To the editor:

Bloomington is a great place to live, and I know I’m not the only one who thinks so.

In our most recent Citizen Survey, 86% of our neighbors said their quality of life was good or excellent, and 91% said they’d recommend Bloomington as a place to live. We have many good things going for us, and we’re rightly proud of that fact. That’s not to say that we don’t have challenges, or that there aren’t things we can and should do better, but overall, folks think life in Bloomington is pretty good.

We now know which candidates will be on the November ballot, and we know that we will definitely have a new mayor and at least one new council member. As we continue to watch nastiness and obstinacy run rampant in national and state politics, it’s easy to think we have no choice but to go down the same path here in Bloomington. That is false. There will always be those who would rather sow mistrust in our neighbors, push innuendo and misleading implications, and offer simple solutions to complex problems. It’s up to us how we respond.

Here’s my challenge to the candidates: Appeal to what Abraham Lincoln referred to as “the better angels of our nature” – the best in us. Show us your positive vision for what Bloomington can be. Show us why you deserve the privilege of serving us as an elected official.

Here’s my challenge to the rest of us: Hold them accountable to this, even the candidates you support. Make them earn your vote by showing they’re better for our community and for the folks who live here. Don’t let this turn into a race to the depths.

There is a lot at stake for Bloomington in this election, and it matters to folks who’s in the room making decisions. We get the politics and the politicians we choose. I know the choice I’m making. Will you join me?

Nathan Coulter

Bloomington

Coulter is an at-large representative of the Bloomington City Council.

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