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East St. Louis: A Decade Remembered, The Loss of a Prime Sponsorship

East St. Louis, Illinois had, and still has, a very colorful history. Since the 1970's there has been a steady decline of this city, in the shadow of the Gateway Arch. After returning from Viet Nam at the end of 1970, the author found himself working at City Hall in East St. Louis, a place where he had been raised. This coincided with the election of the first Black mayor for the city. He had friends and relatives in all parts of the city. He knew the streets, alleys, and playgrounds from hanging out in those places during his childhood.

During his employment in the city's government, there was a loss of control of millions of dollars of federal funds. The actions of certain people in the city's government contributed to this loss for control. The loss of its Prime Sponsorship designation made it impossible for the city to provide jobs and job training for many people depending on the funds to live.

This account describes some of the actions during that period that led to the loss of its Prime Sponsorship. It will allow the reader some background as to why East St. Louis is a mere shell of its former glory.

--Lee A. Drake



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