Former Peoria TV reporter Denise Jackson is running for the 1st District City Council seat.
Jackson announced her candidacy Thursday on Western Avenue. She said South Side residents were once again told to wait this year on a major revitalization project for the once-bustling corridor first--a plan promised six years ago--while road projects on War Memorial Drive and other thoroughfares to the north moved forward.
Jackson, the first vice president of Southside Community United for Change, said the city blamed the delay on the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Wouldn't it have made more sense to get people to work here, on Western Avenue, especially now, during this national economic crisis we're in?" she said. "But instead, if you drive around, we've got boarded-up businesses, and our roads all throughout this part of town are horrendous, including Western Avenue."
A new firehouse on Western is still planned. Jackson said fulfilling promises made to the South Side will be her goal.
"We believe this pattern of disinvestment in this community needs to stop. This is symptomatic of the racist, social, and economic policies that have plagued the city of Peoria, as well as the country, for a long time," she said.
Former 1st District Council candidate Patrice Foster said she's dropping out of the race to support Jackson.
"If we constantly get on this pulpit where it's an "I, I, I" thing, it's not. It's a 'team' thing. I am definitely a movement by myself, but I am a force with Denise Jackson," Foster said.
Denise Moore currently holds the 1st District seat. Aaron Chess also is running.
Editor's note: WCBU News Director Tim Shelley and Denise Jackson are both former WEEK-TV employees.
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