Why I’m Voting For Tishaura Jones

  • Close the workhouse and dedicate the savings to funding case-management and wrap around support for detainees as they move in and out of the criminal legal system. Tishaura is the only candidate who has come out with a serious plan to CTW.
  • Tishaura has also proposed defunding police overtime fraud and supports investing into alternative approaches to public safety such as: expanding diversion programs, establishing a robust victim services program, implementing cure violence with high fidelity, establishing a civilian, trauma informed investigative unit, and more. Cara’s record on re-envisioning public safety leaves much to be desired.
  • Expand the Civilian Oversight Board’s investigative jurisdiction to include correctional abuse and incidents of fatal state violence. We can further strengthen it with the power to enforce subpoenas and by closing the loopholes which SLMPD’s Internal Affairs and Force Investigative Units abuse to avoid sharing civilian complaints. Tishaura understands that SLMPD’s disciplinary process is built for abuse, not accountability, and that St. Louisans deserve independent investigations of police misconduct.
  • Our next mayor will also have an opportunity to centralize 911 dispatch in a Public Safety Access Point (PSAP) outside of the police department. This project, which Mayor Krewson’s administration has laid the groundwork for, could become a vehicle for equity if paired with state of the art dispatching protocols which default to a non-police response and empower callers to choose whether they want EMS, Fire, Police, Mental Health, and/or Community First Responders.
  • Our next mayor also has the power to — through the Director of Public Safety — set new enforcement priorities. A directive setting out rigorous requirements which must be met before executing a custodial arrest represents an opportunity to partially decriminalize low-level misdemeanors like loitering, panhandling, and prostitution.
  • Budgets are moral documents which reflect our collective values and priorities. Unfortunately, the city’s budget has grown detached from the priorities of the people. In part, this is because the budget process unfolds in the form of a bureaucratic game, not an open, deliberative process. Potential reforms include those described in the “Building Inclusive Democracy” prong of the people’s plan.
  • Unlike the vast majority of charters/constitutions, the City Charter does not provide for its own amendment, which instead is provided for in Article VI, Section 32(a) of the Missouri Constitution. We would be wise to adapt the County’s process, which provides for regular charter commissions.
  • Ward reduction is almost upon us, and whether or not ReformSTL’s proposal for an independent redistricting commission passes (and I hope it does!), we will need to redesign the Board of Aldermen as a more functional body. I believe a charter commission should consider the pros and cons of at-large seats, synchronizing local elections w/ the national cycle, replacing the President of the Board of Aldermen with an internally elected speaker of the board, and further ethics, redistricting, and voting reform.
  • Finally, we may need to update the city charter in order to realize the promise of local control of the police department. While Prop A placed SLMPD under nominal city authority in 2012, we have yet to wrest full operational and budgetary control. A few changes to consider include: empowering the Mayor to appoint the chief and their senior staff, transferring SLMPD’s problem properties, traffic enforcement, prisoner processing, juvenile, budgeting, supply, IT, communications and other units into the corresponding city departments, and democratizing the civil service commission which, per the local control statute, has “exclusive authority” over police discipline.
  • Please for the love of god vote to renew the earnings tax. I wrote about this at length last time around.
  • I live in the 6th ward, and don’t get to vote for alder this cycle, but I support #FlipTheBoard.
  • School Board: I don’t have kids, and really listen to parents I trust on this, but I’ll be voting for Alisha Sonnier and Natalie Vowell. I’m torn between David Merideth and Daffney Moore for my third vote and will make up my mind on Tuesday.
  • MSD: I will be voting for Prop Y and Props 1, 2, 3, 4. I’m not entirely convinced by 5, and am currently plan to vote no until I hear a good reason to support it. There are plenty of good auditing firms and I think it’s healthy to get a new perspective every 5 years.
  • Comptroller: the race is uncontested, but I adore Comptroller Green, who has been one of the few bright spots in city government for a long time. I’m looking forward to seeing her and Tishaura work together to reprioritize the city budget at E&A.

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