Monday, April 24, 2017

April Monthly Meeting - Thursday, April 27

In the age of Trump, we must show up for marches and we do. Marching is fine as far as it goes, but it is the start of action, not the end. We know politics and public policy happen every day. Please join us at our April meeting this Thursday, 4/27, at 7 PM at Friendly's (3503 Roger) to learn about voter registration drives, Pride events, our annual picnic, petition opportunities (and warnings) to stand up for workers, and new directions in the city.

Lots to do, lots of heads and hands and hearts are needed.





Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sample Ballot - April 4th Election

The 15th Ward Democrats endorse the following for the April 4th General Municipal Election:






Sunday, March 19, 2017

March Issues and Candidates Forum - March 23rd - Carpenter Branch Library

Now that we're past the democratic primaries for Mayor and Alderman, it is time to focus on the rest of the ballot on April 4th. Here's your chance to make informed choices at the polls.

Time: 6:30pm - 8:35pm
Location: basement meeting room - St. Louis Public Library - Carpenter Branch (3309 S. Grand)
Agenda:
       6:30pm - 8:00pm Propositions - speakers will be allotted 5 minutes to present their case
                                for or against each ballot measure, followed by brief Q&A from the audience.
       8:00pm - 8:35pm Brief speeches from each of the candidates for the Board of Education

From the sample ballot on the Board of Elections website, the Propositions are focused on the following:

*PROPOSITION A
AMENDMENT TO THE CITY CHARTER
(Proposed by Initiative Petition)
A proposed ordinance submitting to the registered voters of the City of St. Louis an amendment to Article XV of the City Charter repealing Sections 4 and 5 and enacting in lieu thereof four new sections, Sections 4, 4a, 4b and 5, the purpose of which is to abolish the Office of Recorder of Deeds and consolidate the functions of that office with that of the Assessor, and place any realized cost savings in a special fund known as "the police body-worn camera fund" dedicated to the purchase and use of police body-worn cameras by the city Metropolitan Police Department subject to appropriation from the fund by the Board of Aldermen for the express purpose of the fund (the full text of which is available at all polling places).

*PROPOSITION B
AMENDMENT TO THE CITY CHARTER
(Proposed by Initiative Petition)
A proposed ordinance submitting to the registered voters of the City of St. Louis an amendment to Article II of the City Charter repealing Sections 1, 2 and 3 and enacting in lieu thereof four new Sections 1, 1(a), 2 and 3, the purpose of which is to move the Primary Municipal Election date from March to August and the General Municipal Election date from April to November in even-numbered years, commencing in 2020 and continuing every two years thereafter, and providing for a transition to accomplish those changes (the full text of which is available at all polling places).

*PROPOSITION C
AMENDMENT TO THE CITY CHARTER
(Proposed by Ordinance)
Shall Section 4 of Article XVIII of the Charter of the City of St. Louis be amended to add paragraph (f), which provides for the enactment of an ordinance establishing a residents' preference to residents of the City of St. Louis upon successfully passing a civil service examination for civil service positions with the City? Section 4. Ordinances to be enacted - The mayor and aldermen shall provide, by ordinance: (f) City Residents' Preference. For a preference to be granted to residents of the City of St. Louis who successfully pass an examination for a civil service position.

*PROPOSITION 1
(Proposed by Ordinance)
Shall the City of St. Louis impose a sales tax at a rate of one half of one percent for economic development purposes including (1) North/South Metrolink, (2) neighborhood revitalization, (3) workforce development; (4) public safety, and (5) to upgrade the city's infrastructure, with annual public audits?

*PROPOSITION 2
(Proposed by Ordinance)
Shall the use tax paid by businesses on out-of-state purchases and derived from the one half of one percent increased use tax, which corresponds to approval and levy of an Economic Development Sales Tax in the City of St. Louis, be used for the purposes of minority job training and business development programs, and a portion of construction costs, but not construction cost overruns, of a multipurpose stadium for soccer, local amateur sports, concerts and community events? A use tax is the equivalent of a sales tax on purchases from out-of-state sellers by in-state buyers and on certain taxable business transactions for which a sales tax is not levied. No taxpayer is subject to a sales tax and a use tax on the same transaction. The City shall be required to make available to the public an audited comprehensive financial report detailing the management and use of the portion of the funds each year.

*PROPOSITION NS
BOND ISSUE ORDINANCE
(Proposed by Initiative Petition)
A proposition submitting to the registered voters of the City of St. Louis a proposed Ordinance authorizing and directing the issuance of general obligation bonds of The City of St. Louis, Missouri, not to exceed $40,000,000 principal amount in aggregate (of which no more than $6,000,000 in principal amount shall be issued annually) for the purpose of stabilizing, as limited by the Ordinance, residential properties owned by public entities, as described in the Ordinance, and authorizing the execution of an agreement relating to the expenditure of the sale proceeds of such bonds (the full text of which is available at all polling places).

Below are 7 candidates running for the St. Louis Board of Education, listed in the order they will appear on the ballot. (4-year term; vote for 3 on April 4th)
   BILL MONROE
   NATALIE VOWELL
   DAVID LEE JACKSON
   DOROTHY ROHDE-COLLINS
   BRIAN P. WALLNER
   JAMES IRA REECE
   SUSAN R. JONES

The actual sample ballot can be found here.




Sunday, March 05, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February Monthly Membership Meeting

Join us at our monthly meeting this Thursday, February 23 at 7pm at Friendly's South City STL Sports Bar and Grill (3503 Roger Pl.).  We'll be discussing plans for the March primary and the April general election.  Also, support a local business by ordering dinner (great fried chicken!), and know that Friendly's is cash only (ATM available).  The March primary is just around the corner, and we'll be covering things we can do as a neighborhood for election day.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Candidate Questionnaire Responses - March 7th Primary

The 15th Ward Democrats sent a questionnaire to each Democrat running in the March 7th primary election for St. Louis Mayor, St. Louis Comptroller and 15th Ward Alderman.  We present here the responses received from the candidates.  We hope that this information will assist you as you make your decision in the March 7th Primary.

The 15th Ward Dems will vote on endorsements in each of these races at an endorsement meeting of all eligible voting members.

For Mayor, City of St. Louis:
   Antonio French - Response
   Lewis Reed - Response
   Jeffrey Boyd - Response
   Tishaura O. Jones - Response
   Lyda Krewson - Response
   William [Bill] Haas - Response
   Jimmie Matthews -

For Comptroller, City of St. Louis:
   Darlene Green - Response
   Alexandra Johnson - Response

For Alderman, 15th Ward:
   Jennifer Florida - Response
   Megan Ellyia Green - Response





Response from Jennifer Florida, Candidate for 15th Ward Alderman

1. What do you view as the key role(s) and/or attributes needed for this position?

Key roles of an alderman are legislator (policy maker), advocate, representative and chief problem solver, allocator of resources, fair and equitable employer. An alderman's primary responsibility is the overall welfare of the residents they serve and then to the residents of City. An Alderman has a responsibility to improve safety, housing, foster thriving business districts, education, advocate for residents, allocate capital for infrastructure and work with the Board of Aldermen to improve the quality of life for all residents. An effective alderman is knowledgeable of the legislative process, has keen understanding of City services and how our government works and understands our budget process. Working well with others is hugely important! Working closely with neighborhood leaders, business districts, block captains in the Ward and the Aldermen, Mayor, President of BOA and the Directors and Commissioners of the Depts at City Hall is critical to success.


2. What education (schools attended, degrees attained), experience, and attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?


Bachelor of Science, Illinois State University, Criminal Justice Sciences 1983

Gamaliel Leadership Training, Advanced Training, Community Organizing Internship with Churches United for Community Action, now MCU for St. Louis, 1998, 1999.

15th Ward Alderman 2001-2014.


3. Why do you think you are the best choice for 15th Ward Alderman? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

Experience, proven track record, knowledge of government, services, tools and vast wealth of relationships differentiate me from my opponent. I served as the alderman for fourteen years, elected to four terms. I understand how important it is to work together. I worked closely with all neighborhood organizations, neighborhood leaders and the business districts and the surrounding communities as well as closely with the Board of Aldermen, City Departments and especially the St. Louis Police Department. Alderman Conway and I were forced to lead our not-for-profits - Grand Oak Hill, Shaw and Southwest Garden - to consolidate into Tower Grove Neighborhood Community Development Corp. The funding mechanism changed which required capacity and a broader service area. This huge change that we gave birth to facilitated the Tower Grove South Neighborhood Association, completed two new construction homes in vacant lots (last two housing projects I supported), acquired a drug house at Bamberger and Gravois, now affordable housing and a SLMPD Police Substation and conducted Visioning for all three neighborhoods around Tower Grove Park! It is amazing what we can do when we work together! I see the results of our 14 years of accomplishments every day!



4. Please describe your previous involvement in the ward / neighborhood.

I have lived in the neighborhood for 24 years. I became a block captain and worked to strengthen our neighborhood by attending neighborhood meetings and working with other block captains at that time in Tower Grove Heights, Grand Oak Hill, Park side Neighborhood and Fanning. I became a leader in C-4, Churches Committed to Community Concerns, now MCU for St. Louis, spearheading the Re-Development of Gravois Plaza, saving South Side National Bank from demolition, and was leader in the South Town Coalition.

I am a founding member of the 15th Ward Democrats. I served as 15th Ward Alderman from 2001-2014.


5. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

Most pressing issues are: Increased Violent Crime. I plan to work with our neighborhood leaders and the Block Captains and Business Districts to initiate and implement community based safety initiatives, support putting more police on the street and tools such as the real time crime lab and mobile cameras in hot spots.

Reverse the trend of disinvestment as identified in the 2013/14 Market Value Analysis Study with a focus on Grand and Gravois, Gravois and Bamberger Wedge and MorganFord in the way of housing and economic development. Work with the Tower Grove Neighborhood Community Development Corp, Business Districts to address vacants, develop affordable housing or promote development opportunities and strengthen the business districts. Tower Grove CDC secured a grand to do "Visioning." Let's move from visioning to a Community Based Strategic Plan.

Promote and support our educational institutions. Working together we saved Mann School from closing. It is accredited. I would like to see our educational institutions become center to community.


6. Public safety is a concern for our neighborhood and the entire city. What can you do on day one and what can you hope to achieve on day one plus ten years?

Support budgeting more police, more pay for police, and more training.

Support budgeting additional money for recreational and educational programs for youth.

Support budgeting money for Anti violence, conflict-resolution initiatives

Support alternatives to prosecution and incarceration for youthful, non violent offenders. Expand the use of Drug Courts.


7. The Ferguson Commission Report asks government to look through a "racial equity lens" in developing policies. Specifically, what does that mean to you?

I would work as I did before, with the African American Caucus at the Board of Aldermen, President of the BOA and Mayor to eliminate racial disparities in opportunities, education, resources, housing, life expectancy.


8. How would you approach representing a ward as diverse as the 15th Ward?

I represented our diverse ward from 2001-2014. I met people where they were. I was responsive and worked as an advocate. I supported the International Institute. We translated City information into whatever language required. I celebrated Pride, the Vietnamese New Year, Festival of Nations. I attended block parties, organized block units and attended town hall meetings. I hosted town hall meetings. I attended church meetings, safety meetings and neighborhood meetings, wedge meetings, community garden meetings, Save Mann School meetings, School Board meetings. I participated in the life of our neighborhood. I will be wherever needed.


9. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

I will work with the neighborhood organizations, block captains and business districts, St. Louis Police Department to initiate community based safety initiatives.

I will work with the Board of Aldermen, President of the BOA and Mayor to increase funding for more police, more recreational and educational youth programs.

As I have in the past, I will work with the Tower Grove Neighborhood Community Development Corp to develop affordable housing, promote development opportunities. Engage our community and move from visioning to a Community Based Strategic Plan.

As I have in the past, I will work with the business districts, St. Louis Development Corp, Economic Development Partnership and SLATE to strengthen our business districts by attracting business and growing jobs.


10. What role should the Alderman have in working with the neighborhood business districts? What role should the Alderman have in working with resident organizations? How do/would you balance the needs of the residential and business districts of the ward so both are strong and vibrant?

I have worked closely with the business districts as an advisor and resource. I worked closely with our 15th Ward Commercial Business District Manager. The neighborhood and business districts have a symbiotic relationship. My primary role is that of representative and advocate to the people I serve. There is a balance. Together we thrive. South Grand Great Streets is an excellent example of a community based project. More than 900 residents participated in the public engagement, and as a results we have increased safety, growth, greening and placemaking. Grand and Gravois, MorganFord deserve the same attention.


11. How do/will you use the Alderman position to affect delivery of city services for the Ward?

Constituent advocacy and service is a priority. I will be your advocate. I am very familiar with all of the City Departments and will work to make sure that you get the services you deserve.


12. What process do you believe should be used to reduce the Board of Aldermen to 14 members following the 2020 census?

The census will be done in 2020. Redistricting will occur in 2021. The bill provides a transition and staggers the terms of even odd. A map of 14 wards will be drawn in 2021. In the last redistricting we tried to redistrict keeping neighborhoods intact. Each ward has to be roughly the same population and African-American Minority Opportunity Wards factors in as well.


13. If you could ask your opponent one question, what would it be?


Why did you not think that the Aldi's expansion was important?










Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Response from Antonio French, Candidate for St. Louis Mayor

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

The next Mayor of St. Louis must be held accountable for the quality of life improving in every neighborhood. I’ve spent my career cutting through the clutter and getting things done, whether that has been at the Board of Alderman or as the founder of North Campus, the year-round free educational and enrichment program for kids.

St. Louis families, in every neighborhood, deserve a mayor who is more than a bunch of talking points and buzzwords. I’ve never been shy to take on the establishment and to stand up for what’s right as opposed to doing what is easy. For example, I’ve said on day one that I’ll fire the Police Chief and if the violence isn’t reduced during my term in office I won’t run again. That’s standing up and being accountable, something St. Louis has been lacking at City Hall for a long time.


2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?


I’ve been to many of these joint forums and debates over the course of the last several weeks and it is shocking at how out of touch some of my opponents seem to be in regards to the issues facing St. Louis. I’ve been to the crime scenes, consoled the families; I’ve spoken to the business owner in south city who wants to hire more employees and has so much red tape to cut through that she’s ready to throw her hands up in the air. I’ve visited with the veteran who finds it ridiculous that a ban on guns is going to solve our problem of gun violence. In short, I am about finding real solutions to our problems while my opponents are out of touch and using the talking points from their latest poll.

For example, I keep hearing a few of them talk about how they are going to view the issues of St. Louis through a racial equity lens. Do they plan on pulling it out of their pocket and looking through it before making a decision? No one who has ever visited for more than 5 minutes a family living in Dutchtown or Walnut Park or Bevo Mill wants to hear about how they’ll use a racial equity lens, they expect you to have that built in your DNA and not have to think twice about using it.


3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

      1. Reducing Violence – On day one I’ll fire the current Police Chief and then for the first time in our city’s history I will open up the search nationally to find the best person for the job. You can read more about my plan at comprehensiveplan.org.

      2. Jobs – St. Louis needs jobs, good paying jobs. We are not going to fix the economic issues with our city by focusing on one or two giant stadium projects; we are going to do it with encouraging businesses to come to our city and putting this amazing city back to work. Under employment is too high as we have men and women working two and three jobs just to make ends meet. We will focus on bringing jobs to both sides of Delmar Avenue, and not just focus on the central corridor.

      3. Improving the quality of life throughout every neighborhood – Our city can do better with making it easier and better to live here by improving things like snow removal and trash pick-up. We can improve the technology the city utilizes and make public transportation easier with real time bus schedules and improved city services. It’s time we bring St. Louis into the digital age.


4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

There’s a saying, you catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar. I’ve never been one to say it’s my way or the highway, I have always been one to work with people to achieve our goals. However, I’ve also been the one who has stood up to the “this is how we’ve always done it’ crowd and taken on the establishment when needed. 

I believe in the people of St. Louis; we’ve always come together when needed and I will rely on that spirit of inclusion when I go to work every day at City Hall.


5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

Well, this is an easy one as I am relying on grassroots contributions. Trust me, it’s not that I wouldn’t love to have the hundreds of thousands of dollars the establishment candidates have, but the $20 contribution from a family who wants to see positive change in St. Louis means the world to me.

I won’t take contributions from Paul McKee or anyone associated with him; I won’t take money from Rex Sinquefeld or anyone associated with him nor will I take campaign contributions from anyone who expects a quid-pro-quo relationship. Never have, never will and no one will ever question my ethics as to who is paying for things or who I am focused on helping.


6. Public safety is a concern for our neighborhood and the entire city. What can you do on day one and what can you hope to achieve on day one plus ten years?

On day one I will instruct the Public Safety Commissioner to fire Sam Dotson and I will use the full weight and bully pulpit of the Mayor’s office to see that is done. His policies have not worked, and anyone who believes we are on the path to a safe and viable city with him at the helm has their head stuck in the sand. The very next thing I will do is open up the search for the next Chief nationwide, something that has never been done in St. Louis. It’s time we have a new perspective and approach to policing and it will be about finding the best person for the job, not just the next person for the job.

In ten years, it’s my hope that with a new Police Chief and a focus on community policing instead of the feeling of an occupying force who has a horrible relationship with the neighborhoods they serve we will look back and see the fork in the road we came to during the mayoral campaign of 2017 and be so thankful that the people of St. Louis chose positive change as opposed to more of the same.


7. The Ferguson Commission Report asks government to look through a "racial equity lens" in developing policies. Specifically, what does that mean to you?

I hear this and think to myself, “does someone really need to tell you that in order to develop policy?” I literally am the lens that other people use, it’s sad but true.


8. The causes and effects of homelessness are serious issues in St. Louis. What are your plans for addressing each?

Homelessness is a problem that we need to address but more from a point of compassion as opposed to the business development/economic hindrance the current establishment uses in developing the policy. Proverbs 22:0 says that whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.

I believe we as a city can do better with the issue of homelessness. We don’t need to station a police car at a shelter and intimidate volunteers from coming down to help; we don’t need to look down on people who find themselves at a shelter. Trust me, no one grows up with dreams of living in a homeless shelter.

We can do better and as Mayor, I’ll make sure we address this problem because for too long the establishment has been looking to “fix” it, and that’s part of the problem because you can’t fix homelessness but you can address it and make sure people are receiving the assistance they need from job placement to mental and physical health care.


9. In 2016, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions formed the Alliance for a Sustainable Future with the goal of spurring public-private cooperation on climate action and sustainable development in cities. Will your administration participate in the alliance, and what specific local initiatives would you support to advance climate action?

Yes, I would support the alliance and my administration would step up the work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with the consequences of climate impacts.

In 2015 the Post Dispatch published an article stating St. Louis was doing little to prepare for climate change. This is the establishment mentality, if we ignore the problem it doesn’t really exist. I will direct my administration to focus on solutions we know that work such as planting more trees to prepare for heat waves and cut the urban heat island effect and identifying the roads, bridges and other infrastructure that could be vulnerable to new weather patterns.


10. What are your plans, if any, for Metrolink expansion, particularly a North-South line?

St. Louis is the city of 1,000 plans. I’d stop studying the North-South line and I’d implement it but it would be a true expansion of Metrolink. I’d also make sure the expansion fits with my vision of upgrading the city’s technology as we are all connected via an ever expanding online presence, it’s time the city catch up with the times.


11. What process do you believe should be used to reduce the Board of Aldermen to 14 members following the 2020 census?

The state of Iowa has an independent commission for redrawing its electoral boundaries after each census, I believe that system would work in St. Louis for reducing the Board of Alderman to 14 members. The commission would draw the boundaries and then present it to the Board for an up or down vote, no amendments. If rejected, the commission would draw a second map and present it for an up or down vote. If that map is rejected, the commission would draw a third map and that map would be final.


12. What are your criteria for approving tax abatements and TIFs?

TIF and other incentive laws were designed to assist blighted and low income areas. They are very often manipulated to increase the profits of projects in the richest parts of our city. It’s time we used these tools in the areas they were designed to be used. Blighted neighborhoods where vacant schools, warehouses, and other buildings make it impossible to attract the kind of businesses and jobs communities need to grow.


13. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for all.)

Question for all of the candidates: What does Delmar Blvd mean to you?








Response from Lewis Reed, Candidate for St. Louis Mayor

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

St. Louis’ next Mayor must make public safety, smart economic development that creates good-paying jobs and government accountability the priorities.

First as 6​th​ Ward Alderman, and now as President of the Board I have worked to ensure every St. Louisian – regardless of how they look, where they worship, or even their political view – have my open ear. As Mayor, I will continue that tradition to make this city safe and unified.


2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

Actions speak louder than words – and at City Hall I’ve consistently taken steps forward for our city – and I have a broad vision for our future.

I’ve invested in the future of our youth by increasing funding for STL Youth Jobs and established a Youth Crime Prevention Fund to help build our young people into citizens who can pave their own way and support a family.

And to ensure those young people have a strong city to work and live and start a business and raise a family, I’ve worked to increase regional cooperation and approved the One STL Regional Plan, which establishes sustainability goals and objectives or the region as a whole.

It’s also important that we have a government we can trust. That’s why I sponsored legislation to expand the requirements of financial disclosures by City department heads and elected officials and also co-sponsored legislation required the recording of city government meetings to increase government transparency.

No other candidate for St. Louis Mayor has a stronger record of working every day for nearly two decades as a public servant for the people of the City of St. Louis.


3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

Reducing crime is our top priority.

First we must tackle the problems at hand, that means providing officers with the technology and equipment they need as well as moving back to smaller police districts to ensure safety and quick response, and pay them a salary they deserve. If theses changes don’t increase response times, we would then need to look at adding more police.

Next we must continue to work through existing community groups to seek out and focus our resources on problem areas.

Then we must put programs in place to snuff crime from an economic perspective – teaching our youth skill sets that provide them what they need to become productive and successful St. Louis citizens.


4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.


Throughout my tenure as a public servant, I have taken an approach to not only welcome, but to seek out collaborators and most importantly, “doers”. Too often there is a lot of talk about how to address an issue, but not enough willing to take action.

In the area of reducing crime, I will specifically seek out those officers who live the day to day lives of protecting our streets. Also, working with neighborhoods to get first-hand their obstacles so we can overcome them together. Finally, we will look to see what other cities have done to reduce crime, and bring those best practices back to St. Louis. I believe it will be important to also regularly refer to the Ferguson Report, where much of this work has already been done.


5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?


Three largest contributors:
  • International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 73 
  • Kiel Center Partners, LP 
  • David Steward, Missouri native who is now the owner of one of the largest African-American owned businesses in the world. 
I’m honored to receive financial contributions to my campaign from anyone who shares my vision to unite St. Louis and move our city forward. My loyalty or support cannot be bought. But there are those who I would not accept a contribution from because they are actively working on policies that I am firmly against.


6. Public safety is a concern for our neighborhood and the entire city. What can you do on day one and what can you hope to achieve on day one plus ten years?


I will move to get the police department back to smaller districts. I will order a city wide review of all youth programming that we fund to determine which things are working and which things are not. I will go to each and every neighborhood and let them know that they have a mayor who cares deeply about their safety. I plan to dramatically reduce crime my first term in office.


7. The Ferguson Commission Report asks government to look through a "racial equity lens" in developing policies. Specifically, what does that mean to you?


Here in St. Louis, we don’t all look alike, we don’t all worship at the same church, we don’t all have the same experiences, we don’t all hold the same political views - but we do all have a dedication to making our city a better place to live, work, start a business, and raise a family – and we do all deserve equal representation and safety under the law. What helps a concept like this, more than anything, is having someone at the top who truly cares about making things fair.


8. The causes and effects of homelessness are serious issues in St. Louis. What are your plans for addressing each?

I’ve worked with numerous organizations in the area, including the Continuum of Care committee and Rev. Rice on the issues we are having in the City of St. Louis. I believe the only way we can address the homelessness issue is by finding the root causes of the homeless in our area. As Mayor, I will launch a study to collect data on the exact problems of the homeless - drug abuse, lost jobs, mental health issues, etc. Then, I will use this data to target these issues with various programs and services. I will also add more short-term and long-term housing to the City.


9. In 2016, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions formed the Alliance for a Sustainable Future with the goal of spurring public-private cooperation on climate action and sustainable development in cities. Will your administration participate in the alliance, and what specific local initiatives would you support to advance climate action?
I would take a look at each initiative or partnership opportunity individually and if we can do something here in St. Louis, like changing street lights or going to high efficiency equipment in city buildings, with no net loss of operating funds for the city,we should do it. But as we know all public private partnerships are not good ideas, because we cannot give up control to an outside corporation when it comes to some things, like the Veolia Water contract which I vehemently opposed


10. What are your plans, if any, for Metrolink expansion, particularly a North-South line?


I serve on the East-West Gateway Board. For years, I have been fighting for a Metrolink expansion. It will not only benefit the City, but it will also benefit the entire region. We need to be able to better serve residents with more transportation options so that they can have a better chance at jobs, access to more city resources and facilities.


11. What process do you believe should be used to reduce the Board of Aldermen to 14 members following the 2020 census?


In the previous redistricting, I set up a process to make Aldermen whose wards border each other work together to change boundaries. At the end of the process, for the first time in history, we had a redistricting map with that all aldermen agreed to. In the upcoming reduction, I would suggest something similar to that process, while making sure that the outcome was a legal and fair representation


12. What are your criteria for approving tax abatements and TIFs?


When I was aldermen of the 6th ward, I created the first Neighborhood TIF. This allowed the members of the community to decide what projects would be funded by tif proceeds. As mayor, I would instruct SLDC to take a more collaborative approach. We need to do development with the community, not to the community.


13. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for all.) 

Lyda Krewson, 
Have you ever publicly disagreed with the current mayor on any major policy decisions?










Response from Jeffrey Boyd, Candidate for St. Louis Mayor

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?





2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?


I offer St. Louis a unique set up experiences that equip me for the Mayor’s Office. . As a retired military soldier, business owner, Alderman, former non-profit executive, husband, and father I understand from each of these perspectives the challenges that our city faces. I am committed to integrity, transparency, and setting a strong long term plan for the city that ensures everyone will RISE.


3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)


There are three critical issues that are my top priority. Public Safety, Economic Development, and Housing Development.

Public Safety

St. Louis City needs more than 100 new officers to alleviate our current public safety challenges.

In order to ensure we have short response times, community engagement, and continuous improvement we must ensure that the department is fully staffed and well trained. In addition, we must secure sustainable resources for recruitment, professional development, and community building that will improve overall efficiency and drive all costs down.

As an advocate for community policing I would work with neighborhood leaders, the faith community, and the Police to find solutions to the deep rifts that prevent our success as a city. Recognizing that we are on the same team with the same goal of making St. Louis a great place to live for everyone is a key starting point. Should the position of Chief become vacant during my term I would support and advocate for a National Search that would provide a progressive perspective on how we can move St. Louis forward in this area.

I understand first hand the impact of gun violence. Common sense legislation that helps gets guns off the streets, improved measures to promote gun safety, and collaborative efforts to execute community policing, training, and unity are what St. Louis needs to RISE above these challenges.

Economic Development

As mayor I will do everything possible to help St. Louis RISE. I want to put St. Louis on a path to sustainable growth by supporting development that attracts visitors and corporate regional offices to our city. I will aim to balance the appeal of growth and development with requirements that we fund and sustain revenues allocated to improve public services, increase wages, and execute departmental expansion plans that align with the trajectory of the city. I am confident that with regular departmental auditing we can find savings within the budget that will positively impact the public services we offer as a city. Funds would be re-allocated to provide trash pick up across the city, fix roads, and support the increase pay of city employees.

There are three fundamental tests that will guide my economic development determinations.
  • Does the project create good paying jobs for local citizens? 
  • Does the project provide return on the investment and optimize any shared revenue\ opportunities to re-invest to the city? 
  • Does the project align with the overall strategic plan for St. Louis? If these tests are not satisfied it would be difficult for the project to have my support as Mayor. 
Housing Development
For the past 24 years I have personally developed affordable housing in St. Louis so this issue is very important to me. I think that affordable housing is just one part of a greater solution to our city’s overall challenges. I would support legislation that required developments to include a percentage of affordable or workforce housing in each project.I believe that a citywide comprehensive redevelopment approach focuses on a section of the community at a time instead of sprinkling the development in small numbers. These key areas of focus would aid in developing a multi-year comprehensive plan city-wide to address housing long-term.
  • Affordable Housing 
  • Home-Buyer’s Assistance 
  • Homelessness 
  • Mixed Income Developments 
  • The Impact of Gentrification 
  • Wages 
  • Workforce Housing 

4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

My leadership style is collaborative. I believe that everyone should have a seat at the table and have a chance to voice their ideas, strategies, and concerns. It is also important that leadership be accompanied with accountability. I expect people to hold me accountable to the commitments I make and expect no less from my peers. I have had success as an Alderman with gaining 100% support from my counterparts on a bill that offers preferential hiring points to Veterans. I have also had success with anti-crushing bills and


5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

Top Three Contributors:
Crown Mart Construction, Semple Ave Corporation and Union Seventy Partnership

I will not accept money from a drug dealer.


6. Public safety is a concern for our neighborhood and the entire city. What can you do on day one and what can you hope to achieve on day one plus ten years?

On day one, I would sit down with the leadership of the police department and provide direction on addressing the most challenging neighborhoods in our City.

St. Louis City needs more than 100 new officers to alleviate our current public safety challenges. In order to ensure we have short response times, community engagement, and continuous improvement we must ensure that the department is fully staffed and well trained. In addition, we must secure sustainable resources for recruitment, professional development, and community building that will improve overall efficiency and drive all costs down. As an advocate for community policing I would work with neighborhood leaders, the faith community, and the Police to find solutions to the deep rifts that prevent our success as a city. Recognizing that we are on the same team with the same goal of making St. Louis a great place to live for everyone is a key starting point. Should the position of Chief become vacant during my term I would support and advocate for a National Search that would provide a progressive perspective on how we can move St. Louis forward in this area.


7. The Ferguson Commission Report asks government to look through a "racial equity lens" in developing policies. Specifically, what does that mean to you?

As Mayor my focus is on ensuring that the outcomes of policy provide an equitable result regardless of the race, age, gender, or socioeconomic status of the individual(s) involved.


8. The causes and effects of homelessness are serious issues in St. Louis. What are your plans for addressing each?


I intend to support the nonprofit and faith based community in their efforts to eliminate homelessness. I am committed to supporting and expanding City resources in an effort to reduce homelessness. I will also build a strong relationship with St. Louis County to share resources and services to reduce homelessness.


9. In 2016, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions formed the Alliance for a Sustainable Future with the goal of spurring public-private cooperation on climate action and sustainable development in cities. Will your administration participate in the alliance, and what specific local initiatives would you support to advance climate action?

My administration will participate in the Alliance for Sustainable Future. I will only support developments with a strong green energy plan for development.


10. What are your plans, if any, for Metrolink expansion, particularly a North-South line?

Mass transit must be included in every conversation regarding sizeable development


11. What process do you believe should be used to reduce the Board of Aldermen to 14 members following the 2020 census?

I do not support the reduction of the board of Alderman. I think this initiative effectively reduces minority representation and make it difficult for minorities to run for office. Communities will lose their neighborhood Alderman and Wards will become too large for Alderman to have a good connection with all of their constituents.


12. What are your criteria for approving tax abatements and TIFs?


I will use a scoring system developed by the St. Louis Development Corporation that use Market Valuation Analysis Data to justify the need.


13. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for all.)

My question to all candidate is: What have you done to enhance the quality of life of low-income residents in St. Louis that physically impacts the growth of neighbors.










Response from Tishaura Jones, Candidate for St. Louis Mayor

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

The key roles of the mayor are to listen and to lead. The mayor needs to put people, not projects, first. As mayor, everything will be on the table. I will examine every policy through a racial equity lens, partner with the schools to improve public education, and reform our criminal justice and public safety system. My experience in various levels of government - the committee level, the State level, and the city level - also sets me apart. I’ve proven my ability to work with people of different belief systems in order to achieve the best results.


2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

I believe the city needs to change. I am the only person on the ballot who has experience reforming a city department. My staff and I took an office that did a lot of things poorly, and turned it around to do a lot of things well. We got rid of ghost employees, updated the parking system, brought city employees to direct deposit, and started the Office of Financial Empowerment and the College Kids Savings Program. I have relationships on the state and national level on both sides of the aisle, due to my time in the State House and participation in the New DEAL Fellowship and other programs. I spoke out against any tax money for the NFL stadium and have been vocal of my support of NARAL (by whom I was recently endorsed) and raising the minimum wage.


3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

There are two ways to read this question. First, what are the most pressing issues that the mayor needs to address on behalf of residents. Those issues are racial equity, education, and criminal justice reform and public safety. Regarding racial equity, I will look at every program and policy through a racial equity lens. I will expand economic opportunities to minorities, women, and immigrants. The city must ensure St. Louis is a welcoming place for everyone, regardless of race, class, disability, or sexual orientation. Regarding education, while the mayor doesn’t have a direct role in the schools, I will work to be a better partner by having an open door policy with my office and the schools and by expanding programs like the College Kids Savings Program and STL Youth Jobs. Regarding criminal justice reform and public safety, please see question six. The question could also mean what are the most pressing issues that the mayor needs to address regarding the actual office of the mayor. Then, I would say that I would work to bring the office, and the rest of city government, into the 21st century. Like I did with the Treasurer’s office services, I would work to make sure city transactions can be done online, that processes are streamlined to make sure government works for, instead of against, residents, small businesses, and startups. I will also make sure that my office focuses on doing the small stuff - like trash pick up and road maintenance - right so that people are put before projects.


4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

My time at the State Legislature taught me to work with people of all different belief systems. Relationships and finding common ground are key. In the Treasurer’s office, I focus on public/private partnerships, and I will do the same in the mayor’s office. Through partnering with banks and financial services, the Office of Financial Empowerment is able to offer classes free of charge to the public and also facilitate the College Kids Savings Program. I also worked with the Streets Department to make it easier for people to host events in the city - so they wouldn’t have to go back and forth between the Treasurer’s Office and the Streets Department to make that process easier to navigate.


5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?


My largest campaign contributor is my former campaign committee for Treasurer. Besides that, my three largest donors are Dr. Suggs ($25k), Dr. Bill Jones ($25k), and Mr. Darryl Jones and TriTec ($25k). There are donors I wouldn’t accept money from. When I was in the State House, for example, I received an unsolicited check from Rex Sinquefield. I sent it back.


6. Public safety is a concern for our neighborhood and the entire city. What can you do on day one and what can you hope to achieve on day one plus ten years?

On day one, I will start the process to hire a public safety director ​with a proven track record of reducing urban crime​, someone who can work across all departments to make sure public safety is the number one priority. The city needs to be smart on crime, not just "tough” on crime, by addressing the root causes of crime. I want to decriminalize mental health illnesses and substance abuse. From 1/4 to 1/3 of inmates in the Workhouse are suffering from one of these conditions - if the Workhouse was closed, the city could spend the $16 million it spends per year to keep it open on making sure the people there are getting the treatment they need. The city also spends $254 million a year repeatedly arresting, trying, and re-arresting the same people. St. Louis suffers from neighborhood disinvestment, poor mental health services, low officer morale, and strained community relations with law enforcement. My plan focuses resources on disrupting the small groups responsible for the large percentage of violent crime through programs like focused deterrence while also diverting those with mental health problems and substance abuse problems out of our jails and into treatment centers. I will ensure police officers are treated like professionals by their city, are paid well, and are held accountable when they fail to meet the city’s standards.


7. The Ferguson Commission Report asks government to look through a "racial equity lens" in developing policies. Specifically, what does that mean to you?

A commitment to equity and inclusion goes beyond using buzzwords, and requires consistent commitment from leadership to confront uncomfortable topics. When I am mayor, every program and policy will be on the table. It starts with having knowledge of the disparities that exist, and then acting to do something about those disparities. There are several sources, such as the For Sake of All report, which detail the stark racial disparities in our region. As a snapshot, the unemployment percentage in St. Louis is 26% for blacks, 6% for whites, the higher education attainment percentage is 50% for blacks, 70% for whites, and the poverty percentage is 30% for blacks, 8% for whites. The median wealth for black families is $11,184, while for white families it is $134,008. Even today, since the city currently allows its three wealthiest wards to receive the most TIF money, it seems the leaders at the Board of Aldermen are continuing the same development patterns established after Jim Crow. I am the only candidate who has implemented recommendations of the Forward Through Ferguson report, and as mayor, I will continue to incorporate a racial equity lens in governmental decision-making. I will expand economic opportunities to minorities, women, and immigrants and make sure inclusionary zoning is part of developments. The city must ensure St. Louis is a welcoming place for everyone, regardless of race, class, disability, or sexual orientation.


8. The causes and effects of homelessness are serious issues in St. Louis. What are your plans for addressing each?

St. Louis has a homelessness crisis on its hands. The city bears the brunt of the region’s homeless population and must recommit to the ten-year plan to end chronic homelessness and address the root causes of homelessness. As mayor, I will support a Homeless Bill of Rights that will decriminalize homelessness and keep St. Louis aligned with HUD regulations. Biddle House is an excellent resource for the homeless, and it’s something the city is doing well, but it’s not enough. The city needs good, quality shelters like Biddle House in more places, with more beds, and with more cooperation with groups like St. Patrick’s Center to end the cycle of homelessness. Specifically, we need to open a shelter for women and a shelter for families, and each needs to provide intensive services. We also need to think creatively about how to provide the best possible services for the homeless. Denver and Albuquerque, for example, are addressing homelessness with a day laborers program. Through providing a day’s work to the homeless, and the opportunity to be invited back the following day, people who would otherwise have a difficult time finding work are able to build employment histories and skills. Denver has even learned that the program reduces panhandling. Lastly, we need to do more to keep people in their homes by creating more affordable housing and providing interventions before someone becomes homeless.


9. In 2016, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions formed the Alliance for a Sustainable Future with the goal of spurring public-private cooperation on climate action and sustainable development in cities. Will your administration participate in the alliance, and what specific local initiatives would you support to advance climate action?

Yes, my administration will participate in the Alliance. As mayor, I want to recommit the city to the St. Louis Sustainability Plan, specifically through MetroLink expansion, increasing the number and diversity of trees planted by strengthening partnerships with groups like Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, and through supporting neighborhood initiatives like urban gardens.


10. What are your plans, if any, for Metrolink expansion, particularly a North-South line?

Metrolink expansion is one of my main priorities. A few months ago, in my capacity as Treasurer, I directed $2,000,000 in reserve parking funds to pay for the study update needed to start the process for applying for federal funds for Metrolink expansion. The city must receive federal funding in order for this project to happen. I also outlined the ability of the city to start with what is called a “Minimum Operating Segment” (MOS) in an op-ed I wrote for the St. Louis Post Dispatch. A MOS allows the project to be completed in more bite sized chunks, and helps the city arrange necessary funding. In order to receive federal funds, the government needs to see full commitment from the city, which is why I also support the half cent sales tax that may appear on the April ballot. As mayor, I will not only make the North-South Metrolink a priority, but will also focus on transit oriented development around this proposed line.


11. What process do you believe should be used to reduce the Board of Aldermen to 14 members following the 2020 census?

The city should rely upon a non-partisan redistricting commission to help reduce the Board of Aldermen. I expect this to a transparent process led by the President of the Board of Aldermen, whoever she is at that time. The aldermen should open this process to residents, and convene a focus group that researches ways other cities have reduced the sizes of their city councils or boards, and find best practices that can work in St. Louis.


12. What are your criteria for approving tax abatements and TIFs?


Currently, the only criteria for approving tax abatements and TIFs seems to be that someone has asked for one. When I am mayor, I will not be afraid to use the veto when necessary. I also believe this process starts with a city-wide plan. How do we know where our highest priority neighborhoods are for tax incentives if there isn’t a plan? My platform calls for community benefit agreements, inclusionary zoning, and equitable development. If the city gives tax breaks, it must demand developers include affordable housing and other community benefits that serve all residents of the area. I would also be in favor of creating specific criteria for TIF approval - that the proposal must achieve a certain number of these criteria before it can even be considered for a tax abatement. I would want to work with the SLDC and other planners to determine what those standards should be.


13. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for all.)

How much money have your votes at the Board of Aldermen for tax abatement and other subsidies diverted from the public school and city services?