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TIMES EDITORIAL: New south suburban mayors offer chance at real change
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TIMES EDITORIAL

TIMES EDITORIAL: New south suburban mayors offer chance at real change

Jada Curry is officially Lynnwood's first black mayor. 

Her swearing-in ceremony early Tuesday evening cemented a historic run. 

She defeated four-term incumbent Eugene Williams in February's Democratic primary. She then ran unopposed in the general election. 

Thaddeus Jones was recently sworn in as Calumet City's first black mayor. 

He made history more than 20 years ago when he became the city's first black alderman. 

In February, he defeated 18-year incumbent Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush before a general election win over a write-in candidate. 

Such historic wins like those of Curry and Jones in the south suburbs can be celebrated with also knowing they are long overdue. 

But now that both mayors have been sworn in, the real work begins. 

Both Mayor Curry and Mayor Jones overcame long-serving incumbents. 

That means the voters were ready for a change. And that means more than the ceremonial change that comes with a swearing-in. 

After Curry's primary win, the now former Lynwood trustee told The Times what motivated her to run.

"I was concerned about the meetings, that information wasn't being shared, the lack of transparency," she said.

We are buoyed when any elected official cites transparency in government. Too often that becomes a campaign talking point that never comes to fruition. 

She also told The Times, "I am running (for mayor) because there is a pressing need for evolution in our village" and noted a need for economic growth in the community. 

Jones laid out an ambitious agenda to The Times' Mike Clark after being sworn in. He touched on bringing a casino to the city, addressed policing, crime, housing and promised to present a redevelopment plan within 30 days for River Oaks Center. 

As we do with any candidate, regardless of party, we will give Curry and Jones the benefit of the doubt. 

Both Curry and Jones have a lot of work to do. And it won't be easy. Especially as our country slowly digs out of the economic rubble left by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lynwood and Calumet City residents have placed their good faith in Curry and Jones. We hope the new mayors govern with a similar good faith toward their constituents. 

Not all campaign promises can become reality. Governing requires pragmatism. 

It also needs the transparency Curry claims was so lacking in Lynwood. 

Constituents deserve transparency from the people they elected to serve. 

A continuance of the status quo is not what got Curry or Jones elected. 

We're encouraged that the two new mayors made history. Now we hope to see them make real change. 

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