Electoral opportunity

By Esther Patt

Regarding Emma Claire Sohn’s and Brian Pierce’s debate in the March 7 Daily Illini about who is to blame for low voter turnout in last month’s Champaign City elections, there is a positive note. Last month was the primary election. The general election for three city council seats will be Tuesday, April 17. This election should be of special interest to students.

Do you think the city should conduct routine inspection of rental properties to protect tenant safety? Champaign is one of the only cities of its size that does no systematic inspection of apartments.

A few years ago, a balcony fell off a campus apartment building and smashed two cars. Champaign city staff then asked the city council for permission to inspect all balconies to make sure they are safe. The council voted 5-4 against the proposal. Some of the candidates in the upcoming election are vehemently opposed to apartment inspection. Others strongly support it.

Every election provides the opportunity to choose which people will decide policy matters such as this. I hope the Daily Illini will devote significant space to coverage of the issues in the April 17 Champaign City Council election.

Esther Patt

Urbana resident