On Friday’s “Behind the Headlines” with St. Louis on the Air, we took an in-depth look at some of the top news stories of the week.
This week, for the first time in 16 years, St. Louis saw the inauguration of a new mayor: Lyda Krewson. She also happens to be the city’s first female mayor ever.
In addition to her inauguration, Krewson also made waves with the retirement of St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and a flurry of cabinet appointments. Chris King, managing editor of the St. Louis American, joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the decision, calling it a show of "astonishing skill," on the part of the new mayor.
One of Krewson's appointments this week was of Nicole Hudson, a woman who’s twice worked to help institute policy changes after Michael Brown’s 2014 shooting death in Ferguson. Her work was first centered with the Ferguson Commission and, later, as the leader of Forward Through Ferguson, a nonprofit set up to help others follow through on the Ferguson Commission’s recommendations.
Hudson will serve as a senior policy advisor, directing Krewson’s racial equity and priority initiatives. On Friday St. Louis on the Air, we heard from Hudson herself about what she hopes to achieve in the new position.
She said she initially bristled at having "racial equity" in her title because she was worried it would be pushing efforts to achieve racial equity in the city into a certain corner.
"I want everyone in City Hall to become 'racial equity people,'" Hudson told host Don Marsh. "It will take many people understanding the importance, strategies, the complexity, the interconnectedness of the issues in order for us to move mountains. This is many, many years of policy making that we have to start to chip off at, so I can't be the only one, but I believe I will play a leadership role in that process."
The initial offer from Krewson, Hudson said, was to become a senior policy advisor. She was given leeway within that to create the job within that framework. She has prioritized work in the areas of service equity (making sure each St. Louisan gets access to the same services), data and transparency, as well as food security for children in the area.
Hudson said she will assume the duties of the new position on May 1.
"We want to make sure there's a solid transition with Forward Through Ferguson," Hudson said. "I will not disappear, I'll definitely still be involved for a time. We're looking for some strong, lead catalyst candidates."
Listen to the full interview here:
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.