CU Indivisible: Housing Discrimination Discussion at City Council Meeting

C-U Indivisible volunteer admin Emily Rodriguez updates us on the progress of ongoing efforts to strike the provision from the Champaign city code that allows housing discrimination against Champaign residents who have conviction records:

“Last night, I joined dozens of other Champaign residents at a City Council Meeting in speaking out against Section 17-4.5. Open comments began at 7:45, and they continued until 10pm. I believe we succeeded in getting the City Council’s attention.

You can watch the full City Council Meeting here:

This News Gazette article was published a few days before the meeting, and weighed heavily on the exchange:

Seven members of First Followers spoke first, and they are worth making time to listen to. As effected community members, their testimony made plain that this exemption denies too many Champaign residents a fair chance at housing, and that our city is the worse for it. In my comments, I stated that CUI members think its wrong to punish a person twice for the same offense, and that we are continuing to expand our coalition against the exemption through conversation, questions, and exchanging information with our friends, families, and coworkers.

I also updated the City Council on our petition. Since its release, we’ve received nearly 200 signatures, the majority from Champaign residents, and most chosing to take the next steps in collecting a form letter to contact their City Council Member. I emphasized that this was not just 200 signatures, these were 200 conversations with neighbors, a conversation that would extend to the ballot box. The impact of our petition was undeniable: Committee Members Fourman, Pianfetti, Gladney, and Mayor Feinen all noted the emails they’ve received and hoped to continue to keep the conversation going.

There was still one member of the City Council that said they were not convinced enough Champaign residents cared about this issue to warrant a study session. I ask you to continue circulating the petition to all you know to prove them wrong:

Thanks for your efforts thus far.”

– This post was taken from CU Indivisible email on 7/27/18