Adolphus Pruitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Adolphus Pruitt

St. Louis Lambert International Airport. August 2018
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis NAACP and the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council announced plans Wednesday to force a public vote on whether the city can lease St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

The groups must gather more than 22,000 signatures to get the issue on the Nov. 3 ballot. It would take more than 60% of the vote to pass the proposal. And if it passes, the city would amend its charter with a plan for leasing the airport.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport. August 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis chapter of the NAACP and the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council are calling on the city to resume talks on privatizing St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis NAACP, said Monday the city should restart privatization talks because it could generate revenue that officials could direct to north St. Louis to reduce blight and poverty.

Lee Phung has owned Egg Roll Kitchen since 2000. His father started the North Grand business in 1968. He said Alderman Moore's comments were insensitive. November, 26, 2019
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

Lee Phung has owned Egg Roll Kitchen in north St. Louis since 2000. But he’s been a part of the community since 1968, when his father opened the restaurant on North Grand Boulevard.

Although Phung, who was born in China, no longer lives in north St. Louis, he went to Soldan High School and considers the area his second home. He has a close relationship with his customers.

When Alderman Sam Moore, who represents the area, recently suggested that north St. Louis members of the Board of Freeholders should not include Asian Americans, Phung and other Asian Americans in St. Louis described the comments as insensitive. It struck many as another example of their community being ignored.

Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis chapter of the NAACP, joined the show to talk about his support of airport privatization. | 12/4/19
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

The city of St. Louis is considering leasing St. Louis Lambert International Airport to a private company. Such a deal could bring a cash windfall to the city.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with Adolphus Pruitt, president of the NAACP’s St. Louis chapter. Despite skepticism and opposition from others, Pruitt is a vocal supporter of the idea of an airport lease. He said a large cash influx is needed to address the city’s problems.

Corinne Ruff | St. Louis Public Radio

About 20 residents gathered at an event Tuesday evening to ask questions regarding the city’s exploration of whether to lease St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Consultants and members of the Airport Advisory Working Group, including Deputy Mayor for Development Linda Martinez, gave a presentation at Carpenter Library in south St. Louis about the process so far. 

The group also explained the potential benefit of a private deal — saying a cash influx could help pay down the airport’s debt and help alleviate problems like blight and crime in the city.

Adolphus Pruitt, the president of the NAACP in the city of St. Louis, outlines allegations that former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger violated the law around minority contracting at a news conference on Sept. 17, 2019.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

The president of the NAACP in the city of St. Louis says former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger may have violated federal law relating to minority contracting.

Adolphus Pruitt made the allegations at a news conference on Tuesday. He says he started looking into whether the county was following the rules after reading a letter the St. Louis County Council submitted to federal prosecutors as part of Stenger’s sentencing.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner speaks to news reporters on July 11, 2019.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner says she acted appropriately when her office decided in 2018 to charge former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens with a felony.

“I steadfastly maintain that all of my actions were both legal and ethical, pertaining to my investigation or my decision to charge the former governor,” Gardner said Thursday at a news conference where she was surrounded by more than a dozen political and religious supporters. 

St. Louis County Council members meet on Oct. 2, 2018.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County may no longer require contractors bidding for work to have apprenticeship programs — a longstanding priority for labor unions.

The County Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night for Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger’s legislation that makes a host of changes to the county’s procurement regulations. One of the big changes is that it no longer would require bidders for certain contracts to either participate or maintain apprenticeship programs.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has put out a call for trooper applicants, while it acknowledges it has struggled to attract minority recruits. The agency's 99th recruit class graduated in December.
File photo I Courtesy Missouri Department of Public Safety I Flickr

The Missouri State Highway Patrol remains a predominantly white and male law enforcement agency. And efforts to change that reality haven’t made much headway over the last few years.

According to the most recent numbers, 94 percent of Missouri Highway Patrol troopers that are on the road are white. The percentage of minority troopers peaked in 1989 at 10 percent, but is now at 5.71 percent, with 2.6 percent being African-American.

And the Missouri Highway Patrol also lacks gender diversity: 5 percent of its officers on the road are women.  

Supporter Steve Stepanek of St. Louis waves his Confederate flag at the Confederate Statue in Forest Park on June 3, 2017, in St. Louis.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Tensions are high after more than a week of demonstrations and counter protests over whether to remove the Confederate memorial in Forest Park.

A rally at the monument Saturday featured both shouting matches and moments of dialogue.

The event was organized by Peggy Hubbard, a black woman who wants the monument to stay.

Protesters are greeted by lines of state and county police during a demonstration march on the Ferguson police station on August 11, 2014.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The St. Louis office of the FBI says it is investigating two assaults that occurred last month as potential hate crimes. In both cases, assailants mentioned Ferguson during the attack.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

The local NAACP says air pollution from coal-fired power plants is having a disproportionate impact on the health of African Americans in the St. Louis area.

The civil rights organization joined the Sierra Club, Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed and others on Wednesday to rally in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council is considering a series of bills aimed at giving minorities and women more opportunities to work on county projects. 

Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City, introduced several bills on Tuesday aimed at increasing minority participation on certain projects. The bills have the support of St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.

Among the projects available for loans through GreenHELP is installing solar energy panels.
Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association

(Updated at 10:25 p.m. on Thursday)

A report from the NAACP says Missouri should increase production of renewable power and require utilities to offer energy efficiency programs. 

Accomplishing those goals, the report says, could provide better health, cheaper utility bills and more manufacturing jobs in the state’s urban core.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 7, 2012 - After the agency's executive director asked for more time, the Metropolitan Sewer District's Board of Trustees decided today to hold off on changes to its minority-hiring policies.

In recent months MSD's minority hiring policies have come under renewed scrutiny, especially after the agency announced last year it would undertake a $4.7 billion plan to settle a federal lawsuit. Jeff Theerman, the agency's executive director, said at a January board meeting that MSD would launch a disparity study and make interim changes to current policies.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 21, 2011 - Leaders of the St. Louis Public Schools say a $96.1 million windfall from the settlement of the longstanding area school desegregation case would help them regain accreditation.