The Monroe County Health Department is recruiting volunteers for the Medical Service Corps to help with local health and safety work.
Volunteers currently are being deployed to help with the COVID testing site. When a COVID vaccine is available, volunteers will be needed to help at county health clinics.
Click here for more info. To sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bloomington Citizens' Academy is accepting applications for its 2020 course, which runs each Thursday evening, 6-8 p.m., from August 27 to October 29.
The deadline to apply is July 29. Click here to apply online.
The free academy is organized by the City of Bloomington's Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND). The classes provide an overview of city operations, including police and fire departments, utilities, public works and more.
The Monroe County Public Library is updating its strategic plan and asking residents to help shape their future work.
The plan, for 2021-2023, will guide MCPL's technology, programs, partnerships and materials. Click here to read the current 2018-2020 plan.
Click here to take the survey.
You can also give public commentary at the monthly meetings of the MCPL board of trustees. Their next meeting is on July 15 at 5:45 p.m. More info here.
Due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for completing the 2020 U.S. Census has been extended to Oct. 31.
Residents can fill out the census online, by phone or using the mailed-in form. The Census 2020 site is available in English and 12 other languages. To complete it by phone, call 844-330-2020.
As of mid-June, Monroe County's response rate was 62.5% lower than Indiana's rate of 66.1%. The response rate for Bloomington is even lower, at 57.1%. Click here to check response rates.
The City of Bloomington is creating a protected bike lane along 7th Street from Woodlawn to the B-Line, and is holding a public forum on Thursday, June 18 to get input from residents. The event starts at 6 p.m.
Called the "7-Line," the project would add physical barriers between the bike lane, located on the south side of 7th, and auto traffic. It would also remove all metered parking from Woodlawn to College. Bus frequency along this corridor (Route 6) would increase. Indianapolis-based American Structurepoint is the design consultant for this initiative, which is envisioned eventually to extend east of the IU campus.
To participate in the June 18 forum, click this Zoom link or watch on Facebook. Can't make the meeting? Give online feedback here.
Find more information on the project website.
A forum on Tuesday, June 16 will focus on getting input for the redevelopment of a 24-acre site where the IU Health Bloomington Hospital is now located. The City of Bloomington will be taking over ownership of that area in 2021.
The public forum starts at 6 p.m. on Zoom. Registration is required – click here to register. The event will also be livestreamed on the city's Facebook page.
Unable to attend? Give your input by taking this online survey.
Click here to view the project's website.
As part of the process to update the Monroe County Consolidated Development Ordinance (CDO), county planning staff are asking residents to participate in focus groups in the coming months.
The focus groups are organized into these topics:
Click here to sign up for a CDO focus group. Get more information about the CDO process here.
The Bloomington-Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization (BMCMPO) is seeking feedback on using the area's transportation system and ideas about how to improve the transportation experience.
Responses to a short survey will help inform the BMCMPO's Metropolitan Transportation Plan, which is looking ahead to 2045. This survey will be open through July 2020.
Click here to take the survey.
Click here to learn more about the MPO's transportation planning efforts.
NOTE: The following op-ed was co-authored by Ann Birch, President of the League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County, and Mary Morgan, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. A version was published in the May 20, 2020 Indiana Daily Student.
The COVID-19 crisis gives all of us a compelling reason to invest in our democracy—when could this be more important than in times of national emergency? Here’s what you can do to make sure your voice is heard:
1) Be aware. By now, all Monroe County registered voters should have received an absentee ballot application. If you want to vote by mail, no excuses needed, this is your chance. You can also apply for your ballot online at the Indiana Voter Portal. You have until May 21 to get your application in.
You can still vote in person both on Election Day and during early voting. Early voting starts on May 26 at Monroe County Election Central, 401 W. 7th St. – check their website for hours. With the continued need for protection against COVID-19, your polling place on Election Day (June 2) may have changed, and new rules will be in place to minimize the chance for contagion. Find your polling place at the Indiana Voter Portal.
2) Be informed. Several nonpartisan guides give candidate information and enable comparison between candidates on issues. The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce provides a voter guide for local candidates, state legislature candidates, and District 9 congressional candidates. The League of Women Voters voter Vote411 website includes questions and answers on issues for federal and state races and links to candidate information for local races. Just go to the site, enter your address, and under “Find What’s On Your Ballot,” click Explore Now.
In addition to these two resources, the Concerned Scientists at Indiana University Bloomington organization has queried District 9 congressional candidates on science topics. Check out the CSIU website to read the responses.
3) Be counted. This is a census year. When you respond to the census, you are helping to direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services. In addition, census results are used to determine your political representation at all levels of government. If you’re an IU student, have you counted yourself? Getting students to count themselves and their roommates at their off-campus apartments, not at their parents’ homes, has been challenging. Go to the Census 2020 site to fill out the questionnaire. It’s important. And it’s easy.
On June 1, the City of Bloomington will launch a revamped website for public input on the redevelopment of the Bloomington hospital site.
Consultants hired to develop a master plan – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill – will be meeting with stakeholders later this month. They'll also host an online "town hall" on June 16 at 6 p.m.
Details about all public engagement efforts will be posted on the hospital redevelopment site starting June 1.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy