PEORIA (25 News Now) - A Peoria City Council member appointed to his seat last year aims to make Peoria a health care city.
Kiran Velpula said Wednesday he plans to be on next spring’s ballot for one of five at-large city council seats.
The council chose Velpula to replace Rita Ali when she was elected mayor last year.
Velpula is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria in the Departments of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, Pediatrics and Neurosurgery.
PEORIA, Ill. — He says he will remain “an independent voice for the community” at the Peoria City Council. At-Large councilman Kiran Velpula makes that promise in announcing his campaign for another term.
Velpula made the announcement early Thursday, saying he intends to keep the council seat he was appointed to in June 2021.
He was appointed to serve in the seat vacated by then Peoria Mayor-elect Rita Ali.
In a news release, Velpula says he intends to break through partisan politics to listen and make decisions “based on what’s best” for the community.
"At-large council member Kiran Velpula indicated he would support a temporary moratorium."
Peoria city councilman Kiran Velpula said Pringle Robotics could be a game changer for Peoria in its efforts to attract new business to the area. Velpula, who is good friends with Sajja, encouraged him to locate his corporate offices here. “I don’t want to say that I am the reason behind it, but honestly, he wasn’t sure. He just floated the idea, and I took advantage of my position on the council. I told him this was an opportunity that he should look at.”
Darin LaHood visited UICOM Peoria with Drs. Aiyer, Velpula & Tsung today to hear about their research. He said that all they are doing to better treat different types of cancer such as glioblastoma.
In Peoria, city leaders and groups like Young Professionals of Greater Peoria are working on plans to convince young people Peoria is the place to be.
Joshua Gunn, CEO of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, and Kelly Schneider, program manager for YPGP, believe Peoria is at a critical time in its need to attract young people to the city.
During Tuesday night’s city council meeting, Dr. Kieran Velpula took the oath of office and formally filled the previously vacant At-Large council seat left by, now mayor, Dr. Rita Ali.
I am happy, I am excited, I am nervous, and I feel accountable and responsible,” Dr. Velpula said.
Velpula said out of the original 26 candidates who applied for the position, he’s grateful he made the cut. He said this feat wouldn’t be possible without the help of those who supported him.
According to Peoria Mayor Dr. Rita Ali, Council decided to put a vote to appoint Dr. Kiran Velpula to the vacant at large seat on the next city council agenda during a special meeting Saturday morning.
Velpula was one of three candidates being considered for the vacant position, along with James Kemper and Kim Armstrong.
Dr. Kiran Velpula is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria and a cancer researcher who has mentored more than 30 students.
His vision is to use his healthcare and education background to transform Peoria into a biotechnology hub. Velpula said he wants to give back to the community through the role.
“We are trying to understand how the cancer cells live and grow,” Velpula said, simplifying a fairly complicated endeavor.
“We are trying to identify what happens when you rub off the cancer’s energy leaving the healthy brain cells intact, and maybe that will be a better way to treat the glioblastoma.”
The partnership of a professor and a surgeon is uncommon but gives the advantage of additional perspective (@PJStar)