To the Editor:
On May 22 there was public hearing held in East St. Louis' City Hall rotunda regarding Councilwoman Emeka Jackson-Hicks legislation to close liquor establishments at 2 a.m. on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends.
The number of club employees and owners was impressive but not persuasive because they are looking out for their economic self-interests at the expense of the community's interests. They acted like they had a right to stay open all night or something, so I checked
to make sure.
On Dec. 18, 1917, the U.S. Congress passed the 18th Amendment which prohibited alcohol - and 16 years later they repealed it in 1933 with the 21st Amendment.
After reading the rest of the amendments, I failed to locate the one that gives bar and/or club owners in East St. Louis a right to operate dangerous, late night alcohol enterprises.
If I had my way, they would all close at 10 p.m. until we got a handle on the crime problem, properly funded the police department, and gotten somewhere close to one or two murders annually that would be average for a community of our size in America. The complainers would be politely informed that they have been shut down totally until further notice.
I would like to thank Councilwoman Jackson for her courage and leadership on this issue and all of the community residents whose name did not get called to speak. I would like to especially thank Asia Coleman and Diedre Powell for their inspiring comments at the hearing despite the obvious opposition.
Matt Hawkins, President
Civic Alliance of East St. Louis