Why are you running?
I have served on the County Board for 10 years, serving or leading the following committees: Justice and Social Services committee, Highway and Transportation, Labor Committee, Re-Entry Council and Committee Action Board. Working to ensure Justice and Safety in our community as we work to provide help for our struggling families and services for those with mental health issues. I have lived in our diverse County Board District for over 30 years which includes people living in Urban, Unincorporated, and Rural Farm areas of our county. Rural and Urban issues that can conflict and require experience and the ability to listen and learn from the public to ensure a positive outcome for our community. Too many times Urban County Board members have refused to understand the needs of our rural residences and voted against them on important issues including providing proper access to polling places during elections.
What do you feel are the main issues?
The most important issue now is to ensure we complete the consolidation of the Downtown and satellite jails in Urbana. There are still those on the County Board and in the community that do not think we need to complete the Consolidation of the Jails. We are spending $3 million dollars year to house approximately 170 offenders outside of Champaign County, away from family and attorneys. We need to complete the construction of the jail to ensure we have a safer, more secure environment for those housed at the jail and the jail staff. It will be a jail that provides the proper separation, housing and medical care for inmates. We need to go further to provide space for programs, mental healthcare to help provide opportunity to those that might want to change the direction of their lives. Unfortunately, we are building the jail too small to provide enough housing for inmates and those services and groups that could make a difference.
How will you address these issues?
It will take a couple years to complete the construction of the consolidated jails but we need stay on schedule and ensure we complete the construction as soon as possible.