2017 St. Louis Elections | St. Louis Public Radio

2017 St. Louis Elections

Credit Graphic by David Kovaluk / St. Louis Public Radio

Police line up against the Workhouse fence to prevent protesters from shaking it. July 21, 2017.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, St. Louis voters approved Proposition P, a half-cent sales tax increase intended to give police and firefighters a raise. Prop P passed with nearly 60 percent of the vote.

Its support primarily came from voters in the 12th, 16th and 23rd wards, in the southwest part of the city, which together accounted for more than a quarter of all the "yes" votes. Voters in the 8th and 15th wards, covering much of the Shaw and Tower Grove neighborhoods, cast the most "no" votes.

Jeff Roorda, the St. Louis Police Officers' Association's business manager, and Alderman Joe Vaccaro, receive the news that Prop P passed. Nov. 7, 2017
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 12:15 a.m., Nov. 8, with additional comments — Police and firefighters in St. Louis will get a $6,000 raise in July, after voters on Tuesday easily approved a half-cent sales tax hike.

The tax increase measure, known as Proposition P, passed with close to 60 percent of the vote. It will kick in in early 2018, and is expected to generate about $20 million a year. Most of the money will go toward the raises, though the circuit attorney’s office will receive about $1.3 million.

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Voters in the St. Louis region will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide on some key financial issues.

Most of the attention will be on St. Louis, where residents are being asked to raise the sales tax by a half-percent in order to pay police and firefighters more. Voters in St. Louis and St. Charles counties will decide an array of tax-related issues.

For the first time in 18 years, St. Louis’ 2nd Ward is getting a new alderman.

The seat opened up in August when Dionne Flowers resigned to become the register, the city’s top record-keeper. The ward encompasses six north St. Louis neighborhoods, stretching from north of downtown to the border with St. Louis County. Three candidates are running to take her spot.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson just passed the mark of 100 days in office as mayor.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

July 27 marked the 100th day in office for St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.

She joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh in-studio for the full hour on Thursday, discussing her accomplishments thus far, missed opportunities and what challenges she foresees ahead.

While on the program, she addressed:

On Friday, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh will discuss the first St. Louis election under the new voter photo ID law in Missouri with Denise Lieberman and Gary Stoff.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s “Behind the Headlines," we took a look at a top news story from the week. This week, St. Louis saw its first election under the new voter photo ID law for the 28th ward seat. Heather Navarro, a Democrat, won with 69 percent of the vote.

Heather Navarro will serve at least two years on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen for the 28th ward.
HEATHER NAVARRO VIA CAMPAIGN WEBSITE

Updated at 3:50 p.m. July 12 with details from Secretary of State's office about voter ID law — Lyda Krewson’s ascension to the mayor’s office left an open seat on St. Louis' Board of Aldermen. It was filled Tuesday by Heather Navarro, who won with 69 percent of the vote.

Navarro was one of four candidates vying to fill the 28th Ward seat for the remaining two years of Krewson’s term. It was also the first election in the St. Louis area since Missouri’s new voter ID law took effect in June, and there were differing accounts on whether there were issues at the polls.

Heather Navarro, Celeste Vossmeyer and Steve Roberts Sr. are the three major candidates for the vacant 28th Ward aldermanic seat.
Navarro, Vossmeyer and Roberts via campaign websites

Updated at 1:28 p.m. with details about voter ID law during election — Voters in the 28th Ward will choose their new representative on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Tuesday.

Polls in the ward, which covers parts of the neighborhoods around Forest Park, are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The seat has been vacant since April, when Lyda Krewson was sworn in as mayor. The winner will serve the remaining two years of her term.

Heather Navarro, Celeste Vossmeyer and Steve Roberts Sr. are the three major candidates for the vacant 28th Ward aldermanic seat.
Navarro, Vossmeyer and Roberts via campaign websites

Arguably, the biggest challenge for the four candidates in St. Louis’ 28th Ward special election isn’t fundraising or policy positions: It’s reminding people in the central corridor know to vote on July 11.

Democrat Heather Navarro, independents Celeste Vossmeyer and Steve Roberts Sr., and Green Party candidate Jerome Bauer are vying to serve the roughly two years remaining on Mayor Lyda Krewson’s term. The ward represents parts of six neighborhoods, including the Central West End and Skinker DeBaliviere.

This is a mock-up of what the new riverfront stadium with a professional soccer team.
Courtesy of HOK

Almost $1.3 million went into this year’s failed attempt to persuade St. Louis voters to help fund an MLS stadium, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday.

The report, posted on the Missouri Ethics Commission website, shows AspireSTL raised just under $1.2 million for their failed quest to pass Proposition 2 in the April 4 election.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles takes the oath of office at Ferguson City Hall Tuesday night.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles and Councilwoman Ella Jones made something perfectly clear Tuesday night: The city’s mayoral election is over, and there’s no schism between the two elected officials.

Judge Jimmie Edwards swears in members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. The ceremony had to be moved outside after a bomb scare at City Hall.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Illustration by Rici Hoffarth I St. Louis Public Radio
Illustration by Rici Hoffarth I St. Louis Public Radio

In a region as fragmented as St. Louis, there’s one commonality uniting scores of towns and cities: high sales taxes.

Lyda Krewson dances with relatives, supporters and campaign staff after delivering her acceptance speech.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The demise of a publicly funded soccer stadium could mean the St. Louis Police Department sees more taxpayer money.

 

When voters approved a half-cent sales tax Tuesday for things like light rail expansion and neighborhood development programs, it automatically raised the use tax that businesses pay on out-of-state purchases.

Hunter Maret of University City watches Proposition 2 election results at Union Station at a pro-soccer stadium gathering Tuesday night.
Ryan Delaney I St. Louis Public Radio

Once St. Louis voters dashed his hopes of bringing Major League Soccer to the city, Dave Peacock didn’t make much of an attempt to modulate his tone.

 

Rachel Lippmann, Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies discuss the results of the April 4 general municipal elections across the region.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Tuesday, April 4, marked the day of the general municipal elections in the St. Louis region. On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the outcome of the elections around the area, including the St. Louis mayoral race, police funding in St. Louis County and proposed funding for a soccer stadium in the city. 

Vacant buildings owned by the Land Reutilization Authority in the 4000 block of Evans Avenue. February 2017.
File photo | Marie Schwarz | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis won't receive more money to take care of city-owned vacant buildings, and won't sync its election dates with statewide elections.

Proposition NS, which needed two-thirds approval, received 58.57 percent of the vote.

The proposition would have given the city the ability to sell up to $40 million in bonds to go toward stabilizing the more than 3,5000 vacant buildings it owns. That money is equivalent to a one-cent property tax increase per $100 of a property’s assessed value.

St. Louis Metro Police officers use bicycles to push back protesters at an anti-Trump rally in downtown St. Louis in November 2016.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis will keep its Recorder of Deeds office, voters decided Tuesday. That means the city’s police department will have to find another way to help purchase for body cameras.

The measure, which moves the Recorder of Deeds office’s duties to the city assessor, would have needed to pass with 60 percent or more of the vote because it is considered a “county office.” It received 51.58 percent of the vote.

Lauren Rapp, from St. Louis, watches Proposition 2 election results with Bo Thomas. A bid to publicly fund a soccer stadium failed to pass on Tuesday.
Ryan Delaney I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ Major League Soccer hopes likely died Tuesday. City residents voted for sales tax and use tax increases that’ll go toward city services, but turned down Proposition 2, which would have funneled the use tax toward a new stadium.

Lyda Krewson thanks supporters at the Probstein Golf Course Clubhouse in Forest Park on Tuesday night. (April 4, 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A woman will take over the St. Louis mayor’s office — a first in the city’s more than 250-year history.

Democrat Lyda Krewson, the 28th Ward alderman since 1997, beat Republican Andrew Jones and four other candidates in Tuesday’s general election.

Voters cast electronic ballots at Central Baptist Church in St. Louis on Nov. 8, 2016.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s Election Day in the St. Louis region, where voters will decide on a number of high-stakes issues.

Polls are open in Missouri and Illinois from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election officials in St. Louis and St. Louis County said no problems had been reported at polling stations by midday, and that turnout was light.

Clockwise from left: Incumbents Rob Chabot and Donna Thurman, along with first-time candidates Jessica Ponder, Donna Dameron and Roger Hines, are running for the Ferguson-Florissant school board on April 4, 2017.
Ferguson-Florissant School District

The Ferguson-Florissant school board election Tuesday will use a voting system a federal judge ruled unconstitutional last year.

The judge ruled that method unfair to African-Americans and ordered the district to implement cumulative voting, which allows for as many votes to be cast as there are seats up for election. Those votes may all be cast for the same candidate or may be spread around as a voter sees fit.

But because the district appealed, this year’s election is still operating under the old, at-large system. That means, with five candidates running for three open board seats, residents will cast one vote for each of the three candidates they like.

Illustration by Rici Hoffarth / St. Louis Public Radio

School districts across the St. Louis area are asking voters Tuesday to consider various funding measures.

Two Metro East counties are hoping to join more than 40 others in Illinois that have started using sales tax increases to bolster school funding in the face of less state support due to a nearly two-year budget crisis.

And in St. Louis County, there are a half-dozen funding measures. Kirkwood would raise property taxes, while the rest are bonding measures, all of which need to pass with about 57 percent of the vote. The largest bonding measure, in the Rockwood district, seeks to spend $95.5 million on a new elementary school in Eureka and expand other buildings.

Johnathan McFarland, the Green Party candidate for St. Louis mayor, joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday, March 31.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Johnathan McFarland, the Green Party candidate for mayor of St. Louis, joined host Don Marsh to discuss his platform ahead of the general municipal election on April 4.

McFarland, a community organizer, has previously tried to get elected to the U.S. Senate and the 6th Ward aldermanic seat.

Robb Cunningham, the Libertarian candidate for mayor of St. Louis, joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday, March 31.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Robb Cunningham, the Libertarian candidate for mayor of St. Louis, joined host Don Marsh to discuss his platform ahead of the general municipal election on April 4.

Cunningham makes his living as a saxophonist and considers himself a "rock n' roll Libertarian."

We spoke with Republican candidate Andrew Jones on March 27 and with Democratic candidate Lyda Krewson on March 22. In addition to our conversation with Cunningham on Friday, we’ll also hear from the Green candidate for mayor and two independent candidates for mayor.

Larry Rice, an independent candidate for Mayor of St. Louis, joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Larry Rice, an independent candidate for mayor of St. Louis, joined host Don Marsh to discuss his platform ahead of the general municipal election on April 4.

Tyrone Austin, an independent candidate for mayor of St. Louis, joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday, March 31.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Tyrone Austin, an independent candidate for mayor of St. Louis, joined host Don Marsh to discuss his platform ahead of the general municipal election on April 4.

Austin, a businessman, is making his second run for mayor. His first was in 2013. 

Soccer supporter Stuart Hultgren at an event on Feb. 28, 2017  with the coach of U.S. men’s national team at the Amsterdam Tavern, a popular soccer bar in south St. Louis.
Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, in 1907, formed the first professional soccer league in the U.S., had several hometown players on the 1950 U.S. World Cup team, and over the years has fostered dominant college teams. The Major League Soccer commissioner said the city has always been in the league’s sights.

There are very few current MLS clubs with a history already built in, former MLS player (and St. Louis native) Taylor Twellman said, before a pro-stadium rally this week. “The only thing this city needs is a professional team, playing at the highest level, with a soccer-specific stadium.”

Investment group SC STL is trying to land a MLS team, partially with help of of St. Louis taxpayers. And that’s where some city residents lose interest.

Sharon Carpenter, St. Louis recorder of deeds,  spent several decades as a Democratic committeewoman for the 23rd Ward.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ Recorder of Deeds office is in the crosshairs in Tuesday’s election, when voters will have to decide whether to eliminate the agency, which maintains public records, and put any money saved toward body cameras for police.

Ferguson police officers record protesters on W. Florissant Avenue on Aug. 9, 2016.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Shortly after Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer in August 2014, the department’s on-duty officers started wearing body cameras while on duty. And the federal government’s consent decree, which came in response to Brown’s death, mandated Ferguson officers wear them.

But a group of Ferguson residents wants to put the use of cameras into the city charter as a means of ensuring it continues long after federal oversight is over.

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