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Letter from Council Member Vanna Pianfetti

March 4, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

I am proud to support Mayor Deb Feinen to continue her leadership as our mayor of the City of Champaign. I hope that you too will vote for her in this election. As your City Council Representative here in District 5, I have served with Mayor Feinen for the past six years. During this time, I have had a front row seat to way she makes decisions, engages with the community, and considers how to keep Champaign the place that we all want to live, work, and play.  Her leadership is direct, strong, and one that is not afraid to make difficult decisions. The responsibilities of a mayor often mean that you cannot make everyone happy all the time, but with Mayor Feinen, I have seen her countless times be the consensus builder so that when decisions are made, they are for the greater good. She takes her role as mayor seriously, taking time to meet with the community to hear their concerns, and work towards solutions. 

Here in District 5, she has been a strong advocate for ensuring that policing is not forgotten in our neighborhoods. Her strong advocacy for community policing and police districting allows for our streets to have increased patrols and a lieutenant assigned to our area to oversee the officers and issues that arise in our district.  Her vision and leadership of the Gun Violence Blueprint is another example of how Mayor Feinen is looking to ensure that our community is safe. Although still in its infancy, this model allows for hope in limiting the violence that plagues communities around the country. For us here in Champaign, in 2022, thanks to our police department and a multifaceted approach to combating the violence, under Mayor Feinen’s leadership our homicides were down 47.1%. 

Here in District 5, she has also been a strong advocate for our Kirby Bridge, which will begin structural redesign soon. This capital project is one that many neighbors have talked about as a safety concern since I first started knocking doors with Mayor Feinen in 2016. Although it may seem like little progress has been made, I wanted to share with you how Deb orchestrated key meetings with state and local representatives to ensure this bridge did not get forgotten. It is important to remember that this bridge does not belong to the City of Champaign but is owned by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). IDOT did not believe it to be dangerous or in need of repair/redesign. Deb advocated otherwise to ensure that our families are safe to walk, ride or drive across it. Today, we have purchased the auxiliary roads leading up to the Kirby Bridge from the Township, it is a priority part of the city’s capital improvement project, and the State of Illinois funded it as part of its capital improvement projects.

Mayor Feinen is our mayor. She leads with confidence, compassionate intellect, and steadfast determination to keep building and envisioning a stronger and more prosperous Champaign. I hope you will join me in voting for Mayor Deb Feinen on or before Tuesday, April 4th. She is the trusted leader Champaign needs.

-Vanna Pianfetti
Champaign City Council, District 5

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