The Fight Against Income Inequality:

It’s time to say NO to business as usual and YES to the equitable, growing and unified Saint Louis we could have.  It is past time for our city to start investing in its greatest asset: its people. There is no better investment than in small businesses, entrepreneurs, workers, and families who are the backbone of this city. I will focus on equitable growth by being a champion for small business, assisting St. Louisans in building assets, and reducing poverty.

The city must enforce the right to earn a living wage and use every tool of government to do so.

As mayor, I promise to:

  • Support local living wage ordinances.

  • Expand vocational opportunities by working with local labor and apprenticeship programs.

  • Reduce vacant and distressed housing by revamping programs at LRA that have worked, ending ones that haven’t, and creating new and innovative initiatives to encourage the purchase and development of land currently owned by the city.

  • Expand public transit.

  • Be a champion of organized labor and establish the Labor Liaison position as part of the Mayor’s cabinet. I will stand with you in every fight for additional protections for workers, a livable wage, and the issues of working families.

Access to Responsible Banking and Credit

Financial literacy is personal for me. I want others to avoid some of the pitfalls that I experienced as a young adult. In my twenties, I filed for bankruptcy. While I was lucky enough to find the needed resources to get back on my feet, not everyone in our city is so lucky, and city government needs to be a better partner to those who are struggling to land on their feet.

To help people avoid the same mistakes I made, I opened the City’s first Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE). The OFE provides free financial literacy classes, helps people clean up their credit, obtain second-chance bank accounts, and reach financial independence. Everyone deserves a second chance, and I will make it my mission to help people build wealth and generational prosperity for their families.

The average unbanked American family spends approximately $1,200 of their income on financial transactions each year– more than these families spend on food. We can put money into the pockets of St. Louisans through financial literacy, access to responsible banking, and restrictions on predatory lenders.

As mayor, I will:

  • Expand the St. Louis Office of Financial Empowerment, working in partnership with the new Treasurer to strengthen existing programs and develop new ones

  • Expand the St. Louis College Kids Children’s Savings Account Program.

  • Work with local and regional banking partners to increase access to responsible banking and affordable mortgage products in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.

Equitable Access to Jobs and Entrepreneurship:

St. Louis often tops the list of cities with the most startup activity. Incubators, like T-Rex and Cortex, as well as accelerators and programs like the Arch Grants, the St. Louis Arch Angels, Yield Lab, Elevate/Elevar, the new UMSL DEI Accelerator, and SixThirty have done invaluable work to help Saint Louisans create new small businesses. Promoting and partnering with this existing ecosystem is crucial to the city’s success. The city must also work to expand opportunities for small businesses that support neighborhoods.

As mayor, in order make it easier for startups and small businesses to thrive, I will:

  • Connect Small Business to resources and business centers.

  • Simplify the business creation and permitting process for small business owners. I will make sure that minority-and-women owned businesses are never left out of our local economy.

  • Support equitable innovation.

  • Require publicly subsidized projects to include partnerships with SLATE to connect Saint Louisans with real jobs..

  • Support Green jobs and the retrofit of old properties to support building a sustainable St. Louis.

  • Simplify the MBE/WBE Certification process

  • Support access to affordable high speed internet, especially for low-income families. Building a Saint Louis where everyone can succeed means that everyone needs to have reliable internet access.

  • Work with SLDC to make them a better partner for new businesses.

Homelessness

St. Louis has a homelessness crisis on its hands. To address the root causes, the city must update and recommit itself to the 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness.

As Mayor I will:

  • Support a Homeless Bill of Rights to decriminalize homeslessness and keep St. Louis aligned with HUD regulations.

  • Work with homelessness advocacy groups to build quality shelters, equipped with wrap-around social services, that will help us end the cycle of homelessness.

  • Explore the creation of a Day Laborer’s Program, like the one in Denver, to assist those who would otherwise have a difficult time finding work. This program will help workers build skills and develop a robust working history.

  • The city recently established a Tiny Home Village. As mayor, I will make it a top priority to ensure that those living in those homes have access to the resources and social services they need to find employment, receive medical treatment if necessary, and work towards finding long-term, sustainable housing.