Happy December 8th ward!
This month tends to be a whirlwind, as there are holiday parties, neighborhood markets and events for buying gifts, and carving out time to spend with your loved ones. It's also when the temperatures drop, and life gets a lot more difficult for people who don't have access to the housing and services they need. I sit on the Health and Human Services Committee, and in November we held a hearing with the Homelessness Services Division to discuss their plan for the winter. They are moving towards a housing-first policy, but that leaves the need for immediate, overnight shelter unmet. Biddle House is under new management, and though an extra 50 beds have been made available, that's less than the number of beds that were available last year. Community groups and churches have been stepping up to take people in, but this is an unsustainable measure. As a committee, we hope to keep meeting with this division as we approach the budget sessions for 2019, and get commitments for more funding. We also are working to meet with the Police Department to make sure that they are doing their jobs with understanding and compassion.
Meanwhile, you've been hearing a lot about sports in our City. Last week, the Board of Aldermen passed a resolution supporting a group of investors' bid for an MLS team in St. Louis, with a soccer stadium to be build on the land where the 64/40 and 18th street interchange is scheduled to be demolished. I did vote yes to support the resolution, but with significant caution, and only after significant questions were asked at the hearing, and a meeting with the Mayor's administration. I remain committed to the lease being transparent and collaborative, with the Board of Aldermen and our concerns that any deal be in the best interest of the citizens of St. Louis City be represented in those negotiations. Cost overruns, paying area standard wages, the improvement and demolition fund, environmental sustainability, etc. are all pieces that need to be detailed in the lease agreement. The resolution was only a first step, and we have to wait now to see if Major League Soccer determines that our bid is a good one, and if they'll award us a team. The voters of St. Louis are to be commended for voting down the last bid that came before us, as this one is significantly better for taxpayers than the last one, the Taylor and Kavanaugh families are to be commended for their significant investments in our region, and I will continue to do my job and advocate for the best deal for St. Louisians that we can get.
Annie in Action
Left to Right: Celebrating Tower Grove Neighborhood CDC; Filing; Matching with colleague Alderman Spencer; Celebrating the North Newstead Association with Sean from TGNCDC and Jenny from Community Builders Network; Election Day with Berhe from Shaw Market
Southwest Garden Neighborhood Association (SWGNA): 4th Monday in July and October at St. Louis Activity Center, 5602 Arsenal, 7:00 pm
Tower Grove East Neighborhood Association (TGENA):every fourth Tuesday of month at Tower Grove Abbey, 2336 Tennessee, 7:00 pm
8th Ward Independent Democrats: 3rd Thursday of every month in the St. Margaret of Scotland church basement at 39th and Flad. CHILDCARE PROVIDED. (No meetings June-Aug., Nov. or Dec.) All meetings are open to the public.
Annie's Re-Elect Campaign Kickoff Event: December 5th 5:30- 7:30 pm; Wild Carrot 3901 Shaw Boulevard
Annie's Re-Election Canvassing Kickoff: December 8th 10 am- 1 pm; 4557 Tower Grove Place
Holidays in Old North: December 8th 11 am- 4 pm; Old North St. Louis Restoration Group 2700 N 14th St 63106
29th Annual Ginormous Super-Fun HallerDay Mega- Party: December 9th 6 pm- 10 pm; 4146 Flora Place 63110
STL City/ County Democrats Holiday Party: December 13 6:30 pm- 9:30 pm Teamsters Joint Council Local No. 682
Garden Glow: 5-10 pm; Through January 1st; Missouri Botanical Garden 4344 Shaw Blvd.