I am a CPA and the CFO of an international design firm, and that experience is important for the chief executive of a city with a billion dollar budget. We need a mayor who is committed to the betterment of St. Louis for all St. Louisans, and that’s why I’m running.
2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?
I have been the 28th ward alderman for 19 years. The 28th is one of the most diverse wards in the city. During my time as alderman I have overseen extensive development while balancing the needs of businesses and residents, and I will apply that diverse perspective to the entire city.
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)
The number one job of the next mayor is neighborhood safety. That means hiring additional officers at least up to our maximum authorized force of 1,300. We must pay our police officers more and make sure they have updated equipment. We must also train our officers in a way that helps them strengthen trust with the community. I will also focus on modernizing our government so we can offer services more cohesively with the county. Finally, I will strengthen economic development by expanding access to public transportation and empowering an educated workforce.
4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.
I believe one of the mayor’s greatest strengths is the ability to convene. I will forge strategic partnerships with the business community, education institutions and regional leaders to move our city and region forward.
5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?
I’ve had more than 1,300 individual donors, which are publicly available online. I will not accept donations from individuals or businesses that do not put the interests of our city first.
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?
As I mentioned, we must hire our law enforcement up to our maximum authorized force. But we must also double our investment in alternatives to prosecution and incarceration, youth and recreation activities and alternative dispute resolution measures.
7. The Ferguson Commission Report asks government to look through a "racial equity lens" in developing policies. Specifically, what does that mean to you?
We must strive towards being a city where outcomes are no longer predictable by race. This starts with identifying and reforming systems and policies reinforce disparities. It means spurring commercial and residential development in our distressed neighborhoods, and it means ensuring that all St. Louis kids have access to the quality education they deserve.
8. The causes and effects of homelessness are serious issues in St. Louis. What are your plans for addressing each?
We must have a “housing first” strategy which gets people off the street and into the network of intensive services provided through the Continuum of Care. That means incorporating them into a network of support which will empower them to get off the streets permanently. As mayor, I will not accept anything less than a comprehensive plan to address the long term needs of our homeless population across the region, and I will work closely with the nonprofit sector and religious community to accomplish this shared goal.
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?
We must realize that water is the new oil and that rivers and waterways are critical to the future of St. Louis. I also believe we must reduce carbon emissions and champion the use of technology in pursuit of a more sustainable city. The 28th ward includes many natural resources and trails, including Forest Park. I am committed to fully funding the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department in order to keep our parks safe from hazards, crime, or decay. I will also work with civic organizations, including Great Rivers Greenway and Forest Park Forever, to create new bikeways, trails, stream restorations, and beautification opportunities across the city.
10. What are your plans, if any, for Metrolink expansion, particularly a North-South line?
I support the metrolink expansion. As mayor, I will work with the St. Louis County Executive and other regional leaders to provide residents with accessible transportation options across the region and make sure our transportation dollars are maximized through a smart, region-wide plan that connects people to jobs. This will include the buses and light rail.
11. What process do you believe should be used to reduce the Board of Aldermen to 14 members following the 2020 census?
The most important thing during that transition is to make sure our elected representatives reflect the diversity of our community. With the reduction of the size of the board, it is also important to encourage more “regional thinking” so we can work together to modernize our government.
12. What are your criteria for approving tax abatements and TIFs?
Incentive programs are some art and some science. We need a chief executive to exercise sound judgment when pursuing new developments for the city. Incentives must be examined on a case by case basis, and fit into a comprehensive vision for St. Louis.
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.)
Will you support our nominee on March 8th to ensure we move our city forward?