Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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?

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