Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Response from Jamilah Nasheed, Candidate for State Senator, District 5

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? 

A genuine concern for the welfare of the citizens and for the best outcomes and conditions for the 5th District, the City of St. Louis, and State of Missouri. I have been a lifelong resident of the City, a former small business owner and community activist and I have worked consistently for the benefit of the people of Missouri. I have sponsored and passed important legislation on behalf of the City of St. Louis and its citizens.
2.    Why do you think you are the best person for this position?  What differentiates you
from your opponents(s)?

My legislative record and work ethic prove that I have tackled the important issues facing our citizens. Whether it’s education, economic development, public safety, or civil rights, I have outworked my opponents and have been able to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to secure the best outcomes for my House district, City, and State. 
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 most pressing issue specifically facing this office is securing local control of the St. Louis Police Department for the City of St. Louis. This will be one of my first priorities upon taking the Senate seat. I will work to get the same legislation that I championed through the House passed in the Senate.

4.    What three issues are your main priorities and how will you guide them?

Jobs and Economic Development, Local Control/Public Safety/Crime Reduction, and Education. I will work with others in the Senate who share these concerns to develop policies and pass legislation that focuses on these issues for the benefit of the citizens of the State of Missouri.

5.    How do you plan to address the schism between Republicans and Democrats in Jefferson City? How will you accomplish things as a member of the minority party?

I will continue to work with members of both parties to produce policies that benefit the citizens and the State of Missouri. I have a public record that demonstrates my ability to work with the majority party in the State to get things accomplished. In the Senate, I will continue this cooperation and encourage my colleagues to do the same.

6.    How do you plan to increase available jobs in the area and state?

By identifying the capacity, markets, and needs of individual areas and working with Senate and House members to create conditions to attract new employers and create incentives that allow employers to hire more workers. 

7.    How do you plan to address the tension between rural and urban areas of the state?

By continuing to seek common ground with legislators, community leaders, and citizens from both areas to promote policies and understanding of the policies that offer benefit with neither antagonizing nor penalizing either area, thus creating win-win situations.

8.    What broad-based, stable source of revenue would you recommend to fund quality, public services if both individual and corporate taxes were cut?

One source of additional revenue exists in increasing the tax on cigarettes.  Our state currently has the lowest such tax rate in the entire country, making this a sizable amount of untapped revenue.  That is why I have sponsored legislation to build revenue in this way during my years in the House and plan to do the same in the Senate.

9.    In light of the pending outcome of the Turner v. Clayton case regarding transfer of students from unaccredited school districts to accredited districts, what would you suggest as a solution for maintaining the viability of St. Louis Public Schools?

I would advocate not holding the St. Louis Public Schools responsible for the tuition costs of the transferring students. This financial burden would only compound the efforts of the SLPS to regain accredited status. 

10.    How can the legislators from the St. Louis metropolitan area work together despite party differences to support and protect the interests of the entire area? (please be specific)

They can follow the example that my colleagues from across the aisle and I have set working to benefit our citizens and local interests.  Securing the local control of our police department, for instance, is an issue that attracts support across party lines.

11.    Do you support or oppose changing the law so utility companies can charge rate payers for construction costs?

No, I do not support allowing the utility companies to charge rate payers for construction costs.

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

I make a conscious effort to build consensus around my priorities by reaching out to others who share or empathize with my feelings on the issue and by being open to suggestions to adjust or refine potential policy. I make myself available to other policymakers in the same manner and strive to work with others on their priority legislation as often as I am able.

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