The Honorable Emeka Jackson-Hicks has been Mayor of the City of East St. Louis since May 2015. Mayor Jackson-Hicks and her administration have focused on growing East St. Louis by working to establish relationships on a federal, state, local, public and private level. Recently, Mayor Jackson-Hicks partnered with the National Development Council (NDC) and created the Grow East St. Louis Fund, an initiative designed to give flexible loans to expand small businesses and create jobs. With a small initial investment from the city, within three months this fund doubled as other investors saw the potential for growth in East St. Louis. Mayor Jackson-Hicks believes that strong relationships are the cornerstone to community engagement and the foundation for economic development. Her focus on economic development has led to five areas in East St. Louis being designated “Opportunity Zones” which will stimulate long term investment and job creation in low income areas. Her efforts caught the attention of Governor –Elect JB Pritzker who appointed Mayor Jackson-Hicks to serve on his transition team for Job Creation and Economic Opportunity. Mayor Jackson-Hicks has received numerous awards and is on countless boards and commissions including, but not limited to: Executive Board member of Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative; Executive Board Member of East-West Gateway Council of Governments; Southwestern Illinois Council of Mayors; Illinois Municipal League and Advisory board for the Deaconess Foundation.
Prior to being elected mayor, Emeka Jackson-Hicks worked for 14 years as a Fair Employment Practice compliance technician for the Illinois Capital Development Board which is the construction management agency for state owned property. Mayor Jackson-Hicks was responsible for monitoring minority compliance goals of businesses and trade-persons for the southern region of Illinois. She has bachelors in Accounting from University of Illinois, Champagne and a Masters in Professional Counseling from Lindenwood University.
Mayor Jackson-Hicks is married to local musician, Damarius Hicks. They have a blended family of five including an infant daughter who died in 2015. “As a person born and raised in the City of East St. Louis, it is an honor and a privilege to serve as Mayor.” – Emeka Jackson-Hicks, Mayor