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CHICAGO (CBS) — A band of ministers promises to return in larger numbers Monday so Gov. Pat Quinn will be sure to hear their plea for work to begin as soon as possible on a third airport in Peotone.
As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, the Rev. James Hunt, pastor of the New Hope Christian Community Church in Monee, led the group of a dozen ministers and community activists planning a sit-in or a meeting with Quinn about airport construction.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports
They believe the project will create 15,000 jobs.
Hunt says as a pastor, it is his job to make sure his flock is secure, and Peotone airport construction jobs would do just that.
“We want to make sure that our people are being taken care of; that we have the opportunity to thrive just as any other community does,” he said.
But the group didn’t get in to see the governor, or even his office, on Wednesday. They were stopped on the first floor of the James R. Thompson Center by building security which barred them from elevators to the governor’s office because they did not have an appointment.
Bishop Tavis Grant, of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, said he believes that security guards are being used to stifle speech which politicians don’t want to hear.
“They’re using security as a buffer and a firewall to public discourse,” Grant said. “This is the people’s building. This is the state building. This is the taxpayers’ building, and the fact that we can’t get upstairs to talk to a duly elected official – the head, the chief executive officer of the State of Illinois –is asinine.”
Rev. Hunt says he believes O’Hare area interests are lobbying against a third airport lest it reduce income for O’Hare area businesses. He said he disagrees — asserting that a third airport would do nothing but increase jobs and businesses overall for Illinois.
Hunt says he believes Quinn could move the Peotone airport process along by just signing lease agreements already awaiting his signature.