PEORIA, IL (WEEK) — A vision for building racial equality in Peoria – that’s the theme for tonight’s candidate forum at the East Bluff Community Center as they vie for votes to fill five vacant seats.
All 15 at-large candidates are expected to attend the forum.
Organizers say it will give the candidates an opportunity to discuss what they can do for the black community.
Black Justice Project Founder Chama St. Louis says his community feels forgotten.
“It’s really disheartening and sad because we know these families,” St. Louis said.
“We’ve been blindsided by so many politicians, time and time before in the past,” said community activist Terry Burnside. “They promise the world until they get in office.”
That’s why activists are getting a conversation started.
“We feel it’s going to be really important for the black community to know who to vote for, and who has their interest at the forefront of their mind,” said St. Louis.
Questions will focus on economic, education and social issues, as well as police reform.
“They want to see more tings in the community for youth to get into.”
They want leaders to work on more employment and housing, along with less violent crime.
“Improve community-police relationship.”
“We can’t just be forgotten. We can’t be left out. It’s all part of inclusion and assisting us as we try to help ourselves, but more importantly, help our city,” said Burnside.
“And I really believe that people want to see our city improve,” St. Louis explained.
Burnside added, “relationship is the key we need moving forward in 2019.”