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Councilwoman Denise Jackson Wants To Take Peorians On A Tour Of Her District

Tim Shelley
1st District Councilmember Denise Jackson (at podium) and Peoria Park District Trustee Alex Sierra are launching tours of the 1st District, with an effort to bring Peorians from other parts of the city into their neighborhoods to highlight both positives and disinvestment.

Peoria City Councilmember Denise Jackson thinks if you don't live in the 1st District she represents, you probably aren't getting there very often.

She wants to change that by highlighting both the good things and the unmet needs of her district through a series of church van tours.

Peoria's South Side sits in one of the poorest ZIP codes in the United States. 1st District Councilmember Denise Jackson wants people from across the city to see the impacts of decades of disinvestment for themselves.

"As we work to make Peoria a city that we can be proud of, we can also build relationship across cultural, across social, and across economic lines that will never be broken again," she said.

Peoria Park District Trustee Alex Sierra says people living in other parts of the city need that exposure to life in the 61605 to understand the area's need for investments in roads, housing, and job training.

"Without prosperity and without equitable investment, each corner of the greater Peoria area will continue to deteriorate - especially the South Side," Sierra said.

Jackson says those investments will make a real impact on reducing violence in Peoria.

"As you begin the process of not only rebuilding and restoring our communities, but restoring individual lives and families, then I believe we'll see a decline in violence in our community," Jackson said.

Sierra said Peoria's violence is a symptom of economic decline.

"People don't just do these acts for the fun of it. They do these acts for survival, and to keep them occupied, as well," Sierra said.

Sierra said there's nothing for people to do in the 1st District - be it entertainment, or work.

Tours will start at 10 a.m. each Saturday at Trewyn Park from August 7 through September. They are expected to take about one hour each.

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