About Steve

Steve Volan is the host and executive producer of The 812, a weekdaily half-hour local public affairs podcast featuring interviews with decision makers. You can hear the show at the812show.org, or wherever you prefer to get your podcasts.

Steve was the sixth district representative to the Bloomington Common Council, representing approximately 13,000 constituents, from January 1, 2004 to January 1, 2024. In 2020 he served as president, and in 2007 as vice-president; he also served for several years as the council parliamentarian, and was very active in reforming Council’s rules of procedure. He also sat on the boards of the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District from 2004 through 2017 (where he served as president from 2012 through 14, and as secretary); and of the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Committee from 2021 through 2023 (where he served as chair in 2022 and vice chair in 2023).

He authored many ordinances and resolutions over the years, including:

  • the ordinance in 2023 giving Bloomington Transit the ability to serve outside city limits for the first time in its 40-plus-year history;
  • a guarantee that at least a quarter of the economic-development local income tax proposed by Mayor Hamilton in 2022 would be devoted to public transit, resulting in a $3.8 million increase for BT in 2023;
  • The Reasonable Hour Ordinance in 2021, which requires Council meetings to end by midnight;
  • the ordinance creating the Citizens’ Redistricting Advisory Commission in 2020, which recommended new city council maps (and which districted Steve out of District Six at the end of 2022);
  • the Garden Hill Neighborhood Parking Zone 12 in 2018, the first to be enforced evenings and weekends;
  • the ordinance creating the Parking Commission in 2016, which he has been a member of since 2017.

He teaches a course at Indiana University. He founded The Cinemat, an independent video-rental store, movie screening room and performance venue in 2002. It closed in 2009 and was replaced by a bar and performance venue called The Bishop, which programs music shows similar to what The Cinemat hosted. In 1995 he founded BlueMarble Information Services, the first company in Bloomington to provide Internet access to the general public. The company, now known simply as BlueMarble.net, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Smithville Telephone Company, the largest independent telecommunications company in the state.

He has been involved with volunteer-powered, listener-supported community radio station WFHB since 1992. Since its first year on the air in 1993, he has programmed a two-hour show of new music as part of the Thursday Afternoon Music Mix. He was also a founding member of the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation’s board of directors, and still emcees a stage at each year’s Lotus Festival.

He is originally from the corner of Indiana affectionately known as “Da Region.” He graduated with a Master of Arts in Geography in 2019, and a Bachelor of General Studies degree in 2007, both from Indiana University Bloomington. He also attended Carnegie-Mellon University and graduated from Andrean High School in Merrillville, Indiana. Steve has lived in Bloomington since 1986.

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Updated March 2024