Group Angered Over Councilwoman’s Tweets

A Peoria City Councilwoman is facing criticism.

In a series of Tweets, at-large Council member Beth Akeson has angered part of the public.

The first found its way online in July, when Akeson claimed that the Black Lives Matter Movement wants to abolish police. The Tweet continued to state those who are “ill equipped” should have fewer babies.

“That one was really disturbing,” says Unique Worthy from Black Lives Matter Peoria.

Worthy recently joined the group and handles much of its public outreach. She was also bothered a second Tweet from Akeson that claimed Black Lives Matter is “divisive.” That Tweet from Akeson, sent out earlier this week, also stated “I will never support Black Lives Matter.”

“I hope that she explains herself in full, but I also hope that she apologizes,” Worthy said.

Worthy says Akeson should resign if her explanation is inadequate.

“I hope it’s not a testament to her character, but I hope she realizes the backlash you can have over putting something out that wasn’t well thought out.”

First District Councilwoman Denise Moore took a careful approach in expressing her opinion of Akeson’s Tweets. She’s withholding judgment until she learns more about the context of her fellow councilwoman’s opinion.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. One would hope that the opinion that someone expresses is based on having all the facts,” Moore said. “In this particular case, I don’t believe that was the case.”

Moore is one of two African Americans on Peoria City Council.

Moore says she needs to know if Akeson understands the purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement before asking for an apology.

“My hope is that she takes the time to become learned about issues prior to making such public statements,” Moore said.

She does think Akeson’s Tweets reflect poorly on Peoria City Council.

Akeson’s recent voting record does somewhat go against the rest of council. She recently requested that City Council rethink donating $48,500 in city funds to the East Bluff Neighborhood Housing Service. According to the Journal Star, she became concerned after examining the group’s quarterly report.

Akeson was also the only member of City Council not to vote for a resolution in support of Muslim citizens against “Islamaphobia.” She, however, admitted she had been away for personal matters during much of the discussion on the resolution.

Akeson has since taken down her controversial Tweets and altered her Twitter account to private.

1470 & 100.3 WMBD reached out to Akeson for comment. Akeson is withholding any statements until she holds a press conference early next week.

Akeson will also be a guest on WMBD’s Greg and Dan Show at 7:40 a.m. Wednesday.

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis was unavailable to comment.

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