If the federal and state government will not invest in children and families, then the city needs to step up to fill the gap. St. Louis needs a progressive mayor who will re-imagine local government to help support children from birth, through college, and beyond as they start their own families. I will work towards making St. Louis a thriving place for families by providing quality education options, access to safe recreation, and equitable parental leave policies.

Protection of Reproductive Rights and Advocacy for Human Health

Those able to be pregnant need to feel confident that they will not be discriminated against (in civic life and in the workplace) for choices related to their health decisions (e.g., the decision to carry a pregnancy to term, the decision to have an abortion, etc.). Those in Saint Louis with uteri need to feel confident that their government will be allies with them as they decide the best decision for them and their families.

Early Childhood

In St. Louis, residency begins at birth. The mayor needs to serve a direct role in making sure babies receive the services they need so that they are started on the path to success before they have even taken their first step. The St. Louis region creates “haves” and “have nots” as early as in utero. Black Women, women of color, and poor women,  receive far less prenatal care and education than those with resources. The city of St. Louis should work with families to ensure they know all of the options available to them.

Finland provides every new mother in the country with a “baby box” containing baby clothes, a sleeping bag, bathing products, diapers, bedding and a small mattress. Anyone expecting a new baby in St. Louis should be given a similar package with resources to help reduce infant mortality and ensure healthy development for all children.

When I am mayor, the St. Louis baby kit will provide information regarding:

  • Prenatal and postnatal care

  • Healthy Development Support

  • Pre-School and nursery programs

  • College savings programs

  • Nutrition programs

  • Safety information

  • Health Department contacts.

Quality Schools

While the mayor doesn’t have direct control of the school district, that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be a better partner.

As mayor, I will promote:

  • Expansion of Pre-Kindergarten options in public schools.

  • Adequate funding for schools by reforming tax incentives for developers to shield the public school portion of taxes from being a part of incentive packages.

  • Work with SLPS to appoint school representatives on City Development Boards

  • Active collaboration and coordination between my office and school administrators.

  • Free community college for two years for any student in a public school who maintains a C average through junior and senior years.

  • The closure of low-performing charter schools.

  • Partner with local companies, nonprofits, and city departments to remove barriers to education for students, teachers and families.

  • Support the Special School District expansion into SLPS.

College Kids Savings Program

As Treasurer, I started the second-largest municipal college savings program in the country. Research from Washington University shows that children with just a few hundred dollars saved are three times more likely to go to college and four times more likely to complete college than their peers without accounts.

As mayor, I will continue to support and expand St. Louis’s college savings program.

Year-Round Youth Jobs

Many youth are forced to compete with adults for entry-level jobs which provide critical work experience. I will take the good work of the St. Louis Youth Jobs, and expand youth employment opportunities beyond the summer and provide meaningful jobs year-round. Any new application for city incentives will be required to list the number of youth jobs the project will create. Simply put, any young adult who wants a job should be able to get a job.

Paid Family Leave

As a mother, I understand how important it is for parents not to be punished for balancing family and career. Paid family leave should be the norm, and parents should have the power to advocate for flexible work schedules that allow them to further their careers while spending time with their children. St. Louis city policy requires employees to have worked at the job for 12 months before being able to apply for unpaid leave under the family and medical leave act. Additionally, the act states that if the employee is a “key employee,” he or she may lose their job if they must take family leave. An employer can also take five days to respond to a request – sometimes too long for an employee to wait.

During the pandemic, it was my number one job to work with my employees so they could have the flexibility to take care of their families and children at home with virtual school without fear of losing their jobs. This should be the norm in city government.

Cities and states across the country are beginning to address the problems that arise out of policies like these. St. Louis needs to be among them. New York State, Washington DC, and San Francisco, to name a few, have implemented visionary plans to address the need for paid family leave.

As mayor, I will work with the community, city departments, and the private sector to find the solution that fits St. Louisans’ needs.

Access to recreation for all generations

The city must expand access to recreation and school-sponsored community centers. The city should make membership at a recreation center part of every city employee’s compensation. We are lucky that there is a park in nearly every St. Louis neighborhood, but people need to be able to walk safely to and from those parks.

As mayor, I will make sure that…

  • Sidewalks meet ADA requirements, and crosswalks are observed.

  • Planning efforts focus on density, access to transportation and access to recreation.

  • We develop housing and transportation options that promote accessibility and affordability for seniors and work to create intergenerational communities.

  • Applications for Prop S Funds, funding for anti-violence youth programs, are rigorously reviewed and awarded to organizations that will make real progress in reducing violence.