The Prairie Green Party, which ran three candidates for the Champaign County Board last fall, has announced three candidates this Spring for Urbana municipal offices.
Just as with the County Board races last fall, they are running on a strong local platform that address local needs and local issues.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – DECEMBER 12, 2008
GREEN CANDIDATES FILE FOR URBANA MUNICIPAL OFFICE
URBANA, IL – Three Green Party candidates for Urbana municipal office filed their paperwork today: Durl Kruse for mayor, Mark Mallon for alderman in Ward 2, and Gary Storm for alderman in Ward 7. This is the first time that the Green Party has placed candidates on the ballot for city office in Urbana, although the party has run candidates for Champaign County Board during the last three campaign cycles. The candidates will work to increase citizen participation and transparency in local government, improve social services, address criminal justice issues, and strengthen environmental policies.
The Green Party ran more candidates from Urbana than the Republicans for the Champaign County Board in 2008 and are anticipated to do the same for Urbana municipal office in 2009. Kruse, Mallon, and Storm have support from individual Greens and are expected to be endorsed at the local Prairie Greens meeting this Monday. The candidates will work with the party to develop a local platform regarding municipal issues. The party has already held a public meeting for input on a local platform and will consider suggestions raised by the community. The candidates for municipal office hope to expand upon this community involvement and consideration while running and serving in office.
“We want to foster discussion among the community about municipal issues both during and after the election through forums, canvassing, and other outreach efforts. The public needs to be more engaged in the community process and the government has a responsibility to spur this participation. In addition to looking to the citizens for their opinions on current municipal issues, we’d like to hear their thoughts on issues that aren’t currently being addressed or even discussed by the city, ” said Kruse.
Mallon is especially concerned about urban sprawl and wants to revitalize downtown Urbana. “We can’t keep building out the way we are doing. Not only does it cost a lot of money in gas to drive to stores on the edge of town, but the expanding development also destroys our local farmland, which is a very valuable resource. We can improve the sense of community and reduce environmental impact by encouraging local businesses in the city core, rather than big box stores in the perimeter of town. ” he said.
The candidates are also interested in addressing issues of social justice. “Although Urbana has made some progress in social justice issues, particularly in the establishment of a Citizens Police Review Board, there is much room for improvement,” said Storm. “The most evident example is the mayor’s proposed nuisance ordinance, which would be detrimental to minorities, low-income residents, and students. Landlords and other tenants would also be punished for the activities of tenants committing criminal acts, rather than the individuals themselves. There are better ways to address these issues, including mobilization of the affected citizens.”
Prairie Greens of East Central Illinois
Illinois Green Party
Press Officer, Prairie Greens
Candidate, Mayor of Urbana
Candidate, Urbana Alderman, Ward 2
Candidate, Urbana Alderman, Ward 7