Wednesday, December 10, 2008
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Alderwoman Joni Tibbs says it is time city and its citizens speak out

Write letters opposing George Ryan's presidential pardon

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[December 10, 2008]  Alderwoman Joni Tibbs addressed Lincoln City Council members at the workshop meeting on Tuesday night, asking that the mayor, council members and citizens of Lincoln speak out against commuting the prison sentence that was imposed on former Gov. George Ryan.

The former governor has sought out a presidential pardon on at least two occasions since his incarceration. However, it now appears that seeking this final pardon from outgoing President George W. Bush rests in the hands of Sen. Richard "Dick" Durbin of Illinois.

InsuranceThe senator has said in various news releases that he is considering the pardon but has not yet reached a decision.

Tibbs says that she has heard many comments about this from her constituents, and she feels confident that other aldermen have as well. She says that the people of Lincoln are up in arms over this, and she agrees that something needs to be done.

Tibbs says she sought out advice and has been urged to write letters directly to Durbin.

She says that her source has told her that the senator does read written, signed letters. He prefers mail over e-mail and does take into consideration what he reads.

Tibbs therefore has asked that there be a letter written to Durbin from the city of Lincoln. She wants the letter to be written by the mayor and signed not only by Mayor Beth Davis-Kavelman, but also by each one of the aldermen.

In addition, she wants to encourage every citizen in Lincoln to do the same.


She says that these letters should not be general letters signed by groups of people, but heartfelt letters from individuals, defining their feelings about the pardon as well as the actions of the Ryan administration that had an effect on them and our city.

Referring to the closing of the Lincoln Developmental Center and the subsequent loss of jobs, Tibbs said, "Our city was really hurt by this."

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Speaking about the families who were directly affected by the closing, she added, "None of us will ever know the hurt that they had in their own personal lives." She says that LDC employees not only lost their jobs, many lost their homes, and some even had to leave Lincoln.

Tibbs also said that numbers are important and that the more letters the senator receives, the better it will be.

The writing of the letter from the mayor has been placed on the agenda for next week's regular council meeting.

In the meantime, Tibbs hopes that individuals will start writing letters now.

She offered the address to follow, saying that the senator does check his mail daily, and she believes all the letters will be read.

Address letters to:

Sen. Richard Durbin
525 S. Eighth St.
Springfield IL 62703


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