Sunday, August 2, 2009
One (1) year ago today the Emerge blogspot went up. It has been a pain in my buttissimo and I want to stop - but I can't. LOL (I hate "LOL", but you do it a lot when blogging)... As I was saying... It has been an interesting experience and a exercise in learning to hold my tongue. (Yes, believe it or not, I have been holding my tongue.) I remain encouraged by a lot of people who apparently read, but who never comment (perhaps they agree with everything I say... yeah, that's it). Plus you must admit, the Peoria Blogosphere needs some color! So I will be sticking with it (one day at a time - no pressure)... Anyhow, thanks for reading, commenting and putting Emerge on your blogrolls.
The following item was first posted on EmergePeoria August 2, 2008...
LaHood to Create an Urban Advisory Committee
to Improve Communication (from a press release)
State’s Attorney candidate cites disconnect between community and the Courthouse
Peoria, IL –
Since launching his candidacy last October, Darin LaHood has been touting the importance of ‘partnering with community leaders from our urban and high crime areas to rebuild a level of trust.’ The challenger for Peoria County State’s Attorney has taken another step in fulfilling that proposal by announcing his intention to form an Urban Advisory Committee (UAC) made up of leaders and activists from Peoria’s African American community that would meet with and advise him on a regular basis in addressing issues of concern. The Committee is a way for LaHood, as State’s Attorney, to be pro-active instead of re-active on issues and concerns facing the African American Community
LaHood hosted a gathering of over 60 community members, predominantly African Americans, on Thursday at Chef Leo’s Bistro 320 in Peoria to announce the plan and to begin the formation of his UAC. Patti Polk, a longtime leader in Peoria’s African American community said the LaHood plan is needed to provide residents better access and ability to be heard by County government and specifically the State’s Attorney’s Office.
“Too often, the community voices are shut out of the process,” said Polk referencing the relationship between citizens and the local government. “Darin LaHood has made a concerted effort to be available to all Peorians and to listen to their concerns about the criminal justice system. His commitment and attention to these issues as a candidate will undoubtedly translate to an accessible and attentive State’s Attorney’s office – something sorely needed. I am honored to assist Darin with his efforts and when he is elected in November I will proudly serve on the UAC.”
Discussing the disconnect between the present States Attorney’s office and the Peoria African American community, LaHood told those assembled at Chef Leo’s that there has been a ‘collapse of trust.’ He said to rebuild that trust, it is important to have a diverse office staff, provide citizens accessibility and to simply ‘show up’ and let the residents know that you care about the issues that affect them.
“Law abiding citizens in many parts of our community have lost faith in the local criminal justice system,” said LaHood. “It is critical that we re-establish this level of trust and the obvious, simple first step is to improve communication. That’s what I intend to do with the UAC and I am very excited about the positive response this announcement has received.”
Monday, November 3, 2008
Neighborhoods throughout Peoria are crying out
This past Wednesday, a known felon was arrested at an East Bluff home (1123 E. Elmhurst Ave) and booked on charges of possession of weapons by a felon, possession of a controlled substance and possession and delivery of marijuana. Five other people were also arrested in connection to the case. I read about the "central Peoria drug bust" on two local blogs at least a day before information appeared in the Peoria Journal Star.
This felon had about two pounds of marijuana, 45 grams of cocaine, eight rocks of crack cocaine, body armor and five guns and was able to bail out by paying $3,000.
Most Peorians first got the story about the drug bust from the news reports of a news conference held in front of the Police Department, by Mayor Ardis and five members of the City Council. State's Attorney, Kevin Lyons feels that the news conference was politically motivated. Is it a coincidence that the Mayor and these same five members of the City Council endorsed Lyons' opponent for State's Attorney, Darin LaHood?
I am glad the Mayor's Office is showing that they intend to hold somebody accountable for crime in Peoria, but shouldn't that person be the Police Chief?
From my neighborhood, the news conference looks shady. Don't we read daily about the murders, serial rapists, drug busts, muggings, robberies, guns, and hookers on the East Bluff? Where is our news conference? Our neighborhood association, in cooperation with surrounding neighborhood associations are active. City Council members and police officers regularly show up to speak at our meetings. We have set up neighborhood watches, we call the code enforcers, we turn people in, we are fighting for our neighborhood. Where is our news conference? How did our feelings of desperation escape the Mayor and City Council? You don't think it's because we are South of Forest Hill do you?