CENTRALIA, IL — The City of Centralia is inviting the public to attend the dedication of a roadway honoring Mr. Roland Burris. A portion of Maple Street from East Broadway to East Rexford will be recognized as “Roland Burris Way”.
The dedication will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 11th at the intersection of Rexford and Maple. Burris started his political career as a teenager working to integrate the Centralia City swimming pool. Burris’ father, who was vice president of the local chapter of the NAACP, had his son and four friends racially integrate the pool after a two–year struggle. The successful effort made Burris focus on law and politics. After finishing law school in 1963, Burris became the first African American to work as a national bank examiner for the Treasury Department. When Burris was elected comptroller of Illinois in 1978, he was the first African American to win a statewide election in Illinois. After serving more than 10 years as comptroller, he became attorney general of Illinois. Rod Blagojovich famously appointed Burris to fill the US Senate vacancy caused by the Presidential election of Barack Obama.
Questions about the dedication can be directed to the City Clerk at 618-533-7636.