I’m not a politician or head of any political group. I represent myself, someone born, raised and, as a journalist, written about this place for more than 30 years. For these reasons and more I support Tishaura Jones as the next mayor of our city.
I applaud all the mayoral candidates. They have engaged, excited and informed voters about an outgoing administration that has wantonly supported rich developers and pumped obscene amounts of public money into already stable neighborhoods. This at the expense of public schools and poor neighborhoods. Voters are now acutely aware of our disproportionate poverty, crime, high school dropout and unemployment rates. They also know that some candidates have been far too comfortably, too compliant and way too complacent as dire conditions in disadvantaged neighborhoods have mounted without abatement for at least the past 16 years.
Unlike her competitors, Jones has boldly declared an agenda of racial equity. As the city’s treasurer, she’s proven that she’s willing to go anywhere to seek out and implement the best ideas and best practices from other locales or from our outstanding universities. She’s beat back vicious attacks from those invested in protecting and empowering the status quo. Jones has gained the support and endorsements of progressive south side politicians and organizations that are equally invested in growing past our racial hang-ups. She’s supported by engaged individuals who are bucking our divisive past and challenging the old guard. Some have gained elected office because they have embraced the true transforming power of diversity.
We can no longer tolerate political elitism or business-as-usual politicians. It’s time to nurture the blossoming seeds of change. Now is the time for the city to reach its full potential, to become a real, diverse, and absolutely cool Metropolis. The resolve, the will and the energy is already here. All we need is the right leader, with the right vision and the right stuff to help us all wade into that wonderful pool of inclusivity.
St. Louis, with all its untapped potential is finally waking up and inching past its stagnant history. Our next Mayor must make sure the momentum is respected and continues. This is why I support Tishaura Jones for the next Mayor of St. Louis