Mayor Tishaura O. Jones signed into law Board Bill 222, the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural hair) Act, “[prohibiting] race-based hair discrimination, which is the denial of employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture or protective hairstyles including braids, locs, twists or bantu knots,” according to the official CROWN Act campaign website. The bill’s sponsor, 26th Ward Alderwoman Shameem Clark Hubbard, was unable to attend the official signing but shared a statement:
“Nothing but Mommy Duty on this Mother’s Day Weekend Eve would keep me from being by Mayor Jones' side as she signs B.B. 222 “The Crown Act” into law today. As a MO Licensed Cosmetologist for 26 plus years and 26th Ward Alderwoman THIS is where my passion and purpose meets policy! The Crown Act is a NATIONAL mission. Passing The Crown Act in the City of St. Louis in concert with St. Louis County, Kansas City, and our efforts at the state level send a regional message of inclusion and the importance of dismantling all forms discrimination at all levels. As a BLACK WOMAN I am ESPECIALLY PROUD of the part i played to stand up for BLACK WOMEN along with my colleagues and St. Louis City CREA Department to fight against the hair discrimination that so many of us have faced day to day.”
Additionally, the Mayor vetoed two tax abatement bills for two separate projects in the city’s Central Corridor. This is a continuation of the Mayor’s promise to center youth in her decision making process, and to push back on an inequitable development strategy that doles out tax abatements at the expense of St. Louis Public Schools.
“The City of St. Louis needs to be an active, not passive, partner when it comes to equitably developing our neighborhoods. I promised I’d fight for a better development strategy, and to push back on unnecessary incentives that do not prioritize the well being of our children, our schools, and our people.”
-Mayor Tishaura O. Jones
Mayor Jones and her team have outlined her development strategy for developers who are interested in seeking financial incentives from the City:
- Does your project meet the “but-for” test? In other words, “but for the offer of these incentives, would this development even happen?”
- Will you consent to claw back provisions to ensure that the city gets its money back if the development winds up out-performing expectations?
- Does your project generate significant public externalities for the city, as evidenced by a robust Community Benefits Agreement that includes affordable housing, green infrastructure, neighborhood amenities, new quality jobs, etc.?
The City and St. Louis Public Schools have lost hundreds of millions in revenue from tax abatements, and all without applying the but-for test. Mayor Jones’ new strategy demonstrates a shift towards a new and proactive development strategy focused on reinvesting in marginalized communities.
Media is encouraged to submit questions to Public Information Officer Nick Dunne via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.