You have until Jan 3 to speak up and let the city know how you feel.
Although I haven’t shared my thoughts on this issue in public, below is a copy of the letter I wrote.
Dear Mayor Hamilton and Park Commissioners,
I’m writing to encourage the city to continue sponsoring the community farmers market.
I know it has been a hard summer and it can be difficult to know what to do to keep the community safe. I can only imagine how stressful it was this year and how hard it is to estimate costs going into the future. People come in all colors, backgrounds and all people matter equally. It can be difficult to know how best to ensure all people are treated with respect and justice. I know this is important to you and a core belief of almost everyone at the market.
Your market is important. It is worth fighting for. The Bloomington Community Farmers Market:
Provide access to locally grown seasonal, fresh nutritious food
Preserve farmland and rural areas
Provide face to face contact with the families who grow food
Educate the public as anyone can ask any question about any item
Are the only low-barrier entry point for growers as well as local entertainers
Stimulate the local economy as money circulates locally
Bring communities together – bridging a gap of urban, suburban and rural folk.
If you do not continue to sponsor the market, it will also be a financial hardship for my family. Vendors like me will travel to either the Bedford or the Paoli market Saturday and the Nashville market on Sunday. There simply is no private market fairy who will pick up the slack. You will do this hard job, or it will not get done. Bloomington will no longer be home to the best local food market in the state. That honor will pass to a different city. The pharisaic will have succeeded in destroying a 40 year old tradition.
I will respect and support whatever decision you take, but I strongly urge you not to give up.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, listen to me and consider the thoughts of everyone speaking up.
Karen Saint Rain