January 21, 2019

On Martin Luther King Day, Duckworth Honored with the City of Cairo’s Service Award for Her Efforts to Help the Southern Illinois Community


[CAIRO, IL] – The City of Cairo, Illinois, honored U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) with their Service Award today during the 25th Annual Alexander/Pulaski County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast. The award recognizes Senator Duckworth’s continuing efforts to help the Cairo community, protect Alexander County Housing Authority residents, bring accountability to wrongdoers and grow the region’s economy.

“I’m proud to receive this award from community leaders in Cairo,” Duckworth said. “I’ll continue working for solutions that rebuild the local community, generate economic growth and hold accountable those responsible for helping to create this preventable crisis. We must restore hope, pride and prosperity to this historic city.”

“Senator Duckworth and her staff have done an outstanding job in helping Cairo during these trying times,” Coleman said. “And we would like recognize her and her dedicated staff for all the work that they have done in trying to help us.” 

Since being sworn into the Senate in 2017, Duckworth has worked to address the challenges faced by Alexander County Housing Authority (ACHA) residents, hold those responsible for the crisis accountable and improve the Cairo economy. Duckworth has visited Cairo, secured a commitment for HUD Secretary Carson to visit and hear firsthand from residents and elevated the community’s needs to his attention during multiple meetings and calls, hosted Cairo’s High School Principal as her 2018 State of the Union Address, and placed a blanked hold on all HUD nominees after the agency failed to respond to her request for detailed information regarding its decision to shutter two AHCA facilities in Thebes, Illinois.

Duckworth introduced the Creating American Investment, Redevelopment, and Opportunity (CAIRO) Task Force Act along with Senator Durbin to form a Cabinet-level task force to address the housing, health and economic crises in Cairo. The CAIRO Act acknowledges that HUD had a role in Cairo’s economic decline, and therefore the federal government should play an active role in its recover and revival. The legislation requires that the task force submit a report to Congress within six months of its establishment and each year after that outlines its progress.

Duckworth also met with HUD Inspector General Nominee Rae Oliver Davis last July to discuss Illinois housing priorities and the need for greater oversight to stop preventable crises like those in Cairo and Thebes, Illinois, from happening again. Last year, Duckworth also wrote multiple letters to the HUD Inspector General urging his office to complete its investigation into fraud, waste and mismanagement by Alexander County Housing Authority officials.