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Carrillo To Resign From Bloomington City Council

Jenn Carrillo seated at Bloomington City Council
WGLT file photo
Jenn Carrillo was first elected to the Bloomington City Council in 2019. She resigned due to a move outside of Ward 6.

Bloomington City Council member Jenn Carrillo plans to resign at the end of August.

Carrillo said in a message posted on social media that they have purchased a house outside of Ward 6 that they represent. That will make Carrillo ineligible to serve on the council. Ward 6 covers much of downtown and areas south and west of downtown.

Carrillo said they tried to find a new place to live in Ward 6 after their apartment lease ended, but couldn't find another place to stay.

“Never could I have imagined what I ended up finding, once I actually started looking, which was a housing crisis in every sense of the word,” Carrillo said in a Sound Ideas interview. “I found a house I am absolutely crazy about, so all-in-all this is a really good thing for me and my family, but the circumstances that got me here are pretty messed up."

“I am happy for council member Carrillo and wish nothing but the best as they embark on this new journey," Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe said in a statement. “In this challenging housing market it’s wonderful they were able to find a home.”

Carrillo called on Mwilambwe and the council to appoint someone who shares Carrillo's values to fill the remaining one year and eight months on their term.

“I do think the people of Ward 6 deserve to be represented by someone who embodies the values that they came out to vote for two years ago,” said Carrillo, who will move to Ward 4. Carrillo said they will not run against incumbent council member Julie Emig in 2023.

Carrillo said one of the highlights of their time on the council was convincing the city to commit to direct aid for residents during the pandemic after some initial resistance to the idea.

“People on the council were vehemently opposed to a direct aid program, but the organizing that took place in the community as well as the allies that these groups had on council I think set us up to have a win here,” Carrillo said.

Carrillo expressed pride in being able to start new conversations on the council, such as redirecting police funding, even though Carrillo said they would often were a minority or singular voice on the council.

“No one was willing to talk about issues with police in the ways that I have,” Carrillo said.

The council voted to censure Carrillo in April after Carrillo said on social media they would make “life a living hell” for newly elected council members Nick Becker and Sheila Montney. Carrillo also faced consistent criticism during public comment sessions of council meetings and their housing status had become a source of speculation on social media in recent weeks, with critics questioning their eligibility to serve.

“If they want to have their ticker-tape parade today, I guess I’ll give them the day,” said Carrillo, who has no plans to return to politics, but didn’t close the door on public life in the future.

“The opportunity around Ward 6 very much found me and I have every confidence that whatever the next opportunity will find me,” Carrillo said.

Carrillo’s council term will end on Aug. 31.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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