Letters to the Editor

In defense of Sen. Durbin

After reading the Sound-off comments regarding U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks, I thought it was important to share with this anonymous caller some of the things that have been accomplished with Durbin’s help.

I deeply appreciated the media attention he brought to the Civic Alliance’s efforts to reduce the hours of operation for clubs and liquor stores. We had worked on getting this done for years, then in 2012, Councilwoman Emeka Jackson-Hicks brought forth a resolution to accomplish this goal and Durbin spoke publicly in support of our effort. Since 2012, there have been fewer murders in East St. Louis every year, especially the late night-early morning violence near nightclubs.

I am also aware of nearly $2.5 million that Durbin approved to make sure that the East St. Louis Housing Authority secured its own properties. He called it being a responsible landlord. He has also supported the Rev. Norma Patterson’s efforts to get more minority contractors involved in $150 million in levee repair work and the recently completed $6 billion Stan Musial Bridge construction project.

After the Illinois Supreme Court’s 7-0 decision to remove Parks from the ballot, it seems clear that we will have a new mayor in 2015. I hope that Park’s supporters do not fade away after the election is over because we need all hands on deck to execute an effective and immediate about-face from the failed Life More Abundantly Turnaround.

Matt Hawkins

Treasurer, Civic Alliance

East St. Louis