CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)–A group of community activists in champaign and urbana are running to put progressives on each city council. The group — called ‘the people’s council’, Met on facebook live this evening to talk with community members about their agenda.
“We are trying emphasize more people-centered politics as opposed to what is the status quo,” Colin Dodson said.
Chronic homelessness, affordable housing and a statewide push to cancel rent payments are some of the topics the people’s city council have tackled.
They’re a group of activists who were involved with Champaign County’s anti-racist coalition. Many took part in protests, demonstrations and community outreach projects over the summer.
Thursday night’s Q&A focused on defunding the police and its implications.
“This community is not immune to police brutality or structural inequality,” Dodson said.
Some of the candidates argued this would help address issues relating to police brutality in the local community. Others shared ideas about what other social services and resources would need additional funding if the budget was cut.
Meghan McDonald, who’s running for Urbana’s fifth ward, said issues like poverty, domestic violence and mistreatment can’t be solved with stricter policing.
“They get called for these things but they don’t solve these issues,” McDonald said. “So we’re really just trying to amend that budget and at least show that the political will is there.”
She said there has to be better long-term solutions than giving officers more work to do.
Their next discussion will take place on February 18th. In that discussion, the council will discuss ideas on how to tackle domestic violence in the city.
Here’s a full list of candidates running in upcoming city elections:
-In Urbana: Jake Fava for Ward 1, Colin Dodson and Christopher Hansen for Ward 2, Deborah Liu for Ward 3, Jaya Kolisetty for Ward 4, Meghan McDonald for Ward 5, Grace Wilken for Ward 6, and incumbent Jared Miller will be running to keep his seat in Ward 7. Andy Ma, a recent UI grad, is running for the Mayor’s office in Urbana.
-In Champaign: Clarissa Nickerson Fourman for District 1, Justin Michael Hendrix for District 3, and Rita Conerly for Township Supervisor.