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Page last updated on September 7, 2021 at 1:47 pm

Hi, this is Mayor Hamilton. It's Monday, July 13th, and I just wanted to reach out to the community. I have to say there's been so much going on, it's difficult to share in a brief message all... Of course, I can't share that's happening. I just want to share a brief message with you.

First, obviously our community is going through extraordinary challenges in connection with the July 4th weekend and racial, horrible activities, actions that took place. Two members of our own community in and around Bloomington Proper. You've certainly followed that on the news. You know the challenge to continue to address racism. I just want, as mayor, to express condolence, empathy, support for all the victims of these actions, from Lake Monroe, to the traffic stop, to the victims of the hit-and-run accident, to more. We hate to see our fellow residents treated unfairly. Race-based hate crimes are particularly offensive, infuriating, angering. We've certainly seen a public response to that, and I understand and support the public's response. Those individual cases need to be resolved expeditiously. I'm reaching out as much as I can as mayor to try to assure that that happens and that justice be done.

Of course, it also reminds us that Bloomington, our community, our region, are not who and where we want to be in terms of inclusiveness, welcoming, belonging, safety. It reminds us the incredibly important work of addressing, attacking, remedying racial injustice, legacies, current persistence of racism that are in our community, whether it's in the criminal justice system, in our housing, in our education, in healthcare, in the economy, all those places, a lot of work ahead.

For right now, I'm just expressing the, I think the anguish of the community and appreciate all of you standing up, speaking out, listening to our brothers and sisters of color, particularly the black community who've gone through these very challenging days. And, of course, all this piling on the George Floyd, the Breonna Taylor, the Ahmaud Arbery, and many, many other events that have prompted our country to awaken and to have millions of people calling for racial justice.

That's certainly present here in our community. There are a lot of ways to get involved in that. There's plenty of information on our city website as well, as we do our work, thinking about our police department and to continuing to evolve public safety approaches and look for the budget coming up and all. I just can't go into that in long detail in this, but know our hearts are breaking. But our hearts are also open as our community tries to heal and improve from this. Please reach out to my office or each other as we work to make our community better.

I'll note also on the COVID-19 front, we do expect, I've been urging and I do expect that the county will take steps to order mandatory masks. I believe that's coming. It's not decided formally yet. Also, I expect we'll see some more restrictions and controls on bars and in large gathering places and perhaps some adjustments to our social gathering limits. All of this, really in light of a couple facts right in front of us, which are thousands and thousands of students will be coming back to campus we expect in the few weeks ahead, from all around the country and we need to be careful. And second, of course, we've seen this upsurge, resurgence across the country in places that have opened too fast or inappropriately. So, I will continue to urge... The city council and I are ready to step in if we need to, if the county as a whole doesn't move forward as well. But we very strongly believe and hope that we'll get this done countywide.

Again, I just I can't even begin to address all of the issues that are pressing on our community and our community's feeling and going through right now. Please take care of each other, take care of your community, especially our brothers and sisters of color. And know that this reminds us as a community, while we are proud of many things and we do many things together moving us forward, we do still have work to do and this community is not where we want to be and nor is our country. I hope you will all work together in peace, but with great energy, to move us forward down the track. Thanks for all you do. Please reach out if you have questions and take care of each other.