Saturday morning’s wet weather did not mean a complete washout for work on a downtown Bloomington “Black Lives Matter” mural.
By around 11 a.m. on Saturday, a slight misting drizzle had turned into a legitimate light rain, puddling the pavement along the block of 6th Street, on the north side of Bloomington’s downtown courthouse square.
That’s where the planned painting of Bloomington’s second “Black Lives Matter” street mural was set to take place through the day, with volunteers working 45-minute shifts.
Anticipating that the pavement would not dry out in time to complete work, even if the rain stopped, a decision was made to waive off the volunteers for Saturday and try for a backup rain date.
Clad in coveralls at the site on Saturday morning, Sean Starowitz, Bloomington’s assistant director for the arts, told The Square Beacon that the tentative backup date has now been set for June 5. That’s a few weeks later than one announced earlier.
By around 5 p.m., the rain had stopped and the pavement had pretty much dried out.
Elm Street at 7th Street looking north, the site of the first “Black Lives Matter” street mural, painted in October 2020.
This image is from the Pictometry module of Monroe County’s online property lookup system. The segment of 6th Street along the north leg of the courthouse square will be the site of a Black Lives Matter street mural to be painted on April 17.
At its Tuesday meeting, Bloomington’s board of public works cleared the way for the painting of a second “Black Lives Matter” street mural on Saturday.
The board approved the use of the public right-of-way on the block of 6th Street between Walnut Street and College Avenue, the north leg of the courthouse square.
The street will be blocked off to vehicle traffic for 14 hours on Saturday (April 17), from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The six-hour day of training by eight BLM facilitators is currently scheduled for Jan. 30, 2021. But that date could change by agreement between the commissioners and BLM.
Also at their Wednesday meeting, the commissioners approved revisions to the Monroe County personnel manual that, among other items, address the kind of training that will be provided by BLM. It won’t require elected officials to take BLM’s training.
What if every ordinance and resolution considered by Bloomington’s city council had to be scrutinized and debated publicly based on this question: How is this legislation anti-racist?
I think building such a step into the city council’s regular process could complement Bloomington mayor John Hamilton’s recent proposed response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is to “recover forward.”
The idea is not merely to restore Bloomington’s economic health, but to make it better than it was before. The same goes for two other areas—climate justice and racial justice.
Hamilton’s proposal includes the idea of changing the way Bloomington does things, so that we are combatting racial injustice in a way that reflects community values.
Here’s one way to build a separate step into the city council’s process, so that all legislation gets scrutinized through an anti-racist lens: Add an anti-racist reading to the legislative routine.
Currently, the normal process is that every ordinance must get read twice, at separate meetings, before it is enacted. A resolution currently just needs one reading.
The idea would be to add an occasion designed to discuss the ways the item does or does not serve the city’s anti-racist policy goals—an occasion called the “anti-racist reading.”
For ordinances, the anti-racist reading would be sandwiched between what are currently the first and second readings. For resolutions, the anti-racist reading would come after what is currently the first and only reading.