PEORIA, IL -- Is Peoria ready for a black mayor?
Peoria’s black community is ready for a black mayor, Couri Thomas, who is challenging incumbent mayor Jim Ardis (see posts below). The election ends April 4.
Surrounded by black ministers and other leaders of the African-American community, Thomas on April 1 was also encouraged by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who attended a rally for Thomas at New Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church.
It’s great that a young person has ambition,” he said of Thomas.
Couri Thomas, left, watches as Jesse Jackson speaks to the audience.
“Our country has become so polarized,” Jackson told the large audience. “There is such anger and bitterness, fear and frustration. We must learn to live together.”
Jackson attacked Pres. Donald Trump’s wall, without mentioning Trump by name. “When walls come down and bridges are built, we learn to live together, We can all heal. We can all grow,” he said.
“A poor peoples campaign lifts the nation from the bottom up, not the top down. Every in, nobody out. We all matter,” he said.
"Under President Barack Obama, 25 million people have health insurance. They never had it before," he said.
The Republicans would reverse that, he said.
“I saw people in Kentucky that wanted affordable care insurance. They didn’t want Obamacare," he said.
“Don’t let anybody break your spirit, he said. "When your back is against the wall, resist.”
The rally was filled with religion, as hymns were sung and prayer occurred. Jackson prayed with a group that came to the front of the church sanctuary at the close of the event.
Other speakers stressed the necessity to vote, and urged the audience to tell their friends, and take advantage of Illinois’ law which allows people to register and vote on election day.
After the rally, a group was to march to the Peoria Election Commission office to vote.
-- Elaine Hopkins