Clemmescia Jackson

1. If you previously or currently serve in a public office, what did you accomplish in that capacity related to furthering inclusion and equity?

I do not serve in a public office.

2. What have you done or do you do in your personal and/or professional life to further inclusion and equity?

As an African American woman, I am very passionate about inclusion and Equity. In my personal life I have partnered with many organizations and churches such as the NAACP to ensure that progress when it comes to inclusion and equity continues. I continue to place myself in spaces where I see a need for Minority, female, and working-class representation also in my professional life as well. As a realtor I am passionate about the equity of all people and work hard to ensure that everyone has an opportunity for inclusion and Equity. I believe the most important thing we can do is educate. I don’t believe you have to have a title to educate and have an impact on people. However, I do believe you have to be able to relate and understand many different perspectives and not allow your background your achievements to push you into judging or not caring about those who may not have achieved all you have achieved or be in the same social class as you.

3. Do you support increasing affordable housing in Edwardsville? Why or why not? What would you like to see the City do regarding housing policy and planning?

Yes, yes, I do support increasing affordable housing in Edwardsville. I believe that the lack of affordable housing is a major issue here in Edwardsville. I support increasing affordable housing because everyone deserves safe, affordable, quality housing. As it stands now sever people who work here in Edwardsville commute here from other places, we also have students that are transferring out of SIUE and into SIUC because they are unable to afford the cost of living here in Edwardsville. I would love to see the city roll out some type of incentive for future homebuyers. I would also love to see the city broker a deal with a developer to ensure that a certain amount of homes built are constructed in a price range that is affordable to the working class. Adding affordable housing will be extremely beneficial to the city. We will have more housing. Housing that will allow more of the commuting working class to not only work here but live here. which will allow for more tax dollars. More money to not only maintain and restore but also develop and expand.

4. How do you feel the City has done in implementing the recommendations from its 2020 Race Relations and Equality Report? If elected, would you support improving race relations and racial equality in Edwardsville? Why or why not? What would you like to see the City do regarding race relations and equality?

If I am being completely honest, I feel the city has just been checking boxes. If I am elected i most certainly would support improving race relations and racial equality. One thing that I would really like people to know is that the work is never done. There is always something that we as a city, as a community, as a resident should always be looking to improve. Our world is ever evolving and we cannot always wait until there is an issue. I would like to see the city be more proactive. I would like to see them really sit down and address the issues. The city of Edwardsville loves to use the blanket method. I would like to see them really make an effort to hear what the issues of the minorities are and really address them. Sending out a blanket survey with open ended questions to every resident, seems to be just checking a box. I would like the city to become more concerned with what it is rather than our reputation.

5. Do you support the City of Edwardsville utilizing affirmative action policies in employment and contracting? Why or why not?

This question is a tricky question for me to answer. Especially when I apply it to my city: the city of Edwardsville. If you ask the question in a general manner My answer would be yes. If you ask it as it pertains to the city of Edwardsville my yes becomes a little cloudy. I say that because I know how and why affirmative action was meant to be used. So utilized in the context it was meant yes. As we know everything that is meant for good is not always used for good. I do believe if we look at the makeup of our city government we can see that we only have the representation of a small class and group of people. I would love to see the city really open its views and opportunities to all people no matter the class or status. I do believe that because we are only represented by a specific group and class we cannot really call ourselves diverse.

6. Do you support the City of Edwardsville’s Human Relations Committee’s recommendation to change the names of the City’s Daddy Daughter Dance and Mother Son Day of Fun events to have gender-inclusive titles? Why or why not?

I Support What is best for our city and what is best for our youth. I believe that we should ask the constinuants what they would like to do. I also believe that we should look at the participation of each event and make an anylisis on weather or not we are actually leaving anyone out. We all know that navigating gender related topics and situations are very complicated. I do not believe that changing the name will fix the problem if any, But I would hate to create one if there isnt.

7. Do you support relocating the Ninian Edwards statue out of City Plaza? Why or why not?

Do you think the conference room in city hall should continue to be named the Governor Edwards Conference Room? Why or why not?

Yes, I do. I fully support relocating the Ninian Edwards statue from City Plaza. I am not in support in destroying the statue as it is a part of history. I feel that if the city of Edwardsville wants the constituents to believe that they are about diversity and inclusion then they should be in support of moving it. We all know that there are a large group of minorities of feel that it is disrespectful to have the statue of a Slave master and owner glorified in the center of the city. Just based on that alone it should be move. But it should not be destroyed it should be placed in a place that allows for the entire story, the good the bad the ugly, to be told. We should continue to name the governor’s conference room Governor Edwards Room as that is our history and we cannot just rewrite it.

8. If elected (or re-elected), what would you do to foster inclusion and equity in Edwardsville?

As an Elected official I would foster the inclusion and equality in Edwardsville by giving the city a real insight to what they can do to move towards being more inclusive and to forge a better equity in Edwardsville. Edwardsville, and I know a large part of my ward are working class people. the representation of the working-class people is very low. I know at one point the city of Edwardsville was made up of mostly upper-class, white-collar residents. Due to covid and our state and local government that is not the case. We as a city have to realize that and understand the direction in which we were heading the foundation of our community doesn’t support that as much and we have to have people of all Race gender and Class to make this work. I plan to make sure that we do.