On Supporting #OneStLouis

Why I’m supporting Tishaura Jones for Mayor

Megan Ellyia Green
6 min readFeb 27, 2017

On March 7th, we have the opportunity to chart a new direction of our City and our region. For the first time in 16 years, the City of St. Louis will be electing a new Mayor.

With Trump and Greitens administrations, progressive cities like St. Louis are going to be dealt with a new set of challenges. Cities will have to play an active role in resisting these regressive policies that seek to take us backwards. We need a Mayor who is willing to unapologetically draw a firm line in the sand when it comes to protecting our immigrants, dismantling systemic racism, supporting women and families, shielding our LGBTQ community, and defending workers. We need a mayor who is willing to be frank about our deficiencies, bold with the solutions to our problems, and unapologetic about pushing us to become the best version of ourselves. We are an amazing City, with limitless potential, if only we would be willing to confront the ugly truths about disparity, equity, and racism that hold us back, and really commit to change. It is for that reason that I am endorsing Tishaura Jones for Mayor.

I have worked with and have a tremendous respect for all of the candidates in the race. I am not going to go into a comparison of why I support Tishaura over other candidates (the St. Louis American already did a good job of that). I am going to dive into the reasons that I think Tishaura is the best candidate, with the best vision, to take St. Louis to where we want to be and lead us through the challenges we face as a City.

“We need a mayor who is willing to be frank about our deficiencies, bold with the solutions to our problems, and unapologetic about pushing us to become the best version of ourselves.”

Building #OneSTL. St. Louis is a City divided. The next Mayor has to be able to bridge those gaps and Tishaura is the only candidate with the experience and vision to lead our entire city forward. When she speaks, Tishaura explains that the world is watching to see how the City reacts to Ferguson, but Tishaura also understands that systemic racism was here long before Michael Brown was killed. She is the only candidate to integrate the Ferguson Commission, For the Sake of All, PFM Study on Tax Incentive Use, and the Ethical Society of Police reports into her platform and has already implemented a number of their calls to action. She walks the walk on racial equity and is committed to it being the lens that shapes future policy in the City of St. Louis. St. Louis is notorious for studying our problems and then leaving the solutions to sit on the shelf and collect dust. We need a Mayor who is willing to embrace the well-documented change that we need.

Supporting #Sustainability. But our divides extend beyond race. Neighborhoods in our City are fragmented, some enjoy wealth, and access to government services in a way that others do not. Our City’s approach to development is partly to blame. When rich developers fund political campaigns and then get tax abatements to develop in places like the central corridor, we lose the revenue needed to fund our schools or pick up trash. Over the last 15 years, the City of St. Louis has forgone $700 million in tax revenue due to this non-strategic system. Over 70% of these incentives have gone into the three most affluent wards in the City, which have each seen their African American population decrease by over 53% during that same timeframe. In fact, the new population growth in these areas is so unsubstantial that the City gave out $950k in tax incentives for each new central corridor resident!

Furthermore, if developers can get a tax incentive to develop in the Central West End, why would they risk a project on the North Side? These backwards policies are how some neighborhoods, ones that meet the actual definition of blight go underserved. Tishaura is the only candidate with a real plan to reform this system through the creation of community benefit agreements, inclusionary zoning, and a city-wide plan. Tishaura is also the only candidate whose words on tax-incentive reform match her actions. Talk is cheap. Living by your word is hard. Tishaura lives by her words. An attribute that came sometimes be hard to come by in politics.

“When rich developers fund political campaigns and then get tax abatements to develop in places like the central corridor, we lose the revenue needed to fund our schools or pick up trash.”

Funding #OurFuture. Tishaura also has a proven track record of saving the City money and reforming a City office. It is predicted that the City of St. Louis will have a $20 million budget shortfall next year. We need a Mayor who is ready from day 1 to confront this challenge and who has demonstrated the experience necessary to get the financial health of the City back on track. Tishaura’s platform is a well-researched, progressive platform, based upon successful programs and policies that have already proven to work. Her record reforming the Treasurer’s office, cleaning up the corruption, helping kids go to college, and offering financial literacy classes, shows her ability to get things done in an innovative way, in an executive role in our City. With the decrease in State and Federal funds to the local level promised by the Greitens and Trump administrations, it is more important than ever that we have a Mayor who has a track record of fiscal responsibility and making budget decisions to benefit those with the most need rather than those with the biggest checkbooks. Tishaura’s support from organizations such as the Service Employees International Union, MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, Mobilize Missouri, Faith for Justice, and the St. Louis Young Democrats further demonstrate her williness to represent everyday people. This type of grassroots support also means that she will be accountable to the people when elected. No other candidate has a record of accomplishments that benefit all city residents, regardless of ward. No other candidate has this level of accountability to the people.

Forwarding #OurBrand. St. Louis is one of the best kept secrets in the Midwest, if not the Country. We need a Mayor with the relationships to put St. Louis back on the map. Serving in the State Legislature, and by participating in programs like the New Deal Fellows, Tishaura has developed a network of relationships who can play a vital role securing national resources and positive attention to St. Louis. Her experience as both a legislator and an executive also gives her a skillset that makes her uniquely capable of leading this City.

The media has not been all that kind to Tishaura, proclaiming that she has a “bad attitude.” I think a mayor with a “bad attitude” is exactly what we need. We need a Mayor who is willing to stand up to Trump and Greitens. We need a Mayor who will not be willing compromise protections for the most disenfranchised among us. We need a Mayor who is not afraid to look outside of ourselves for solutions to our problems. We need a Mayor who truly understands the root causes of the problems we face, rather than just dealing with the symptoms. We need a Mayor who is willing to prioritize people over profits. We need a Mayor who has State and National relationships that can help put us back on the map. If we really want change, then we need Tishaura Jones.

Megan Ellyia Green

15th Ward Alderwomen, City of St. Louis


Twitter: @Meganellyia

Website: http://meganellyiagreen.com



Megan Ellyia Green

Unapologically Progressive | 15th Ward Alderwoman | PhD Ed Policy | Former DNC Member | STL City