9:30 am Protest @ 16th & Market
11:30 am Press Conference @ City Hall
9:30 am Protest @ 16th & Market
11:30 am Press Conference @ City Hall
It started with a question on Twitter. One with an answer, I thought, that I had already started researching.
I’ve gone back and reviewed campaign finance reports filed by St. Louis Police Officers Association with Missouri Ethics Commission. I looked at contributions, including in-kind, made after the shooting of Michael Brown, August 9, 2014, in Ferguson. I chose that date because it seemed to me like no candidate or elected official in their right mind should have accepted* a check from SLPOA after that date.
Here is what I found.
SLPOA Donations to Aldermen
Includes current aldermen and current aldermen who ran for another office during the period but did not win.
7th Ward Jack Coatar (Total $3500) – $500 1/5/2017; $1000 1/27/2016; $2000 1/22/2015
6th Ward Christine Ingrassia (Total $1200) – $200 6/22/2015; $1000 1/5/2015
23rd Ward Joe Vacarro (Total $1200) – $700 7/18/2016; $500 6/22/2015;
22nd Ward Jeffrey Boyd (Total $1000) – $500 8/11/2016; $500 2/2/2015
26th Ward Frank Williamson (Total $1000) – $500 2/2/2015; $500 10/16/2014
8th Ward Steve Conway (Total $500) – $500 1/27/2015
5th Ward Tammika Hubbard (Total $500) – $500 2/23/2017
16th Ward Tom Oldenburg (Total $500) – $500 3/20/2017
12th Ward Larry Arnowitz (Total $500) – $500 2/2/2015
27th Ward Pam Boyd (Total $350) – $100 4/27/2017; $250 3/13/2017
25th Ward Shane Cohn (Total $250) – $250 12/13/2016
13th Ward Beth Murphy (Total $150) – $150 3/23/2017
Aldermen- Adding January 2013** to August 10, 2014…
22nd Ward Jeffrey Boyd (New Total $1800) – $300 7/31/2014; $300 4/21/2014; $200 1/13/2014
6th Ward Christine Ingrassia (New Total $1600) – $400 4/10/2014
23rd Ward Joe Vaccaro (New Total $1400) – $200 10/2/2013
12th Ward Larry Arnowitz (New Total $1000) – $500 3/23/2014
13th Ward Beth Murphy (New Total $350) – $200 4/21/2014
14th Ward Carol Howard (Total $200) – $200 6/11/2014
SLPOA spent thousands of dollars on the failed aldermanic campaigns of Ken Ortmann (9th Ward), including donations to his ward organization, and Jennifer Florida (15th Ward).
SLPOA Donations to Board of Estimate & Apportionment
The real decision-makers on money and policy matters for City of St. Louis.
Mayor Lyda Krewson, previously 28th Ward Alderwoman, has received $6,529.99 in checks and in-kind from SLPOA since August 2014.
Comptroller Darlene Green received a $1000 donation from SLPOA in January 2016.
Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed received $500 from SLPOA in February 2015.
SLPOA Donations to Missouri House (St. Louis City Delegation)
Includes current state representatives and current state representatives who previously were aldermen during the period.
81st District Fred Wessels (Total $675) – $175 8/1/2016; $100 6/16/2016; 400 4/27/2016
79th District Michael Butler (Total $600) – $200 8/18/2016; $100 8/26/2015; $200 10/21/2014; $100 8/25/2014
82nd District Donna Barringer (Total $600) – $200 2/15/2016; $200 10/15/2015; $200 2/18/2015
77th District Steven Roberts (Total $500) – $250 4/20/2017; $250 2/9/2016
80th District Peter Meredith (Total $400) – $100 5/15/2017; $300 5/24/2016
76th Dsitrict Josh Peters (Total $300) – $100 3/24/2016; $200 10/14/2015
Missouri House- Adding January 2013** to August 10, 2014…
82nd District Donna Barringer (New Total $1100 ) – $500 8/4/2014
79th District Michael Butler (New Total $700) – $100 8/23/2013
76th District Josh Peters (New Total $400) – $100 1/22/2014
Miscellaneous SLPOA Donations
Stephen Webber, now Chair of Missouri Democratic Party, received a total of $1250 in 2015-2016 as a State Representative and unsuccessful Missouri Senate candidate.
State Auditor Nicole Galloway received a $250 in June 2017 and $200 in October 2015 from SLPOA.
I know a number of elected officials who received donations from SLPOA have recently supported protesters and hit the streets with them during actions. But I am unclear as to which elected officials were protesting, which were there for a photo op, and which were just loitering to see what was going on or just passing through the crowd.
To be clear, I am not saying elected officials are bought and paid for by SLPOA. My position is that these are elected officials that SLPOA believes were or are allies. They have a confidence about them that a majority of elected officials stand with them and will stand with them no matter what. We don’t know right now who SLPOA’s allies are, but we will. Voters who want Black Lives to actually Matter will work to hold them accountable.
*SLPOA made a donation to Alderwoman Sarah Martin. She was under the impression that the donation was returned but it was not. After brought to her attention, my understanding is that the refund is being made, so I have not included it as a donation. If there is anyone else who refunded or rejected an SLPOA donation, let me know and I will edit the post to acknowledge.
** January 2013 was chosen as that 2013 was the previous election year for aldermen. Some aldermen only raise funds during their election year.
— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman
Since 1997, the south wall of the Tucker entrance to City Hall has featured Kenneth Calvert‘s “Cornerstones of Courage and Culture” mural commissioned by Freeman Bosley, Jr., the St. Louis City’s first Black Mayor.
This Black history work of art features six St. Louis African American historical figures: Captain Charlton Hunt Tandy, Dr. Charles Henry Turner, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, Annie Turbo Malone, Thomas Million John Turpin, and Rev. Moses Dickson.
In 2001, following the 9/11 attacks on the United States, City Hall began installing additional security equipment and initiated additional security protocols for entry into the building. In the process of installing some equipment, Calvert’s mural was slightly damaged. A piece eventually fell off. Over time more of it fell off.
This pdf file on the mural was created June 8, 2011. See properties. The photograph was actually taken the previous year.
Here was the extent of the damage at the time- 2010.
Here was the extent of the damage nearly seven years later, last month.
According to Rich Bradley, President, St. Louis City Board of Public Service, “In two decades since the mural was created, the wall behind it has degraded due to moisture damage and age. For the last three years the City has been attempting to repair the existing mural. In order to save this important piece of our City’s artistic legacy and continue to honor the great thinkers and leaders the mural commemorates, the City has contracted with Portfolio Gallery, the original artist Kenneth Calvert, and Trotter Art, Inc. to install a high resolution reproduction of the mural in the same location. This process has been in the works since 2014. The original mural was removed, the wall has been repaired and repainted, and the reproduction will be put in place this evening.”
I have no doubt there are moisture issues on that wall. There are moisture issues, and mold issues, and plaster falling off walls and ceilings, and asbestos, all over City Hall. And Calvert’s mural was just one of many pieces of art at City Hall succumbing to environmental issues.
The City says the fix for the situation has been in the works for three years. The problem had been around for sixteen years. Plenty of requests had been made prior to 2014 to get some action on the situation.
But, what’s worse- the Tucker entrance serves the circle drive and parking for citywide elected officials and their high level staff- the important people at City Hall didn’t notice the Black history mural was falling apart or didn’t think it was important enough to do something much sooner.
A work of art was neglected over a long time and now has been replaced with a reproduction. That should make us sad, make us angry, and is nothing for the City to brag about.
–Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman