District 4 Candidates
The Good Government Council sent out a questionnaire to all candidates running for the five Eau Claire City Council district seats up for election this spring. You may read their responses below.
Jill Christopherson is the incumbent council member for District 4. Although she is running unopposed, she still completed the candidate questionnaire so voters can see her comments on these issues.
Q1. What are your background and qualifications for this position, and what value will you bring to the City Council personally?
Jill Christopherson: As an incumbent City Council Member, I have baseline experience for legislative representation. I have an MS in Guidance and Counseling; my work experience has been member activation and community building, outreach to populations with limited access to community services through UWEC and non-profit organizations. I prioritize community engagement and bringing stakeholders and constituents to the table. Bringing community into conversation early enough for appropriate information and participation in our community decision-making builds a stronger community. The Neighborhood Associations are particularly effective in empowering residents' communication with government and institutions. We can accomplish more when we work together to discover a common direction.
Q2. In dealing with health issues like COVID-19, how should the City Council balance the health needs of the community with the economic needs of businesses?
Jill Christopherson: Our pandemic experience has exposed all of our vulnerabilities as a community and we are certainly hurting from COVID 19 in ways that we would never have imagined. Balance is more likely to appear over time than in separate actions. Economic recovery will require governmental supports and interventions as have the health needs of our state and county. When customers and clients feel safe to move freely in the community the economy will rebound. Our community is anxious to help our local businesses. The economy is dependent upon the financial well-being of the residents who are the employees and who will be buying and using those products and services. We are looking for a wholistic solution that lifts all of us who are devastated by COVID isolation and loss.
Q3. What is the role of the City Council in addressing the housing shortage in Eau Claire?
Jill Christopherson: There is a shortage of housing across all price ranges. It has become clear that the Eau Claire rents and housing costs are not out of the range of affordable housing accross Wisconsin, but our household incomes are lower than statewide average. It is concerning that our residents are spending a higher percentage of income on housing and food than others across the state. That means they are not buying services and products from our businesses or investing spendable income. The council's role is to articulate a strategy and motivate public private partnerships which are so characteristic of our community.
Q4. Some issues that the City Council has debated in the past have been criticized as topics more appropriate to be dealt with on a state or national level. Others agree that Council members should spend time on any issue they believe is important to the community. What is your view on determining which issues are appropriate for the Council's time and attention?
Jill Christopherson: The elected council president with staff set the council agenda. It takes two council members to recommend an item for the agenda. That means that as your council changes, the elected interests and values may become issues for our local community. It could be viewed that these resolutions are indicators to businesses that values and interests are changing in their community of customers.
Q5. What will be your top three priorities in your term as a City Council Member?
Good Government Council (GGC) City Council Questionnaire
GGC District 1 Responses
GGC District 2 Responses
GGC District 3 Responses
GGC District 5 Responses
Posted by Grace Hanson, Governmental Affairs Intern
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.