Among the many matters discussed by speakers at the Saturday rally against Paul McKee was a letter that April Ford Griffin, alderwoman of the 5th ward, received on October 3.
After a standard opening, Slay states the following:
I strongly support more private investment in the 5th ward as long as it creates quality jobs and improves the quality of life for the people who live in the 5th ward.
Any development must reflect the ward’s diversity. It would be beneficial if it includes both affordable housing and market rate housing.
Any major redevelopment plan will not go forward until and unless there is public input, which includes open dialogue among the developers, the residents and elected officials.
I will not support eminent domain for owner occupied properties.
I will not support a redevelopment plan that does not have community support expressed through the community’s elected representatives.
I will oppose Old North St. Louis being part of a major redevelopment plan unless the residents want to be included.
My administration will not sell LRA holdings as part of a major redevelopment plan unless the community supports the plan through their elected representatives.
Anyone who owns property in the 5th ward must take care of it by meeting codes to ensure public safety and health.
The last bullet point from Slay is interesting, as workers were out all over the place on Saturday as we marched by, cleaning up McKee’s properties. I wonder if it was a coincidence? One of the workers had threatened one of the speakers the day before; it reminds me of my own experience with brick thieves†on Montgomery Street.
I will post pictures of the march as soon as I get back to my base of operations to download the images from my camera.
Update:†The mayor broke his word and resorted to eminent domain in order to clear the site for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. April Ford-Griffin was given a position in the mayor’s administration.