Crime and community engagement continues to be an issue in Peoria. I have been asking for engagement from our city council and mayor for quite some time. Following the events of this past weekend, I now ask again, what are we doing to increase community engagement and ask for accountability of not only those in the community, but those in positions of leadership? While there may not be an easy answer to these sorts of issues, if we never start the conversation we will never find a solution. As your Mayor, I would commit to public dialogue and transparency for what is happening in our community. The safety of our community is an issue where we need everyone rowing in the same direction and part of the solution.
Per the chief of police, the issue of roving, "pop-up" parties predates COVID. So I ask, what are we doing, or not doing, in our community that drives our citizens to congregate on the riverfront at four in the morning? Is it a lack of night life or entertainment options? Is there a solution that we can provide as City government? Is this strictly a function of commercial developers not meeting the needs of our community, or denial of development in this space by those in City Hall? In either case, as your Mayor, I want to have this conversation and identify solutions so that we can be a stronger, safer, more prosperous community.
Our current mayor, Jim Ardis, has previously run on the issue of crime and specifically gun violence. While he may want to hold the citizens accountable, we also must hold him and all of our elected officials accountable when it comes to addressing crime, community and economic development.
February - 2012 - Has the mayor done the work?
January - 2018 - Has gun deterrence worked?
November - 2019 - Is it now in our nature?