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Note from Ann Smith, past president, Gamaliel

Posted by: Website Administrator on 10/30/2012

Rev. Dale Lawson, pastor of Christ Temple MBC, listens as Rep. Will Davis commits to education and job initiatives at GMAC’s FoF meeting, hosted by Oakdale Covenant Church. Rev. David Bigsby moderated.

Metro Chicago’s October 30 public meeting was the second Fire of Faith event I attended, the first being with MORE2 in Kansas City in my native Missouri. It’s been wonderful having these opportunities to renew friendships since “I retired” from my official Gamaliel post a few months ago.

I was so pleased to see the crowd’s enthusiasm for this campaign. My heart swelled watching representatives stand for other Illinois/Iowa affiliates FCCG, QCI and UCM, as well as on behalf of state Gamaliel Cluster Members – African-American Organizing Table, Pilson Neighbors Community Council, South Suburban Action Conference, and University Round Table.

As always at Gamaliel events, work got done. On an issue near and dear to me, Rep. Will Davis, also speaking for Rep. Toi Hutchinson, committed to getting the legislature to address educational redlining and funding for early childcare education. Phil Hampton pledged on behalf of Chicago Public Schools leadership to support dual-language programs.

Rev. James Hunt made an impressive case for why a South Suburban Airport would alleviate many problems related to poverty and underemployment – from youth violence and home foreclosures to poor health. He received an affirmative response from Rep. Davis on pushing for this “transformative” economic engine.

And I must mention the young violinists from the Richard Edwards School in Pilsen, who thrilled the audience with their musical competence. We wish all the Chicago public schools would have such music programs.

I’m supposed to say a few words at a meeting in Sophia in Waukesha WI. Well, I think I’m fired up enough to do that!
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