From STLMag: … a Doomed St. Louis Neighborhood

People asking questions about whether or not decisions are being made with consideration for all of the members of our community are often labeled as the negative crowd, the people who don’t want progress or change. Critical questions don’t mean we just want to say “no” to everything, but rather we want all of the people being impacted to have a say, or at least have a good explanation as to why something is being done the way it is. Frankly, we just want to be listened to as valuable members of the community, and have our concerns truly taken into account. The NGA might do good things on the north side, but we cannot gloss over the people who are being incredibly negatively impacted by imminent domain.
 
I thought this quote was indicative of the current atmosphere in our local government:
 
“Just before I had met with Harris and Hutson on Wednesday, I attended another Board of Aldermen committee hearing. Several younger aldermen and women are trying to reform our government and make the city a better place, yet I witness at hearing after hearing contempt from older colleagues, including snide comments, eye-rolling, and sighs. It makes me wonder if they will be there when the Rendons watch their family home crashing down, toppled by a bulldozer. Or if they will have the courage to look Harris in the eye after her business is destroyed by their decisions. Or what they would say to Harris’ client, five or six months from now, as he sits at home, isolated and deprived not just of small pleasures like listening to symphonies but of the caretakers he had come to befriend and trust.”
Link to Chris Naffziger’s full article:

2016 Misogyny

“It’s 2016. A woman is likely to be the Democratic Party nominee for president. And yet here in St. Louis, a woman running for office doesn’t even get a seat at the table when her own future is being discussed. Instead, a top aide to one of the city’s most powerful politicians feeling out what it would take ‘to make that go away’ — ‘that’ being the woman’s bid for a position in the local party power structure — addressed the question to her husband.”
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When people ask why we still have gendered positions in the Democratic Central Committee, I explain that just because it’s 2016 doesn’t mean that it’s not still a good old boys club, and misogyny is still a big issue. There are good people in Saint Louis, and plenty of men who will stand up for women and our ability to dictate our own lives, and we have some powerful women too, but there are too many men who act as if we’re unequal. If we didn’t have spots marked just for women, we might be surprised (or not) at how few seats women would truly hold, especially in leadership.
Good civic leadership is serving and empowering your community, including fostering and empowering new leadership, not just holding onto power.

Let’s do this.

 

St. Louis has become world famous recently, but probably not because of any reasons we would have chosen. The NFL teased us and tossed us aside, our region has become synonymous with oppressive policing and high crime rates, and we’re currently trying to figure out which of our elected officials truly represent the people, and which represent only their own interests. There is an assumption that the way we’ve been doing things is enough, that if we just keep going the way we’re going, then we’ll get somewhere we really want to be. But how is that working out? Are we improving? Staying the same? Getting worse?

The 8th Ward is doing well for some of its residents, but there is always more work to be done here, and whatever happens in our larger city and region affect us here too. When any of us suffer, we all suffer. When the families who have lived in their homes for generations can’t afford the upkeep, and tax incentives are only given to new homeowners, the old families end up having to leave, tearing up their family and community roots as they go. The neighborhood schools are disappearing, and educational inequality grows while the community suffers as neighbors aren’t in school together and miss out on growing up together. Big chain coffee gets tax incentives to place a store within a mile of 5 locally-owned small coffee shops and cafés.

St. Louis, and particularly the 8th Ward, is a great place to live, for some. Should we be working to make it an even better place to live for a few, or a great place to live for all? I believe we should be working for all. A Committee Woman exists to 1. Encourage people to become involved in the democratic process through voter registration and organization to get out the vote; 2. Communicate the views and needs of the Ward to the Democratic Central Committee and our elected officials; 3. Stimulate and facilitate discussion of important issues facing the Ward, the City of St. Louis, the state of Missouri, and the nation; 4. Educate Ward residents regarding current ballot initiatives and legislation that will affect them; 5. Serve as a voice for the future of the Missouri Democratic Party in the City of St. Louis.

I am a Shaw resident. I am a millennial, a renter, and I have a law degree with the student debt to prove it. I’m active in my community both professionally and on my own time. I’m a member of South City Solidarity and a supporter of Black Lives Matter. I believe a progressive Democratic Party has the best tools to move us forward into a new era of growth and equality, but I believe that more of us need to be involved in the process for that to happen.

That’s why I’m excited and honored to have filed to run for Democratic Committeewoman for the 8th Ward, and am looking forward to getting to know even more of you, and more about what we can do together in the coming months and years!

I’ll be announcing a campaign kickoff and fundraiser here in the coming weeks, but I’ll be posting here as issues come up that I believe we should be working on and interested in, because there’s a lot of voting to be done this year on lots of important issues for our ward the city, the state, and the country. Make sure you’re registered to vote (ask me if you need assistance with that) and let’s do this!