ST. LOUIS NEEDS A CHANGE.
With Our Vision, and Jamilah’s Leadership, we’ll get there.
Read Jamilah’s plans to move Our City forward:
A new approach to making the Board of Aldermen work for everyday St. Louisans.
The President of the Board of Aldermen’s first responsibility is to lead the legislative body of our City government. A real leader has a strategic vision, builds teams, collaborates with colleagues, even when they might not always agree, and works respectfully together to achieve results.
I will change the way the Board of Aldermen works, so that the people’s interest is considered paramount and the Board works collaboratively. And I’ll work with the aldermen and residents to figure out what that looks like. Our Vision for the Board of Aldermen will bring the change our city and our aldermen deserve. Together, we will bring a new day to the Board, where aldermen are respected and able to focus their work on serving their constituents rather than dealing with the latest political shenanigans.
My vision for the Board of Aldermen will:
- Provide the leadership needed to build a collaborative, constituent-centered Board of Aldermen
- Put people at the center of all legislation by increasing public engagement and involving the community in the Board of Aldermen’s work
- Include each alderman in the transition process to drive a collective vision for leadership and operations
- Commit to making decisions based on the board’s collective concerns and positions, not a personal or political agenda
- Work together with the aldermen to set budget priorities that prepare our City for the future and reflect our commitment to social justice
- Create a new position to help aldermen obtain state and federal funding, grants, and public/private partnerships
- Limit special interest influence by banning lobbyists from the floor of the Board of Aldermen and requiring them to sit in the gallery if in attendance
- Facilitate monthly meetings with all citywide elected officials to identify city processes and services that can streamlined along with other opportunities for intra-governmental collaboration, and then work to implement these ideas
- Improve relationships between the Board of Aldermen and the Missouri General Assembly
- Involve a diverse group of aldermen, including senior and junior aldermen, and an independent expert in local redistricting and restructuring the Board to 14 aldermen
- Seek unbiased third party assessment of redistricting and restructuring
- Further professionalize the Board by ensuring every aldermen gets a fair salary and appropriate support, including constituent services and policy staff
- Ensure that aldermen know how to access available local, state, federal, and private funding for special projects and community service
Investing in a safer St. Louis by refocusing on prevention, intervention, and reentry strategies.
Let’s be honest: crime in our City is out of control, and our leaders don’t know what to do about it. We need a fresh approach to reducing crime. We need a strategy that keeps our neighborhoods safe while also addressing the root causes of crime, like poverty, unemployment, and mental health. And we need a President of the Board of Aldermen who is committed to doing everything she can to make our City safe.
My public safety strategy will:
- Address crime in St. Louis as a public health crisis
- Support innovative new techniques to ensure the police, social services, prosecutors, faith organizations, and the community are working together to combat violent crimes and the crimes that threaten the safety of our neighborhoods
- Establish a Special Committee on Reducing Crime to propose new programs based upon strategies that were successful in other cities
- Ensure adequate funding for rehabilitation and re-entry programs
- Increase funding for mental health resources, including expanding mental health courts and improving access to psychiatric care
- Support ending cash bail and limiting jail time for non-violent first-time offenders
- Support closing the workhouse and replacing it with a modern facility that offers mental health and substance abuse treatment
- End enforcement of the state’s ban on recreational marijuana within the City of St. Louis
- Develop responsible medical marijuana policies that ensures any new local revenue from medical marijuana is invested into the neighborhoods hit hardest by the “war on drugs”
Breaking down barriers to opportunity.
The opportunity to succeed must be real for every St. Louisan. Despite a lot of progress, too many of our neighbors are left behind by a system that seems designed for the wealthy and well-connected. St. Louis is a city of immigrants, but too often they are not made welcome. St. Louis has great teachers and driven students, but a school system challenged by low salaries and no local control.
In Jefferson City, I pursued a legislative agenda that improved job and education opportunities throughout the state. I advocated to “Ban the Box” in state employment, to make sure everyone gets a fair shot at a job, a position the governor adopted as an executive order. And I directed millions of state dollars to crisis nursery, community-building programs, and job training.
But there’s more that should be done, and it needs to start at the local level —- at your Board of Aldermen. As President, I will work to break down the hurdles that too many of our fellow St. Louisans face.
- Appoint an Underserved Communities Committee to address the needs of underserved and marginalized communities including immigrants, refugees, racial and ethnic minorities, the LGBTQIA+ community, veterans, dis- and differently abled communities, women, and the post-incarcerated
- Ensure everyone has a fair shot at a job by working with the private sector to Ban the Box on most employment applications
- Lead local efforts to lobby the state to raise pay for teachers and increase the number of social workers in school
- Bring back local control over education by advocating for turning over control to the elected school board
- Work with the Treasurer’s Office of Financial Empowerment to expand programs and services to help constituents make wise choices with their money
- Ensure accessibility by requiring universal design for all new or rehabbed City-owned buildings
- Support use of tax credits to pay for English as a Second Language (“ESL”) classes
- Require City Hall to improve services to those who speak languages other than English
Ensuring all St. Louisans have their basic needs covered.
One of the critical functions of local government is to protect the most vulnerable, including the unhoused. Our unhoused neighbors are human beings, and deserve to be treated that way. Many of our City employees who deal with the unhoused population are working hard with few resources.
But the current approach to homelessness simply isn’t working. Most recently, the City tried to move unhoused people from downtown to north City, with no understanding of how the move would impact life for those in the north City neighborhood where the new shelter was built. But the problem is not as much the location as it is that the current approach sees homelessness as an inevitable challenge that can be moved around, but not ended or reduced. We can’t keep moving the issue around the city — we need to address it head-on, with appropriate funding and intervention strategies.
And, although many unhoused people stay downtown, we can’t keep treating homelessness as challenge only for downtown. Our approach has to be regional, and we need to work with St. Louis County and the state to find solutions that work for the region as a whole.
As Board of Aldermen President, I will:
- Prioritize public health and human services in our budget
- Collaborate with the County Council and the General Assembly to develop a regional legislative plan to reduce homelessness
- Ensure necessary funding to build safe and secure shelters with an adequate number of beds
- Fund a think tank in the Department of Human Services to identify outside-the-box programs to reduce homelessness
- Pass a local Homeless Bill of Rights to ensure fair treatment of our unhoused neighbors
Prioritizing a people-first government.
A local government is only as good as its constituent services. And, on that grading scale, St. Louis gets an F. The recent controversy over trash pickup is just the tip of the iceberg — our city struggles with even keeping the lights on, can’t keep up with mowing or tree trimming, and doesn’t have a consistently sensible approach to snow removal.
We have to do better for our constituents. And we will do better if I am elected President of the Board of Aldermen.
As President, I will:
- Work with City Hall departments to fix basic services like trash pickup, mowing, snow removal, and tree trimming
- Prioritize equitable city services in the budget
- Ensure stable funding for parks and public recreational facilities
- Make it easier to get what you need from the City by eliminating red-tape and reducing unnecessary regulations
- Increase penalties for illegal dumping by raising the City Charter’s cap on fines for the worst ordinance offenses
- Require taxpayer approval of any attempt to privatize a public asset such as the water department or the airport
Improving our neighborhoods one block at a time.
In every neighborhood, the City is struggling to attract investment. Our leaders haven’t offered a vision of how we can build a renewed, refreshed, and reinvigorated St. Louis. But that’s exactly what we need.
In Jefferson City, I passed bills that reduced the regulatory burden on small businesses and that made it easier for women and minority-owned businesses to compete. But the energy for economic development has to start locally, and I’m excited to get to work on a legislative agenda at the Board of Aldermen that would improve economic development and ensure that the people remain at the center of our economic development plans.
My economic development plan is to:
- Enforce legislative standards for when tax incentives can be used to promote development
- Encourage transit-oriented development by prioritizing use of incentives and providing red-tape free zones
- Require every commercial project receiving tax incentives to have a Community Benefits Agreement between the developer, the City, and the local community
- Eliminate unnecessary barriers to opening and operating a small business by reforming the City’s business laws
- Support new businesses to open in or move to the city by remaining open to fair new legislative approaches to old problems
- Create a collateral fund to assist minority-owned and women-owned contractors in obtaining bank loans
- Collaborate with the technology sector to ensure the City is adopting the policies that will empower growth, ensure St. Louis is on the cutting edge, and increase employment opportunities
- Promote small businesses by adopting an earnings tax credit for the cost of obtaining your first business license
Building a St. Louis that works.
Our City’s infrastructure is crumbling. The current plan is no plan at all — there is no comprehensive approach to addressing infrastructure issues in our City.
As President, I will bring a new commitment to working collaboratively with Aldermen, the Mayor’s Office, and state government to find solutions to our crumbling infrastructure. And to do it in a way that prioritizes the neighborhoods that need infrastructure investment the most — like those neighborhoods north of Delmar and south of Arsenal.
Such a big problem requires a comprehensive approach, and we have to work together. I will provide the leadership that is lacking to rebuild our City’s infrastructure.
As President of the Board of Aldermen, I will:
- Adopt an Infrastructure Plan that ensures ward capital decisions are made by the community and experts — not by an individual politician
- Increase likelihood of receiving federal funds for the North/South Metrolink line by proactively incentivizing transit-oriented development along its proposed tracks
- Prioritize funding for cleaning up condemned and vacant buildings, especially North of Delmar and South of Arsenal
- Promote clean energy by requiring anyone purchasing a vacant property from the City to have a renewable energy plan
- Implement environmental standards for big projects by requiring an environmental impact statement and renewable energy plans for every major development
- Expand the PACE program to promote renewable energy options for residential properties