By: Diane Benjamin
Downtown Champaign can’t get much cuter. It has lots of restaurants, bars, arts, and small businesses.
It is also a dangerous place. Gangs are waging war against each other. Friday afternoon a 17 year old was killed and 4 wounded in a parking lot as mourners gathered after the funeral of another gun violence victim: https://shorturl.gg/P1CiL
Police estimate over 100 shots were fired, of course no one at the scene is cooperating with the police investigation.
FYI: My daughter lives in downtown Champaign but she is moving out. It’s too dangerous to take her dog for a walk, now not just at night. She also owns two businesses downtown.
On June 8th I emailed the entire Champaign City Council on her behalf. She is afraid of retribution for speaking up herself. I told them the violence is forcing people to leave downtown. I reminded them that public safety is their job.
No surprise, I did not receive a response from anyone on the council, including the mayor. The email address I used could not be connected to BlnNews, I emailed as a mom.
July 3rd I emailed them again and included a copy of my original email. I thanked them for not responding to the first email and informed them my daughter is moving out of downtown Champaign because the police and the Council are too afraid to do what is necessary to end the violence.
This time I did received one response from:
Good afternoon Diane,
I appreciate your email and letting us know your concerns. I can assure you everyone at the City of Champaign is doing everything they can to address the violence in our community. Those efforts include hiring additional services specifically to help monitor the downtown area. These services consist of additional cameras, outside security contracts, and support from county patrol officers. I am certain that our police department is currently very well-funded, but just as so many other industries during this time, we are struggling to find applicants for the job pool.
If you or your daughter have ideas on what we can do to best support our community, please consider meeting with me to have that discussion!
Thank you and happy 4th!
Champaign is a liberal utopia where everybody just wants to love everybody else. The people in my daughter’s circle blame the Council and the police for not being willing to stand up to the gangs. I thanked Michael for responding then told him there is only one way to stop the violence – get these people off the streets permanently.
Of course jailing criminals isn’t popular anymore. Downtown Champaign is paying the price for liberal logic. They are turning into a mini Chicago.
Go there at your own risk.