Meeting set for 11 a.m. today in Pembroke
Chicago, IL: In an effort to “break the cycle of poverty,” in Pembroke, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and staff are meeting with a number of Black farmers 11 a.m., Wednesday, January 8, 2020, along with Kankakee County Board Chairman Andy Wheeler (R-Kankakee) and Nicor officials to begin plans to bring parity to that African American community.
The meeting, being held at the Village Hall (Church of the Cross), 13043 E. 2260 South Road, Pembroke, IL, comes a week before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 91stbirthday. The last crusade Dr. King worked on was the “War on Poverty.” Rev. Jackson, an aide to Dr. King, is continuing that crusade in Pembroke, one of the poorest townships in Illinois if not in America.
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Rev. Jackson and his staff will be meeting with Nicor officials, Hopkins Park Mayor Mark Hodges, Pembroke Township Assessor Pam Basu, Township supervisor Brenda Miles, black farmer Fred Carter, who calls Pembroke “a secret place with rich soil,” farmer John Thurman, Ted Petersen, corporate community liaison with the Van Drunen Farms and others.
The goal is to lay out a plan Rev. Jackson hopes will result in the ultimate installation of a natural gas line, extension of the water and sewer lines; an affordable tractor repairman; establish a black network of farmer’s markets throughout Illinois including churches and the installation of Internet.
“It is our goal to bring equity to Pembroke including the same amenities the surrounding towns have,” said Rev. Jackson. “These farmers produce enough food to feed most of Chicago. Pembroke has been neglected for decades.” Jackson wants the farmers produce to be used in CPS for starters.
His son, Jonathan Jackson, the national spokesman for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, said Pembroke “has been robbed” of resources surrounding towns have.
Mayor Hodges said Pembroke, which includes Hopkins Park, “has been overlooked for decades” and that “it’s time” that a natural gas line is installed in a community where some residents still use wood-burning stoves and others have outdoor toilets.