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At least 200 people gathered to watch a historic moment Wednesday evening, as the city’s first African-American mayor took the oath of office on the steps of Alton City Hall. Police closed off part of East Third Street so people could watch as now former City Clerk Mary Boulds swore in Mayor David Goins, City Council members and the city treasurer and clerk.
After the ceremony and a closing prayer by Bread of Life Church Pastor Greg Denton, the elected officials went inside City Hall to conduct their first meeting. Minister Joyce Elliott of Union Baptist Church tells the Big Z she has known Goins most of his life and describes his election as a “giant step."
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Gary Woods of Alton said his late parents moved to the city in the late 1940s, an era of segregation and open racism. He tells the Big Z he’s excited about the possibilities under the new administration.
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Goins is also pastor Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Alton and is a retired Alton Police Officer. He was joined by his wife Shelia, children, grandchildren, and other supporters and residents at the ceremony last night.