Trailnet and Partners Ask St. Louis County Executive Candidates Questions About Critical Issues
Trailnet partnered with Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis and Metropolitan Congregations United to ask candidates about important housing, economic development, and transportation issues. The St. Louis County Executive Primary election is on Tuesday, August 5.
Check out the responses below. All responses are posted as received. Remember to vote Tuesday, August 5.
1) St. Louis County, especially North County is home to 11 zip codes that rank among the nations 395 worse zip codes for underwater mortgages. The impact of foreclosures in recent years has also had an impact on the housing market and County neighborhoods. These realities have meant tax revenue decreases, home value declines, and declining properties, which have disrupted families and sent a negative message to neighbors. If elected, what will you do to help families deal with or prevent foreclosure?
2) There are a variety of tools that can be used to strengthen housing and economic development. These ideas have been discussed for the County: land banking with a supportive revenue stream, pooling grants for bigger community revitalization projects, defending historic and low income housing tax credits, creating zoning that allows for a mix of housing options, and coordinating planning and resources support across County departments for effective development. Which tools would you use to strengthen housing and economic development in the County?
3) St. Louis is defined by its neighborhoods and communities—each with a distinct housing and economic focus. What policies would you put into place to invest in communities in need? How will you support community commercial districts?
4) Large-scale economic development initiatives such as the push for increasing entrepreneurs and bio-tech jobs impact the whole County and region, and are essential for a robust economy. How will you make sure large-scale economic initiatives benefit communities in need of jobs or investment?
5) High poverty areas have risen a 150% in the County in the last decade. How would you reduce barriers to entering the workforce for a variety of populations (college students, new mothers, etc)?
6) East West Gateway Council of Governments reports that St. Louis County driving rates have steadily decreased by 4.5% since 2007—a higher percentage of decrease than the nation’s 2.8% decrease. At the same time, more people (including Millennials and Baby Boomers) want to live in areas with more transportation options like taking public transportation, walking, and biking. How would your administration accommodate these resident preferences and connect neighborhoods to jobs, education, services, and amenities?
7) There has been significant investment in public transit along the central corridor. How would your administration improve north-south corridor transit?
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