Steve Roberts, Sr. is a candidate for Alderman in the special election July 11, 2017 to represent the 28th Ward. Roberts is a former Alderman, successful entrepreneur, husband, father, progressive, and an independent Democrat working for change.
Roberts’ Seven Point Plan of Action:
- Reduce Crime: We must strike the right balance between police resources, effective prosecution, and addressing the root causes of crime, such as drug addiction, unemployment, and hopelessness. We must improve police community relations, treating all citizens with respect, and encouraging residents to report criminal activity. That’s why I served as President of Backstoppers and was a founding board member of Crime Stoppers. We need to disrupt the influx of drug users coming into our community from other counties, that bankroll drug gangs. We must also immediately add more uniformed officers to our MetroLink platforms. It is time for real results in reducing crime and violence.
- Rethink Tax Abatements: For too long our city has required too little from developers in exchange for tax abatements and TIFs. No longer should development incentives be automatic. They must be judged instead on the amount of social, economic, and neighborhood benefit they bring. We must also demand transparency from our elected public officials to avoid all conflicts of interest.
- Promote Economic Empowerment: We must continue to lead the way in setting a higher minimum wage. We must also help young people transition to work with apprentice programs that teach job skills. We can also promote mentoring programs for young entrepreneurs and help people start their own business or service industry with micro-loans.
- Take Care of Basics: Basic infrastructure and city services must be enhanced to improve our quality of life. This includes well maintained streets, sidewalks, alleys, bike and walking trails, street lighting, transportation, housing, code enforcement, trash collection, public safety, parks and recreational facilities. City owned abandoned homes should be put on the market. Neighborhoods are only as strong as the ability of the Alderperson to respond to your complaints and to get things done.
- Emphasis On Children: One of the byproducts of crimes of violence in our city is the traumatic stress it places on children. Much like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among some veterans, children hearing shots in the night, or losing a sibling, or fellow classmate to violence experience PTSD as well. While tackling the problem of violence, we also need to address the immediate pain these children are suffering. St. Louis also has the highest rate of infant mortality in the State of Missouri. We need better pre-natal care, nutrition, and support for groups like Nurses for Newborns. We must also strive to improve public education.
- Review Tax Assessments: Recently property tax assessments skyrocketed in the 28th Ward. The average for our ward was an increase of 13.5% after ONLY two years. The City Assessor’s office is a city department. I will push for an independent outside review. While it is good to see property values rise, we must also make sure the assessments are independent of any undue influence to generate greater revenue.
- Enhance Business Climate: We need to continue to promote the image of St. Louis as a tech hub and center of innovation. Lots of elected officials talk about job creation, but the real trick is to attract and retain the right kind of employers, those that pay their employees well, offer benefits, and have a sense of civic responsibility to support educational, civic and cultural institutions.