News Local/State

New City Council Member Beck Wants Champaign To Become Sanctuary City

Alicia Beck, who won a District 2 seat on Champaign City Council Tuesday.

Alicia Beck, who won a District 2 seat on Champaign City Council Tuesday. Alicia Beck/Facebook

A newcomer to the Champaign City Council hopes to see the city offer the same protections for those living in the country illegally that Urbana officials have provided. Alicia Beck topped 32-year incumbent Michael LaDue Tuesday to win the District 2 council seat, 63 to 37 percent. Beck says some of her backers want Champaign to explore the idea of becoming a sanctuary city.

She says previous talks with city officials on the subject fell short.

“But I think that our citizens are asking us to continue the conversation," she said. "And so I think we need to talk more with people about what means, and how we want that, and what sanctuary status would mean for us as a community.”

The Urbana City Council re-affirmed its own sanctuary city status late last year.

Beck owns and operates a fitness studio in Champaign, and was formerly a fundraiser at the University of Illinois School of Social Work.

She says Champaign city officials should work on engaging with neighborhoods to give residents a greater voice. She also wants Champaign to keep some design standards in place when it comes to redeveloping parts of the city.  

Beck willl take her seat on the Champaign City Council at the May 2nd meeting, along with newly elected council member Vanna Pianfetti, who will represent District 5.