Authored on September 13, 2020

To the editor:

The deep changes our society needs to accomplish are out of reach for most of us individually.

We can move the progressive needle forward, however, by supporting city-organized trash hauling and ranked-choice voting on the Bloomington ballot.

To vote for continuation of city-organized garbage hauling, you need to vote no on questions 1 and 2.

We desperately need to stop living in a throw-away society. Our landfills are filling up and the resulting pollution is devastating to the biosphere on which we all depend, no matter our political stripes. But until we have a true paradigm shift in the way we purchase and produce goods, the least we can do is keep the trucks on garbage day to a minimum. The opponents of organized hauling want government out of their decisions, but in this case we need government to do its job and keep residents safe, save wear and tear on our streets and minimize air pollution.

Ranked-choice voting is designed to solve a multitude of problems with local elections, improving democracy while saving taxpayer money. If we pass RCV, we will join more than 10 million Americans who experience more civil campaigning, as candidates need to appeal to a wider range of voters, and increased voter engagement due to more choices.

In a time when we are struggling to listen to underrepresented voices, RCV is a way to encourage diverse participation. There is no vote splitting or strategic voting with RCV, because you can vote for someone instead of against someone.

Polling by Edison Research after the 2013 election in Minneapolis showed 85% of voters found RCV simple to use, including 82% of voters of color, 81% of voters without a college education and 81% of voters aged 65 and up.

Until we get money out of politics and mud-slinging out of our political discourse, we can’t make the deep changes we need for our society to be truly fair and equitable. RCV is a step in the right direction.

Join me in voting no, no, yes on the three ballot questions.

Karen Shragg