ST. LOUIS - This week Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas visited Mayor Tishaura O. Jones in St. Louis for a two-day tour touching on important issues for both cities and emphasizing the importance of collaboration. This visit was a continued effort by both administrations to promote regionalism among leaders in the state of Missouri and share best practices for public safety, equitable development, and more.
“Regional collaboration helps us listen and learn from each other, and St. Louis was proud to host Mayor Quinton Lucas for this trip,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “From quality child care to reimagining public safety to equitable development for our neighborhoods, we were able to cover issues that matter to both of our cities. I’m excited to visit Mayor Lucas in Kansas City in the future, and I thank all of our community leaders for sharing their time and expertise with us over the past two days.”
On Thursday, Mayor Jones and Mayor Lucas attended the St. Louis Blues home game, followed by a ride-along with the Cops and Clinicians program, which this year has taken more than 2,100 unique cases to help connect the right professional to the right call. On Friday, the two leaders started their day with a walking tour of the historic Old North neighborhood, one of the communities adjacent to the planned $1.7 billion NGA West campus. Joined by St. Louis Development Corporation Chair Neal Richardson, the leaders discussed the city’s neighborhood planning process to harness development in North City as well as an upcoming economic justice plan for disinvested neighborhoods.
Later they joined the U.S. Department of Justice and advocates, and survivors for a gun violence prevention roundtable and neighborhood walk through Dutchtown, which utilizes community violence interruption programs. Advocates and survivors emphasized the need to address root causes of crime and treat gun violence like the public health crisis it is. Their point was emphasized further in the press conference afterwards, when neither mayor flinched as gunshots rang out in the distance. The Cure Violence interrupter immediately sprung to action as Mayors Jones and Lucas continued answering questions and proceeded with a walking tour of the neighborhood’s business district. Through the American Rescue Plan, Mayor Jones has allocated $5.5 million to expand such programs, and St. Louis has joined the White House’s Community Violence Intervention Collaborative alongside numerous municipalities.
Following lunch, the Mayors visited Flance Early Learning Center to highlight the need to expand quality, affordable child care options for working families with federal resources included in the Build Back Better Agenda. Mayor Jones allocated $2 million in American Rescue Plan funds for early childhood education and talked with Vice President Kamala Harris about the importance of affordable child care for working families on Thursday afternoon.
The visit was the result of invitations sent by the two leaders in June following in response to the possibility of a special legislative session, and Mayor Jones reached out to members of the state legislature with an invitation to join as well. Mayor Jones and Mayor Lucas are committed to collaborating on the shared issues facing our metropolitan areas to improve life for residents in their respective cities.