Yours truly, Lawrence Maushard, is announcing my candidacy for an at-large city council seat in my hometown, Peoria, Illinois.

My primary focus is advocating for the working-class neighborhoods of the North End, South Side, East Bluff, central city, and more.

The photographs on my Facebook post represent some of the issues that need attention:

I intend to be a voice for the city’s low-income residents and their neighborhoods so long neglected by Peoria’s establishment.

I am dedicated to democratic-socialist action to bring about real results for the people of Peoria who feel they have been left behind and forgotten through no fault of their own.

5 open at-large Peoria City Council seats are set for primary election on February 26, 2019, if 11 or more candidates file nominating papers. If 10 or less file, no primary is held and general election is scheduled for April.

As a 59-year-old democratic-socialist & human rights advocate born & raised in Peoria (Academy of Our Lady/Spalding Institute ’78 & Illinois State University ’82), I am dedicated to improving the lives of poor & working-class residents.

I am a journalist & author who owns and resides in my 1924 home in the 700 block of East Arcadia Avenue on the East Bluff. I love the vibrancy & family-oriented neighbors here.

If elected, I pledge to work for the following (and much more):

1). $15/hr. minimum wage for everyone working in Peoria at a company of 50 or more employees, and company franchises of national well-known outlets like fast food.

2). Up to 7 days paid sick-leave annually for all workers in Peoria based on their accumulated hours and other criteria.

3). Create rent-control guidelines for low-income & vulnerable residents in Peoria.

4). Pursue aggressive enforcement of housing codes in substandard housing to ensure proper upgrades and/or quick demolition of blighted & vacant structures.

5). Swift passage of the proposed Welcoming City Ordinance to PREVENT city police & other employees from working with federal ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) personnel. Peoria must be a pro-immigrant city welcoming the world to River City.

6). Pursue city residency requirements for fire, police, and all other municipal employees. Pursue creation of more police beat walking & bike riding units. Creation of effective citizens oversight board for city police.

7). Support municipal ownership of city water supply & distribution by starting now to research all relevant factors in time for next council decision on the water issue in 5 years.

8). Establish new task force of city, county and regional law enforcement & elected officials to systematically deal with all local missing persons & runaway & human trafficking cases in cooperation with F.B.I., such as Alexis “Camry” Scott of Peoria, then 20 years old, who went missing in Sept. 2017.

9). Ensure equitable distribution of city resources to lower income working-class neighborhoods including South Side, East Bluff, North End, central city, and more.

10). Begin research now to ensure proper taxation & collection of future revenues from the cannabis industry upon full legalization in Illinois.

11). Highest priority to business creation in now vacant facilities of former grocery stores of Wisconsin Kroger, Madison Park Kroger, Cub Foods, Aldi South Side, and more.