Bloomington, IN

Charlotte Zietlow will headline the Monroe County History Center on new book about winning city election and change

Braydyn The Bear Lents
Photo of Charlotte Zietlow in an August 2017 article for Bloom Magazine.Photo byRodney Margison/Bloom Magazine

The Monroe County History Center in Bloomington, Ind. announced Tuesday that the first woman in Bloomington history has held a seat in both Bloomington city and county office. She will be talking about completing her new book, “1971: How We Won,” at the Monroe County History Center on Saturday, April 1 at 2 p.m.

According to the History Center's social media page, the event is one of several others going on at the center in April.

Other History Center events going on in April include a memory walk on Monday, April 24 at 10 a.m. and a Civil War Roundtable on Tuesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. to name a few of the events going on at the center.

The April 1 meeting is perhaps the biggest event throughout the month. Charlotte T. Zietlow was the first woman in Bloomington history to hold a seat in city and county offices. She was also one of the most successful Bloomington City Council members in city history. Serving as a city council member in 1971 and president from 1972-73 until 1975.

Now retired from work, she served as a city and county official, according to a biography written by the Indiana University School of Education INSPIRE Living-Learning Center. She helped the Bloomington community in various ways, including working as the Economic Development Coordinator and Fund Developer at the Middle Way House, where she serves to this day. She became an adjacent professor in Germanic Linguistics at Indiana University from 1967 to 1968. Then she served as an adjacent professor in SPEA from 1985-87, served as the co-owner of GOODS INC, and from 1973-88, worked as a board director of the United Way of Monroe County to name a few of her career accomplishments.

Photo from the first election Zietlow ran in as a city council member in 1971.Photo byRodney Margison/Bloom Magazine

A graduate of the University of Michigan, where she ended her studies, she majored in German and French and wanted to do more for her community. She moved to Bloomington in 1968, but in 1971, she made the daunting decision to become the first woman ever elected to the city office. Her new book, completed in December 2022, will share at the history center chronicles on her journey from being a tutor at Indiana University to running in the city election. She was a Democratic candidate for a mostly make position. Years later, she is remembered by so many as becoming the first powerhouse politician in city government.

Her new book, “1971: How We Won,” published last December, talks about the election and political unity for change. She said, “This book is a chronicle of an election that transformed Bloomington, IN. While it's about Democrats and Republicans, it is meant to help people of whatever party to change their community for the better if they welcome and listen to those who have similar ideas even though they have different backgrounds.”

Her presence has inspired women across the Monroe County community to become accustomed to change and strive to become the next woman to make a change in the world.

According to the History Center, copies of her new book can be found in the Dunn Museum Store inside the history center. They can also be found on Barnes and Noble, Walmart, eBay, and sold on Amazon dot com sale of the book "1971: How We Won" For more information about the event, her life story, or on her new book, visit

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Student at Indiana University Bloomington, journalism major, Class of 2024, sports media minor, staff writer/journalist for Hoosiers Network, freelancer "It's called the American Dream cause you have to be asleep to believe it." -- George Carlin

Bloomington, IN

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