April Ford-Griffin

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

They called her "Mama Duck," for the way she tried to move everyone toward consensus.

She was a "pillar" of an alderwoman despite her short stature, a small lady with big ideas, compassionate, steady, deliberate.

They gave her a crystal bowl, because, as alderwoman Marlene Davis put it, "When you look at crystal, you know that it has that shine, that gleam, but it's also sturdy and lifelong, and that's you."

That's how members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen said farewell to April Ford-Griffin at City Hall this morning.

(photo courtesy of the city of St. Louis)

Ald. April Ford-Griffin, who took over as chairman of the St. Louis city budget committee this year, is leaving the aldermanic chambers for the Mayor's office.

Mayor Francis Slay announced on Friday that Ford-Griffin, who has served as the Fifth Ward alderwoman since 1997, will be the new director of the city's Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, which Slay called a "vitally important agency." The former director, Ruby L. Bonner, retired on July 1.

A small piece of an $8.1 billion plan to redevelop north St. Louis took another step forward today.

Developer Paul McKee is moving forward with part of his controversial development of north St. Louis.

That's despite a ruling from a circuit court judge which is holding back nearly $400 million in tax increment financing (TIF).

Fifth Ward Alderwoman April Ford-Griffin says the project will create a recycling center and clear 21 vacant lots near the new Mississippi River Bridge.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 4:20 p.m. to correct math error in amount of demolition and remediation.

Developer Paul McKee's plan to revitalize North St. Louis is taking a few small steps forward.

Alderwoman April Ford-Griffin will officially introduce legislation tomorrow  authorizing Northside Regeneration LLC, McKee's company, to start work on about $3 million of projects in the two-square mile site.