Our First Year

By Mayor Lyda Krewson

Lydia Reason 250pxIt’s been 1 year - 365 days - since I had the privilege of being sworn in as the mayor of St Louis. It has been an exciting and challenging year. The challenges have given us the opportunity to make changes that will make us a better city.

It is our dedicated City employees who do their jobs – day in and day out – for all of us. They are the ones who really make this city run. They respond to our many unpredictable needs – 911 calls, fires, weather-related needs from snow to flooding, trees down, street lights out, potholes, and everything in between.

City employees also work diligently to provide our residents with training and job placement, summer camps, swimming lessons, and fun for our kids. They are the ones who provide emergency shelter, meals, and permanent housing for our residents in distress. They keep our award-winning water flowing and our airport flying. They consider development proposals, issue building permits, strive to preserve our rich architectural history, and keep our 108 parks in shape for your stroll or family picnic.

In September, the Circuit Court’s decision in the Stockley case challenged all of us – those in the streets, those at home, businessowners and their employees, and the men and women in the police and fire departments. The pain from decades of inequity spilled into the streets. The millions spent on overtime, negative media attention, loss of business, and difficulty booking conventions has the potential for long-term impact. We strive every day to do better, to make progress, to build awareness, to educate, to train, and to implement the recommendations of the Ferguson Commission Report, so that we provide better opportunities for all to thrive. This is not a one-year, a one-term, or even a onedecade effort. It takes all of us, striving together.

The cold weather this winter was like winters in the “old days” and stretched our human service providers, churches, and volunteers to protect and provide for the unhoused on our streets. With our partners, the city provides $13 million in direct services to the unhoused, primarily through federal funds that we seek and manage. We need more intervention, outreach, medical and mental health services, and more permanent housing options. We also are encouraging the surrounding counties and municipalities to do more and increase the services provided throughout the region.

Our tight, tight city budget – and the ever-shrinking federal and state resources allocated to cities – is a very big challenge every single day. There is never contingency money to cover unexpected events, or even to try out new ideas that might be good but require a few dollars. The recession of 2008-10 left us with very little in reserve. Actions as small as replacing police cars or painting the walls in City Hall, to bigger expenses like replacing million-dollar fire trucks and demolishing derelict buildings, had to be put off over the last 8 to 10 years. 

Our City continues to be challenged by a high rate of violent crime – centered in some of our most challenged neighborhoods. It was critical that we pay our officers more competitively, and also important that we use funds for crime prevention. In response to those challenges, the people of St. Louis stepped up. Thank you to the voters who supported sales tax increases to provide $18.3 million to increase the salary and benefits of our police and firefighters ($10,000 each); increase funding for the Circuit Attorney’s Office, workforce development, summer jobs, social/mental health services, infrastructure, and demolition; and $12 million to fund the proposed North-South MetroLink expansion.

Our City and our region are challenged by the fragmentation of our government structure. Perhaps, over the next few years, we will have the will to change that. Big decisions will be better if we make them regionally.

We have a lot to be proud of in our city. I think sometimes we are working so hard on the challenges that it’s easy to forget about the really great assets we have. St. Louis has unique, engaging, and walkable neighborhoods. We are a top-tier city with affordable housing, a low cost of living, worldclass universities, a great dining scene, and some of the best cultural institutions in the country. We have a thriving tech and start-up scene; in fact, Popular Mechanics named St. Louis the top start-up city in America. Business Insider named us a top city for millennials, ranking St. Louis highly in affordability, happiness, and economic health.

We are also in the midst of a construction boom. Building permits this fiscal year are running 50% ahead. I love the sight of construction dumpsters in front of homes and commercial buildings all across the city. They signal investment, confidence, and progress.

The following are a few of the things we have all been working on this year. Thank you for your help and for engaging with us.

Neighborhood Safety has been and remains Job #1 

We continue to work with law enforcement, consultants, residents and departments to bring about a safer city for all of us. Neighborhood safety is more than just policing. We spend 57% of our budget on public safety. Include the cost of the court system, and it’s 66% of our general revenue budget. Safety has a bigger effect on our residents, businesses, and visitors than anything else.

  • New Leadership – Judge Jimmie Edwards took the helm as public safety director on November 1. After 25 years on the Circuit Court bench, he joined our team to oversee Police, Fire, Corrections, the Building Division, Excise, and the Neighborhood Stabilization team. He supervises over half of our employees. Judge Edwards’s experience on the bench brings a unique skill set, and a high-level of expertise, decision making, and communication skills.

    In 2009, Judge Edwards founded Innovative Concept Academy (ICA) – a school for 8-12th graders. ICA gives many teens a real chance to break a cycle of courtrooms and jail cells. It offers a full curriculum of English, math, history, science, and extracurricular programs to challenge teens. Judge Edwards continues to oversee ICA.
  • New Police Chief John Hayden – Last spring, I appointed a 13-member Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) to advise and assist in the selection of the police chief. The CAC worked in concert with Personnel Director Rick Frank to perform an extensive nationwide search. They held 11 public meetings and recommended six finalists. After extensive interviews, testing, and consideration, Judge Edwards and I named veteran Major John Hayden as the new chief. Some thought we should have moved faster. I believe getting it right was more important than doing it fast. We got it right with Chief Hayden. He has a background in math, business and law. He is universally respected as smart, fair, and firm. He has experience working some of the Department’s toughest assignments – in North Patrol and Internal Affairs. He is uniquely suited to lead the department.

  • New Funding through Proposition PThanks to voters for passing Prop P – a half-cent sales tax for $18.3 million in salary and benefit increases ($10,000 each) to police officers and firefighters. These increases will go into effect July 1, 2018. This increase is fair, and our excellent police and firefighters deserve it. In addition, Prop P provides prevention funds of $1 million each for summer jobs, recreation programs for kids, social/mental health services, $675,000 for derelict building demolition, and $1.5 million for the Circuit Attorney’s office.

  • Initiatives for Tackling Violent Crime – Chief Hayden has increased officers in the highest crime areas of north and south St. Louis, placed high-level command staff in the local area stations, re-established drug and gang units, and implemented more community policing strategies to build positive relationships with neighbors. We are working to encourage the public’s help and cooperation in solving crimes,and promoting Crime Stoppers. We have partnered with Metro, St. Louis County, and St. Clair County to coordinate security on MetroLink. We have also partnered with the Missouri State Highway Patrol for traffic enforcement on the interstates.

  • Gun Buyback – In December, we conducted the first gun buyback program in almost 10 years. In one day, the public turned in 533 long guns, 303 handguns, 6 assault rifles and several large capacity magazines. Thank you to the St. Louis Police Foundation for their $125,000 donation toward this effort. The guns we redeemed that day will not cause a death or injury, be used in a crime, or threaten anyone's safety.

  • Corrections – MSI (Medium Security Institution) will be air conditioned again this summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This facility was built in 1966 without air conditioning – like most facilities of that era. Air conditioning creates a safer and more humane environment for our staff and pre-trial detainees. The number of detainees at MSI and the Justice Center downtown depends on arrests and decisions made by the Circuit Attorney’s Office, judges, and the Probation Office. We continue to work with the judges to determine if there are ways to maintain public safety and to move detainees through the process as quickly as sensible. We spend almost $50 million per year on MSI and the Justice Center to detain 1200-1500 individuals while they await resolution of their charges.

  • Municipal Court Amnesty – In January, St. Louis Municipal Court hosted a warrant amnesty program. The program offered forgiveness for outstanding warrants on minor offenses. Participants’ warrants were forgiven provided they set up a new court date to take care of traffic and other minor violations. The amnesty program was an opportunity for people to wipe the slate clean, while still being held responsible for their infraction.

  • Opioid and K2 Crisis – In the last two years almost 500 people in St. Louis have died of an opioid overdose. This health crisis has challenged our region and nation and affects thousands of families in our community every year. In December 2017 we hosted the Opioid Summit at Washington University School of Medicine with partners from the State of Missouri, St. Louis County, Regional Health Commission and our hospital partners, to address prevention and treatment. With the help of the National Council of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NCADA), many police officers are now carrying Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, for use in overdose emergencies. We expect all officers will be carrying Narcan by the end of the year.

    K2, a synthetic marijuana street drug often referred to as fake weed, has made a resurgence in our area recently. It is cheaper than other drugs and is often used by those who are homeless. Police and social workers provide outreach to those who appear to be affected to try to dissuade its use. K2 comes in many forms and its recipe changes often. It is highly addictive and dangerous. Police, shelters, and hospitals are struggling to deal with the effects and prevent deaths. It often has lasting effects on brain function.

  • CityStat – The police department meets regularly with civilian departments (forestry, streets, building division etc.) to share safety concerns, highlight specific problem areas, and marshal the resources to address them. This face-to-face rundown – CityStat - has helped break down silos between departments and build respect for the jobs that each of them do. It recently spawned a new initiative known as the Clean Up St. Louis Block Blitzes – where police, fire, and city departments install smoke detectors, install LED street lights, tow derelict cars, pick up trash, trim trees, and remove debris from alleys and vacant lots. As the name says – Clean Up St. Louis Block Blitzes – 3 blocks per week chosen based on the “worst-first.”

Efficient and Reliable Service Delivery

Our residents deserve excellent, efficient, and reliable service delivery. Under the leadership of Director of Operations Todd Waelterman, our departments strive every day to fix and repair observed and reported problems. Please continue to report street lights out, trash problems, limbs down, building violations, and high grass to the Citizens Service Bureau – 314-622-4800; via twitter @stlcsb; or on our website to request a service.

Good service delivery also requires investment in people and the “tools” we need. Thanks to voters, some investments are beginning to be made.

  • $25 million bond issue – In April 2016 voters authorized a $25 million bond issue for critical capital and maintenance needs. There was NO tax increase - old debt was paid off providing funds for the new payment. The funds were spent as follows:

    • $15 million for fire trucks, ambulances, and building repairs

    • $2.5 million to replace the 25-year-old computer system used by the Assessor

    • $2.3 million to repair police property custody storage facilities

    • $2 million matching funds for bridge reconstruction

    • $1.3 million for recreation center repairs

    • $1 million for 4 trash trucks

    • $1 million for other city building repairs

  • $50 million bond issue – In August 2018, voters will be asked to vote for additional critical capital and maintenance needs – with NO increase in taxes. If passed, the funds will be spent as follows: 

    • $16 million for the Fire Department – for vehicles and firehouse repairs

    • $8 million for police radios and a new building for property custody and SWAT

    • $6.5 million for our two jails including permanent air conditioning at MSI

    • $5 million for upgrades at the courts and juvenile detention buildings

    • $5 million for upgrades at City Hall and other municipal buildings, including new electrical switches

    • $5 million for a new payroll and accounting system

    • $4 million of local match for bridge projects and an ADA compliance study

  • Continuing Capital Needs – We continue to have $300 -400 million in ongoing capital needs. The City has more than 100 buildings from small restroom buildings in parks, to City Hall, to the courthouses, firehouses, police headquarters, and area stations; as well as hundreds of vehicles – police cars, ambulances, snow plows, trucks, and vehicles; computers, radios, and systems. Most of these assets need capital and repair funds for proper maintenance.

  • Modernizing and Centralizing Purchasing and Operations – We began modernizing and centralizing operations when possible. The police and city print shops have been merged – saving $125,000. We added several departments to City Mail Services – saving over $15,000. We enacted tighter due diligence for bids vs. estimates – providing $400,000 in one-time savings. We also created the first Continuous Quality Improvement Team focused on uncollected trash and working toward reducing response time for vacant and problem property debris issues. 

  • Transparency – The State Sunshine Law requires government entities to publicly post meeting notices and agendas in the location where the meeting is held. This law was enacted to provide some measure of transparency so the public could be informed about the workings of their government. In February 2018, I issued Executive Order 60 requiring all departments which report to me to also post their meeting notices and agendas on the City website. You can find these notices here. We have also hired a new Sunshine coordinator information to handle the large increase in requests.

  • Technology – Because of budget constraints, the city’s technology is decades old in some departments and has not kept up with technology advances used in most commercial businesses. New systems, hardware, software, and training are needed. Assessment of so called “smart-city” technology, small-cell deployment, and how to provide internet access for all, are also current challenges. I recently appointed a chief technology officer and chief information officer. With their help, we will assess, evaluate, and make decisions on new technology.


Nothing good happens in a vacant building. Of the 129,000 parcels in the city, 25,000 of them are vacant. A little more than half of the vacant parcels are privately owned, with the other 11,500 publicly owned by the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA). Of these parcels owned by LRA, 8,100 are lots and 3,400 are vacant buildings.

Vacant buildings are our first focus.

  • New Vacancy Expert Hired – The recession of 2008-10 and the resulting foreclosure crisis, caused LRA’s inventory of vacant buildings to grow sharply. Care of vacant buildings, boarding them up over and over, keeping the vegetation overgrowth knocked down, and simply cutting the grass is a very expensive endeavor. LRA has never had the funds or the staff for the work needed. In partnership with the City’s Community Development Administration, we hired a fulltime staff member whose primary focus is reducing the number of vacant properties. He has been on staff for a few months and is beginning to help develop the strategy and tactics needed.

  • Selling LRA Buildings That Can Be Renovated – We are more aggressively marketing LRA buildings that can be renovated and reoccupied. Check out the LRA website to find a building you might be able to buy cheap, renovate, and occupy. In 2017, LRA sold 168 buildings and 565 lots. Perhaps there is one for you. In partnership with the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO), LRA has identified 15 homes each in the Walnut Park West and Fairgrounds neighborhoods for redevelopment. Together, LRA and SLACO have begun showcasing homes priced between $1,000 and $5,000 in each of these neighborhoods.

  • Demolishing Buildings That Are Beyond Saving – We are so proud of our architectural heritage. We were the original “brick city.” Unfortunately, decades of vacancy, water damage, brick thieves, and vandalism have resulted in many buildings that are beyond repair. Many of these vacant buildings have no roofs, are missing major portions of their walls and structure, and are sadly beyond saving. In May, I am asking the Board of Aldermen to approve a budget of $3,675,000 for demolition in the next fiscal year. Those funds will demolish around 400 buildings. That’s not enough, but we are committed to continuing this level of funding in future years to remove the terrible experience of living next to a derelict building.

    The Urban Greening Project is a partnership with MSD to demolish vacant and condemned buildings in areas with storm water runoff issues, and to develop the vacant lots with sustainable green spaces for neighbors to enjoy.

  • Targeting Privately-Owned Vacant Building – In collaboration with St. Louis Development Corporation, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, and funding from the Missouri IOLTA Fund, the City has teamed up with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri to provide legal assistance to neighborhoods to hold absentee and negligent property owners accountable, assist lowincome residents to resolve title issues and prevent vacancy through limited estate planning, and incentivize investment and grassroots development by clearing land titles through the courts. The City’s Building Division also has created a vacant building registry to track, inspect, cite problem properties, and motivate the owners of vacant buildings to address the violations, renovate, or sell the properties to someone who will.

  • Expanding the Mow to Own Program – In 2016 the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) started the Mow to Own Program, which allows city residents to take ownership of vacant LRA lots adjacent to their property if residents agree to mow and upkeep the vacant lot for 2 years. Since its inception, 174 vacant LRA lots have been transferred into private ownership. We are working to grow that number by expanding the Mow to Own program to allow commercial owners as well as residential property owners to qualify. The size of eligible lot was also increased from 30 feet to 40 frontage feet. Check out the details of the Mow to Own program.

Economic Development

Sustained economic growth is critical to provide the opportunity to thrive for all of our residents and businesses. The City of St. Louis is in the midst of a building boom. In the first 9 months of the fiscal year, the City has issued $630 million dollars in construction permits. That’s 50% more than in the same period last year. With leadership from Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Linda Martinez and Otis Williams, Executive Director of St. Louis Development Corporation, we are working hard to support and encourage growth and ensure that development benefits all areas of our City.

  • NGA - National Geospatial Intelligence Agency – In 2016, the NGA selected the site at Jefferson and Cass for its new Next NGA West campus. The $1.7 billion facility is the largest federal investment in St. Louis history. This project retained 3,100 jobs with an average salary of almost $100,000 and will provide 1,300 construction jobs. The new campus will feature 712,000 square feet of office space.

    The Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA) continues to manage site preparation of the 99-acre property for delivery to the federal government by the end of 2018. The demolition of hundreds of buildings, removal of streets and utilities, site grading, and soil remediation are nearing completion. Construction by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin in the spring of 2019, with expected completion in 2024.

  • Incentive Reform – Incentives – such as Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Tax Abatement – are tools used to attract development to areas where the market is not strong enough to generate development without the incentive. Incentives catalyze development of blighted areas which would not be redeveloped “but for” the incentive. The support for incentives is half art and half science. We continue to work with the Board of Aldermen to achieve sensible incentive reform, without curtailing development. The fractured government structure of our region often pits one city against another in attracting development. If a developer can get a better “deal” just a mile away, they are more likely to just move the project to another area. This situation calls for a regional approach to incentives.

    I support Resolution 33, which the Board of Aldermen passed in October. It established incentive guidelines for TIF and Tax Abatement projects throughout the City, prioritizing incentives in struggling neighborhoods.

    These incentive guidelines are an important first step to ensuring economic development opportunities are most available to promote development in the most struggling areas. The evaluation of every incentive requested should also take into account the increase in jobs, property taxes, and economic activity taxes which will occur as a result of incentivizing a particular project.

  • Historic Tax Credits and Low-Income Tax Credits – Historic and Low-Income Tax Credits have been vital to the redevelopment of hundreds of buildings in our City. A new state tax committee has recommended huge cuts or even elimination of the credits. We, along with neighborhood groups, and developers working in the City, have been actively fighting to save these vital incentives. We submitted letters of support citing the thousands of jobs and affordable housing units created by state tax incentives. I personally testified in front of the state committee, and my office has been actively working to demonstrate how important these credits are to the economic development of our city.

  • North Side Revitalization – The NGA is a significant step forward in the revitalization of the neighborhoods nearby. We are working to leverage the NGA project to catalyze development around the project’s footprint. Project Connect is an initiative to create stabilization within the 8 neighborhoods surrounding the future Next NGA West campus by addressing their physical, social and policy needs.

    We are also using a number of other tools to spur revitalization. The $29.5 million Choice Grant for the complete transformation of Preservation Square is being implemented with the focus on affordable housing, people, and the neighborhood. The North-South MetroLink Expansion and the Transit Oriented Development studies will also be critical in our redevelopment efforts. MetroLink expansion will connect people to employment, education, and job training opportunities. The recently announced federal Opportunity Zone program will provide a tax benefit for investors to re-invest into the Opportunity Zone in the City.

  • Proposition 1 and MetroLink Expansion – Last April, voters approved Proposition 1, a half-cent sales tax increase to fund a number of different initiatives, including north-south MetroLink expansion and funds dedicated to public safety, neighborhood revitalization, workforce development and infrastructure.

    A north-south MetroLink expansion would provide access to affordable transportation, particularly on the City’s north side, where roughly one-third of all households lack consistent access to a car. This is about encouraging upward mobility and helping people get to work, school, and to the doctor’s office.

  • City Energy Project – Through our selection to participate in the City Energy Project, we are developing a plan to significantly reduce building energy use. As part of the implementation strategy, the City passed an energy benchmarking ordinance, requiring all private and municipal buildings over 50,000 square feet to benchmark their annual water and energy usage. This will allow building operators to track their energy consumption over time and help drive behavioral and capital improvements towards more efficient energy usage. We are proud to note that 3 of our own buildings received the Energy Star certification, including City Hall.

A Better St. Louis For All

We recognize that inequity in St. Louis and in our country is very real and is debilitating. In our first year, we’ve taken important steps forward in rebuilding trust and doing things differently.

  • Prioritizing Racial Equity – Under the leadership of Deputy Mayor for Racial Equity and Priority Initiatives Nicole Hudson, 125 top-level employees participated in the Crossroads Racial Equity training. Leadership from city operations departments, the police and fire departments, members of the board of aldermen, and my office have completed this 2 ½ day education course. With support from the Rockefeller Foundation and 100 Resilient Cities, we also are conducting the Equity Indicators Project. This project is the implementation of one of the Forward Through Ferguson recommendations and will measure inequities and suggest steps to reduce these disparities.

  • Creating a Strategy for Resilience – 100 Resilient Cities is a nonprofit organization pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2016, St. Louis was chosen to participate. In March 2018, we released the City's Preliminary Resilience Assessment, outlining the state of economic, social and physical resilience in St. Louis. This assessment is the result of in-depth data analysis and community engagement facilitated by the City's Chief Resilience Officer Patrick Brown. It will also inform the City’s Resilience Strategy to address future challenges related to inequity, climate change, and aging infrastructure.

  • Connecting People with Jobs - SLATE – Economic development is not just about attracting and retaining employers. It also requires investing in our workforce. The St. Louis Agency for Training and Employment (SLATE) is doing just that. Under the leadership of Dr. Alice Prince, it is a “new day” at SLATE. They have expanded their hours to be open from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Mondays are English Language Learner Days, Tuesdays have a focus on veterans, as well as IT training. Workforce Wednesdays is a Job Fair Day and Entrepreneur Evening with same day interviews and often on-the-spot hiring. Thursday is Professionals and 50+ Worker Assistance and ADA day. Fridays are College Students, Reentry, Job Corps, and BUD Day - Building Union Diversity. Last fall, SLATE embarked on the “Skill Up” challenge aimed to train and certify 500 people in 100 days in programs ranging from technology, healthcare and construction certifications. SLATE surpassed that goal and trained 943 people.

  • Serving the Unhoused and Preventing Homelessness – The City is committed to the Housing First model to reduce homelessness and assist those who are “unhoused.” Housing First prioritizes finding a safe and stable shelter for all people in our region. To achieve that goal, we work closely with St. Patrick Center, through the Biddle House Opportunities Center. Biddle House provides access to services and an emergency night shelter for people experiencing homelessness. We know that we cannot address all of the needs of our vulnerable population alone. We work hand-in-hand with the St. Louis Continuum of Care network to coordinate our efforts. We also work closely with other not for profits and volunteers to meet the need. In May, I will be asking the Board of Aldermen to approve a $5.5 million allocation for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

  • Launching Bike Share and Expanding Transit Access – On Monday, April 16, we launched dockless bike share. Residents and tourists have access to rental bikes throughout the city. Customers can find bikes through smartphone apps. The bike share ordinance passed by the Board of Aldermen sets minimum requirements for each operator to maintain 20% of their bike fleet within 8 social equity and inclusion target neighborhoods – areas including JeffVanderLou, Gravois Park, The Ville and the West End in which many residents lack transit options today. Links to the apps can be found here: LimeBike, OFO.

On our Plate...

Here are a few additional things my staff and I will be working on in year 2.

  • City-County Combination – Last fall, County Executive Stenger and I appointed a task force to study the options and process for a City-County combination. We expect this report to be released by the end of 2018. Big decisions in strategic direction and initiatives, development projects, and government structures are best considered by the residents of St. Louis City and County – we are one region. The current fragmented structure is comfortable for many, but also expensive and inefficient. I look forward to seeing the Task Force’s report outlining specifics on how we might move forward together.

  • St. Louis Lambert International Airport – We are embarking on a process to consider privatizing the operation of Lambert International Airport. There is only one reason to do this: to get a better airport! Thinking about doing business in a different way is not easy – change is hard.

    We need more direct flights to more places, and better service for our residents and businesses. Any proposal ultimately considered requires approval from the Board of Aldermen, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, the Federal Aviation Administration, and 65% of the airlines. If the proposal cannot meet these stringent standards, the operation will not be leased.

  • State Audit of City Government – At the request of the Board of Aldermen and city residents, State Auditor Nicole Galloway has begun an audit of the many city departments. This audit is expected to take up to 2 years, at a cost of $1.5-$2 million. This amount will be budgeted over the next two years. We look forward to receiving the results of this audit, to utilize the information to improve our operations.

  • Police Cadet Initiative – For several years the St. Louis Police Department has been over 100 officers short of its authorized strength of 1,361 officers. This makes it difficult to provide good service and causes considerable overtime, which is expensive and hard on our officers. Like many police departments, we have had difficulty recruiting young people – especially African Americans. We are embarking on this Cadet Initiative in partnership with the Police Foundation. We believe it will be a real asset to our recruiting and increase the successful completion of the Academy. The Cadet Initiative will provide experience and mentoring for young people ages 18- 25. They will be paid $13 per hour for their work in the Cadet program while going to school part-time. For recent high school graduates, the Cadet program will provide a 3-year opportunity until they are able to join the Academy at age 21.

  • Clean Up St. Louis – We are taking on trash – the City is not as clean as it could be and it’s not as clean as we want it to be. Residents expect and deserve better. We have about 60 trash trucks with an average age of 20 years. Only 29 of them were running this winter. Residents are paying $3 more per month, which allows us to buy new trash trucks (at $250,000 each) over the next 3 years. Our crews have also begun 16-hour a day trash collection and purchased 100 new cameras for the Trash Task Force to catch and deter illegal dumping in alleys. The City has also begun the Clean Up St. Louis Block Blitzes doing comprehensive block clean-ups – 3 blocks per week – organized “worst-first.” Additionally, we will also be hosting Clean Up St. Louis resource fairs in parks this summer.

    The City will get the big stuff, and we are encouraging our residents to help out by taking a trash bag along on your walks and pick up litter that you see. Organize a block clean-up with your neighbors with help from Operation Brightside. Recycle more and contact the Citizen Service Bureau at 314-622-4800 or on Twitter: @stlcsb to alert the city of any trash issues near you. Every little bit helps. Let’s show our pride by having a cleaner city.

  • Upgrading the Convention Center and Dome – We must figure out how to make a major investment in our convention center. This is a necessity, because we simply don’t have a competitive facility when compared to other cities. Today, conventions generate $258 million annually for the St. Louis region, driving occupancy at our hotels and restaurants and providing 3,300 jobs for our residents. In order to maintain and grow that number, we need to upgrade the design and functionality of our convention center. We hope to work with St. Louis County and the State of Missouri to fund renovation and expansion. Without this investment, our hotel nights and revenue will decline.

Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving as your Mayor. 

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