Hello St. Louis. Time flies, and its been almost four years since I was elected to the 24th ward alderman seat. A new campaign is almost upon us and the primary election is March 3rd, 2015.
I love serving as alderman and I want to continue to be an advocate for our community in this role. I’m asking for your vote in the March 3rd primary and April 7th general election.
I’ve consistently been an advocate for local government reform and an independent voice at City Hall on local and state issues. What are some highlights from the last four years?
In 2012 myself and several other alderman led the campaign to pass Proposition R, the Charter Amendment to reduce the size of the Board of Aldermen to 14 members. After similar measures had failed 4 times in the past, . 71% of voters in the 24th ward favored it.
2013 brought a proposal for an from St. Louis County called the South County Connector. The project would have taken St. Louis City parkland, destroyed the River Des Peres Trail, and had a negative impact on neighborhoods throughout southwest St. Louis City. My opposition and work to cooperate with groups and neighboring municipalities like Trailnet, Maplewood, and Shrewsbury helped halt the project and maintain local property values, park access, and quality of life.
One legislative proposal I brought forward in 2013 was to for City offices. St. Louis, and most of Missouri, is almost unique in allowing unlimited contributions to candidates for local offices. Unlimited donations take power away from regular voters and members of our community. Unfortunately my bill to rein in this broken policy did not pass.
In 2014 I was a key member of a successful statewide , a statewide sales tax increase to increase funding to MoDOT and build a number of highway projects that could hurt St. Louis. With limited funding, we provided key messaging across the state on the problems with this tax increase. 59% of state voters, including 75% of 24th ward residents voted against it. We hope the result is ultimately a shift away from excessive highway spending that has damaged property values in St. Louis City.
We have two great public works projects on the near horizon within the ward. The Clayton Ave., Skinker Blvd., I-64, and Oakland Ave. intersection will . We began planning to design and fund this project in 2011 and it will break ground in 2015. $2 million in improvements will include new traffic signals, new pedestrian crosswalks and signals, better access into Forest Park, new sidewalks and crosswalks along Oakland Ave., and bike lanes. The intersection will be safe and easier to navigate for all users.
Coming after that is the next extension of the River Des Peres Trail. The trail will run north from the Shrewsbury MetroLink station to Slay Park, connecting our ward to an expanding trail system running through southeast St. Louis City and County. This $3 million project will include substantial reconstruction of McCausland Ave. south of Canterbury, Ellendale Ave., and Wabash Ave. Nearby neighborhoods will have a safe trail connection leading south and the project will include features to reduce traffic speed and increase safety along Ellendale Ave.
I’ve also been able to pass legislation that tackles bike and pedestrian safety and access from a number of angles, and worked on successful legislation to improve controls at scrapyards and reduce copper and metal theft. Next up is legislation to ease business permitting for freelance work and part time occupations. But of course, there is plenty more work to do.
I’m asking for your help and support to win reelection in 2015. You are the best advocate with your friends and neighbors – can you encourage them to vote in March and April? Can you make a contribution to help us spread the word about the election? Thanks for your support the last four years, and I look forward to next four!
24th Ward Alderman