MATT FLAHERTY
for BLOOMINGTON CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE

How we can work together for the greater good of our community

Climate action and resilience

There is scientific consensus that we are facing a climate crisis. We must act now — especially in light of state and federal inaction — to meet this challenge. We must change our business-as-usual approach. And we must acknowledge that climate change impacts disproportionately harm low-income residents, communities of color, seniors, and people experiencing homelessness. Climate action is fundamentally an issue of social justice and intergenerational justice.

Tackling climate change is daunting, but this moment also provides an opportunity for positive transformation. We need to join other progressive cities who are rising to this challenge, taking bold steps to increase equity in our community while on the path to a zero-emissions future by the year 2050 or sooner.

Together, we can:

  • Develop a detailed and actionable City climate action plan to take us to zero emissions by 2050 or sooner

  • Achieve significant and sustained greenhouse gas emissions reductions, prioritizing projects that benefit our low-income and most vulnerable community members

  • Pursue new and creative ways to ensure everyone can access renewable energy, weatherization, and efficiency improvements for their homes

  • Increase the resilience and adaptive capacity of our community and infrastructure

  • Pursue climate policies that address social equity, increasing fairness and opportunity for all across a variety of domains, from transportation to housing to the economy

  • Avoid leaving our kids struggling to deal with the consequences of our inaction

social and economic equity

I believe we need to address systemic inequalities in our community by addressing underlying causes. In order to do this, we must prioritize more equitable housing and transportation systems; invest in a more sustainable economy that supports workers and pays living wages; and pursue and support policies that enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion. These are actions that will also meaningfully address our responsibilities to our most vulnerable residents and the next generation on climate and the environment.

Together, we can:

  • Prioritize affordable housing in walkable and transit-oriented areas

  • Invest in safe, sustainable, accessible transportation and mobility options for all

  • Transition to a transit system fully powered by renewable energy

  • Make sure all kids have safe walking routes to school

  • Make sure we are addressing housing affordability challenges to meet “missing middle” and workforce housing needs

  • Preserve the character of our neighborhoods and enhance quality of place

  • Ensure our seniors are able to age in place and stay a part of our community

  • Incentivize socially sustainable business practices, such as paying living wages and providing quality healthcare, as well as employee ownership models and community-rooted businesses

  • Invest in the quality and safety of our public spaces and parks

  • Invest in and support our vibrant arts, music, and cultural communities

  • Move away from an extractive economic model and towards a community-centric, resilient, regenerative, and just economy that leaves no one behind

Accessible City Government

I believe we need to make city government more transparent, inclusive, and accessible. We need to lower the barriers to participation in order to better engage our whole community. I believe our democracy is stronger when we have greater participation, and that our community is stronger when we work together.

On Council, I will make every effort to work more collaboratively with the mayoral administration, county government, and Indiana University administration. We need to break down our social and institutional barriers in order to work more proactively towards an equitable and sustainable future. The great challenges facing us demand that we work together.

In order to better serve our community, I will:

  • Hold monthly meetings for residents in rotating areas around Bloomington to better serve our whole community and meet people where they are

  • Hold monthly meetings on Indiana University’s campus to better engage our student and university community members

  • Strive to make meetings more accessible through Council-member comment time limits; the use of standing committees to streamline decision-making; and better information sharing with constituents

  • Always listen to diverse opinions, seeking to reach a mutual understanding and find common ground, while prioritizing equity, justice and the greater good of our community

  • Prioritize science-based and evidence-backed decision making in city government