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Despite setback, Twin-City coalition resumes battle to ease COVID-19 economic stress

Bloomington City Council member Jeff Crabill participates in Wednesday night's virtual organizing meeting.

BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) - A Bloomington City Council member and other community activists are continuing the fight to convince a council majority to approve spending local taxing money to help people overcome pandemic-induced economic distress.

The council earlier this month voted to 5-4 against providing direct aid that would be distributed to residents through the City of Bloomington Township. The council serves as township trustees.

Council member Jeff Crabill participated Wednesday night in the seventh weekly virtual organizing meeting. He said the township does not have adequate funding to meeting increased needs.

Crabill said the issue is about compassion, and for decision makers to put themselves in other people's shoes who can't wait for state or federal government assistance to come through to buy food, pay rent, or make mortgage payments.

Crabill was joined by Council members Julie Emig, Jenn Carrillo, and Scott Black in supporting the local funding. Advocates need to win the support of one more council member.

The Protect Our People Coalition is composed of Illinois People's Action, the Bloomington-Normal Democratic Socialists of America, and the local chapter of Black Lives Matter.

The coalition plans to also lobby Normal Town Council members and the McLean County Board for additional funding.

Howard Packowitz

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