PROGRESS 99 - A Q-C CENTURY
How our lives changed 



Clinton Community College
Muscatine Community College
Scott Community college
1-888-336-3907

United Personnel, Inc
1921 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265
762-6891

KDi Corporation
P.O. Box 1342
Bettendorf, IA 52722
332-8724

TechStaff
5115 Utica Ridge Rd
Davenport, IA 52807
355-4400

Careers, Inc
807 W 35 St
Davenport, IA
386-1986

Midwest Human Resources
4601 16 St
Moline, IL 61265
764-6060

Volt Services Group
100 E Kimberly Rd Suite 404
Northwest Bank Building
Davenport, IA
391-8820

All Staff Human Resources
3401 16 St
Moline, IL 61265
762-0045

All Staff Human Resources
710 E Kimberly Rd
Davenport, IA
388-4751

Olsten Health Services Staffing
100 E Kimberly Rd Suite 301
Northwest Bank Building
Davenport, IA
391-0621

Olsten Health Services
2525 24 St
Rock Island, IL 61201
786-3700

Kelly Services
2001 52 Ave Suite A
Moline, IL 61265
764-9889

Kelly Services
100 E Kimberly Rd Suite 504
Northwest Bank Building
Davenport, IA
388-9933

Initial Staffing Services
2435 E Kimberly RD Suite 15 South
Bettendorf, IA 52722
355-5212

Interim Personnel
4703 16 St
Moline, IL 61265
762-2210

Advanced Accounting
404 Northwest Bank Tower
Bettendorf, IA 52722
344-0544

AllStaff Medical Inc
207 N Elm
Creston, IA
515-782-5707

Med Staff
2102 E Kimberly Rd Suite 1
Davenport, IA
359-1933

Tempro
612 Valley Dr
Moline, IL 61265
797-8367

Tempro
256 90 St #3B
Davenport, IA 52806
386-5116


Jim Davis 1st black Q-C mayor

By Kristophere' Owens, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

File
Jim Davis, now a school administrator in Plano, Texas, was the first black mayor in Quad-Cities history.

A twist of fate in the '70s may have made Jim Davis the first black mayor in the Quad-Cities, but a unified Rock Island kept him in office.

``It was a time when people were more willing to vote for a person of color that had the qualifications to lead,'' says Mr. Davis, 55.

A Democratic alderman from the city's west side since 1973, Mr. Davis was appointed acting mayor after the death of then-mayor Alan Campbell and the resignation of his successor, Ald. Martin Galex, in October 1978.

At 35, Mr. Davis made history as the area's first black mayor, as he had when he became the city's first black alderman. He and a handful of other black mayors across the nation were trailblazers for the likes of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington.

``The reality of it all doesn't hit you at first,'' Mr. Davis told The Daily Dispatch in October 1978, after his appointment. ``It all happened so fast, and I never really anticipated it.''

``When you sit down and think about it, it's not exactly a shock -- but it's a tremor.''

Mr. Davis was more than a figurehead. He earned the confidence of the council, residents and businesses and was confirmed in office during a special election in April 1979, winning 2-1. Similar support won him a full term in 1981.

``There was a mentality that it was OK to select a person based on their merits,'' he said. ``People then were willing to elect a person not because of their color, but based on what they can do for the community.''

A prosperous Rock Island added to Mr. Davis' successful run. Industry and the housing market were at all-time highs, and the new mayor worked to bring more economic development into the city by helping develop the Great River Plaza downtown and the Black Hawk Road corridor.

``That's what you have to do, have a strong economic base,'' Mr. Davis said. ``If you don't have that, the community won't prosper.''

His tenure carried its share of criticism. Some said his post as principal of Hawthorne School would interfere with his mayoral duties. Others did not like his support of a civic center, which eventually was built in Moline, and a west Rock River bridge, which still exists only on paper 15 years later.

Some of the biggest controversies during Mr. Davis' term dealt with several events in which he was ``snubbed'' from representing Rock Island.

During a 1980 visit by then-first lady Rosalynn Carter, Mr. Davis was excluded from the welcoming party. When then-Vice President George Bush attended a Republican Party function in Rock Island in 1982, Mr. Davis -- elected in a nonpartisan ballot -- was not seated at the head table and was not given an opportunity to introduce him.

Mr. Davis says he didn't take it personally. ``People in politics play a lot of games,'' he said. ``You've got to learn how to deal with those things.''

Mr. Davis was defeated for mayor by Robert Millett in 1985. Among other issues, Mr. Millett, a former officer of the McCabes Department Store downtown, claimed Mr. Davis didn't do enough to keep it open.

``The tone of the time was critical for the election,'' Mr. Davis said. As industrial and housing markets collapsed in the Quad-Cities, many residents lost their jobs and homes.

``Sometimes politicians get blamed for something they're not responsible for,'' he said. ``These were related to national problems. People felt they needed a change.''

For the next 12 years, Mr. Davis continued working in Rock Island, continuing his administrative career at Audubon Elementary School and Edison Junior High School. He also participated in the community's Workforce 2000 and Care and Share programs.

In 1997, Mr. Davis accepted a position in the Plano, Texas, school district.

He says he has no regrets about his political career and would have continued serving as alderman if he hadn't received the mayoral opportunity.

Mr. Davis says Rock Island maintains its high quality of life. Although he wishes the council would be more aggressive about economic development, he said the community is willing to work with the city.

``There's a spirit there that's undying.''

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.