2023 Bloomington mayoral primary: Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg is one of three candidates who are running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for mayor of Bloomington. The other two are Don Griffin and Kerry Thomson.

Susan Sandberg

There is no Republican running in the primary for mayor.

According to her filed candidate’s statement of economic interests, Sandberg is now retired.

In 2020, Sandberg earned $50,000 as a career advisor at Indiana University’s O’Neill School of School of Public and Environmental Affairs. In 2023, Sandberg will earn $20,146 as a member of Bloomington’s city council.

According to Sandberg’s campaign website, she previously served as a case manager in child protective services.

The four planks of Sandberg’s platform are: affordability; public safety and public health; better collaboration; and essential city services.

Affordability encompasses living-wage jobs, reliable public transportation, affordable childcare, and housing. Public safety includes funding competitive salaries for police.

For Sandberg, mayoral collaboration means working with neighborhoods, businesses, the city council, and county government.

For Sandberg, essential services include maintaining and funding streets, sidewalks, sanitation, snow removal, police, fire, public works, and water utilities. Sandberg also stresses the importance of adequate pay for city workers who do basic services jobs.

Sandberg has served on the Bloomington city council since 2007, when she caucused into the at-large seat made vacant when Chris Gaal resigned from the council to assume the role of county prosecutor.

In 2003, Sandberg’s first run for city council was unsuccessful. It was for the District 2 seat against two-term incumbent, Republican Jason Banach. Sandberg’s campaign website highlights her service on the city council as a four-time council president.

Other points of Sandberg’s background that are highlighted on her campaign website include roles as a founding member of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, and vice chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party.

Sandberg’s website also highlights her service on the Bloomington utilities service board, the Bloomington plan commission, the Jack Hopkins social services committee, the Waldron Study Group, and the community development block grant (CDGB) citizens advisory committee.

Sandberg also served on the board of the South Central Community Action Program and volunteered with New Leaf–New Life.

Sandberg has participated in training with Braver Angels, a group that aims to mitigate against polarized approaches to politics.

Sandberg received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University. She was a varsity touring member of the IU Singing Hoosiers and plays with a local ukulele band, The UkeTones.

Questions posed for Bloomington mayoral candidates by the League of Women Voters for their Vote 411 profiles are as follows:

1. What role, if any, should the city have in improving mental health and reducing drug dependence, and why?
2. What, if anything, should the city do to increase local affordable housing?
3. Given the recent attack here on a woman of Asian descent, what should be done to ensure that all Bloomington residents, particularly those who have been made vulnerable or marginalized, feel safe in public spaces?
4. Bloomington’s 2021 Climate Action Plan has numerous goals for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climate change. What would you do to achieve these multiple goals?
5. How should the city handle the varying traffic needs of bikes, busses, cars, delivery vehicles, pedestrians, and scooters?
6. Is the level of apparent conflict among local government officials a concern for you? If so, what would you do to decrease conflict and increase collaborative problem solving?

Sandberg’s answers: Susan Sandberg LWV Vote 411 profile


Document Links


Videos of mayoral candidate forums

[CATS video: April 24, 2023 city unions mayoral forum]

[B Square video: April 19, 2023 BEDC mayoral forum]

[CATS video: April 11, 2023 Arts Alliance mayoral forum]

[CATS video: April 10, 2023 Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce mayoral forum]

[CATS video: April 3, 2023 League of Women Voters mayoral forum]

[Excerpt video: April 1, 2023 NOW mayoral forum]

[CATS video: March 30, 2023 council for community accessibility mayoral forum]

[CATS video: March 28, 2023 Heading Home mayoral forum]

Audio recording: March 25, 2023 Alpha Kappa Alpha mayoral candidate forum


B Square coverage of Sandberg’s campaign with date of publication

2023 April 7
Column: Sidewalk question deserves more concrete answer from mayoral hopefuls

2023 April 4
Democratic Party’s mayoral candidates talk annexation, encampments, Lower Cascades closing

2023 April 1
Griffin, Sandberg, Thomson speak on social justice as early voting for May 2 mayoral primary looms

2023 March 28
Bloomington mayoral primary forum: Are we scared of being the best at taking care of the less fortunate?

2023 Feb. 22
3 Bloomington mayoral hopefuls speak at first forum

2023 Jan. 19 
2023 election notebook: $190K raised in 2022 by Bloomington mayoral campaigns

2023 Jan. 4
2023 Elections | Day One notebook: 9 file paperwork, including 3 known mayoral candidates

2022 Nov. 18
Hamilton on a third term as Bloomington mayor: “It’s tempting to run, but I just have decided not to.”

2022 Nov. 13
Sandberg sets tone for 2023 mayoral campaign with kickoff: “We should restore before we do more.”

2022 June 1
Possible mayoral run for Sandberg: Bloomington city council president forms exploratory committee