ALTON, Ill. – David Goins was sworn in Tuesday night as the first Black mayor in the history of Alton, Illinois. As a 25-year member of the Alton Police Department and pastor, he’s starting his campaign with a 100-day vision.
“Some are long-term, some are short-term,” he said. “Some are going to take some years beyond but in that 100 days we want to begin to establish something that may even go forward beyond me.”
The changes include encouraging citizens to get vaccinated, investing in the youth, and ensuring diversity in the Alton work force.
Goins says Alton can expect the same commitment from him each day.
“Honesty, compassion, transparency and a listening ear, and they know that I genuinely care about them,” he said.
Goins wants to change the perception some may have and welcome people to see for themselves.
“I see a vibrant community where people are coming to Alton to visit, where people are coming to our city,” he said.
Michael Carter, who has lived in Alton for 60 years, never thought he’d see the day Alton would have an African American mayor.
“It’s always been a white man in here. People got out to vote, they showed up and showed out, and that’s what counts,” Carter said.
Resident Paladin Harrington also welcomes the new mayor.
“I think it’s really going to be a good thing in the long run because everything is changing. This is a new world we’re living in now,” Harrington said.
Goins says he’s proud to be the new mayor of Alton and is honored to be a pioneer for other African Americans.
“I only wish my parents and my grandparents, my sister who passed away, could witness this moment,” he said.
Hundreds of people welcomed the new mayor, saying this change is a step in the right direction for the city.