Home » Politics/Policy » Recent Articles:

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 10 of 2019-2020 Session

June 21, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 10 of 2019-2020 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their  10th meeting of the 2019-2020 session. As previously noted, they have the first two meetings labeled as Week #1, so they list this as week/meeting 9.

Today’s agenda includes three (3) new bills:

  • B.B. #76 – Vaccaro – An Ordinance establishing a four-way stop site at the intersection of Childress and Bradley regulating all traffic traveling northbound and southbound on Childress at Bradley and regulating all traffic traveling eastbound and westbound on Bradley at Childress, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B. #77 – Spencer – An ordinance submitting to the qualified voters of the City a proposal to amend the Charter of the City to require that prior to the City entering into any private investment partnership agreement with a private airport operator to manage and operate the City of St. Louis’ public airport and landing fields at St. Louis Lambert International Airport as permitted by the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Investment Partnership Program (49 U.S.C. §47134; Section 149) such agreement first be submitted to the qualified voters of the City for approval to be voted upon at a City-wide election; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#78 – Pres. Reed An ordinance adopted pursuant to Section 105.483 (11) RSMo., reaffirming the provisions of Ordinances 62391, 66691, 67617, 68409, 68934, 70622 establishing a policy for the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest and substantial interests for certain municipal officials, and containing an emergency clause.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2019-2020 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 8 of 2019-2020 Session

June 14, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 8 of 2019-2020 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their  8th meeting of the 2019-2020 session.  They’ve corrected the previous duplication of week #1 so they correctly list this as week/meeting 8 [UPDATE 6/14 @ 7am — I was tired yesterday. The BoA didn’t fix the problem, this is actually week 9. Ugh.]

Today’s agenda includes ten (10) new bills:

  • B.B. #64 – Green – An ordinance prohibiting the City and any agency, department, or instrumentality of the City, and any unelected boards or commissions whose activities are funded either in whole or in part, directly or indirectly by the City and whose membership includes one or more members appointed by the Mayor from entering into contracts with or otherwise spending monies for any individual or entity to provide legislative or executive lobbying services.
  • B.B. #65 – Green – An ordinance requiring that all votes taken by committees of the Board of Aldermen to act and report on bills and non-courtesy resolutions be recorded by the Clerk of the Board of Aldermen and a record of each committee members’
    vote be made and recorded as “Yea”, “Nay”, “Present”, “Abstain”, or in the event an Alderman is not present for the vote, “Absent”; and that Committee members’ votes be published on the City official website and digitally archived online; and requiring that a record of attendance be taken and published on the City of St. Louis’s official website; and containing an effective date.
  • B.B.#66 – T. Hubbard – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 1221 Locust.
  • B.B.#67-Ingrassia- An ordinance repealing and replacing ordinance #70710, authorizing the Board of Public Service to promulgate regulations regarding bicycle sharing activities, which such regulations will be known as The Bike Share Policy of the City; and providing for the establishment of a “Micro Mobility Fund”; and providing for user fees to be deposited in the “Micro Mobility Fund” and expended as set forth herein to further, encourage and promote the use not only of bicycle sharing, but also scooters and other small vehicles, both manual and electronic, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#68-Vollmer- An Ordinance approving the petition to establish the Northeast Hampton/I-44 Community Improvement District, establishing the Northeast Hampton/I-44 Community Improvement District, finding a public purpose for the establishment of the Northeast Hampton/I-44 community improvement district, authorizing the execution of a Cooperation Agreement between the City, the Northeast Hampton/I-44 Community Improvement District and the Jerry Ackerman Motor Company prescribing the form and details of said agreement; making certain findings with respect thereto; authorizing certain other actions of city officials; and containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#69-Vollmer – An Ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the issuance and delivery of not to exceed $5,172,000 plus issuance costs principal amount of tax increment and special district revenue notes (Northeast Hampton/I-44 Redevelopment Project) Series 20__-A/B, of The City; prescribing the form and details of such notes and the covenants and agreements made by the City to facilitate and protect the payment thereof; prescribing other matters relating thereto, and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#70-Clark Hubbard – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 5236 Vernon Area
  • B.B.#71-Coatar – An ordinance amending Ordinance # 70316 approved July 14, 2016 (Exhibit “A”) by amending the Property Description of the Area and amending Section C of the attached 705 Olive St. Redevelopment Plan by extending the time of completion to June 25, 2022.
  • B.B. #72 – T. Hubbard – An ordinance approving a blighting study and Redevelopment Plan for 1528-1530 Locust.
  • B.B.#73 – Muhammad- An ordinance authorizing and directing the Director of Public Safety, and the Sheriff to enter into and execute an Intergovernmental Agreement with the United States Marshal Service for housing, transportation, and related services for United States Marshal detainees housed within the Division of Corrections, providing for appropriation of these funds paid by the United States Marshals Service in accordance with the Intergovernmental Agreement, authorizing the expenditure of such appropriated funds by entering into contracts or otherwise upon approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, and containing an emergency clause.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2019-2020 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 8 of 2019-2020 Session

June 7, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 8 of 2019-2020 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their  8th meeting of the 2019-2020 session. As noted last week, they have the first two meetings labeled as Week #1, so they list this as week/meeting 7.

Today’s agenda includes six (6) new bills:

  • B.B.#55 – Davis – Redevelopment Plan for 1900-34 Dr. Martin Luther King.
  • B.B.#56 – Davis-An Ordinance recommended and approved by the Airport Commission, the Board of Public Service, and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, establishing and authorizing a multi-year public work and improvement program at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which is owned and operated by The City providing for and consisting of capital improvement projects to and for the terminal complexes, concourses, parking facilities and garages, and associated Airport buildings, structures, and facilities, roadways, driveways and environs, Airport runways, taxiways, aprons, ramps, and associated airfield buildings, structures, facilities, and environs, and other associated Airport improvements or programs more fullydescribed on EXHIBIT A, entitled (“PROJECT LIST”) RD.
  • B.B. #57-Davis- An Ordinance recommended and approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Director of Airports and the Comptroller, owner and operator of St. Louis Lambert International Airport to enter into and execute the Shared Ride Shuttle Concession Agreement between theCity and Airport Best Taxi Service, LLC, (“Concessionaire”),granting to Concessionaire, certain rights and privileges in connection with the occupancy and use of the Premises, which is defined and more fully described in Article II of the Agreement that was approved by the Airport Commission and isattached hereto as ATTACHMENT “1” and made a part hereof,and its terms are more fully described in Section One of this Ordinance; containing a severability clause; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#58-Ingrassia- An Ordinance, recommended by the Board of Public Service, establishing a public works and improvement project for the I-64 at Jefferson – City Streets Project in the City.
  • B.B.#59-Roddy- An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the issuance, reissuance and delivery of one or more series of tax increment revenue notes, including (a) increasing the not to exceed principal amount of previously-issued RPA 5 tax increment revenue notes (St. Louis Innovation District/RPA 5 Project), Series B (the “RPA 5 Series B Notes”), from an original aggregateprincipal amount of $2,000,000, plus issuance costs, to an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $7,200,000, plus costs of issuance, for certain Reimbursable Redevelopment Project Costs associated with Redevelopment Project Area 5 of the St. Louis Innovation District Redevelopment Area; and (b) tax increment revenue notes (St. Louis Innovation District/Area-wide Projects), Series 2019 (the “Area-wide Series 2019 Notes”),in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $42,000,000, plus costs of issuance, for certain Reimbursable Redevelopment Project Costs associated with the Redevelopment Area-wide Projects; authorizing and directing the Mayor and the Comptroller to execute and deliver the Amended and Restated Fourth Supplemental Trust Indenture in connection with the reissuance of the RPA 5 Series B Notes, and to execute and deliver the Seventh Supplemental Trust Indenture in connection with the issuance of the Area-wide Series 2019 Notes; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B. #60-Muhammad-Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name Sarah Tillard Lane, which shall begin at the intersection of San Francisco and North Newstead and run northwest on San Francisco to the intersection of San Francisco and North Taylor.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2019-2020 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers Favor Automatic Expungement of Marijuana Convictions Once Legalized

June 5, 2019 Crime, Drug Policy, Featured, Metro East Comments Off on Readers Favor Automatic Expungement of Marijuana Convictions Once Legalized
Most of the recreational marijuana stores we visited in Colorado in 2014 had a separate section for medical marijuana.

Marijuana became illegal largely because Henry Anslinger needed to keep his government job during the Great Depression. Anslinger was appointed the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930, just 3 years before the end of Prohibition on alcohol.

“From the moment he took charge of the bureau, Harry was aware of the weakness of his new position. A war on narcotics alone — cocaine and heroin, outlawed in 1914 — wasn’t enough,” author Johann Hari wrote in his book, “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.” “They were used only by a tiny minority, and you couldn’t keep an entire department alive on such small crumbs. He needed more.” 

Consequently, Anslinger made it his mission to rid the U.S. of all drugs — including cannabis. His influence played a major role in the introduction and passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which outlawed possessing or selling pot.

Fueled by a handful of 1920s newspaper stories about crazed or violent episodes after marijuana use, Anslinger first claimed that the drug could cause psychosis and eventually insanity. In a radio address, he stated young people are “slaves to this narcotic, continuing addiction until they deteriorate mentally, become insane, turn to violent crime and murder.” 

In particular, he latched on to the story of a young man named Victor Licata, who had hacked his family to death with an ax, supposedly while high on cannabis. It was discovered many years later, however, that Licata had a history of mental illness in his family, and there was no proof he ever used the drug.

The problem was, there was little scientific evidence that supported Anslinger’s claims. He contacted 30 scientists, according to Hari, and 29 told him cannabis was not a dangerous drug. But it was the theory of the single expert who agreed with him that he presented to the public — cannabis was an evil that should be banned — and the press ran with this sensationalized version. (CBS News)

Race was used to get public support behind a new ban:

To understand how we ended up here, it is important to go back to what was happening in the United States in the early 1900’s just after the Mexican Revolution. At this time we saw an influx of immigration from Mexico into states like Texas and Louisiana. Not surprising, these new Americans brought with them their native language, culture and customs. One of these customs was the use of cannabis as a medicine and relaxant.

Mexican immigrants referred to this plant as “marihuana”. While Americans were very familiar with “cannabis” because it was present in almost all tinctures and medicines available at the time, the word “marihuana” was a foreign term. So, when the media began to play on the fears that the public had about these new citizens by falsely spreading claims about the “disruptive Mexicans” with their dangerous native behaviors including marihuana use, the rest of the nation did not know that this “marihuana” was a plant they already had in their medicine cabinets.

The demonization of the cannabis plant was an extension of the demonization of the Mexican immigrants. In an effort to control and keep tabs on these new citizens, El Paso, TX borrowed a play from San Francisco’s playbook, which had outlawed opium decades earlier in an effort to control Chinese immigrants. The idea was to have an excuse to search, detain and deport Mexican immigrants.

That excuse became marijuana.

This method of controlling people by controlling their customs was quite successful, so much so that it became a national strategy for keeping certain populations under the watch and control of the government.

During hearings on marijuana law in the 1930’s, claims were made about marijuana’s ability to cause men of color to become violent and solicit sex from white women. This imagery became the backdrop for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 which effectively banned its use and sales.

While the Act was ruled unconstitutional years later, it was replaced with the Controlled Substances Act in the 1970’s which established Schedules for ranking substances according to their dangerousness and potential for addiction. Cannabis was placed in the most restrictive category, Schedule I, supposedly as a place holder while then President Nixon commissioned a report to give a final recommendation. (drug policy.org)

OK, the origins were racist — but they still broke the law. They must suffer the consequences of their actions, right? No, there are people who were caught with weed, served their time, but now find it difficult to get a job, housing. We can’t continue to write these people off.

According to The Heritage Foundation, manifest in convicted felons not being able to vote, difficulty getting a job or certification, problems with housing and many more. There are over 46,000 collateral consequences that a person can face at the federal or state level after they are convicted of a crime, leading to problems nearly 70 percent of the time for these people trying to get jobs.

Justice reform advocates say that these problems increase the recidivism of former criminals and encourage a life of crime when they have no options left.

“These extra problems for a person can extraordinarily make their life more difficult in the long term,” Holcombe said. “It’s such a long process that many people don’t know about and don’t have the resources to fix on their own.”

Other advocates point to the fact that taxpayers are having to pay for the over 600,000 people being arrested every year for marijuana crimes and footing a nearly $44 billion dollar bill over more than 30 years. The Drug Policy Alliance also points out that $47 billion dollars are spent a year on the War on Drugs and that nearly 50 percent of those in jail for drug-related crimes are people of color. (Wikileaf)

It’s in society’s interests to erase their records for something now legalized. This will allow them to find work, housing, etc. They might even work in the legal weed business at some level — much better than committing a different crime because all legal options were closed to them.

Most who participated in the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll think records should automatically be expunged.

Q: Agree or disagree: Those who were convicted of marijuana possession should not have their record automatically expunged.

  • Strongly agree: 3 [11.11%]
  • Agree: 3 [11.11%]
  • Somewhat agree: 1 [3.7%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Disagree: 6 [22.22%]
  • Strongly disagree: 14 [51.85%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

Automatic expungement is better than making people file to receive expungement.  I’m very glad Illinois will be doing the right thing.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Should Prior Marijuana Possession Convictions Be Expunged When A State Approves Recreational Use?

June 2, 2019 Drug Policy, Featured, Metro East, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Prior Marijuana Possession Convictions Be Expunged When A State Approves Recreational Use?
Please vote below

On Friday the Illinois House passed a

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/illinois-poised-be-11th-state-legalize-recreational-marijuana-use-n1012721

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/illinois-poised-be-11th-state-legalize-recreational-marijuana-use-n1012721

recreational marijuana bill, it was approved by the Senate earlier in the week. When signed by Gov Preitzker Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana — the first to do so through the legislative process instead of at the ballot.

One provision is the basis for today’s poll:

The governor will pardon past convictions for possession of up to 30 grams, with the attorney general going to court to expunge or delete public records of a conviction or arrest. For possession of 30 to 500 grams, an individual or a state’s attorney may petition the court to vacate and expunge the conviction, but prosecutors may object, with a judge to make the decision. [Chicago Tribune]

To save you doing the conversion:

  • 30 grams is 1.06 ounces
  • 500 grams is 17.6 ounces.

Ok, here’s today’s poll:

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.  I’ll share my thoughts on Wednesday morning.

— Steve Patterson

 

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

Unable to display Facebook posts.
Show error

Error: (#10) To use 'Page Public Content Access', your use of this endpoint must be reviewed and approved by Facebook. To submit this 'Page Public Content Access' feature for review please read our documentation on reviewable features: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/apps/review.
Type: OAuthException
Code: 10
Please refer to our Error Message Reference.

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe