Election Day is April 7, and there are two qualified candidates competing to represent the second district.
Because both candidates have the qualifications it takes to represent a large population, the Scout is not endorsing either one.
Incumbent Barbara Van Auken and her opponent Curphy Smith are on the ballot, and one of those names may sound familiar to many Bradley students.
Van Auken has served one term, or four years, on the council, but that isn’t why many students may recognize her name.
Earlier this year, members of Sigma Nu fraternity called University Police after Van Auken arrived at the fraternity house in response to a neighbor’s noise complaint. And she refused to leave until a citation was issued, according to police reports.
This altercation has caused many students to cringe at the sound of her name, and many have vowed never to vote for her.
And we understand that.
Van Auken was never given a ticket after the incident for allegedly trespassing, and this has understandably put a chip on many students’ shoulders. Many believe she committed a horrendous abuse of power. But on the other side of that issue are people who feel she was simply trying to represent her constituents.
Regardless, it is hard to ignore her record of public service and her experience, especially on the city council.
And she has served not only the second district, but the city of Peoria as well on the Peoria Library Board of Trustees.
While Van Auken has had an infamous run in with Bradley students this academic year, she does recognize the important impact we have on the community.
In an interview with the Scout this week, Smith touted his financial experience and community involvement as the reasons he should be elected.
He does seem to have a solid grip on what is important to the second district, and his financial experience would be an invaluable tool when it comes to council business, so we believe he is well equipped to represent us.
He has served on a neighborhood organization, which means he knows many of the residents of the second district, and that too would be invaluable.
Both candidates seem to exhibit the leadership qualities needed to represent us on the city council, so from where we stand, the district will be well-represented regardless of the outcome of the election.
And because both candidates have long records of public service, both have built up the connections within the city, including university administrators, to get the job done.
But that doesn’t mean voting in this election isn’t important. Educating yourself on each candidate’s positions and experiences will assist you in making a decision, and that’s incredibly important.
The city council is the body that passes all the laws in Peoria. Many of those laws can have at least some impact on students while we’re living in Peoria.
In fact, the laws the city of Peoria passes will likely have greater impacts than those passed in your hometowns, or even on the state and federal levels.
So, if you’re registered in Peoria, please vote on April 7.
We hope all students vote in the upcoming election, no matter whom they cast their ballots for.
And even if you vote for Smith only to oust Van Auken, that’s OK.
By showing up to the polls, you’re at least showing you care about something that matters.