In last night’s local newspaper, when live blogging about the City Council meeting, the local political reporter, who one would think would be in touch with the community, started his report like this:
City Council meeting — 1/24/2012 Following along to the highlights of tonight’s Peoria City Council meeting. The meeting starts at 6:15 p.m
Expect a lot of discussion on the potential delay of the redevelopment agreement with EM Properties for the Marriott Hotel project. I wouldn’t anticipate any shocking decision tonight (aka, cancellation of the agreement…though it’s a possibility).
A large crowd in the council chambers (not sure why).Ummmm, really? You don't know why? Isn't the Southtown TIF on the Agenda?
In today’s newspaper, that same reporter did a follow-up report on the Council meeting. In that report the reporter described the people who attended the meeting as “a mostly black crowd”. This description of the people who attended the meeting didn’t sit well with some of the folks who read the article...
PEORIA - 11 hours ago...John, WHY call attention to the majority of the audience's race? Which has nothing to do with municipal funding. I, highly, doubt that you would describe a crowded 5th district audience, in print, as the ' mostly white Peorians ' . These Southtown residents concerns are valid, about this issue, no matter what race they are!
Stormin Norman - 10 hours ago...PEORIA said it first and said it best...
Trustbutverify - 6 hours ago...PEORIA is exactly right!Just another shoddy piece of journalism from our local birdcage liner.
Mrdippy - 2 hours ago...PEORIA: Local government in my experience is very cautious to not offend demographic groups whether race, religious, neighbordhood, etc.. Perhaps its just part of being a politician and looking out for that career. Isn't it kind of racist for you to think that including mention of race in the article might imply some sort of lack of credibility for their concerns? When I read the article I didn't pick up on any sort of conotation along those lines and had to re-read the article to see what you commented about. I think it is fair to include that mention because demographics are relevant for politics, and the make up of different parts of the city are known facts lets hope we can all acknowledge.
Writingmomma - 2 hours ago...I think it is time for some real changes in Peoria. There needs to be more diversity on the ballots there. Get busy Peoria residents. Out with the old and in with the new. It is high time to get the racist rhetoric away from the present way of life. Yes, African Americans make up the largest majority in south Peoria, but it doesn't matter. People are people! There are also White Americans living there too. There are also Asian, Indian and several other races. Stop grouping people together and thinking that they are less worthy of the tax dollars that 'they' too pay as well. Where do you think TIF monies come from, a fairy? People are not blind. When shady business practices are being done or racist articles are printed, corruption is present, it is seen! It is time to put Peoria on the map as a place with diverse quality of living. No racial profiling. There needs to be transparency in governmental hiring practices, that includes, police officers, city council, fire departments.
And for the PJ Star , you need to hire more than just Pam Adams to go into the black neighborhoods to report. Race baiting while reporting on a story is just sad in 2012.
Suffy - 2 hours ago...I think John Sharp's description of the audience in attendance was appropriate. I could not attend but listened to the meeting on Bradley University's 89.9. It was wonderful to hear so many Southtown Residents show up and speak so passionately about the TIF and the area that is their home and neighborhood. They articulated their ideas and finally the council listened to someone other than Matthews and the others that seem to have a magic hold on them. Everyone knows all the financing is not in place, the documents are not signed and finalized and there are legal issues as well among the various partners in this project.
... And then something really strange happened...
John Plevka JS Managing Editor - 1 hour ago...John Sharp is an excellent and experienced reporter. His attention to detail is razor sharp. However, we agree with commenter PEORIA, the need to describe the racial mix of Tuesday nights audience was not salient to the issues being weighed at the meeting. Race had not been introduced as a factor in the debate and, thus, describing the crowd in this fashion was not relevant. We have since removed the reference from the online version of the story.
What do you think? Was it worth the mention that the people who turned out to protest this issue were mostly black? Isn't it a fact that the majority of residents who would be most affected by the City giving the Southtown TIF funds to Matthews and the Warehouse District black? Why would the Peoria Journal Star be so sensitive about this one story?