There are three contested races for Champaign City Council this time around, all for district seats. Voters in Districts 1, 3, and 4 will have a choice to make on their ballot, and those elected will serve a four year term. Turn out for these local elections is typically embarassingly low, but city council members make a lot of decisions that affect our day to day lives and shape the type of community we live in. Champaign City Council positions are non-partisan, though you can generally ascertain political leanings by doing a little scrolling and clicking. Here's a quick rundown of the contested races. You can find full questionnaires at Champaign County Voters Alliance (CCVA).
Current council member Clarissa Fourman is facing two challengers, Azark Cobbs and Davion Williams. District 1 covers northeast Champaign. Cobbs previously challenged Deb Feinen in the 2019 mayoral race, and doesn't seem to be actively campaigning.
Fourman and Williams both talk about economic investment in North Champaign, and being a voice for a portion of the community that is often denied a seat at the table. From the CCVA site:
Fourman: "I have learned to be an independent voice amongst a sea of politicians. I just want to continue to be at the table to provide a real-life voice on the policies the city sets and to make sure we as a city are HELPING PEOPLE. From experience I know how important it is to effectively get your colleagues to listen to your voice and implement those things, even if there is no political will, because I have done it successfully for 6 years. There is no such thing as “no”, it just means we have to find another way to get it done."
Williams: The importance of a Champaign City Council member to residents is to be an effective representative for constituents. What does this look like? To be an effective representative one must be responsive and sensitive to the needs of whom they serve. Furthermore, a council person should represent the voice/or be the voice of the citizen, from the majority to the minority of the district.
Top photo by Anna Longworth.