What is the importance of City Council to residents of Champaign?
The city council is the representative body for the residents of Champaign. Elected by voters, council members are tasked with steering the course of the present and future of the city. The council has to weigh input from residents, appointed boards, city staff and sometimes other units of government in order to make the best decisions possible for the people it represents.
Why are you qualified to be on the City Council?
I was born and raised in Champaign, and have a living knowledge of what life has been like here over the past forty years. Experience in elected office helps with my working knowledge of government-community relations (four years as a member of the Champaign County Board, and finishing fours years as a Champaign City Council member).
If elected, what is something you want to accomplish on the City Council, and how long will it take?
I would like to ensure Champaign continues to be economically strong, has healthy neighborhoods, and is a community where people feel safe. I would like to see the West Washington Watershed improvements continue, as well as seeing if we can bring forward drainage/flooding improvements for the Garden Hills neighborhood. I would like to see the Bristol Place redevelopment completed successfully. Our city has seen an increase in violent crime, particularly gun violence, and I would like to increase our efforts to curb/eliminate that. It would make me very happy to see a decrease in the number of gun-related crimes in the months/years to come. We already have the CU Fresh Start program, and I would like to see us increase support for that, and work with our education partners in helping youth by providing opportunities, and a sense of hope. I would also like to see us focus more on environmental sustainability.
Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter?
It has been an honor to serve the people of Champaign as an at-large city council member since 2015, and I enjoy hearing from folks about their concerns and views on what works and what could be improved for our community. I have been an advocate for the local LGBTQ community, support our first responders, and am most concerned with the hope that the decisions I make will be in the best interests of the people I represent. Whatever your background or political persuasion, I am your representative, and hope to continue in that regard.