Q&A with Johnathan McFarland, the Green Party candidate for mayor of St. Louis
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.
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 McFarland on Friday, we also heard from the Libertarian candidate for mayor and two independent candidates for mayor.
Listen to the full discussion with McFarland here:
On his belief in 'direct democracy:'
"Direct democracy is when people practice voting as a community. Let's say like in Occupy: we made decisions as a group and therefore we got things accomplished only as it got related to the group. ... In Occupy, we were open, there were no restrictions on who could participate. Anyone who was there was able to participate in this voting process.
"The thing we walked away from that was successful was that we had experienced direct democracy with more than 10,000 people at one time and it took only one hour to come to consensus. That's something we could apply across the United States. It proves it can work."
On his platform:
"I want to instill the community school model into our schools. That means keep them open longer, give our children clubs, like band and chess club. They [have them now] but the schools close their doors at three. I've worked with schools and after school programs and typically parents are excited about it but kids like having something to do.
"I present to the citizens of St. Louis city is to put a St. Louis river energy project on the riverfront. Which is to build caissons on the riverfront, which would allow us to create electricity from the mighty Mississippi. It would be an attraction for people and it would create thousands of jobs.
"Gateway Park, where they proposed to build the football stadium, that's where I'd like to build Gateway Park. I'd like to make it an amusement park, where we could have a lot of rides in the buildings already there, to create places to bring children and where families can have entertainment. And then I'd like to build a boardwalk on the riverfront for artists to showcase their talents."
On why he's running as a Green Party candidate:
"I want for people to understand what I'm standing for as a Green Party candidate: I stand for the people. I don't think other parties stand for the people. ... What I do as a Green Party candidate is make sure I represent the people because we don't take money from corporate sponsors or millionaire interests."
You can find more information about Johnathan McFarland's platform on his website here: http://www.mcfarlandformayor.org/about-johnathan.
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.