The News-Gazette is running a series on Gun Violence: A Community Conversation. As of February 28, 18 articles have been issued. Each article highlights various conversations from the Community. The genesis of these articles began in December with the open acknowledgement that Champaign-Urbana nears the top 2021 lists for homicides of 400 similar size communities. Twenty-six lives lost, more than double the number in 2020. Among them, a decorated Champaign police officer, and 13 victims under the age of 25. Also, a record 350 confirmed incidents of shots fired.
2022 is not looking favorable.
Confirmed shootings are at more than two dozen. Death by gun - four. Without immediate intervention, this year will be worse than last.
Local entrepreneur Mike Namoff (Big Mike) thinks big. Last December, Mike, on his own initiative organized a successful party/fundraiser to raise money for the “Shop with a Cop” program. Mike believes police officers across the country are taking an unfair hit in the midst of the national “defund the police” hysteria. Lack of municipal leadership has had a significant negative effect on local police officers. This needs to change. Namoff is thinking he may run for mayor of Champaign in 2023 to do something about it.
We have a serious gun violence problem in Champaign County.
Our citizens are killing each other at record-breaking rates.
Many reasons have been given and many solutions have been offered. The News-Gazette has been running a series of articles, or what they call "conversations", with dozens of local officials and citizens expressing various opinions on this deadly topic.
But aside from all the good information the articles provide, one critical fact remains: people are killing each other on the streets of our beloved community. Now.
This is an immediate problem that demands an immediate response.
Champaign City Council Members Alicia Beck and Michael Foellmer must be held accountable for their actions!
City Council Members Alicia Beck and Michael Foellmer need to resign. Their insensitive response to the Morrs, who came to the City Council Meeting looking for sympathy and hope after their home was riddled by bullets is unacceptable. Mayor Feinen's statement of apology does not go far enough. We must hold them accountable.
All of Champaign County is expressing their concern. The core issue behind what transpired at the February 15th Champaign City Council Meetings is Public Safety. Champaign and Urbana are where many County residents go to shop and participate in recreational events. If your elected officials do not care about all of their constituents, then the rest of the County is at risk, as well. You can sign regardless of where you live within Champaign County to demonstrate a “Vote of No Confidence” for Ms. Beck and Mr. Foellmer. The message will be taken forward.
By Liz Siegmund
During a recent press conference, President Biden stated that the Republican party does not know what values they represent and do not have a handle on their ideology. While Biden is out of touch and denies the accomplishments of the previous administration, his words serve as a reminder that Republicans need to clearly state our values and our platform for the American people.
Elections have consequences.
The elected few have significant power to affect the lives and livelihood of the many. Today we are experiencing the negative consequences of the last election.
Currently, Democrats dominate Champaign county, holding all county wide offices and have the majority of the County Board Membership and hold the chairmanship of the County Board.
This year in Champaign County, four county wide positions, the Sheriff, County Executive, County Clerk, County Treasurer and all 22 county board member seats are up for election. The Democrats currently hold these four positions and Republicans have only 8 of the 22 Board Memberships. Additionally, we have an extreme shortage of precinct committeepersons. Only 81 the 118 positions are currently filled.
The CCGOP needs YOU to help us win elections in 2022
As we approach the 2022 midterm elections, the Champaign County GOP needs hundreds of additional volunteers to help us reach our goal of taking back control of Champaign County!
We all know what the issues are; out of control crime (including the ridiculous reform bill passed by the Democrats this year), out of control inflation, out of control school boards and a two year long pandemic lockdown and vaccine mandates by Governor Priztker.
In order to best utilize the talents of our our members, the Republican Women of Champaign County (RWCC) have created four sub-committees. These committees will help us to meet our objectives and increase levels of interest and involvement. Members are not required to join a committee and may switch committees as interests/needs change.
As the Holidays and New Year’s celebrations wind down, we must turn our attention to the 2022 Election Cycle.
This year, because the 2020 Census results have been finalized, all Champaign County Board seats are up for election. In addition, all members of the US House of Representatives, Illinois House of Representatives, the Governor of Illinois, one US Senate seat, the Champaign County Executive, County Clerk, Sheriff and Treasurer are also up for election.
Voices: What you need to know about Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) and our Community Safety.
By Dean Hazen
I’ve been in law enforcement for 28 years collectively. Fifteen of those years were spent serving the city of Urbana. I also served on the Urbana City Council for three years. I have lived in Urbana for the past 21 years where I have raised my family. I am currently a Police Chief at a college located in Macon County.
I’m writing this article because I feel compelled to do something about the absolutely unacceptable homicide rate in Champaign and Urbana, specifically gun violence. During my 15 years at Urbana, it was a bad year when we experienced one or two homicides per year. We are currently at eight! More alarming is the confirmed 98 shots fired calls!
Champaign is at 16 homicides and 15 were from gun fire. Note that I said “confirmed” which means there are really many more. “Confirmed” means we found the shell casings etc. so we know that it happened; we know it wasn’t fireworks.