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Fifty Years Since the St. Louis Rent Strike of 1969 Ended

October 30, 2019 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Fifty Years Since the St. Louis Rent Strike of 1969 Ended

Yesterday was the 50th Anniversary of the end of the 1969 St. Louis Rent Strike. Upset by poorly built & maintained public housing, tenants refused to pay their rent.

The 1969 rent strike focused on the failed Pruitt-Igoe project.

Much was written about the rent strike, here’s the abstract from a 2013 academic paper titled The St. Louis Rent Strike of 1969: Transforming Black Activism and American Low-Income Housing:

In 1969, public housing tenants launched a rent strike that shaped federal legislation and helped make housing a central concern of the Black Freedom Struggle. In addition to providing a detailed narrative of the rent strike, this article follows the lives of the rent strike’s three primary leaders—Ivory Perry, the Rev. Buck Jones, and Jean King. Following the rent strike, Ivory Perry worked to curb lead poisoning while Buck Jones sought to reform welfare in Missouri. Later, Jones labored to improve living conditions in East St. Louis, Illinois. Jean King worked with private developers following the rent strike, helping remake the architecture and management of low-income housing. By focusing on how these individuals aided the rent strike, and by following their subsequent life careers, this article demonstrates that the St. Louis rent strike influenced developments central to American low-income housing and black activism in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Strikes are an effective way to force change. Still, some would like to end unions and strikes. In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll there was more responses than usual, but the pattern didn’t change.

Q: Agree or disagree: To reduce economic disruption strikes should be limited by law

  • Strongly agree: 2 [2.7%]
  • Agree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat agree: 0 [0%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [1.35%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Disagree: 5 [6.76%]
  • Strongly disagree: 65 [87.84%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 1  [1.35%]

We must be diligent to protect the right to strike.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 20 of 2019-2020 Session

October 25, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 20 of 2019-2020 Session

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen meet at 10am today, their 20th 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 19.

Today’s agenda includes five (5) new bills.

  • B.B. #135 – Ingrassia – An ordinance allowing persons, business enterprises, and other entities, organizations, and groups who reserve any of the City of St. Louis’ park amenities by permit issued by the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry to exclude from the permitted area persons carrying firearms in accordance with 571.107(15) of the Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri, regardless of whether carried concealed on or about their person and whether they hold a concealed carry permit or endorsement; and containing an emergency
  • B.B. #136 – J. Boyd – An Ordinance, recommended by the Board of Public Service of the City of St. Louis (the “Board of Public Service”), establishing multiple public works and improvement projects within the City of St. Louis (the “Projects”).
  • B.B. #137 – Middlebrook – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to vacate public surface rights for vehicle, equestrian and pedestrian travel on Frederick Street and in conformity with Section l4 of Article XXI of the Charter and imposing certain conditions on such vacation.
  • B.B. #138 – P. Boyd – An ordinance regulating the storage, transportation and disposal of waste tires, and the permitting of waste tire haulers and tire dealers, and providing penalties for violations of the provisions thereof.
  • B.B. #139 – Guenther – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to conditionally vacate above surface, surface and sub-surface rights for vehicle, equestrian and pedestrian travel in westernmost 5 foot of Missouri Ave. from Cherokee St. south approximately 115 feet to a point, abutting City Block 1558 as bounded by Cherokee, Missouri, Potomac and Jefferson in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, as hereinafter de- scribed, in accordance with Charter authority, and in conformity with Section l4 of Article XXI of the Charter and imposing certain conditions on such vacation.

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 Don’t Think McKee Will Come Through With Urgent Care, Hospital/Medical School

October 23, 2019 Featured, NorthSide Project, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Readers Don’t Think McKee Will Come Through With Urgent Care, Hospital/Medical School
Only one wall of the urgent care facility started a couple of years ago is still standing on the West end of the old Pruitt-Igoe site. Photo from 6:41pm last night.

Paul McKee’s 3-bed urgent care facility had been under construction, but after a wall collapsed last year it stopped.

Given aldermen’s failure to do their jobs before Friday’s vote approving tax subsidiesfor McKee, St. Louis taxpayers can only hope those creditors will thoroughly scrutinize the viability of the two-phase medical-complex project McKee proposes for north St. Louis. The first phase of the project, a three-bed urgent-care clinic, will cost $21 million, with McKee having come up with only $8 million in promised credit. The second phase involves building a 103,000-square-foot hospital/medical school. McKee has no funding source in sight for the $73 million he’ll need for that.

Friday’s vote puts taxpayers on the hook for $4.6 million in subsidies to be drawn from tax-increment financing worked out years ago with McKee after he used shell companies and other means to acquire around 1,500 acres of dilapidated, abandoned north St. Louis properties. Instead of improving those properties, he allowed them to deteriorate while punting property maintenance to the city. McKee offered grand designs for housing projects and retail-office complexes surrounding the new site of the $1.75 billion National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency western headquarters. Those plans fizzled. (Post-Dispatch editorial)

In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll readers were skeptical of McKee delivering:

Q: Agree or disagree: The 3-bed urgent care facility and the hospital/medical school will open by the promised deadlines.

  • Strongly agree: 1 [3.57%]
  • Agree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat agree: 0 [0%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 3 [10.71%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 2 [7.14%]
  • Disagree: 7 [25%]
  • Strongly disagree: 14 [50%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 1 [3.57%]

If I were a gambling man I’d say not only will he not deliver, but the deadlines will get extended and the subsidies increased. Twenty-three aldermen voted in favor of Board Bill 103, sponsored by Tammika Hubbard.

Ayes (23)
Ward Alderman

  • 1 Sharon Tyus
  • 3 Brandon Bosley
  • 4 Samuel L Moore
  • 5 Tammika Hubbard
  • 6 Christine Ingrassia
  • 9 Dan Guenther
  • 10 Joseph Vollmer
  • 11 Sarah Martin
  • 12 Larry Arnowitz
  • 13 Beth Murphy
  • 14 Carol Howard
  • 15 Megan E. Green
  • 17 Joseph D Roddy
  • 18 Jesse Todd
  • 19 Marlene E Davis
  • 21 John Collins-Muhammad
  • 22 Jeffrey L Boyd
  • 23 Joseph Vaccaro
  • 25 Shane Cohn
  • 26 Shameem C Hubbard
  • 27 Pam Boyd
  • 28 Heather Navarro
  • President Lewis E Reed

One voted “present”:

Present (1)
Ward Alderman

  • 8 Annie Rice

Three were absent for the vote:

Absent (3)
Ward Alderman

  • 2 Lisa Middlebrook
  • 7 Jack Coatar
  • 16 Tom Oldenburg

Only two had the convictions to vote “no”:

Noes (2)
Ward Alderman

  • 20 Cara Spencer
  • 24 Bret Narayan

Aldermanic courtesy, the process of rubber-stamping legislation in another ward, is alive and well.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 19 of 2019-2020 Session

October 18, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 19 of 2019-2020 Session

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen meet at 10am today, their 15th 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 18.

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

  • B.B.#129 – Arnowitz – An ordinance authorizing and directing the Director of the Department of Human Services, on behalf of the City of St. Louis, to accept a Grant Award from the Family and Community Trust in the amount of $35,000.00 from the No Kid Hungry Missouri SY19 Summer Special Grant Program and to expend those funds as a part of the City of St. Louis Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) – After School Meal Program and the Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP) starting in the 2019-2020 school year as set forth in the Grant Agreement, attached hereto as Exhibit A; appropriating said funds and authorizing the Director of Human Services, upon approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, to expend such funds as permitted by the Grant Award Agreement; and containing an Emergency Clause.
  • B.B.#130 – Arnowitz – An ordinance adopting the Uniform Plumbing Code, 2015 Edition, as the Plumbing Code of the City of Saint Louis; repealing Ordinance 66615, which adopted the Uniform Plumbing Code, 2003 Edition; repealing Ordinance 61713, Ordinance 62610, Ordinance 62682, Ordinance 65031 and Ordinance 65932, all of which modified Ordinance 60826; and containing a penalty clause, a savings clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#131 – Guenther – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission on October 8, 2019, to change the zoning of property as indicated on the District Map and in City Block 761, from “K” Unrestricted District to the “J” Industrial District, at 423 Lynch Street, so as to include the described parcel of land in City Block 761; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#132 – Hubbard – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name Karlie Kloss Way, which shall begin at the intersection of Washington Avenue and North 16th Street and run east on Washington Avenue to the intersection of Washington Avenue and North 15th Street.
  • B.B.#133 – Narayan – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission on October 8, 2019, to change the zoning of property as indicated on the District Map, from “A” Single- Family Dwelling District to the “C” Multiple-Family Dwelling District, in City Block 4625.04 (6845, 6847 & 6849 Bruno and 2156-58 & 2190 Forest), so as to include the described parcel of land in City Block 4625.04; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#134 – Spencer – An ordinance directing the installation of signs, as specified in this ordinance, notifying individuals that City of St. Louis parks and parks facilities or child-care facilities under Section 210.201 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, and that as child-care facilities the possession and carrying of firearms are prohibited under Section 571.107(11) of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.

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 18 of 2019-2020 Session

October 11, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 18 of 2019-2020 Session

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen meet at 10am today, their 18th 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 17.

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

  • B.B. #124 – NOT USED THIS SESSION
  • B.B. #125 – Moore – An ordinance approving a blighting study and Redevelopment Plan for the Evans Ave./N. Newstead Ave./Pendleton Ave. Scattered Sites Redevelopment Area
  • B.B. #126- Roddy – An ordinance to submit a 2020 Annual Action Plan to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) as required to apply for funding under the Community Development Block Grant (“CDBG”), HOME Investment Partnership (“HOME”), Emergency Solutions Grant (“ESG”) and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (“HOPWA”) Entitlement Programs, authorizing and directing the Mayor and the Comptroller on behalf of the City of St. Louis to enter into and execute agreements with HUD for the receipt of 2020 CDBG, HOME, ESG and HOPWA funds.
  • B.B. #127-Clark-Hubbard – An ordinance amending the Redevelopment Plan for the West End Redevelopment Area (“Area”) approved by Ordinance # 64392 dated June 25, 1998 (Exhibit 1 attached) by adding the implementation schedule now calling for projects to be completed by May 1, 2029.

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.

— Steve Patterson

 

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