Our community has many challenges that hinder us from moving forward, challenges that kill the hopes and dreams of a better community. Challenges like:
*Our educational system is not what is should be compared to other neighboring areas.
*Outsiders come into our community to build and attain businesses, and we overlook those businesses already here that we could be supporting.
*The parents who feel hopeless because they need their GED to make a better life, but there are no classes available here within our neighborhood.
*The qualified construction worker who sits in his window watching outside companies come into his neighborhood to rebuild streets and buildings but puts up signs saying they’re not hiring.
*The child who stands on the street corner with a dim light of hope because there is no employment, so he does what he has to do to survive.
*The ex-offender who gets out of jail and is now labeled for life, who has realized there is a better road but is now having a hard time getting a second chance.
*The father who wants to take care of the child he had with the mother he is no longer with, but child support has suspended his license or he is locked up for back payment.
*The child who has a learning disability, but there is no school in the area that will take the time or energy to help him or her.
*The block with the children whose mother lets her sons hang out on the corner selling drugs and says nothing.
*The mother who walks around with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, a 3-year-old walking behind her, and she turns to cuss out the child because he or she isn’t keeping up.
*The reputation of a young girl who has slept around and the conversation that goes behind it, instead of talking and trying to help her.
*The missed opportunities for children to go to college because there was not enough information presented on how or when they should apply for grants and scholarships.
*The scarcity of truly dedicated teachers not in it just for the paycheck.
*The adult who should be teaching our young girls how to respect themselves and their bodies as well as the young men.
*The children who are being abused while neighbors say nothing.
*The lack of assistance for entrepreneurs who have a business they want to sustain.
*The youth of all ages walking the streets at all hours of the night when they should be at home.
*The robbing, killing and stealing from our own; the victim is most likely struggling just as much as you are.
These are the silent killers in our community that lead people to be discouraged.
Every politician in our community needs to understand they are the employee, and the community is their employer. The funds that you receive should be used for the community, not for your personal agenda.
That goes from the U.S. Congress, Illinois General Assembly and governor on down to the mayor, local committeemen and alderman.
We all play a part.
Are you the reason our community is dying silently? Have you done all you can to change it? Only then can we move forward.
Renna Thomas has lived in the community for over 42 years. She loves conversation that “provokes a thought process” and helps “bring you back to reality.”