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On Dec. 18, 1917, the U.S. Congress passed the 18th Amendment which prohibited alcohol - and 16 years later they repealed it in 1933 with the 21st Amendment.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
To the Editor: