Politics & Issues

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Petras Gagilas | Flickr

Homeowners and businesses in the city of St. Louis could see their water rates go up by more than 20 percent over the next three years under legislation being considered by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

Drummers from the Sunshine Cultural Arts Center perform at the Diversity Awareness Partnership's annual fundraising dinner, held November 9, 2016, the day after the 2016 election.
Provided | Diversity Awareness Partnership

Some St. Louisans who are upset with the outcome of the presidential election are putting their money — and their time — where their mouths are.

Following the victory of Republican president-elect Donald Trump, they’re plan to donate to local social-justice organizations — and volunteer.

The local Diversity Awareness Partnership, for example, noticed an immediate effect when it held  its annual fundraising dinner the night after the election. The education group took in $12,000— twice as much as last year — and signed up 100 first-time volunteers for its Connect program, rather than the usual 10 to 15.

William Freivogel, Ronald Levin and Mark Smith participated in this week's Legal Roundtable.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday, St. Louis on the Air’s monthly legal roundtable returned, this time to address pressing issues of the law that are brought up the results of the 2016 election in Missouri and across the United States. Other topics will also be discussed.

Joining the panel this time around:

Kirk Mathews
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Durrie Bouscaren welcome state Rep. Kirk Mathews to the program for the first time.

The Pacific Republican was first elected to the Missouri House in 2014, winning the open House seat that was once held by House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka. He recently won re-election without any significant opposition.

St. Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar joined Stenger on Wednesday in announcing the minimum standards proposal.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A measure to boost sales taxes to help law enforcement agencies may be going to St. Louis County voters.

The St. Louis County Council gave initial approval today for the ballot item. The one-half of 1 percent sales tax hike would partly go to the St. Louis County Police Department. The rest would go to St. Louis County municipalities.

Police chief Jon Belmar says funding raised by the tax would be distributed based on population and would go toward increasing hiring, salaries and access to technology like body cameras.

Kirkwood couple Laura and Jim Radlcliff voted in different ways in the 2016 election. How are they handling their political differences now?
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

He voted for Donald Trump. She voted for Hillary Clinton. Now that the bitterly contested election results are in, how is one St. Louis couple handling their discussions about politics, the White House and the future of the United States?

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from Laura and Jim Radcliff of Kirkwood about how they come to terms with their political differences. They also shared insights on how they talk with each other when neither side is ready to budge on the issues they care about.

Miley, age 4, whose mother is undocumented, receives a letter of support and encouragement during a community dinner at Kingdom House on Nov. 17, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Nov. 8, Martha’s 8-year-old daughter didn’t want to go to school.

“When I asked her why, she said she was worried that if [Donald] Trump won, I wouldn’t be there to pick her up after school,” Martha said, in Spanish. “I told her, if he wins or not, I’ll be there for you.”

That certainty could wane in January. The president-elect has pledged to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants after his inauguration. Martha, who is undocumented, said the election results have heightened her and her family’s fears about deportation.

People started a blue ribbon chain at St. Gabriel the Archangel Church near Francis Park to honor a police sergeant shot Nov. 20. The ribbon extended to Pernod and Hampton, where the shooting occurred.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Nov. 21 at 8  p.m. with video from Chief Dotson — St. Louis Metropolitan Police  officials say the suspect in the ambush of a police officer has been killed in a shootout. Chief Sam Dotson said 19-year-old George P. Bush III was shot hours after he pulled up beside a marked police car near the Hampton Village Shopping Center in south St. Louis and shot a 46-year-old police sergeant, who was released from the hospital Monday morning.

Pearlie Evans was an activist who became a political power broker.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American | archival photo

Updated 2 p.m. Nov. 21 with service information - Pearlie Evans, a leader in the civil rights movement who helped integrate public accommodations in St. Louis and later served as the top aide to the first African-American congressman from Missouri, has died.

During the 1960s, Ms. Evans was an activist with the Congress for Racial Equality and the NAACP. She marched arm-in-arm with future Congressman William L. “Bill” Clay, Norman Seay, Percy Green and others who were working for change. “We were into everything under the sun,” Clay said.

Friends comfort each other outside Ladue Horton Watkins High School as students gather to support the mother of a student who was burned with a hot glue gun.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Nov. 21 with town hall meeting information — Ladue School District officials are "hopeful" after a meeting Friday with members of the St. Louis County NAACP, according to a district spokesperson.

The discussions came after two days of student protests over recent racially charged incidents against black students at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. Three students were disciplined.

Gubernatorial candidate Chris Koster became the first Democrat endorsed by the Missouri Farm Bureau for a statewide office.
File Photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Stunned by the magnitude of their Election Day losses, Missouri’s Democratic leaders are taking stock as they seek to regroup.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says she’s in the midst of “a listening tour’’ to gauge where she and other party activists went wrong, and what needs to be done. But McCaskill emphasized in an interview that she doesn’t buy into the narrative that Missouri Democrats were punished at the polls for ignoring rural voters and working-class whites.

Incoming House Budget Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, is warning of tough budgetary choices ahead for Gov.-elect Eric Greitens.
Tim Bommel I House Communications

As noted last week, Gov.-elect Eric Greitens will have a lot of latitude to bring about major policy changes – thanks to huge Republican majorities in the General Assembly. But it’s becoming abundantly clear that Greitens will encounter more than just the glory of legislative accomplishment when he’s sworn in next year.

That’s because both Republican and Democratic lawmakers on the House Budget Committee believe Greitens will have to dive into the not-so-fun task of withholding tens of millions of dollars from Missouri’s budget. It will be first big governmental test for Greitens, who has no elected experience.

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Back in October, St. Louis Public Radio put a little non-political, unscientific poll in the field — which Curious Louis question should we answer next?

Stephanie Pasch, a Shaw resident, posed the winning question: I live near 39th Street. What happened to 24th through 38th? And where do 59th, 81st and 82nd come from?

Advocates say a heavy police presence in downtown parks, as shown in this June 28, 2016 photo, has driven some people experiencing homelessness into other St. Louis neighborhoods.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

An organization that goes into the streets to make sure people experiencing homelessness are warm and fed is concerned that the rights of the homeless are being violated in downtown St. Louis.

St. Louis Winter Outreach believes people living in shelters and abandoned buildings have borne the brunt of an increased police focus on minor violations promised by the mayor in May after a violent carjacking.

In 2013, HEC-TV producer Amanda Honingfort interned with Gwen Ifill on "Washington Week."
Amanda Honingfort

Earlier this week, beloved Peabody Award-winning PBS journalist Gwen Ifill died at the age of 61 due to complications from cancer, with which she had struggled for several years. On this week’s “Behind the Headlines” on St. Louis on the Air, we looked at the impact of Ifill’s journalism and listen to a 2010 excerpt of her interview with Don Marsh about her book “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”

Claire McCaskill
File photo

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says she’s “absolutely’’ seeking re-election in two years, despite her party’s shellacking at the polls less than two weeks ago.

In the meantime, McCaskill plans to play an aggressive role in fighting Republican proposals – already being publicly discussed -- to revamp the nation’s Medicare program, which provides health care for 55 million Americans age 65 and over.

StanJourdan | Flickr

Less than two weeks after the November 2014 election, only three proposed initiative petitions for the 2016 ballot had been filed with the Missouri secretary of state’s office.

But this time, less than two weeks after the November 8 election, the 2018 floodgates are already open. As of Thursday, at least 39 proposed initiative petitions have been filed. Dave Robertson, head of the political science department at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, ties the state’s early deluge of 2018 initiatives to voter unrest, nationally as well as locally.

Volunteers look for people experiencing homelessness at the Delmar Loop Metro stop in July 2016 during St. Louis County's summer point-in-time count.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

This year’s federal homeless count found a 12 percent drop in the number of people experiencing homelessness in Illinois and a 4 percent drop in Missouri compared to last year.

Both states are on a five-year downward trend for homelessness, with Missouri’s count returning to pre-recession numbers. Illinois had one of the sharpest declines nationwide this year.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri Supreme Court is weighing a challenge to a law that has changed rules for municipal courts, in particular banning judges from sending someone to jail for failure to pay a traffic fine.

It also lowered the amount of revenue local governments can get from traffic citations; it capped those revenues at 12.5 percent in St. Louis County and at 20 percent across the rest of Missouri.

St. Louis Regional Business Council

An effort to raise money for north St. Louis County schools and businesses in the aftermath of the Ferguson unrest is now ending.

Members of the "Reinvest North County Fund" committee announced that the fund is closing at a press conference Wednesday held at the Centene Corporation – Ferguson Service Center.

The fund allocated $950,000 over the past two years.

Tishaura Jones high-fives guests at a campaign kickoff party for her mayoral run at Exodus Gallery on Delmar Blvd. on Nov. 15, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

And then there were six.

On Tuesday, Treasurer Tishaura Jones kicked off her campaign to replace Mayor Francis Slay in front of a crowd of about 200 at Exodus Galleries on Delmar.  

falkow | Flickr

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys in St. Louis are applauding an appeals court ruling outlining what information must be provided to defense attorneys in criminal trials.

Dear STLPR Friends,

Whatever you are feeling about the results of last week's historic elections, one truth remains: fact-based journalism is as important to our democracy as it has ever been. For more than 18 months, St. Louis Public Radio has provided the most comprehensive coverage of election issues and events at every level of the ballot for hundreds of thousands of listeners in our region and beyond. 

uditor Nicole Galloway, D-Missouri, discusses findings of more than 300 Sunshine Law requests made to local governments across the state. )Nov. 15, 2016)
Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

State Auditor Nicole Galloway on Tuesday released details of a test her office recently conducted on how cities, counties, water districts, fire protection districts and other governing bodies respond to Sunshine Law requests.

Maria Chappelle-Nadal 2016
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome back Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal to the show for the third time.

The University City Democrat was first elected to the Missouri Senate in 2010 and re-elected without substantial opposition in 2014. She will have to leave the Senate after 2018 due to legislative term limits.

Gov.-elect Eric Greitens shakes hands with Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, last week.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the Thursday after his resounding victory in the Missouri governor’s race, Eric Greitens spent the morning at the Missouri Capitol meeting with Gov. Jay Nixon and huddling up with the Senate Republican supermajority. Greitens ended up shaking lots of hands of fellow Republicans who could help make his campaign agenda into the laws of the land. 

When he stepped into the Capitol hallways, Greitens could hardly contain his enthusiasm about the months ahead.

Paramedics with the St. Louis Fire Department tend to a person who had taken the synthetic marijuana known as K2 outside the New Life Evangelistic Center on Nov. 10, 2016.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Social services providers in St. Louis are working to combat a spike in the number of people overdosing on a synthetic marijuana known as K2.

Since Monday, the St. Louis Fire Department had treated at least 100 people suffering the effects of the drug.  Many of the victims were clustered around downtown homeless shelters and service providers.

Jumira Moore, 8, watches as her mother, Timira Saunders, fills out a ballot at Central Baptist Church in St. Louis on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

How did the polls get it so wrong?

This is a question that has dominated headlines in the days following Tuesday’s historic election.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the role of polls and their use in media coverage of the 2016 election with guests Terry Jones, Founders Professor of Political Science and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Matt Carlson, Associate Professor of Communication at Saint Louis University.

James Petersen is a Marine veteran who shared his struggles with PTSD on Friday's St. Louis on the Air.
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

In honor of Veteran’s Day, local Marine veteran and Brown School of Social Work student James Petersen joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss his experience with PTSD and the work he is doing to help other veterans facing similar struggles.

Petersen, who served in Iraq, described feeling some trepidation when he decided to pursue a master’s of social work at Washington University.

“Going into the Brown School, which is definitely a liberal leaning school, school of social work, I was pretty nervous to even admit that I was a veteran,” he said.

Eric and Sheena Greitens hold their sons, Joshua and Jacob, while speaking to reporters after casting their ballots the St. Louis Public Library in the Central West End on Tuesday.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens plans to have two transition teams in place shortly: one to organize his January inaugural and the other to tackle his GOP takeover of the state’s executive branch.

To that end, Greitens is seeking guidance and advice from the outgoing governor, Democrat Jay Nixon.

Senior adviser Austin Chambers praised the reception that Greitens received Thursday during his first meeting with Nixon and top members of his administration.

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