In 1990, the Census Bureau reported that 396,685 lived in the City of St. Louis. In 2005, the median sales price of a home was $130,400, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1990, there were 177 homicides in the City of St. Louis. The last two stats affect the first.
In 2017, the median sales price for a home is estimated at $149,000. In 2017, there were 205 murders in the city. The population for the city continues to fall; the Bureau puts the number at 308, 626. Look at those numbers again. In 28 years, the city has lost 22% of its population while home values have only risen 12% despite a recent boom in the housing market.
The current leadership of the City has had years to increase property values, to reduce crime, and to help grow population. While overall and major crime rates are down, South City has lost nearly ten percent of its population since 2000. What does this mean for you? Higher property taxes; higher sales taxes; reduced services; and strained schools, police, and fire departments. Fewer citizens are being asked to increasingly bear more of the costs of basic city services.
St. Louis is a big city with a small town government. I’ve heard over the last ten years the current leaders telling potential challengers, “Wait your turn.” But the City can’t wait. We can’t afford another four years of the same stagnant leadership with recycled ideas at the Board of Alderman. We can’t afford more sales taxes and higher property taxes while more and more people leave the city for the county or to regions that are growing faster. St. Louis City is the economic and social engine of the region, but for the last decade, it’s been stuck in neutral.
I’m running for alderman because I know the 12th Ward demands more from their City government and its leaders. St. Louis deserves leaders who are thinkers and doers, who focus on growing the population, increasing the tax rolls by solving the vacant property epidemic, incorporating social justice into every economic development decision, and creating a City that runs efficiently, openly, and compassionately.