Politically Speaking: Alderwoman Heather Navarro On How St. Louis Is Weathering COVID-19 | St. Louis Public Radio

Politically Speaking: Alderwoman Heather Navarro On How St. Louis Is Weathering COVID-19

Mar 26, 2020

St. Louis Alderwoman Heather Navarro is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, with the 28th Ward alderwoman talking with St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann and Jason Rosenbaum on how the city of St. Louis is handling the coronavirus.

Navarro represents portions of the Central West End, Skinker-Debaliviere, Hi-Pointe and Wydown-Skinker neighborhoods. She was first elected to the Board of Aldermen in a 2017 special election to succeed Lyda Krewson, who represented the ward before she was elected mayor.

During the show, which was recorded with the videoconferencing program Zoom, Navarro talked about:

  • Krewson’s stay-at-home order — and why she believes Gov. Mike Parson should issue similar restrictions on a statewide level.
  • The financial impact of coronavirus on the city. St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced earlier this week that he’s expecting a sharp drop in revenue because of the pandemic.
  • Aldermen looking at ways to make sure they can fulfill their duties in the midst of the outbreak. The board is out of session until at least April 20, but Krewson’s stay-at-home order, which lasts until April 22, limits gatherings to no more than 10 people. With its 29 members, plus staff, the board easily goes over that threshold. 
  • How the board is preparing for redistricting in 2021. Membership is slated to shrink from 28 to 14, thanks to a charter amendment that was adopted in 2012. Some aldermen have proposed having a revote on that measure, primarily because of concerns it could hurt black representation on the board.

A native of Kankakee, Illinois, Navarro received her undergraduate and law degrees from Washington University. In addition to her aldermanic duties, she serves as the executive director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. That group has sought to reduce the state’s dependency on coal and remove radioactive waste from the West Lake Landfill.

Navarro won election to a full four-year term on the Board of Aldermen in 2019.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Heather Navarro on Twitter: @HeatherNSTL

Music: "This Used to be My Playground" by Madonna.