Happy Friday!

This week Better Together was honored to host five dynamic speakers to share their positive visions of a reimagined St. Louis.

  • Clayton Times’ Jack Seigel covered the event: “They presented over the backdrop of a fragmented region, rife with duplicative services. A place where we compete against each other at our own expense. A region content to leave people behind. And one that is slow to change.”

Be in the know… These were aspirational visions for the future of St. Louis. Community leaders spoke of a region where economic development was not hindered by division, where life outcomes were not predictable by race, and where our collective healing and civic pride drove us to the greater heights we all know are possible here.

Why this matters… Common among the speakers’ visions was the reality that if we are serious about improving our human condition in St. Louis and achieving the kinds of change we know are needed in St. Louis, then we need a government worthy of its people. One that does not encourage division, but unity. And one that serves all its people to meet the big challenges of today and tomorrow.

Jason Hall

(Clayton Times) “Jason Hall explained his deep love for the region and ways that entrepreneurship can jumpstart economic development. He demanded better than the status quo but in a reasonable yet hopeful manner.”

Rebeccah Bennet

(Clayton Times) “Rebeccah Bennett imagined the life of a black boy growing up in the reimagined St Louis. The boy who receives excellent prenatal care, is embraced by his neighborhood, has access to quality education that sparks his curiosity. He lives the life we want for our children.”

  • “This story was a two-sided coin. Inherent in the ideal is that those outcomes are currently atypical for black boys in St Louis. They exist at the margins, not the center of our communities and institutions.”
  • “Every single person in the room knew that Rebeccah’s story was a fairytale for black boys today. And so she had to imagine it. And now we have to build it. Black boys deserve that future.”

Scott Ogilvie

“Hi, I’m Scott Ogilvie, and I’m one of the 571 alderman in the St. Louis region,” is how the Alderman from St. Louis’ 24th Ward opened his remarks.

  • He told the history of successful consolidation efforts in cities like New York and Toronto. And also explained that while the region has not experienced population growth, it has become more and more spread out and suburban…”

Travis Sheridan

(Clayton Times) “Travis also provided some lessons we should hold onto when reimagining St Louis. He is more worried about improving the lives of the people that live here, not just chasing population growth to grow the tax base. Our government owes something to the people who already call the [region] home.”

Kira Van Niel

(Clayton Times) “The final speaker, Kira Van Neil, expressed how living in St Louis made her better. Where we live should make us better. With some work, more people could say that about St Louis.”

How do you #ReimagineSTL? 

What is your positive vision for the future of the St. Louis region?

We encourage you to share how you reimagine our future on Twitter, Facebook, or by sending us an email (bettertogether@bettertogetherstl.com), and use #ReimagineSTL.

We look forward to you joining this community conversation!

Have a great weekend.