Everyone who ever ran for office and won in this City has had a common goal, to have the city better off when they leave office than they came into it. The goal is and was to make St. Louis a better place to live, work, play and do whatever you want because this is home. Sometimes
I think that goal is put on the shelf when the Aldermen and politicians in general move on to agendas that benefit their own needs and wants. Sometimes the will of the voters is ignored for a politically motivated cause that will hurt our City more than it will help it. A recent showing of this is the Board of Aldermen trying to force a re-vote to lower the number of Ward from 28 to 14. It was voted on in 2012 and it has stayed in place since then but the new effort to keep the Board extremely large is not needed. The people voted on this issue 6 years ago and by wanting them to revote on it in a April Election (lowest turnout) is flat out gerrymandering.
In order to be more successful, fewer people in government would be a start. Some people in government now ignore the cause to improve our City since they are stuck up in issues like this. A prime example of trying to help this City out is targeting Paul McKee's failed Northside Regeneration and all the incentives and back door deals done to make this scheme "possible". Members of the Board taking steps to look into this deal are putting City before their own wants and needs, something this City needs more of. 90% of the time, I disagree with the actions of the Board of Aldermen and City Government in general because my political opinions are different than theirs. But like them, even though some members do not show it, we share a common goal to see St. Louis better off. Everyone who lives in the City wants to see it better off regardless of Political Ideologies, Race, Religion, where they live and more.
The Government Currently only has a handful of members who are willing to truly improve life in this City, and I applaud them for that. Meanwhile, others have their own agendas. This "own agenda" stuff has to stop for the betterment of the City. We have crime to tackle, education issues to tackle, corruption to tackle and the long standing Delmar Divide to tackle. Politicians can't brand themselves as "Progressive" and not try to fix these issues, it is false advertising to do so. Reducing the Board to 14 members could help get more Pro-St. Louis Progressives on Board but can we really trust them? Many false promises have been made and even some members of government try to go Progressive but are shot down by those who want their own agendas taken care of first before the City. That mind set has allowed us to lose over half our population since 1950, divide our City, allow crime to rise, Fragmentation to become more eminent, lose the bid for Amazon's HQ2 and even slow our post recession recovery.
What's worse is that the utter craziness in Government is preventing us from tackling the issues head on. If the Government, Board of Aldermen, Mayor and whoever else were to get their heads into the game and put personal agendas aside to start tackling the large issues, we could actually bring Amazon to St. Louis, reverse decades of loss growth and maybe even convince the County to allow us to merge. I understand the Aldermen who want to keep the Board at 28 Members because they fear losing representation in local Government, but if the primary goal was to make St. Louis thrive, I believe their worries would go away. If the City were to implement policy that would actually help the entire City and not just a Ward or two, the City would thrive and grow as well as the Metropolitan Area. However, that goal is hard to achieve when politicians have their own agendas on their mind.
To the Members of the Board of Aldermen, listen to the people of this City. They want a City that's better for everyone North to South and East to West. Put your personal agendas behind you and put the City first, it is the only way to improve life here and draw more people to move and visit here.
To Mayor Lyda Krewson and President Lewis Reed, lead the charge to make St. Louis a better place to live. You two are the "top dogs" in Government here. You both have the opportunity to steer the City toward the better and to be an example for the members of the Board of Aldermen.
To the People of St. Louis City, Elect Representatives into office that have a vision of unity for the region and a mindset to make St. Louis a better place to live, work, play, stay and whatever else. Your vote counts, so make it count. Progressives who are eager to tackle the issues here at home are the ones who can change the City for the better and lead us on.
To Every Person who lives in the City and those who once lived here, Promote your City, it is your home. Let us all promote it so that future generations of St. Louisans have opportunities that we never could even imagine.
We St. Louisans share a common goal regardless of political party, race, religion, sex or the neighborhood we live in. That goal is to see St. Louis better off than we came into it. Its a goal that unites us and we have to take it and run with it if we wish to see St. Louis succeed.
We've come a long way but very slowly. It's time to start speeding that process up, we can if we share the goal to make St. Louis thrive.
- Chris Stritzel