Similar resolution was approved by county board late last year
URBANA — The city council this week could join the Champaign County Board in asking the area's Congressional delegation to affix James R. Burgess' name to the federal courthouse.
The city council will meet as the committee of the whole on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St.
Burgess, who died in 1997, was the first African-American to be elected to a countywide office in Champaign County. He was elected state's attorney in 1972, and was appointed a U.S. attorney in 1977.
He also was a commander of the World War II tank battalion that was the first African-American armor unit to see combat in Europe.
To rename a federal courthouse, legislation must be introduced in the U.S. Senate or House. The resolution before the city council is essentially a formal request for Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Mark Kirk or Rep. Tim Johnson to do so.
The county board approved a similar resolution late last year, and the area's federal legislators have been sitting on that request.
Johnson and a Durbin spokesperson said in November that the two would review the request but did not promise they would support the resolution.