a retired commercial/mortgage banker, married to Lori Burns, a retired Edwardsville Unit 7 teacher. We have two married sons and four grandchildren.
1. If you previously or currently serve in a public office, what did you accomplish in that capacity related to furthering inclusion and equity?
As Alderman for Ward 2 I have voted for changes to our personnel code and HR department policies on inclusion and equity by supporting equal employment opportunities, equal pay, and anti-discrimination policies. I have supported changes to our hiring practices to ensure minorities receive equal opportunities for job openings in our city. I have supported the changes to our Human Relations committee on affordable housing, equal rights, equal treatment, equal opportunity, the prevention on discrimination, and a police open forum on use of force and training to address community relations. I also advocated to change the selected board members to add members from the LGBTQT, Clergy, Disability, and NAACP. I believe these changes will create a more inclusive community in Edwardsville.
2. What have you done or do you do in your personal and/or professional life to further inclusion and equity?
I am a volunteer/board member of Main Street Community Center. The center serves those who are 50+ years of age with programs to assist in keeping members healthy, active and engaged. Main Street has all sorts of programs, including meals on wheels for those in need. As a mortgage banker, I have taken and still am involved in continuing education courses on the Fair Housing Act, Equal Credit sssOpportunity Act and many more programs to promote and protect fair lending practice. I am a people person and have always treated everyone equally. I will continue to mentor people and insure those I am associated with follow the same practice of equality.
3. Do you think the Ninian Edwards statue should remain in City Plaza? Why or why not?
The city requires a resolution from ACS committee, in which I am not a member. At this point I am undecided. I believe the statue is both art and history. Just the presence of the statue has generated a dialog that has made people more aware of racial injustice and created a much-needed discussion. I was in favor of renaming the park and feel we can move forward with an equitable resolve to this issue.
4. Do you support the City of Edwardsville utilizing affirmative action policies in employment and contracting? Why or why not?
I propose to hire a Diversity and Inclusion position within the city staff. Currently we have signed a contract with a company to train employees on diversity and inclusion along with review current city HR policies.
5. If elected/re-elected, what would you do to foster inclusion and equity in Edwardsville?
I would support the continued efforts of the Equity and Inclusion committee’s recommendation and add policies to ensure we foster a more inclusive community in Edwardsville. I support every element of the newly revised Personnel Code developed by the city and plan to do my part to insure its implementation.