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As with everyone else in Lincoln and Logan County, I
am ecstatic to hear of the news that the Illinois General Assembly
has appropriated the necessary funds to keep open the Logan
Correctional Center, and that Gov. Quinn has decided not to order
the closing of the facility.
I join many others in thanking all involved and breathing a sigh
of relief for all the employees of Logan Correctional and their
families. From the time the governor announced in early September of
his threat to close Logan, our community leaders jumped into action.
Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder correctly noted, "As soon as it was
announced, the phone calls started. We know we are going to fight to
keep this. We know we are going to get the community and the
And that is just what happened.
I congratulate and applaud the actions of all those who stepped
forward in the successful campaign to keep Logan open. They are
perhaps too many to list all, but notably great appreciation should
be given to chamber of commerce director Andi Hake, chamber
president Donna Boyd, economic development director Michael
Maniscalco, Mayor Keith Snyder, Sen. Larry Bomke, Sen. Bill Brady,
Rep. Bill Mitchell, Rep. Rich Brauer, Logan County Board president
Bob Farmer and AFSCME Local 2073 president Shannon Kelley.
My family and I joined hundreds of others who participated in the
march to the Logan County Courthouse in October, as well as
attending the COFGA rally at Lincoln Christian University in which
people packed the chapel to overflowing capacity.
In both cases the passion for the cause of keeping Logan open was
on full display. Many offered eloquent and brilliant points of how
the closing of Logan Correctional Center would have been completely
devastating to this community.
[to top of second column in this letter]
I teach American government to college students, and it is often
difficult to convince young people not to be jaded and cynical about
their government when there are so many examples of ineptitude,
ineffectiveness and corruption among our nation's elected officials.
It is difficult to persuade them that civic engagement is necessary
to the continuation of our republic when there are so many examples
of people who turn a blind eye to problems and who sit back and do
nothing when call to action is so apparent. It is difficult to
convince them that unity in the face of aversion happens when there
are so many examples of disunity and selfishness.
Yes, our nation and this very community in which we live may have
some challenges facing it. However, time and time again we have
confronted those challenges with courage and conviction, and this
action by the citizens of Logan County is truly indicative of that.
If one thing good came of this threat to close Logan Correctional
Center, it was the demonstration that when the time came for our
community to rally together, it did so.
I have now been able, with great pride, to tell my students of
the tremendous action of ordinary citizens to lead the charge to
save Logan, of the responsive of our elected officials when we most
needed them, and of the resolve of our citizens to unite when unity
was most required.
I have always been proud to live in Lincoln and Logan County, and
proud to consider our neighbors here in this community among the
best that exist anywhere, but I have never been more proud than I am
right now to live here.
Abraham Lincoln's alleged quip in 1853 that anything named
Lincoln wouldn't amount to much has been turned on its head, because
indeed so much good has come from this town named Lincoln. You have
all proven that in recent months.
Thank you to all of you for helping to save Logan prison and
December 01, 2011]
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