How our lives changed 

Teske Pet & Garden Center
2432 16 St
Moline, IL 61265

Teske Pet & Garden Center
2395 Spruce Hills Dr
Bettendorf, IA 52722

Moline Welding Inc
1801 2 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Barnett's House of Fireplaces
1620 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265

DeGreve Oil Change
2777 18 St
Bettendorf, IA 52722

DeGreve Oil Change
3400 State St
Bettendorf, IA 52722

DeGreve Oil Change
3900 N Pine
Davenport, IA

DeGreve Oil change
2125 53 St
Moline, IL 61265

DeGreve Oil Change
1618 38 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

DeGreve Oil change
3560 N Brady St
Davenport, IA

1305 5 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Pratt's Antiques
125 E Main St
Aledo, IL 61231

Main St Antiques
114 E Main St
Aledo, IL 61231

Conner Co
PO Box 888
East Moline, IL 61244

Kimball Cleaners
308 SW 5th Ave
Aledo, IL 61231

Williams Studio
New Windsor, IL 61465

Andalusia, IL 61232

Hideaway Plastics
1801 17 St
PO Box 379
Viola, IL 61486

Deer & Co Credit Union
3950 38 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

2018 4 Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

Walcott Trust & Savings Bank
101 W Bryant St
PO Box 108
Walcott, IA 52773

Mississippi Laser
7700 47 St
Milan, IL 61264

Longs Carpet
4200 11 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Roth Pump
Box 4330
Rock Island, IL 61201

Hughes Telephone
1117 Blackhawk Rd
Rock Island, IL 61201

ASAP Equipment
4730 44 St

Taylor Garages
Airport Rd
Milan, IL 61264

The future: human, not civil, rights

By Kristophere' Owens, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

Obstructed by slavery, racism and violence, the road to civil rights for blacks was hazardous, but local leaders say a bright future lies ahead.

``Going into the year 2000, civil rights has become a respective body of laws that people have come to accept as a valid entity,'' said Brenda Drew-Peeples, president of Drew-Peeples and Associates and former counsel and executive director of the Davenport Civil Rights Commission.

However, the word `civil rights' is misleading, Ms. Drew-Peeples warns; the term today represents all races, not just a select group.

That viewpoint is progress itself, she said. For many years the term was only associated with blacks as they had endured segregation and injustice to reach this point.

Ms. Drew-Peeples and others Quad-Cities blacks say progress toward equal rights has been steady, but more is needed to carry blacks into the new millennium:

-- Johnny L. Ellis, Rock Island County Board member, said political equality appears to have arrived. He noted the appointments of fellow county-board member Gabriel Barber, D-Rock Island, as vice chairman, and the position of Rock Island Police Chief Anthony Scott.

``It's a big improvement, but we have a long way to go,'' Mr. Ellis said. ``But it's a lot better than times in the past.''

The Rock Island boad member said education is the key to achieving equal rights. It builds confidence and makes way for self-improvement. However, he said, he sees more youth slipping through the cracks by not attending school.

``It just rubs me the wrong way,'' Mr. Ellis said. ``Twenty years in the future, they're going to be totally lost.''

Changing technology requires children to learn the basics -- reading, writing and arithmetic, he said. However, as teens become parents, the message becomes more difficult to communicate to their children.

``Something has to be done to stop this kind of hardship,'' Mr. Ellis said. ``All of the community and society need to heed the red light. It's just a warning signal now.''

The solutions lie in communities, he said; citizens need to be the first to help themselves. City, state and federal governments are willing to assist, but a commitment must be shown by the community first.

``Communities need to decide that enough is enough,'' he said.

No ``free handouts'' -- via welfare -- should be given to those who do not want to work, Mr. Ellis said. However, while taxpayers are tired of being taxed for these programs, there are people with legitimate needs.

Communities must get involved to help solve this problem, he said. ``People don't mind helping if you can help yourself.''

But a good education remains the key to equality, said Mr. Ellis. ``Without it, you're through. History has shown us that.''

-- Crotis Teague, East Moline 7th Ward alderman, said he has seen plenty of change since moving to East Moline from Rock Island in 1955.

``In the '50s, '60s and '70s, no one wanted to work for the city, just the shops,'' said Ald. Teague, indicated the Case IH and Deere & Co. plants along East Moline's riverfront.

Over the past 20 years, minorities have been represented in many city jobs, including the city council, he said. In 1995, the first minority member of the fire department was hired. He also noted that the police and fire commission is comprised of 100 percent minority members.

Ald. Teague said the Human Relations Commission established by Mayor Bill Ward has dealt with many civil-rights complaints and injustices. Although those problems have dwindled, that doesn't mean they should not be heard, he said.

``There's always room for improvement,'' he said. ``We are striving to make that improvement as they come forward.''

As for the future of equal rights, Ald. Teague said, teamwork is essential. ``I think blacks in the Quad-Cities have come a long, long way,'' he said. ``We still have a long, long way to go.''

-- Ms. Drew-Peeples said, ``We're better than we used to be but are going to be better in the future.'' While progress has been made in closing racial gaps, she said, more participation is needed.

In Ms. Drew-Peeples' view, the key to achieving equal rights is stopping the problem before it starts. ``We had some successes. At times we've managed to maintain the status quo, then regrouped for more progress.''

The Quad-Cities appears to be on the path of equal rights as communities work together to improve race relations, she said. During her tenure on the Davenport commission, Ms. Drew-Peeples helped police departments, area media outlets and community organizations communicate with each other.

``In other cities, they're throwing rocks at each other. They're not doing it here,'' she said. ``Both are accepting problems and working it out.''

While establishing links between groups helps, keeping those links solid is vital, Ms. Drew-Peeples said. People who don't admit to the problems can throw the cycle in reverse.

``Uninformed people could make the problem worse because they believe nothing happens,'' she said. ``Those comments could mislead people.''

In her 15 years in the Quad-Cities, Ms. Drew-Peeples said, she has witnessed blacks working to make things better via youth and church programs. She said the dialogue among races in the Quad-Cities is a model used throughout Iowa.

In the future, she said, human rights, not equal rights, will become the main issue. ``The more connected we are as a people, the more we understand that our survival as human beings is getting along with each other,'' she said.

``If America is going to have a competitive edge, we are going to have to use all of our resources. That includes our human resources that come in different packages. We can't afford not to use the best that we have.''

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.