicle

Steve Volan, Member, District 6, Common Council, City of Bloomington • Wednesday, February 21, 2018 Dear Mayor Hamilton — This document explains my understanding of the decision to purchase a Lenco Bearcat armored vehicle by the City of Bloomington Police Department, and my position on its purchase. It has taken a … Continue reading

Ordinance: vetoed. Veto: overridden.

Did I mention that the ordinance I authored earned the mayor’s veto? Just as I was anticipating the establishment of a new Bloomington Parking Commission in the last post, I was taken aback by Mayor Hamilton’s announcement that he refused to sign Ordinance 16-22. The Mayor’s response on Nov. 11, in … Continue reading

AMA: Yes, student, you should register to vote where you go to college

Q: I’m a college student. Should I vote in the place where I’m going to college?      — Not From These Here Parts The short answer A: Everyone over the age of 18 should register to vote. Yes, you should register to vote where you’re living right now. Yes, if … Continue reading

AMA: How to follow an item through City Council

Q: What’re the first steps someone needs to take to get involved in local government? And do you need to be affiliated with a party? — Citizen Newbie A: Newbie, I’m going to dodge the intent of this question, which is how to participate personally in the electoral process. But that gives … Continue reading

Want to make that intersection safer? Remove all the traffic signals

I‘m a big fan of Ben Hamilton-Baillie, the British urban space designer and traffic engineer who specializes in “reconciling traffic movement with quality public spaces in cities, towns and villages.” I mentioned him a couple of weeks ago in a post about how double-parked delivery trucks are maybe not such a bad … Continue reading

It wasn’t blackface after all. It was blueface. (It still wasn’t okay.)

This is a long post. There’s lots of ground to cover. I hope it addresses all the concerns people have brought up since yesterday’s post exploded via social media, but it may require more dialogue. Just know at the outset: I’ve been up all night writing this follow-up post, and … Continue reading

It’s 2016, and there are people in Bloomington wearing blackface in public [UPDATE: make that “blueface”]

UPDATE 9/24: The students pictured below were not in blackface; they were (attempting to) dress as Blue Man Group. Accusations of explicit racism have been corrected below: incorrect info is struck through and new info is underlined. Full update, and sources for new info below, in the post that succeeds this … Continue reading