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  • Sacred Conversations 2016

Faith Coalition for the Common Good provides involvement opportunities

I have always believed that democracy requires good citizenship and participation. We all have choices about how we want to participate as citizens. It is because of this belief that I joined the Army at 17 years old.

While in the military, I learned to be an advocate for the soldiers who were under my authority. After the completion of my military years, I returned home and earned a bachelor of arts and master’s degree in political science. I immediately began employment with the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, working with several unions and community groups.

Afterwards, I accepted an appointment as legislative liaison for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in 2003. From these experiences, I realized the importance of people uniting together to have a stronger voice.

It was through my pastor T. Ray McJunkins and Union Baptist Church that I became a member of the Faith Coalition for the Common Good, which has allowed me opportunities to participate in several ways.

Most of us know that voting is one of the ways that many people participate in government. This is true with Faith Coalition for the Common Good. You can get registered to vote, get educated on many issues, as well as meet political candidates through the candidate forums and debates that Faith Coalition sponsors. Rides to the polls are also available if needed.

Faith Coalition has allowed me to work on issues that are important to me. I participate by working with churches, unions and not-for-profit organizations that make up the coalition. I chose to work on the Education Task Force as chairman because education is important to me.

I spent the first year of my college years enrolled in remedial classes, getting myself to the proper college level in math, English and science. This was something that should have been done in high school and not during my first year of college. I want to make sure that this does not continue to happen to students in the future.

Also, I wanted to know why parents are not more actively involved in their children’s education. Why are children truant and late getting to school?

The Education Task Force allows me to join my voice with others who are working on issues that have an impact on student and parents. We must work hard to identify the issues and find solutions to the many difficulties that parents have in getting their children to school on time. We must take a serious look at the transportation issues, employment and scheduling challenges.

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