While some people may wonder What Government Does and Why Public Service Matters, as the saying goes, if you Don't Vote, you can't complain. You Have the Power to help choose the next Mayor of St. Louis and the first new mayor in sixteen years; there will also be races for aldermen ("odd" wards and one "even" special election) and some propositions on the ballots this spring (did you know there is a Proposition S on the March 7 ballot? See resources below for more info). There are several mayoral candidates Running for Office and the election may even result in St. Louis allowing Women in the Club for the first time (thus far, all 45 St. Louis mayors have been men). Primary Election Day is on Tuesday March 7, and the General Municipal Election will be held on April 4 (registration deadline is March 8 - you can register at any St. Louis Public Library or at the Election Board). You are no doubt aware of the many serious Issues Confronting City & State Governments: Income Inequality (& The Fight for Fifteen), Preparing for Climate Change, Crime, Drugs, Gun Violence, Police Management, Homelessness, The Immigration Crisis, dealing with the Ghosts of Jim Crow, issues with Urban Education, approaches to Economic Development, and Rebuilding Urban Neighborhoods - our new mayor is going to have a lot on his or her plate. Do your part as The Urban Voter: get to know the candidates and their Big Plans, how they plan to end the Us Against Them mentality, make St. Louis one of the Great Cities in America Where the Jobs Are, and provide Leadership for the 21st Century. Democracy Matters, so don't be one of The Vanishing Voters. Show up on March 7 AND on April 4 and help St. Louis Decide. Below the list of books we've referenced - which are also links to the SLPL catalog - are some additional resources to help you learn about the candidates and the issues so you can make informed choices at the ballot. These will be updated as we learn of more - share your favorite resource with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Proposition S: placed on the ballot by City Ordinance 70392, Proposition S would authorize the City to impose "an annual fee of $5,000 for each permit (new or renewal) for a Short-Term Loan Establishment or $2,500 for a permit issued with less than 6 months remaining in the current year" (FYI - "Short-Term Loan Establishments" are also known as pay-day lenders). For St. Louis Public Radio's Prop S coverage, click here; for St. Louis American article, here.
- League of Women Voters: LWV of Metro St. Louis "is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government" - they host candidate forums, compiles and disseminates voting guides (enter your address & party for Mar. 7 candidates; click on a couple to compare priorities and self-described qualifications). The LWV STL site also has lots of useful links on registering, checking your registration, & getting involved with the democratic process.
- Mayoral Debate - Questions from the People (#WokeVoterSTL) was held on January 29, co-hosted by a number of different community organizations. Prior to the debate the participating mayoral candidates submitted answers to 20 questions (click for 44 page Q&A PDF) which formed the basis of the debate.
- St. Louis Public Radio has posted a Voter's Guide to the 2017 Mayoral Candidates, and links to coverage and audio of the February 22 Mayoral Forum (in 2 parts) that they co-hosted at the Sheldon; their Politically Speaking podcast has interviews with several of the mayoral candidates, & on Feb. 28 they aired a piece on Prop S & the regulation of payday lenders.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a series of profiles of the mayoral candidates the week of Feb. 20.
- Ballotpedia bills itself as "The Encyclopedia of American Politics" and has information on national, state and local elections (including St. Louis'!) and a "ballot lookup" tool - here are links to (a) the list of aldermen running in March & (some of them) April & (b) background regarding & status of MO voter ID law.
- The Royale, a politically-minded local watering hole, has hosted meet-ups with several of the mayoral candidates and has posted podcasts for the benefit of those who weren't able to join in person.
- Collateral Damage, the KDHX news and chat show, features discussions with some mayoral and some aldermanic candidates and about St. Louis issues generally.
- St. Louis Magazine Feb 18 article, "How Endorsements of Lyda Krewson and Tishaura Jones Are Shaping the Mayoral Race"
- St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners has March sample ballots, a Things to Know before Election Day brochure, information about absentee voting, a Polling Place lookup tool, and more!
- Missouri Secretary of State site has election calendars, a Check Your Voter Registration tool, and good information on how to vote in Missouri.