Our region is notoriously divided — by zip code, by neighborhood, by race, and socioeconomic status. I recognize people in power must answer to the overwhelming calls for change in our community. As Alderman, I will work with my fellow board members and the mayor’s office to implement recommendations of the Ferguson Report, and chief among those is evaluating policy-making decisions through a racial equity lens.
You’ve heard this from lots of leaders, and – likely – are wondering what I can bring to the table. The answer? The needed sensitivity to address the issue head on, and the working relationships on both sides of Delmar to make it happen.
I first began my deep dive into our city’s and region’s racial disparities, while producing The Pruitt-Igoe Myth. I interviewed many former residents, including Sylvester Brown Jr., former Metro columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and founder of The Sweet Potato Project. And, other notable figures in Pruitt-Igoe’s history, such as Dr. Joyce Ladner, who did her Doctoral work at Pruitt-Igoe while at Washington University, and went on to serve as an activist, academic and civil servant in Washington, D.C. The film gained global critical attention, but my favorite award was from FOCUS St. Louis, in 2012.
And, I remain involved in the For The Sake Of All project – which specifically addresses improving the health and well being of African-Americans in St. Louis, and includes many of the communities still feeling the impact of a region post Pruitt-Igoe.
As 8th Ward Committeeman, I’m one of 56 members of a central committee that represents all wards in the city. I’ve made it a point to build relationships on both sides of Delmar, so I can best understand how to address the larger issues that have an impact on our ward. I’ve been committed to building a better St. Louis, long before doing so gained national attention. Inclusion benefits everyone, and, as your Alderman, I won’t take my eye off that ball.