O’Dekirk gave kudos to groups, like the African American Business Association, for making their voices heard on issues the community faces.
“One of the things I really am proud of is the actions that minority groups in Joliet have taken,” he said. “When I ran [for office] four years ago, I talked a lot about Joliet being a more inclusive community. That message started at city hall … That message, I think, resonated with a lot of different groups.”
Foster said it is important for people to recognize the obstacles African Americans face are often derived from systemic problems.
“It is the duty of every generation to acknowledge the past and fix it,” he said. “Part of that fixing can be done by government. A big part of it has to be done by organizations like this.”
Foster complimented the efforts of the African American Business Association.
“One thing I’m very proud of is the way this has been arranged,” he said “This is not a freestanding, completely separate effort [from] the Joliet Chamber of Commerce. This [organization is] part of the official domain of the Joliet Chamber of Commerce. This is something all of Joliet should be proud of.”