There is a major overlooked cause of crime in St. Louis, vacant foreclosed properties.
Much research shows that vacant properties not only cause deterioration of a neighborhood, but cause an increase in crime. These properties become attractions for criminals and vandals.
St. Louis has thousands of vacant foreclosed properties owned by a city agency, the LRA. These properties were usually foreclosed upon for non payment of taxes. This foreclosure process may take years, all the while keeping abandoned buildings on line. In addition, and equally important, it takes the city years to dispose of these properties, many of which should be razed. They lack the data systems to oversee this inventory and even know what they have in stock.
I worked for HUD selling foreclosed properties in Milwaukee. From that experience I learned certain lessons. Holding a property on the market in the hope of getting a better price is foolish, properties must be priced to sell quickly, investors must be activated to purchase properties,the private sector can be good partners, Urban Homesteading is a great tool to sell properties and bring homebuyers into the city, bulk sales are necessary, and good data and information is critical. Demolition must also be part of the mix. The City of St. Louis has done very little of these things. Written by Paul Dribin
Much ado has been made of the crime and mayhem in downtown St. Louis. Billions of dollars have been invested in various projects in the area with little to show for it. I rarely go downtown except to a Cardinals or Blues game and am not alone.
A common bromide is that we need a great downtown to have a great city. That may have been true in the days when most office workers worked downtown, and shopping at department stores was common and indeed a treat.
Today most people do not work downtown and often work at home. The cultural institutions in St. Louis are not located downtown, so why try to develop it. More resources need to be put into neighborhoods with growth incurring more organically. Written by Paul Dribin
Read this article. Republicans in legislature are tying up even routine funding of Medicaid over narrow interests concerning contraception and abortion. Missouri is just really fucked up. Sorry to use such crude language but that is the only description that is appropriate. Written by Paul Dribin
A good idea. Much better than pure eviction moratorium which hurts landlords.
As someone who is fully vaccinated I was very pleased to see the CDC guidance that people who are vaccinated do not need to wear masks. This is what the science has shown through carefully constructed studies. What I am finding interesting, amusing, and frustrating is that many people, particularly on the left do not want to give up the mask even though it serves no purpose. I noticed students at St. Louis University last week walking around outside with masks which makes no sense at all even if you are not vaccinated. The mask has become a sign of social and political virtue on the left just as anti masking was a symbol of the right. I wish we could all be evidence and science based. Written by Paul Dribin
Medicaid expansion in Missouri has reached a grinding halt. The voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment requiring the state to expand Medicaid in accordance with the federal Affordable Care Act. Most of the funds for the expansion are federal. The Republicans in the Missouri legislature have still blocked the expansion because they say there is no source of funding. This is appalling and a demonstration of why the public has lost faith in government. Ironically the rural communities represented by Republicans would benefit the most from expansion. Written by Paul Dribin