There is no question Wyvetter Younge was an advocate for the metro east, and especially East St. Louis. She served in the Illinois House for more than 3 decades, a school in East St. Louis is named after the well liked politician. Younge died in 2008, and this week we noticed a couple of highway signs that popped up in her memory along Interstate 64 in East St. Louis. Today I called the Illinois Department of Transportation to ask how much they cost, I was told two signs bearing her name cost 5 thousand dollars. The expense was authorized despite the state's multi billion dollar budget mess, not to mention many of the street lights along Interstate 64 are dark because of copper thieves - and so far the state hasn't had the funds to fix them. Today we asked taxpayers if the highway sign money was well spent - reactions were mixed.
Today we found out Illinois representative Eddie Jackson sponsered the sign resolution. His office relesed a statement from Jackson: "Wyvetter Younge was a humble but tremendously effective lawmaker who served the people of East St. Louis and its surrounding communities for 33 years, making her one of the longest-serving legislators in state history. I thought naming a stretch of highway after her was the least I could do to honor her enduring legacy. My colleagues in the House agreed, as my resolution was adopted unanimously."