Ald. Michael Chandler
“I would encourage Rev. Meeks to run for governor and I would encourage everyone, all people that feel like they want to stand in the gallery and show some leadership, I encourage anyone to stand up and run for office. Young people in schools, when I go to the high schools and elementary schools I encourage them to take a leadership role. And Rev. Meeks he’s no different. Sure I’d like for him to run and I’d like for others to run as well because there won’t be an African American governor unless somebody runs for governor. If not this time it will be the next time and eventually we can make it.”

Theresa Welch
(SACCC Admin.)
“I think first he was a man. Then he was a man called by God. I certainly think if God afforded him the opportunity to become governor, then he should run, but he has to first seek God. I think if he has not been called by God to do this, and God did not ordinate his life to do this, then he should leave it alone. I think what will happen (Judy Baar) Topinka will win because we’re going to separate the parts. We’re going to have African Americans going for Meeks because he’s African American, and that’s going to make leeway for Topinka to get in. Because right now, he’s a state senator doing a wonderful job that I’m told. But I think that you do what you do best, and at this time he’s good as a senator and we know right now Illinois is not ready for a black governor.”

Everett Coakley
(Ed Bailey’s youngest son)
“I think that sometimes we have to have a sacrifice and face a situation down. But if we don’t try we will never succeed. So sometimes it may pause, but those things are going to happen anyway. The wind, the earth and fire – everything moves, but the point is we have to move forward. Yes I’ll support that situation 100 percent, and yes it might split the vote but we have to put our name in the hat. If we don’t ever put our name in we’ll never get started. We have to have a voice and somebody has to speak up for that voice and be that voice. A lot of people get scared when people start doing that, but that’s when a change comes. When its calm all the time they say a change is going to come, so you have to bring a change. You have to make it happen. We have to start somewhere.”

George Lawson
“I though about this a long time and being part of the church, I think God’s work is a tremendous amount of work, and I don’t see how he’ll be able to carry out the two jobs. If you’re in Springfield three days a week, and your church especially as large as his, I don’t think it can be done. I think he owes it to his members for them to be first. If he was not with the church I could understand him running for these offices, but you can’t do them both. So I’m against it.”

Percy Carter Jr
“I think he should run because it gives us another opportunity, and because we have been putting our votes behind the Democratic Party. We have to look at the people who are looking out for our needs, and that’s how we should vote. Sometimes we have to split the vote. That is the only way you’re going to get your issues addressed. When people respect you and see you’re serious and want your vote, they’re going to do what they got to do for you. So that’s what we got to do.”

Monique Moore
“I really don’t know what kind of issues he would forefront, but I believe it may be a good thing. I think what we need right now in the African American community is we need someone that’s going to bring to the light the problems of the indigent, the elderly and the despondent in our community. For a long time we’ve had a voice in the Democratic Party but it doesn’t seem to me we’re getting any kind of recognition for it. I mean for years now I voted Democratic, and its like many of us are stuck on automatic. We just vote Democratic as opposed to Republican, and I really don’t think it should be so easily given. I think that whoever is best for all communities that is who deserves the vote. I mean if he (Meeks) is going to bring to light our issues, if they can be brought to the forefront and a lot of the problems can get answered, I would vote for him. Everybody is concerned about him splitting the vote. I’m concern about that to a degree, but not so much that I wouldn’t vote for him. We’re bound to fail if we don’t try. What we need is more people to speak out and we need more people to come to the forefront. We have a lot of issues, and we don’t have a lot of answers. There is unity in numbers and people just really need to come together. And I heard one of the minister speaking earlier saying that prayer is the answer. Prayer truly is the answer, but faith will unlock the door. People have lost their faith. What they need to do is grab a hold of the faith.”