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.
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.
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.
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
- Mixed Income Developments
- The Impact of Gentrification
- 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.