There is new – and young – leadership now in Rock Island’s 1st and 5th Wards.
For the 1st Ward, Terry Brooks spent 16 years as Alderman, but lost last month’s election to 40-year-old, Ivory Clark.
News 8’s Angie Sharp talked with Clark on Monday, May 6th, 2013 – the day he was sworn in – at the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center. He admits his first love is not working in City Hall, but working with kids.
“If you don’t have the youth and the position where they can see success and see opportunity, the future is going to be dim.”
Principal of Quad City Seventh Day Adventist Junior Academy in Davenport, Clark says it’s important to prepare our youth today for tomorrow’s world.
“They need job training,” he says. “They need people just to take a second look and that could be 21 years old or 16.”
From our future workers to those looking for work right now, Clark says bringing jobs to Rock Island is also important. He hopes the soon-to-be Walmart on 11th Street will revitalize businesses north on 11th Street in the 1st Ward.
“There’s little stores there that don’t look appealing to the eye, but there’s some wonderful things that are going on there so if we can come together and work with those businesses that will grow the economy.”
Clark’s voice now turns into votes. As he puts it, he is one leader representing many as Rock Island’s 1st Ward starts a new four-year chapter.
“I will start out leading but hopefully I will be at the tail and they’ll be leading me on and I will have to answer to the community.”
Alderman Clark says he and former Alderman Brooks are friends. To honor his 16 years of public service, the City of Rock Island will dedicate a performance stage to him at a park being built across the street from the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center.
Rock Island’s 5th Ward also has a new Alderwoman, Kate Hotle, a 25-year-old Community Services Coordinator at Project Now.