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Page last updated on September 7, 2021 at 1:44 pm

Hi, this is Mayor John Hamilton. It's Monday, June 22nd. I just wanted to give a public update on a few items, those related particularly to COVID and the coronavirus. We're in stage four with a couple of adjustments. We're waiting to see how that goes. A bunch of prevalence testing was completed. Reporting is coming out on that indicates relatively good numbers, it appears for Indiana, though I have to say, I feel a little bit like somebody in good weather who's got the weather person telling them storms are coming. I'm still very concerned about changes as we welcome thousands, tens of thousands of people from around the country, and the world back to our community. So we're working very closely to think about with the health department, with Indiana University, with the state to think about how do we manage that safely for everybody. So stay tuned to that. But so far indicators are we continue to see relatively good data in terms of the impact of the coronavirus locally. But we need to keep watching that.

A couple of other things may be of interest this week. There's a parks board meeting on Tuesday at 4:00. And there's a public safety board meeting that same day, Tuesday, at 6:00. Those are both dealing with important issues. Parks relating to many things about parks, including the farmer's market and the evolution of activities there, the response to the broadening inclusion report and others, and of course, public safety dealing with many issues of questions about public safety. Let me say, I'm very proud of the leadership of both those departments and the people who work in those departments. I think they're on whole outstanding public servants who serve our community very well. Certainly, it's appropriate to ask questions and pursue improvements in all that we do, including, in particular, these days with great concern about the racial impact of public safety, and as we know in our particular circumstance here with the farmer's market.

I do want to just make a note that these discussions about race, the continuing impact of the racist history of the United States and our community, the exploration of how do we improve, be more inclusive, more welcoming community where everyone belongs and is treated appropriately, those are really hard conversations. Sometimes I think people of goodwill can sometimes get into conversations and say things that aren't aptly put, aren't put as well as they should be, or miss issues that we're not aware of for various reasons. And I want to encourage this community to welcome those conversations, to accept that sometimes people trying to figure out the right way forward may not see it well, may not articulate it well. We may speak in ways that are not ideal. All of us, I certainly included.

I think it's really important that we have safe space for those conversations, for the challenging conversations, the hard conversations without attacking individuals who while being of basic goodwill may not be as articulate about how we can talk about it in hearing issues. We need to listen a lot to all of our residents, and particularly including residents, people of color, and others who have felt that the system is not working for them. We need to listen a lot. But also recognize that these conversations can be hard and awkward, and be people of goodwill to know that we want to move forward together as we do that. And that's certainly going to be the case, I think, that we'll need to have that understanding, that listening in regard to the parks department and the police department. I look forward to that.

Just a couple other quick updates. I hope maybe you enjoyed the Kirkwood closing of two blocks over the weekend as a pilot. Please let us know what you think of that. A couple other big projects got a lot of public input in the reuse of the hospital property. Take a look. There's a website, where we welcome your input as well. The 7-line project, a new major bicentennial gift of a new trail, a running, separated bicycle trail on 7th Street from the B-line all the way to IU campus, a lot of public input on that. And while I'm at it, I might as well mention the Lower Cascades Pilot Project Trail is open. I hope the public will engage in those processes, those get feedback. Tell us how you think our community is doing and should do better.

These are challenging times. There are a lot of items to address. City workers are working really hard. I know our community cares a lot about these. So please be engaged as positive, constructive, dynamic, passionate advocates, as we are, to help our city keep getting better, with respect for each other, with respect for all of us, particularly as we know with race issues these days, with respect to people of color and listening, to learn how we become a better city. We have ways to go. And I look forward to working on all of that with you. Thanks a lot. Have a good week.