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  • Writer's pictureH.D. Campbell

What Matters Most: Election 2017

Even though the national election of 2016 gave us a lot of surprises with Donald Trump as president and all its changes, nothing would prepare us for the surprises of the local [St. Louis] election of 2017 with a new mayor and new surprises.

Locally, there have been a lot of problems addressed in St. Louis. On the top of the list is crime which many describes as the elephant in the room" by many. Police all but address the issue. The matter almost goes ignored except when the crime moves to prominent areas such as the Central West End and major parts of South St. Louis. There were seven official candidate and while one or two addressed crime many were reeling on other issues.

One of the major issues on the ballot was a proposal for a $60 million dollar MLS soccer stadium to improve tourism in the St. Louis area. This is one year after losing our football franchise to Los Angeles.

The sponsors which include Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia of the 6th Ward feel that it's a huge money grab for St. Louis as well as "put St. Louis on the map" as many would feel. While many are celebrating, there are those who oppose the idea.

The major reason many oppose the idea is homelessness and the lack of assistance for them. Reverend Larry Rice has ran the New Life Evangelistic Center since 1972 where he has tirelessly helped the homeless. The 32 facility housed more than 200 people nightly for those who normally couldn't get decent shelter or a warm meal to eat. Rice has been at war with the city with code violations and homeless people roaming the streets during the day.

In reference to the soccer stadium, many feel it hurts tourism and affects the financial bottom line. However much like the crime, it's a huge elephant in the room but unlike crime, the city handled the issue immediately ahead of the election, ruling the shelter closed this past Sunday April 2, 2017. Those for the closure cited building code violations and other issues mentioned earlier in the article. With the shelter closed the Sunday before the big election, the mayoral race was clear.

This Tuesday, April 4, 2017 Lyda Krewson was elected mayor in the City of St. Louis. She was the first female mayor in St. Louis. To many her election was inevitable because after winning the Democratic primary, she was a shoe in. St. Louis hadn't elected a Republican since 1949 despite an African-American Republican Andrew Jones running for mayor.

Jones ran on a platform of safer streets, free commerce, and bringing more jobs into the city. Despite his platform Krewson won anyway.

Also in an upset the soccer stadium failed. Many celebrated mainly on the heels of Larry Rice's shelter closing. Many like Jim Osia felt the failure of the bill hurts the city's bottom line.

Osia commented, "I think misinformation or misguided understanding defeated the Bill! Only those that would buy a ticket and concessions at the game would have paid taxes on it! As well as big business' in the city paying taxes on things bought outside of the State! Plus the Kroenke effect played a role too!"

Osia is referring to Stan Kronenke, the owner of the now Los Angeles Rams who left a black eye on St. Louis when he left.

On the opinion of the mayoral race, Mark Stepney wrote, "That decision was made some time ago and I'm talking about at last month's primary, I'm referring to when the candidates were oversaturated with black candidates with a few with good chances and others because they seemed to illusions of grandeur thus virtually gift-wrapping Krewson a victory. Low voter turnout still plagues the city."

Stepney continues, "This is my take:I think Krewson may be a 1 term mayor. Either she will get frustrated with everything and be done with or she is like what Pope Benedict was; a transition person until the person they want gets in play to run. Although I am no longer a city resident, I still make my way around there so I am subject to deal with some of the same things people who live there on a day to day, but just not in the same abundance."

Now there's a GoFundMe account for the stadium. We will continue to follow the newmayor and changes around the city as a result.

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