Learning About Bloomington Ward 5 Candidates: Patrick Lawler
Written by Mike Fornelli on March 12, 2021
NORMAL, Ill.- A Normal Community high school social studies teacher, is running for the Ward 5 seat in the Bloomington City Council in the municipal elections on April 6.
The ISU graduate announced his campaign on twitter last June, saying he intends to “reclaim” Ward 5. Patrick Lawler has stuck to that mentality throughout his campaign.
“Too often, the people in positions of power make decisions without actually coming back to talk to the people they claim to represent,” said Lawler. “It seems like we need to focus our energy on putting people first.”
Lawler says he plans to put issues such as COVID-19 relief and public safety first if elected to this seat. He says experience from his 15-year teaching career is one of the main reasons why he will be a good fit in this position if elected.
“As a teacher, I’ve always tried to take the approach of meeting my students where they’re at,” said Lawler. “Reaching out, finding out what they need and how I can help them. I didn’t really see that happening with the representation we had from this ward. I wanted to get into this race to try and provide that. I think it’s important that the people that represent us get outside of their own neighborhoods and come to us where we are at, and I want to try to bring that mentality to city hall.”
At Normal Community high school, Lawler sponsors a social studies club that has taken part in many community outreach projects such as landscaping at the West Bloomington Active Garden and the McLean County Musuem of History.
Lawler is also a member of the people first coalition, a group of candidates on the Bloomington municipal ballot that are working together to win their individual seats. He’s joined by ward 3 candidate Willie Halbert, Ward 7 candidate Kelby Cumpston, and mayoral candidate Jackie Gunderson.
“When we get elected, we’re going to be ready to hit the ground running,” said Lawler. “We’re going to have collaborative relationships from day one.”