What is the importance of City Council to residents of Champaign?
William Kyles
"City Council is important in every aspect of a resident's life. City Council also is important because it works with so many other forms of government such as the school district, the park district, state and federal legislators. Literally, a city council's most important job is to work through the priorities of the residents to ensure that every resident has access to the best quality of life. "
Matthew Gladney
"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."
Tom Bruno
"To provide steady, long-term, well-reasoned policy guidance."
Pattsi Petrie
"Since the Champaign city council members are the major decision makers for the citizens, the 9 council members have the tools to establish Champaign as the model Illinois city, with like-kind population. The city ought to be the "look to" model city. The city has a population of creative and "thinking outside the box," plus a big-10 university in the tool box to accomplish model city status."
Andrew Christensen
"The City Council is our opportunity to be a part of democracy in a way that affects us directly and on a daily basis. We elect our neighbors to represent us in meetings that are held locally. We have the opportunity to express our thoughts in meetings that are held right here in town. The City Council directly impacts the comfort, the culture, and the opportunities available to all the citizens of our community."
Jon Paul Youakim
"The importance and mission of the City Council should be to optimize the physical, mental & social health and well-being of all residents in the City of Champaign. The City Council is responsible for governing in an evidence based manner that promotes the community’s health and regulates commerce to allow for a fair market that does not infringe on the community’s well-being."
Michael LaDue
"Basic services, police and fire, zoning applications, and the very feel of the city depend upon policy direction given to a body of professional staff by the city council. The council weighs in on all policy matters governing the city. "
Kenton Elmore
"Decisions made at the city government level are very impactful to our everyday lives. They take shape in our neighborhoods, our employers and businesses, and even our literal streets. City Council is the community's voice in that process. We help to shape the City the way you best see fit, and the results of that work can be seen right here in our own backyards."
Why are you qualified to be on the City Council?
William Kyles
"I am a servant and have served this city for 10 years on the City Council. I have had the blessing, honor and privilege to work on a number of issues deemed important by the citizens of Champaign. Ranging from improving community-police relationships through the creation of the Community Coalition to working on issues such as economic development, stormwater issues, building and improving relationships, maintaining a balanced budget, improving downtown, increasing affordable housing, and the like. I have been blessed to grow and serve this community."
Matthew Gladney
"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). "
Tom Bruno
"Since the day I graduated from the College of Law at the University of Illinois in 1980 I have been a self-employed owner of a small business. In that capacity I have bought and sold real estate, invested in capital improvements for my business, hired and fired employees, met payroll, purchased advertising, and met with thousands of clients from all walks of life at some of the most stressful times in their lives.

Additionally, I now have more than 20 years' experience on the City Council, reviewing expenditures and anticipating revenues, so that the City can remain fiscally sound, while employing over 500 employees and delivering services to 80,000 residents. That experience has taught me a lot, and I call upon that experience regularly as the City faces new challenges."
Pattsi Petrie
"I have used my urban planning skills and knowledge to be qualified. Here are several examples: just received from the Champaign County Farm Bureau (CCFB) the Urban Ag Leader 2019 Award; served on the Champaign County Board for 8 years, chair for 2 years; one of five founders of Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA) in 1981; one of several founders of Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) in 1978; and one of 6-8 who instigated the John Street Watershed Project, which has spun into 3 additional flood management projects and 3 more on the drawing board. All of these are still adding value to Champaign. In addition, I was elected a fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2014."
Andrew Christensen
"I design animations of supercomputer science for a living, which means I am a creative problem solver. I also have years of experience in community building through the Champaign-Urbana Film Society, professional societies, and student organizations. These traits have taught me how to listen to people, understand their concerns, and strategize the best solutions. I do not believe the easiest solution is usually the best solution, and I’m motivated to work for the best outcome for everyone.

As a member of the LGBT+ community I am aware of the unique challenges of life as an underrepresented minority. My pride in this community has inspired me to serve my neighbors as their representative on the City Council, and while I enjoy the opportunities and amenities available here, I realize that not everyone has the same experience. A greater focus on diversity and inclusion will generate an increased sense of community and improved quality of life for all residents. I believe that Champaign is a hidden jewel in Central Illinois - a place with a great value proposition to its residents, business owners, and student population. I want to help others to enhance their own pride in this community and inspire them to contribute to a community that represents their interests and needs."
Jon Paul Youakim
"I’ve spent almost my entire life in Champaign-Urbana. I’ve seen first-hand how many of us are underrepresented and voiceless. I returned to Champaign in 2015 after completing my training as a physician with the ambitious goal of planning a long-term strategy to break the cycle of poverty in Champaign and become an advocate for the community. I have placed myself in multiple facets of the community in order to coordinate care for our community. For the past 3 years, several others and I have worked on a long-term community health initiative called Healthy Beginnings. The goal and long-term strategy is to build the infrastructure to break the cycle of poverty in our community. Healthy Beginnings thus far includes weekly nurse visits to first time pregnant women to provide care & support, child & family education, employment opportunities, and a mobile clinic (which I worked on one half day a week across from Garden Hills Elementary School). Continuing to become more involved in the community, I joined Representative Carol Ammons's community panels on education as well as health and human services. Since 2017, I have proudly supported Sistering CU, a non-profit organization run by 2 local parents that seeks to increase awareness of post-partum depression in our community and also provides support to parents with newborns. Finally, I joined the Dental Advisory Subcommittee for SmileHealthy and I was appointed to the Champaign Zoning Board in 2017. I am qualified to be on the City Council because I have a long-term vision to place Champaign on a brighter path. I hope that others will join me in pursuit of this vision."
Michael LaDue
"I have been the longest serving council person ever, and spent six years as Deputy Mayor. My familiarity with issues of long standing facing the city gives me the longest view and the lowest learning curve. "
Kenton Elmore
"I am an accomplished student of the City of Champaign, having graduated from the Champaign City Government 101 Academy in 2016. And, as a lifelong resident, I feel the pulse of our community. I currently serve on the City's Human Relations Commission via appointment by the Mayor and City Council, where I work with my colleagues to advise Council on issues related to equity and human rights in Champaign. I am also engaged with many other diverse organizations throughout our community."
If elected, what is something you want to accomplish on the City Council, and how long will it take?
William Kyles
"There are a number of things that I would like to accomplish in the coming years, but public safety has to be the number one issue. A major component of public safety is strong community development. I want to increase funding and partnerships across the city to address gun violence in our community. We can continue to work with our community partners as a strategy, but I believe that to be more effective - we will have to increase the level of funding in this area. Increasing the funding and truly evaluating the effectiveness of our partnerships can happen within the next two years. "
Matthew Gladney
"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."
Tom Bruno
"We need to continue to oversee the economic boom we have seen in the City of Champaign in terms of capital investment in our community and creation of jobs. We do this by creating a regulatory environment that is attractive to investors and employers, rather than one that is hostile to the employers and investors that seek to stay in Champaign or come to Champaign for the first time.

We need to maintain a City that has a high quality of life to attract and retain a robust, skilled workforce."
Pattsi Petrie
"First, I will continue to consider two questions before casting a vote: is the vote in the best interests of the Champaign residents and if tax dollars are involved, is this the best use of the tax dollars? Second, work regularly with public works on mitigating flooding in the city. Third, work toward "thinking outside the box" related to approaches to reduce violence. Fourth, work toward equity and equality in housing, including the issue of housing for those returning after serving a judicial sentence. All of these can be accomplished during a four-year term. One last goal, but long term, is to create a 25-year Champaign master plan, engaging community charrettes. Actually, Champaign could be the chrysalis toward an intergovernmental (IGA) agreement between major entities involved with the issue of mental health toward establishing a local mental health facility. Everyone agrees this is a major need, but so far none of the entities have stepped forward to lead a solution. Maybe, Champaign could take on the role to move the process forward."
Andrew Christensen
"I have been concerned by the number of skilled entrepreneurs, artists, and laborers who have been lured away to other cities across the country with promises of greater prosperity. I want to grow and celebrate the local economy and promote our “micro-urban” community which would lead to a stronger tax base and improve the quality of life for all residents of Champaign. I see this as a long term objective that should last my whole term in office and beyond, with decisive milestones every few months. "
Jon Paul Youakim
"Changes I would target from a city council perspective would be to advocate for investments in drainage and infrastructure in Garden Hills now rather than later, change ordinance violations to take into account an individual’s ability to pay so we don’t create debtors’ courts or prisons and to repeal Section 17-4.5 of the city code so we do not condemn ex-offenders to either being forced to buy a home, be homeless or be at the mercy of landlords. I would like to preserve a moratorium on new video gambling establishments and in the long-term decrease them and remove them from our community as they are detrimental to the long-term well-being of the community and will cost tax-payers more in the future. I would like to address these and other issues that affect the cycle of poverty so that in the long-term we will decrease gun violence and recidivism rates in our community leading to a more productive and healthier community."
Michael LaDue
"Police and community relations could and should be shortened to "community relations." The Police Dept.'s commitment to Unconditional Respect under Chief Cobb should be a key element to a larger vision of intersectional approaches to personal safety in the community. Renewed efforts to promote affordable housing, and access to it by all citizens, is crucial . We should also revisit social services funding . The past few years have witnessed lurching, uneven commitment to efforts to serve the least fortunate , with shifting sources of funding. The city should be proactive in helping preserve assets that address homelessness, for instance. How long will an integrative effort like this take? It could begin with the first budget voted upon after the next election, but like all work performed by the city, this is work in progress. "
Kenton Elmore
"There are many things to look at and plenty of opportunities to proudly serve the community's best interests on certain issues. One is housing equality. Currently, Champaign's city code has a section within the Human Rights Ordinance that "shall not prohibit discrimination" by landlords against rental applicants based solely on a record of felony conviction. This law harms both landlords and prospective tenants alike, and establishes a hard stance by the City on an issue that threatens the balance of equal rights and protection that citizens deserve in Champaign. We need to stop ignoring the community and bring this issue to a formal study session. If elected to serve, I will sign on to that study session immediately after signing my oath of office."
Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter?
William Kyles
"I will start and end by saying that public office requires the heart of a good and knowledgeable servant. I enjoy serving with passion, humility and respect - understanding that some issues take time, patience and consistency. Over the past 10 years, I have been blessed to work hard for the residents of Champaign, while still serving my family. The work that I have been blessed to do has had a positive impact on all of our community and I would like to continue these works with the spirit of a humble servant. "
Matthew Gladney
"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."
Tom Bruno
"Our long-standing practice of remaining non-partisan in City of Champaign governance has served us well. I am committed to working with all of my colleagues to continue the success that our city has seen for the past 20 years."
Pattsi Petrie
"As I have been talking to residents to learn about their concerns, ideas, positive views, etc., one resident made a very interesting comment to me. "I do not look for what a candidate is promising or identifying as issues 'to swing a voter.' I am much more interested in what a candidate has accomplished for the community, how the accomplishments have helped the community, does the candidate have the interest and skills to listen to and work with residents and colleagues, and last but not least can the candidate think outside the box several decades ahead." I believe my past accomplishments meet this voter's criteria. I appreciate your vote."
Andrew Christensen
"I am a Progressive Democrat who is not thrilled with the current workings of our federal government. Instead of complaining, I am putting my effort into making a difference at the local level. Over the years, I have seen this community grow and change. I would like to encourage our culture and progress in an environmentally and socially sustainable way. It is important to develop our community, and to make sure that such development is supported by sustainable infrastructure and financial resources."
Jon Paul Youakim
"My name is Dr. Jon Paul Youakim and I am a pediatrician running for Champaign City Council. I am running in order to empower families and other vulnerable community members with opportunities to lift themselves up and make our community stronger and more productive. Together, we can achieve a vision that creates long-lasting change for generations."
Michael LaDue
"As a City Council Member I worked on 30 budgets, each one of them balanced, even at the height of recession. Experienced stewardship and a holistic vision of the city is crucial. Balancing business interests with services to the disadvantaged, preserving quality of life for homeowners , helping our first responders be the best they can be, in the shared interest we nurture together, these are our goals, not just mine. Please honor me with the opportunity to put knowledge and experience to work for you."
Kenton Elmore
"Your voice is important! What fascinates me the most about municipal government is that it provides a real opportunity for the community to be involved. My goal is to serve Champaign based on what is important to our citizens - and I will be able to obtain that input first-hand much more effectively than at any other level of government. Please feel free to email, call, or come to a City Council meeting and let's talk about making Champaign a better place for all of us. And, of course - VOTE!"