Councilman Ruff supports a strong social service network and affordable housing opportunities to increase social justice and equity in our community, finding creative ways to better use local resources and ideas to compensate for the increasing failures of our state and federal government to, as FDR put it, “…provide enough for those who have little”.
Ensuring that all expenditures of public funds by local government, and all public subsidies like tax abatements demonstrate clear and compelling public benefits to the community as a whole, not just to special public interests, as this will increase equity in our community.
Continue to support and expand the downtown resources specialist program headed by the Bloomington Police Department, which has proven to be effective in reducing problems related to homelessness and helped connect people to important resources and needed services. Furthermore, additional policies are needed to incentivize affordable units in development proposals, keeping our city accessible for all citizens.
Increase the level of our City’s living-wage ordinance and expand it to cover additional programs contracts, and workers in the community. A living wage dignifies work and makes a step in helping reduce poverty.
Quality of Life
Bloomington’s economic vitality flows from the “quality of life” amenities that our residents enjoy. The key economic development initiatives for Bloomington are investments and policies that protect our community character, protect our natural environment, and that provide recreational and cultural amenities not typically found in a community of our size and location. These are the things that provide Bloomington an advantage to creative entrepreneurs who want a culturally vibrant, diverse, and naturally beautiful place to start businesses, raise families, seek education, and even stay here or come here in retirement. Councilman Ruff will continue protect and enhance these core values just as he’s done the last 20 years. A focus on economic development efforts for locally owned businesses must be cultivated. Policies that subsidizes distantly headquartered competitors will only leak income from our local economy.
The scale of buildings downtown has become a major issue for preservation of community character. The community-generated Comprehensive Plan must be followed as the guide for development proposals in the City. The City Council is currently working on a new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) that will change City laws that determine the scale, density and style of our built environment. Councilman Ruff will continue to work to halt flawed development projects, and will continue to work through community-based efforts to preserve and enhance Bloomington’s unique character.
Ruff will continue to work to increase public involvement in policy-making. Increasing local government accessibility and accountability, and improving processes for meaningful public input – ensuring that input directly shapes local policies, truly influences decisions, and determines outcomes.
Sustainability and Labor
Ruff will be aggressive in the area of sustainable living, renewable energy, energy efficiency, local food production, alternative transportation, and work hard to promote and implement the recommendations of our CIty’s adopted Sustainability Action Plan.
Councilman Ruff played a key role our City’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan development to make certain that organized labor was recognized as a crucial community partner in strengthening our community, along with business, government, not-for-profit agencies, education, and more. He will be vigilant in ensuring that labor is always supported and is engaged with the City according to the directives of our Comprehensive Plan.
Transportation issues continue to be a focus. Transportation options are a major component of the efforts we must undertake to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ruff will work to ensure that transportation investments and priorities are consistent with the goals and priorities outlined in our community’s guiding documents like the Comprehensive Plan, Sustainability Action Plan, and others. Bike, pedestrian, and transit options must be emphasized, and investments to accommodate cars and trucks must not come at the expense of other modes with a smaller carbon footprint.