As unusual as this is, I have something good to say about East St. Louis.
I had occasion to go to the federal building recently. I parked a block away, walked to the court house and back to my car and was not afraid. Everything around me was clean and neat.
Then visited the area where I grew up, around 10th and Summit Avenue. It was cleared of dilapidated and boarded-up houses. Again it was neat and clean. There was a van with two men in it parked on Summit Avenue. I parked on 10th Street. The van drove by slowly, checking me out. I completely ignored them. After all, that was my hood before it was theirs. Memories flooded back to me as I recalled each family that lived there so long ago.
Then I drove down Summit Avenue (the same route that I walked to Longfellow Grade School every day). I had to cut through Sunken Gardens to get to my school and expected it to be in disarray. But no, it was well-manicured with benches around the inside of the garden. And everything was clean.
Everything changes with time, and although most of what I knew as a child was gone, it still was a pleasant trip down memory lane.
I am a white senior citizen and care nothing about politics and am not trying to praise anyone special. I just know that someone has done a great job of cleaning up the city.