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Rockford leaders see new city council’s diversity as a win

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ROCKFORD (WREX) —After Tuesday's election, Some current and new city council members are excited about the new Rockford city council.

On Tuesday, five new members were officially elected to join the council, including Janessa Wilkins, who ran unopposed on Tuesday after winning her primary ticket back in February.

"The diversity of city council, the way it is looking right now, I am definitely happy with the way things are looking," said Wilkins.

It's the diversity in race, gender, background, and professional experience that has Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara saying he is confident leaders will get things done.

"I think the more diversity we have not only on our council but in leadership positions across our city makes us a stronger, more inclusive, welcoming city," said McNamara.

Even though this group hasn't officially started, the mayor says leaders know there will be certain priorities they will have to discuss first

"One is safety, two is neighborhoods, we have to continue to invest in infrastructure in our neighborhoods, we have to continue to move blite our of neighborhoods, and three economic development," said McNamara.

Wilkins agrees those are the starting points, but says the actions taken in each neighborhood won't be the same.

"Some things in a high priority in some wards and others may not but when we do come together and talk about things that need to get done, we will make a list. we have already been talking and discussing things," said Wilkins.

The new members are Gabrielle Torina, Aprel Prunty, Janessa Wilkins, Gina Meeks and Mark Bonne.

They will be sworn in on May 5th.

Lauren Baker

Lauren Baker is the 13 News weekend evening anchor. She started in April of 2019 after moving from Michigan, where she was a morning producer/traffic reporter.

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