Politically Speaking: Alderwoman Martin on St. Louis' fiscal struggle — and Krewson's performance | St. Louis Public Radio

Politically Speaking: Alderwoman Martin on St. Louis' fiscal struggle — and Krewson's performance

Nov 27, 2017

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcome St. Louis Alderwoman Sarah Martin onto the show for the first time.

Martin represents St. Louis’ 11th Ward, which takes in parts of the Boulevard Heights, Holly Hills, Patch, Mount Pleasant and Carondelet neighborhoods. It’s also home to the Carondelet YMCA, which Martin affectionately nicknamed the “South City Country Club."

Before Martin was elected to office this year, Alderman Tom Villa represented the 11th Ward at the Board of Aldermen. In fact, a member of the Villa family had represented the south St. Louis ward for decades – including his father, Albert “Red” Villa.

Martin has been involved in Democratic politics and policymaking for years. Back in 2008, she helped Democrat Mary Still get elected to a Columbia-based House seat. She also worked as a staffer for the Missouri House Democrats. Currently, she is a lobbyist with Gateway Government Solution, which primarily represents clients on the state legislative level.

Among other things, Martin said 11th Ward residents want to see a reduction in crime and illegal dumping. Martin, who was appointed to the Missouri Human Trafficking Task Force, also said residents are concerned with prostitution on South Broadway – a problem that she says has lingered in that area for decades.

Martin is the wife of state Sen. Jake Hummel, a St. Louis Democrat who is also a top official with the Missouri AFL-CIO.

Here’s what Martin had to say during the show:

  • St. Louis has had money problems for decades. But Martin said rising expenses are forcing city officials to take financial matters seriously. Among other things, the city’s workforce is outnumbered by retired employees collecting pensions.
  • Martin emphasized that two voter-approved sales tax increases are not a permanent solution to St. Louis’ money woes, but are merely a “Band-Aid.” The first half-cent sales tax hike in April is primarily slated to go toward MetroLink expansion, while another passed this month is aimed at boosting salaries for police and firefighters.
  • After a judge found Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith, Martin said there’s consensus to give the Civilian Oversight Board of the city police department subpoena power. “It leaves fewer dangling questions out there after events happen, especially in this world of social media,” she said. “And we need and the public deserves more answers.”
  • Martin said she has confidence St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson will make major changes to the city’s police department. The Democratic chief executive is in the process of choosing a permanent successor to former St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Sarah Martin on Twitter: @SarahWMartin

Music: “Cry Lonely” by Cross Canadian Ragweed