Andrew Jones On Pulling St. Louis Back From ‘A Point Of No Return’
Utility executive Andrew Jones, one of four candidates in the March 2 primary for mayor of St. Louis, is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. He joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann to talk about supporting the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to fight violent crime, developing an overall economic development strategy for the city and making inroads as a Republican in a Democratic city.
Here’s what Jones talked about on the show:
- The city cannot move forward until it gets violent crime under control. “At this point, I’m looking at, we’re probably crossing a point of no return,” he said. “We have cities like Gary, Indiana, who are struggling mightily because they can’t sustain population. They couldn’t get rid of the negative PR associated with violence and crime, and then you begin to plummet.”
- His violent crime strategy is heavy on enforcement. The police department knows the people who are committing the vast majority of the violence, he said, but public safety leaders are preventing officers from making arrests to avoid political backlash if an encounter with police turns deadly.
- A comprehensive economic development plan is another key component of Jones’ platform, and for him, the process of putting it together is equally as important as the specifics. “Once you follow the mechanics and the techniques, that leads you where you need to go,” he said.
- Jones was the Republican candidate in 2017 but says a new nonpartisan election process gives him an advantage. “I believe that people are frustrated,” he said. “And that gives us a path to victory because more and more people are tuning in and listening.”
Jones has spent 40 years in the electric utility business and is currently the executive vice president for business development and marketing at Southwestern Electric Cooperative, which serves 11 counties in Illinois.
Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann
Follow Andrew Jones on Twitter: @AJones4MayorSTL
Music: “Instrumental #1,” by Seth Ashley