Candidates Views – General Elections April 6 – Rockford 7th Ward

Groovy Ballot Box

On January 9, 2021 The League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford sent a questionnaire to reachable candidates in the Municipal Elections being held April 6, 2021. Early voting started March 12, and mail-in ballots available when a request is sent to: Rockford Board of Elections at, Boone County Clerk’s office and the Winnebago County Clerk’s office.

The results below are for the Rockford and Belvidere city races only. Candidates not submitting questionnaire information will have their names present, all candidates are in ballot order.

General Voting and Election Information

Ballots, voter rights, contact info, literally everything, is on the LWVGR Voter Information page. Office winners are checked.

Rockford 7th Ward General Election - 2021

NameJanessa Wilkins ✔︎Unopposed
Janessa Wilkins
Street Address2516 Arthur Ave
Preferred public campaign contact method7waldermanwilkins; http://janessawilkins;
Highest Education AchievedFour-year College Degree
Field of Experience, either paid or volunteerCommunications
Candidate PartyDemocrat
Elective OfficeAlderperson
Constituent Area7th Ward
Candidate StatusChallenger
Why do you want to be on the City Council? What prompted you to run for office?A lot of positive change can be made at the local level. I know the issues we face and I want to ensure that the people who live in this ward are top priority with City Council's decisioning when it comes to our livelihood.
How much time, in hours, do you think you will have to spend each week in committee meetings?10
How much time, in hours, will you have available each week to address constituents concerns, discuss issues, and personally meet with some constituents?25
Do you have any plans, or ambition, to seek other elected positions in government after serving on the City Council?No, This office is my only goal.
Do you plan to hold regular public constituent meetings?Yes, monthly
What are the special challenges of your constituent area and how do you plan to address those needs?Education-Teaching more trade skills/Mentor Programs, Crime- Building rapport with officers while not in uniform, Job Opportunity- Create local ownership by local residents, Road Safety- Allocating additional funding for roads and sidewalks
What specific talents from your previous experiences make you a good candidate for your office?I have a degree in Communications, an established and healthy relationship with other members of city council, I am very active with many different organizations in the Rockford area and I have a long standing relationship with residents
For Rockford aldermanic candidates: On which committees do you wish to be a member? Finance & Personnel
Planning & Development
Housing Ad Hoc
What specific skills do you bring to the committees?I have my B.A. in Communications, over 15 years of customer service experience and over 30 years of community activism. I am trustworthy, hard working, relatable, open to change, culturally diverse and intentional in my actions.
What is your experience in group negotiations for stated goals? (In partisan situations certain guidelines may need consensus.)If you're not at the table, you're on the menu.
If you feel strongly about a particular issue and your constituents feel the opposite, how would you vote when the issues comes up on the Council?Vote as the majority of my constituents want. I represent them.
In decisions where your constituent area will gain at the expense of the community as a whole, where does your allegiance to your constituent area end and your concern about community-wide issues begin?We must work together as a whole. If the constituents in my area do not understand or agree with the importance of us all working together to create positive change, more communication must take place in order for us all to be on one accord
What is the core reason(s) for crime in your constituent area and the community as a whole.Education, Trauma, Gang Related Activity and lack of Relationships
What ideas do you have to reduce crime in your constituent area and the community as a whole? Please include funding ideas.Make sure residents are aware of the resources available concerning trauma, counseling, housing, etc., establishing relationships with local professionals and students, and build trust with residents and members of law enforcement
Do you support retraining police to reduce confrontational police tactics?Yes, police retraining is needed and additional social resources are needed to augment the ability to keep the peace.
What method would you support to pay for additional social resources to keep the peace?Re-allocate current police funding to pay for additional social resources. No higher taxes.
What do you think the community can do about the increase in gun violence that has not already been done?More cameras can be placed around the city that are under 24/7 surveillance and establishing more satellite images when gun fire is detected
What ideas do you have for more commerce that brings jobs to the community for middle-class wages and benefits?One great benefit about 2020 is it brought awareness to the power of social media. I plan to get more local businesses established online that could appeal to a much broader audience, bring in more revenue and create more job opportunity
What do you think needs done to address the issues of social-economic and race inequity this community?Difficult conversations need to take place and I will help foster concrete leadership skills, create space for people to connect with each other and increase their sense of being leaders of change.
Concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, what mitigation-level rules you support?Recommended CDC-recommended masks and 6-foot social distancing.
Please state any other areas, important to you, that you want the public to know.Get out and vote, but don't stop there. Support and communicate with your local officials and get active in your neighborhoods/community.