Resolutions for the good of the community

Posted Jan. 17, 2014 byLeroy Jordan

As a child, I was always excited about preparing a wish list for the New Year rather than making a New Year’s resolution about something that sounded good but I knew would be impossible to keep.
The difference between my wish list then and my wish list now is it has changed from what I want for myself to what I want for the community where I have resided for the last 49 years. I’ve come to realize that history continues to prove that when we join together for the common good we are more likely to meet the needs of our community and the people we serve.
My 2014 wish list focuses on the items found in the Faith Coalition for the Common Good’s Rail Community Benefit Agreement.
Here are my wishes for 2014.
* I wish for a special blessing for the health and welfare of Faith Coalition for the Common Good, the public decision makers, stakeholders and especially all rail planning and monitoring committee members.
* I wish more community organizations, faith communities and individuals would join Faith Coalition because our grassroots numbers are the key to the welfare of the many people we serve. The coalition’s power is not in wealth but in the numbers of citizens represented by its membership. You can help make our voices stronger in this justice work by joining with us.
* I wish the Community Benefit Agreement were accepted by the decision makers and stakeholders not just through their words but also by their actions. The result of Faith Coalition for the Common Good’s six-month report indicates a lot of promises have been made but very few immediate actions have resulted. Because a decision was made not to include the coalition in the stakeholder group, the voices of the community have been ignored. I believe the stakeholders (powerbrokers) wish we would just go away and shut up.
I believe it would be helpful if The State Journal-Register would publish human interest stories on the environmental and economic impact the railroad project is having on families most affected by the 10th Street relocation decision. I plan to write articles addressing each item in the Community Benefit Agreement. Today, I will address relocation.
Railroad Relocation
Did you know since the time The State Journal-Register published the relocation properties address listing in the paper, people have been under pressure to sell their properties? Yes, not only that but they are being invited by land speculators and attorneys from Decatur, Chicago and other places to attend seminars, here in Springfield, to convince people to sell their properties. I wonder what happened to the active involvement of The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the association of Springfield Realtors. I wonder: Aren’t they concerned about the families and senior citizens of our community? Is it just money-making business deals with which they are concerned?

This story originally appeared in The State Journal-Register on January 17, 2014 and is available here: