The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the month “April, 2021”

Proposal to Turn Vacant Lots into Urban Farms

www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/urban-farms-in-food-deserts-could-get-tax-credits-under-plan-moving-in-missouri-legislature/article_2255730b-d332-5a8d-b5fd-2ce69a3f738c.html

A good idea. Much discussed and needs all our support.

St. Louis Closing Workhouse Makes No Sense

St. Louis Mayor Tashaura Jones has committed to closing the medium security prison known as The Workhouse. This makes no sense and seems to confuse the institution for all the woes of the criminal justice system. Activists seem to believe that closing jails will make crime go away. Not true. Written by Paul Dribin

movement to Defund Police in St Louis

www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/st-louis-progressive-groups-campaign-to-defund-st-louis-police-in-next-city-budget/article_242ab3d6-afc8-5d4f-8b0d-b416d6e5e150.html

It would be a big mistake. Each officer on the street significantly reduces crime

Opportunity Zones Don’t Work

www.nytimes.com/2021/04/21/business/biden-trump-opportunity-zones.html

This article points out an analysis that those of us in the field already knew; Opportunity Zones Don’t Work. This program initiated by the Trump Administration provided deferral of capital gains taxes for businesses investing in underserved areas. Research has shown the investments were only made for projects which would have been built anyway. The Biden Administration is trying to change it which is a good idea. Written by Paul Dribin

Racial Equity Curriculum in Webster Groves

The school board of Webster Groves, my hometown is attempting to implement a racial equity curriculum for the district. There are all kinds of opinion on the subject, with some criticism and even a lawsuit from a national conservative organization. Such a curriculum is needed as long as it adopts data based research and is not just intended to make people feel guilty and other people feel they are victims. I have trust that the school board will do the right thing. Written by Paul Dribin

Exclusionary Zoning

www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/opinion/if-you-care-about-social-justice-you-have-to-care-about-zoning.html

An excellent article today in the New York Times about the detrimental effects of zoning and land use on affordable housing. The article makes the important point that this discrimination can be class as well as racially based. Communities need to address these barriers to allow their housing to be more affordable. Written by Paul Dribin

An Unlooked Factor in Police Reform

There has been much important discussion recently about the need for police to stop pulling people over for minor offenses, particularly, traffic issues. One wonders why this happens when there is little threat to public safety from these issues. An important factor is overlooked. All police departments, large and small derive significant income from traffic fines, interest on those fines etc. Somehow we need to figure out a method of municipal finance that is not reliant on traffic fines. Written by Paul Dribin

Police Reform in St Louis

www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/antonio-french/antonio-french-rare-opportunity-exists-for-police-reform-just-as-many-turn-to-defund-abolish/article_466be1b3-8c90-597a-b1b6-69343d0d0732.html

Good column as always by Antonio French in Post Dispatch

Page and Clancy Need to Answer

www.stltoday.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-county-taxpayers-must-demand-answers-as-bill-comes-due-for-failed-power-grab/article_9e958d48-7292-54d3-974a-61ac6ede6b20.html

A good editorial from Post-Dispatch. County Executive Sam Page and council member Lisa Clancy mounted in essence a coup to deliver the county council leadership to Clancy. The courts overturned this effort but there are substantial legal fees. Page and Clancy need to be held accountable. written by Paul Dribin

St. Louis and the Region

A colleague of mine posted on Facebook that he was happy to live in the City of St. Louis because he could vote for the mayor. I replied that to those of us in the county it doesn’t make a difference. He responded that the city drives the region. I disagree. The city makes up a minority of the population of the region and does drive things with regard to culture and crime. We go into the city for concerts, ball games, trips to the zoo etc. But we also hesitate to go into the city because of crime. This also affects where we choose to live where crime and non performing schools drive people out of the city. We have woke people in the city who are living under the illusion that St. Louis could become like Seattle if it only adopted progressive policies. Not true. Written by Paul Dribin

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