Denise Jackson and community discuss positive changes coming to Peoria’s First District neighborhoods

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Community members and city leaders celebrated major strides for the future of Peoria’s First District today at a special press conference at Peoria Public Library’s Lincoln Branch, Saturday, Dec. 11.

First District council member Denise Jackson organized the event, discussing the outcome of this summer’s First District Tours and important upcoming projects that will work towards solving deep-rooted issues in the area. Jackson, who spearheaded the tours alongside Peoria Park District’s First District Trustee, Alex Sierra, said the opportunity to show the Southside, Downtown, and North Valley to people from diverse backgrounds was an invaluable experience.

“They were very, very receptive to what we’re trying to achieve, and that is to bring about economic redevelopment for our community,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the feedback from the tours helped push the projects now backed by the new biennial city budget. A post-tour survey showed people were most concerned about road and infrastructure improvements, demolishing blighted buildings, and creating new affordable housing.

“We got a lot of people that said, ‘hey, we’ve got to do something about this,'” Jackson said.

Sierra said seeing the projects that people have talked about for decades become a reality is groundbreaking. He said he’s hopeful to see civil engagement increase, improving the economic development and overall health of the First District.

“I think that these projects are going to be some of the first actions that really tell people how powerful they are as individuals.”

Jackson said she is especially excited that the city has allotted two million dollars to finally demolish the old Harrison and McKinley school buildings over the next two years.

“This is only creating more momentum,” Jackson said. “I believe that, as these buildings come down, people are going to rally around us, and we’ll begin to be in a position to start the next phase of this, which I hope is to bring new affordable housing.”

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local News

More Local News