Maida Coleman | St. Louis Public Radio

Maida Coleman

Former Sen. Maida Coleman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

You could say Maida Coleman has come full circle.

The former state senator worked at the public service commission back in the 1980s. There, she was a clerk who certified trucks that traversed across the state.

Flash forward to Thursday, and Coleman is about to return to the agency that regulates public utilities – but on a different level. Gov. Jay Nixon tapped Coleman to serve as a PSC commissioner, effective Aug. 10. She replaces Robert Kenney, a St. Louis attorney who was nearing the end of his six-year stint on the PSC.

Former Sen. Maida Coleman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome former Missouri state Sen. Maida Coleman to the program.

The St. Louis Democrat was tapped last year to lead the Office of Community Engagement, an entity set up by Gov. Jay Nixon that, in his administration’s words, is aimed at “engaging communities, public and private sector leaders, clergy and citizens across the state in communication regarding critical issues affecting Missouri communities.” 

Protesters march down West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson earlier this year.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Plans are moving forward to spruce up West Florissant Avenue, the site of intense protests that followed Michael Brown’s shooting death.

Roughly $2.5 million will go toward preliminary engineering on the Dellwood and Ferguson portions of the street. The ultimate aim is to incorporate pedestrian friendly elements – such as new sidewalks and bike lanes – into a 2.6 mile stretch of the road between I-270 and the Buzz Westfall Shopping Center.

After facing intense heat from some of his party’s African-American leaders, Gov. Jay Nixon is tapping a former St. Louis-area senator to serve as a liaison to the state’s poor and minority communities. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 5, 2009 - If Alderman Kacie Starr Triplett, D-6th Ward, had answered her telephone late Friday afternoon, she would have been the first to know about a political storm that was about to touch down at the city's Election Board offices. The caller was Denise Watson-Wesley Coleman, who was trying to let the alderman know that Coleman was on her way downtown to file for mayor in the Democratic primary.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 2, 2009 - Only minutes before the filing deadline on Friday, state Sen. Maida Coleman announced that she would not run in the Democratic primary for mayor of St. Louis but would run instead as an independent. She said she changed her strategy because another candidate with her last name – Denise Watson-Wesley Coleman – had filed for mayor an hour and 15 minutes before the deadline.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 23, 2008 - State Sen. Maida Coleman said Friday she would file papers to run in the Democratic primary for mayor of St. Louis by the 5 p.m. deadline.

Coleman, who told the Beacon in an exclusive interview last week that she planned to challenge Mayor Francis Slay's bid for a third term, said in a news release that she was seeking the post because she thinks the city needs new leadership on crime, education and what she called a "crisis of confidence."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 27, 2008 - When Barack Obama takes to the floor Thursday night, he will surely sketch out his vision of the country and what he hopes to accomplish as president. The Beacon polled a number of delegates and guests to the Democratic National Convention and asked what Obama's top priority should be, if he's elected president.

An enormous vacant lot has not inspired confidence that Ballpark Village will be the economic boost that was promised. 2008 300 pixels wide
Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 5, 2008 -  It's been a long and winding road to Ballpark Village, with still many miles to go. Eight years ago when the Cardinals owners first floated the idea of a new stadium, Ballpark Village was the carrot to win over a wary public. There was strong resistance to public assistance for a new stadium, and the Village offered the promise of a true economic boost to downtown.

After years of delays and frustrations, the owners announced a tentative new start, planting hope that the big dirt patch next to the stadium may prove fertile development ground after all.