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District I Representative

334 South Jackson
Bloomington, IN 47404
(h:) 812.336.9171
(o:) 812.349.3409


Chris Sturbaum represents District One and his lived on Bloomington's west side for most of his life. Chris was Vice President of the Council in 2005 and Council President in 2006. Chris graduated from Wabash College and is the small business owner of "Golden Hands Construction," a business dedicated to restoring historic properties and general remodeling.

The experience and knowledge that comes from working on community issues and running his own business for over thirty years is an asset when making community decisions. Chris has chaired numerous committees and commissions both at the city and the neighborhood level and has had the responsibility of keeping his own employees working in good times and bad. This has given him a breadth of interest in varied topics. Chris understands the complexity of issues and how they are addressed over time by a series of decisions both large and small and by a persistently applied vision for a better Bloomington.

Since his tenure with the Council began in 2004, Chris has successfully introduced a number of policy initiatives to enhance the quality of life for everyone in Bloomington including: providing for demolition delay for historic structures, adding gender identity to the City's human rights protections, fostering social and economic sustainability through the City's new zoning laws, collaborating on the Downtown Plan, and working for affordable housing. Chris has served on the City's Plan Commission, the City's Economic Development Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Board of the Urban Enterprise Association, Commission for the Bloomington Downtown and the Council's Sidewalk Committee.

Chris' continuing work to improve the quality of life for Bloomington residents includes the following. In his words:

  • Quality of Life and Livability of Bloomington

    We have learned that quality of life is the key. If people truly want to live here, they will vacation here, they will retire here and if they are young, they will stay here. They will make their businesses here and they will participate in government to help keep this place the special place it is. This translates to jobs and a bright future for our community.

    Walkability, higher density and mixed use are the way of the future. The old houses and buildings all need to be made more energy efficient while new structures should be built to modern energy standards. Transit will need to be improved and bike use and pedestrian access will continue to progress and evolve. Hopefully the hospital will stay and grow in its current location, which I continue to strongly advocate for. This is all part of New Urbanism that will make Bloomington more desirable as it increases our sustainability.

  • Public Transportation

    The merging of BT with IU Transit would make the bus system stronger and I support that goal. As gas prices increase, the demand for transit will grow and the routes can be made more direct. The new bus station downtown which is coming this year will also enhance our system and make it more accessible.

    As an avid walker and a long time member of the sidewalk committee, I was involved in the planning for the B-Line Trail and advocated for the current extension's rapid completion.

    Working to achieve Platinum status for our bike friendliness will keep us moving in the right direction for multimodal transportation. I support our ongoing bike path program, the newly proposed bike boulevard and our yearly efforts to connect up sidewalks which will continue to fill the gaps in what will be our ever-growing need for alternative transportation.

  • Affordable Housing

    I will continue to support HAND's work with Habitat and other non-profits to create affordable homeownership. Public / private cooperation for affordable housing is a good use of public funds. I think we should carefully try new ideas but on a case-by-case basis to learn how to add without subtracting. As a university community, we have experienced the downside of over-occupancy but we mustn't let that keep us from innovations that the future may call us to consider.

  • Recycling

    The time has come to address the lack of recycling in apartments. This is something that needs to be done and city government is in the best position to make this happen in way that is fair and equitable to both tenants and landlords. I am working on this issue with Council Members Mayer and Piedmont Smith. We also worked to facilitate a downtown recycling center where items can be more conveniently dropped off. This will make business and apartment recycling more convenient.

Local government deals with many other issues affecting the everyday life of residents. The City Council is the voice for neighbors in our districts when something needs to be fixed. We work on alternative transportation, green yards, street lights, stop signs, over-occupancy of rentals, dogs, cats, chickens, and neighborhood preservation to name a few.

Your ideas, phone calls and e-mails are always welcome!