Nathan Coulter — Bloomington City Council
September 26 @ 7:30 am - 8:30 am
My story begins right here in Bloomington. My mom was a math teacher at Normandale Community College for 39 years, and my dad’s office was just off of 90th and West Bloomington Freeway. I went to Ridgeview, Oak Grove, Olson, and Jefferson, before earning a degree in Political Science and Music Education from St. Olaf College.
After college, I worked for various political campaigns before landing at the Minnesota Senate, where I work as a legislative assistant serving Bloomington with a particular focus on issues related to education, health, human services, and housing. It’s been a true joy to work with our Bloomington legislators on issues directly affecting our community, from advocating for funding for redesign of the 35W-494 interchange to trail improvements in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Outside of work, I serve on the boards for the Bloomington Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and the Perpich Center for Arts Education. I also teach Sunday School at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.
My wife Charity and I live in east Bloomington, and Charity particularly enjoys walking by Nine Mile Creek.
Why I’m Running
I’m running for City Council because I see so much potential in Bloomington. I’ve lived in Bloomington my whole life. I know what our community has meant to families that grew up here because I’m part of one. As someone who chose to stay and start a family here, I know where we need to go. The reality is that the thinking that got us where we are today will not be the thinking that gets us where we need to be tomorrow.
I’m running for City Council because of people – the neighbors I grew up next to, the families who want a good place to live, the seniors who want to stay, the immigrants who want a community that welcomes them, everyone who just wants a place to call “home”. Bloomington residents deserve to know that their government has their backs. They deserve leadership that dives into the tough issues and focuses on results that work for them, leadership that works hard, listens, and puts people first.
I’m running for City Council because we need leadership that reflects the priorities of the future. Whether we’re looking at age, race and ethnicity, income, or any number of the ways our city has changed, we can plainly see that this isn’t the Bloomington of 20 years ago, and we know that Bloomington will look very different 20 years from now. The fundamentals that have made Bloomington a great place to live remain, but how we adapt these fundamentals, what we prioritize, and how we address these changes and make progress for our neighbors will define the Bloomington that the next generation inherits.
I’m running for City Council because I know what this city has given me. I know how lucky I was to grow up in a community like Bloomington, and I was raised to believe that when you value your community, you give back. My faith teaches me that “to whom much has been given, much will be required”, and I am ready and eager to serve my community.
Bloomington deserves new leadership. You can count on me to prioritize – and deliver on – these issues:
- Affordable Housing: We need to acknowledge that people want and communities need diverse housing options. Bloomington needs to focus on preserving and rehabilitating naturally-occurring affordable housing, investing more redevelopment resources in new affordable housing construction, and refurbishing our existing housing stock. This will benefit current residents and encourage young families to move here.
- Equity: I recall a Bloomington leader referring to our city as possessing a “diverse diversity”. Bloomington is a rapidly diversifying city, and we should embrace the changes that accompany that. This also presents challenges for community outreach, policing, and resource and service needs. We can do more to ensure that Bloomington continues to be a welcoming community for everyone regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and identity, or immigrant status.
- Infrastructure: Street maintenance is a quality of life issue, and an economic one. We need to ensure that our streets can accommodate the needs of residents of all ages as well as businesses. This also means renewing our commitment to public transportation and transit. We need to invest in a better sidewalk infrastructure. Walkable communities are nearly a necessity now, and will be sooner than many realize. A better sidewalk system is good for the city, and will encourage healthy living.
- Property taxes: Almost nobody likes paying taxes, and in Bloomington, we’ve long recognized the need to balance important services with ensuring fair and efficient taxes. I applaud the work that’s been done to keep the price of government low, while simultaneously maintaining high-quality services, from award-winning snow removal to award-winning tap water. We need to continue that work, while also refocusing on making property taxes more progressive.
- Open Government: We’ve seen on every level what happens when people feel disconnected from their government, when they don’t feel their voices being heard in the halls of power. It’s encouraging to me that so many are standing up and voicing their opinions. I believe it’s government’s responsibility to proactively respond. Our neighbors should know who their elected officials are, and how to get in touch with them. As your City Councilmember, I will regularly hold conversation sessions to hear directly from you.
- Working Together: The issues that confront us require us all to come together and focus on getting the job done. We simply don’t have time for old political battles or personality conflicts to get in the way of serving people. We need city leadership that has experience working in and with different levels of government, and leadership that will work in good faith with anyone who will do the same.