Learning More About the Bloomington Mayoral Candidates: Mboka Mwilambwe
Written by Catrina Petersen on April 4, 2021
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.- A long-time Bloomington city council member said it is a big leap for a regular citizen to go into being an alderman.
“It’s a big learning curve. So I think going from regular citizen to a mayoral position is an even bigger leap,” said Mboka Mwilambwe, who is running for Bloomington mayor in the 2021 Municipal Election.
He was appointed by former mayor Stephen Stockton to the council in 2011 and has served two terms representing Ward 3.
Mwilambwe said you have to have that experience because there’s quite a bit of accountability. He said neither one of his opponents fully understand that accountability because they haven’t served on the council.
Running against Mwilambwe is Jackie Gunderson and Mike Straza.
“You come to a point where you really have to work together. You may not always agree with the alderman, you may not agree with how they say things or what they do but you also have to understand that if there’s an issue that is important to the city at some point you have to compromise,” said Mwilambwe. “That’s something that I’ve done with other council members but also something I look forward to doing as mayor.”
Mwilambwe received several endorsements and large contributions during the course of the election, including $17,000 in mailings spent by the Illinois Realtors Fund.
“I was concerned about the polarization and there were other community members concerned as well,” said Mwilambwe. “They reached out to me and said, ‘We think you should run because we do need somebody who has experience, who is calm, level-headed and someone who will look at both sides of an issue and make decisions in that way.”