Cunningham Township

205 West Green Street, , Urbana, Illinois 61801
217.384.4144 | |

Our Staff

Danielle Chynoweth

Supervisor

Danielle Chynoweth has been a community organizer for 30 years. As Cunningham Township Supervisor her office provides the last safety net for the lowest-income residents of Urbana.

From 2014-2016 Danielle was the Organizing Director at the Center for Media Justice, where she coordinated a national network to win campaigns for net neutrality, prison phone justice, and broadband expansion for low-income families. In 2009 she managed the national campaign that won passage of the Local Community Radio Act. In 2012, she managed the primary campaign for Carol Ammons for State Representative. From 2001-2008, she served on Urbana City Council, spearheading the creation of Urbana's Public Arts Program, living wage ordinance, and Civilian Review Board of Police. For 14 years she was Vice-President and partner of Pixo Tech. Danielle co-founded the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, which has sponsored over 60 international media justice projects.

Danielle has taught and presented on social change, media justice, poverty, housing insecurity, and leadership throughout the U.S. and in Thailand, Burma, Italy, and Kenya and at Evergreen State College as an Evans Scholar. She is co-authoring a book, Democratize This! How We Make the World We Want to be published in 2021.

Professional Affiliations

  • UI School of Social Work, Field Instructor
  • Champaign Urbana Public Health District, Chair
  • Housing Authority of Champaign County, Board Member
  • Township Supervisors of Illinois
  • Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center, Co-founder, Treasurer

Professional Development

  • Executive Training, Ford Foundation
  • Management for Change, The Management Center
  • Advanced Facilitation Training for Trainers, School of Unity and Liberation
  • Digital Organizing School, Wellstone Action

Professional Recognition

  • M.S. Political Science, New School for Social Research, NYC
  • B.S. Political Science & Fine Arts, New College, Sarasota, Floria.
  • McKinley Foundation Social Justice Award, 2018
  • Woman of the Year 2011, Central Illinois Business Magazine
  • ACE Awards Recipient for Creative Community Service, 40 North 88 West, 2007
  • Public Official of the Year, CU Octopus


Martel Enoch Miller

Case Manager, Community Work Program

A community ambassador at the forefront of local campaigns for civil rights and economic progress, Martel Enoch Miller is available 24/7 for those in need. He has and continues to address issues of racial profiling, ineffective representation for the poor at the courthouse, environmental hazards in black neighborhoods, gun violence, underemployment for African Americans, and political representation for the poor within our community. In 2011, his 18-year-old son was a victim of an excessive police force. Through Mr. Miller’s efforts, the Champaign Police Department’s Use of Force policy changed, becoming one of the most stringent in the nation. He also paved the way for public participation in Champaign City Council’s study sessions and assisted with a regime change with a new Chief of Police for Champaign County.

As Township’s Community Work Program Case Manager, Mr. Miller helps our unemployed and underemployed participants find work, focusing specifically on developing skills to be successful in the workplace. He is often asked to assist with de-escalation, mediation, advocacy and tasks that, while the key to the health and well-being of our participants, fall far outside of the purview of our programs. Mr. Miller is the Community Coalition Liaison for Township. Given his wealth of community knowledge, Mr. Miller is considered our office’s personal “google” search engine.

Professional Affiliations

  • Citizens Watch documentary, contributor
  • Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice, member
  • Champaign Men’s Breakfast Club, co-founder
  • MAGNET Program, co-founder
  • VEYA (Visionary Education of Youth and Adults), co-founder
  • WEFT, community reporter

Professional Development

  • Township Assistance Administration
  • Trauma and Resiliency Initiative’s Trauma 101 training
  • RACES (Rape Advocacy, Counseling, & Education Services) 40-hour training
  • Management Center Trained

Professional Recognition

  • 2013 Layperson of the Year Award, Ministerial Alliance of Champaign-Urbana and Vicinity
  • 2011 Father of the Year Award, Not On My Watch
  • 2010 Outstanding Leadership Award, University of Illinois
  • 2008 Layperson of the Year Award, Ministerial Alliance of Champaign-Urbana and Vicinity


Kyle Patterson

Case Manager, Homeless Assistance and Eviction Prevention

Impassioned about social justice, Kyle Patterson is a second-generation lifelong resident of Champaign-Urbana. Prior to working at Township, Mr. Patterson worked as an educator for young children, for Parkland College’s Migrant Education Program, and with at-risk youth at the Pavillion. Mr. Patterson’s interest in civic engagement began in college, where he served as the political action coordinator on the executive board for the Illinois Education Association Student Program. In this role, he educated members about how politics impacts education and labor. From that point forward, Mr. Patterson volunteered on political campaigns, becoming increasingly interested in how policy impacts those most marginalized in our community.

As Township’s Homeless Assistance and Eviction Prevention Case Manager, Mr. Patterson handles all office intakes, assessing whether applicants qualify for our programs and working with the supervisor to ensure the ethics and efficacy of our programs. He also serves on the Cunningham Township/City of Urbana Social Services Funding Committee and was instrumental in co-creating a shared Rental Assistance program with the City of Champaign Township and the Regional Planning Commission. He is the Township liaison for the Continuum of Service Providers for the Homeless and the Human Services Council. Even keeled, Mr. Patterson can be relied upon to patiently answer questions irrespective of whether it was the first or one-thousandth time asked.

Professional Affiliations

  • Mental Health Board, member
  • Champaign County Board, member

Professional Development

  • Township Assistance Administration
  • Trauma and Resiliency Initiative’s Trauma 101 training
  • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Training, 40-hour training
  • Crisis Prevention Institute’s nonviolent crisis intervention training
  • Mental Health First Aid training
  • Domestic Violence training

Professional Recognition

  • 2018 Champaign County Health Care Consumers Leadership and Government Award


Liz Perrachione

Disability/Wellness Case Manager

A community organizer and movement builder, Liz Perrachione ran a consulting business for over two decades. A professional facilitator, Ms. Perrachione developed and executed the community outreach program for Champaign Unit 4’s Great Schools, Together initiative--which led to the community voting for the referendum, after two failed attempts. She also organized and facilitated the advisory board of the ACCESS Initiative. Prior to her move to Champaign-Urbana in 2007, Ms. Perrachione worked with New Mexico First, a bi-partisan nonprofit that brought stakeholders together to draft recommendations on key issues impacting the state. She also helped co-found a number of women’s funds, including The New York Women’s Foundation, the Dallas Women’s Foundation, and Women Moving Millions, which raised over $200 million dollars for women’s funds across the country. As Acting Executive Director, Ms. Perrachione helped build the foundation for two women’s organizations in their formative stages. She is also a trained mediator and has created a curriculum for 40-hour trainings in both mediation and facilitation. As a writer, Ms. Perrachione has researched and drafted background reports for New Mexico First Town Halls; and has assisted non-fiction writers with drafting, finalizing, and publishing their manuscripts.

As Township’s Disability/Wellness Case Manager, Ms. Perrachione supports participants who cannot work and are navigating the challenges of applying for social security/disability. Her experience with systems design and human resources led to her being instrumental in streamlining Township’s application process. Having lived experiences with Medicaid for pregnant women, the loss of a baby, and health-related issues, she acts as an advocate for those caught in untenable situations. Her work has resulted in preventing evictions prior to 5-day notices being served, finding temporary living situations for homeless families with young children, and supporting those who are preparing to leave a domestic violence situation. Ms. Perrachione is the Township liaison for the Crisis Intervention Training Taskforce. Considered the “bleeding heart” of the office, she was fondly referred to as the “token lady” by our applicants and participants (for giving bus tokens to those in need).

Professional Affiliations

  • Trauma and Resiliency Initiative, board member
  • Champaign Police Department Use of Force Commission, citizen reviewer

Professional Development

  • Township Assistance Administration
  • Trauma and Resiliency/Building a Trauma-Informed Community Training, 40 hrs
  • Suicide Prevention Training
  • Wrap-Around Care Training
  • Rape Advocacy, Counseling, & Educational Training, 40 hrs
  • Courage Connection’s Domestic Violence Training, 40 hrs
  • Divorce, Victim/Offender, Family, and School Mediation Training


Tomas Delgado

Program Coordinator

A geographer, transit advocate, and public lands enthusiast with a background in Human Geography and a dedication to social and environmental justice, Tomas Delgado is a graduate student studying Geographic Information Sciences at Eastern Illinois University. Prior to being hired as an intern at Township, Tomas was a Planning Intern with the Urbana Park District's Planning and Operations Department--and now serves on the park district's advisory committee. Fascinated by the nexus of how communities are planned, the way they serve their most vulnerable populations, and how easy they are to navigate multimodally, Mr. Delgado is passionate not only for transit accessibility but the accessibility of all public services.

As Program Coordinator, Tomas motivated by his desire to support Urbana’s most marginalized. He does this by planning and managing several community-based programs, ranging from Solidarity Gardens CU, to the Economic Impact Program (EIP) outreach initiative. 

Professional Affiliations

  • CUMTD Board, member
  • Urbana Park District Advisory Committee, member
  • City of Urbana’s Sustainability Commission, member

Professional Development

  • Township Assistance Administration
  • Trauma and Resiliency, Trauma 101 Training
  • Management Center Trained
  • Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Illinois


Darcy Sandefur

Office Administrator, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI)  Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) Advocate

A life-long resident of Champaign-Urbana, Darcy Sandefur is currently finishing up a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in History with a minor in Political Science from Illinois State University. Growing up in the community, and volunteering at Champaign County Health Care Consumers from a young age, Ms. Sandefur developed a love for working with social service agencies. She has a rare mix of compassion, grace, and a sharp mind that catches every detail, an unusual combination that serves those she has and currently works with beautifully.

As the Office Administrator and SOAR Advocate at Township, Ms. Sandefur is pleased to be able to combine her love of community and supporting the marginalized with the structured thinking required for financial systems. She is the go-to person in the office when one needs an unruffleable presence deciphering the complex financial landscape of the Township office. Always cheerful, Ms. Sandefur is deeply valued in the office for her willingness to jump into any tasks that need organizing. Working with the Supervisor, she has helped tighten financial systems to better ensure seamless operations. She is also the first name called out when anyone’s computer is misbehaving.

Professional Affiliations

  • Social Security Insurance/Social Security Disability Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) adult course through the federal program Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), member and trained

Professional Development

  • Township Assistance Administration
  • Trauma and Resiliency, Trauma 101 Training
  • Rape Advocacy, Counseling, & Education Services, 40 hr training
  • Crossroads and Chicago Regional Organizing for Anti-Racism, anti-institutional racism training


Jen Straub

Operations Support Specialist

An impassioned educator and activist, Jen Straub earned a Bachelors's in English Education and a Master’s in counseling. Her previous work experience includes teaching middle and high school in Milwaukee Public Schools, working as an advocate and volunteer coordinator in a domestic violence shelter, and working as an adoption counselor at the Wisconsin Humane Society. Her strong conviction that everyone in our community should feel safe led her to take on a myriad of volunteer efforts, including working on a crisis line for survivors of sexual abuse, advocating for common-sense gun legislation, participating in her children’s PTA, and registering people to vote.

As the Operations Support Specialist at Township, Jen shares front desk operations with our two other administrators, making her the first person one sees as they enter our office. She oversees Township’s volunteer and internship programs, our community garden, and coordinates Township events. Our social media maven, Ms. Straub drafts and coordinates Township’s online presence; which includes reaching out for donations of furniture, linens, and kitchen supplies for our participants who have been chronically homeless as they move into their first apartment in years, if not decades. She is deeply appreciated for her willingness to unofficially supply our office with donuts and loved for the caring presence she imbues into everything she does. 

Professional Affiliations

  • Chi Sigma Iota: Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society
  • National Certified Counselor

Professional Development

  • Township Assistance Administration
  • Trauma and Resiliency, Trauma 101 Training
  • Domestic Violence, 40 hr training
  • Sexual Assault Advocacy, 40 hr training
  • M.S. Counseling
  • B.S. English Education