Gateway Greens Current Platform

Here is the Current Platform for the Green Party of St. Louis.  Click on the links below to read more about the planks in our platform.

Resolution on the Context of the Ukraine Conflict

Passed by the June 15, 2022 Green Party of St. Louis meeting

1. We are horrified at the suffering that the Ukrainian people have endured from ongoing conflicts. We are also horrified at the way that the US media gives the impression that blame is totally due to Russia (and not at all due to Ukrainian fascists).

2. Far from being “unprovoked,” the fighting was prompted by the continuing expansion of NATO, and the 2014 US-supported coup.

3. Media bias is likewise reflected by close to zero reporting of over 10,000 deaths of Ukrainians between 2014 and 2021.

4Media reporting has been racist by the decades-long failure to give proportionately similar coverage to mass deaths of Muslims, Blacks, Hispanics and Asians.

5. Ukraine's borders have shifted for over a thousand years, meaning that its territory has included many whose culture must be respected.

6. The Ukrainian government has trampled on trade union rights, has criminalized multiple opposition parties and controls news outlets.

7The claim that Volodymyr Zelensky cannot work with Nazis because he is Jewish is not credible.

8. Democratic Party loyalists have a long history of covert action in Ukraine. If Russia is condemned for its actions (as it should be), then the Democratic administration should be condemned for continually provoking the conflict.

9. The Democratic administration’s demand that industry increase fossil fuel output shows its contempt for concerns with climate change. When they vote to massively increase war expenditures, they abandon a progressive domestic agenda.

10. The US’ continuing efforts to discourage a negotiated settlement could easily result in nuclear war.

A Greener New Deal

Energy conservation is essential for the existence of humans and other species.  The Green New Deal attracts tremendous attention by calling for Medicare-for-All, Housing-for-All, and Student-Loan-Forgiveness-for-All.  It can become greener by including a Shorter-Work-Week-for-All.  Recognizing that every type of energy has negative effects, a Greener New Deal proposes to improve the quality of life as we work fewer hours, manufacture fewer detrimental goods, and use much less energy. 

The Greener New Deal aims to convert the old economy that is based on world domination, wars, exploitation and extraction into a new, sustainable economy that is environmentally and ecologically sound, economically viable and socially responsible.

Problem 1: Fossil fuel (FF) dangers include the destruction of Life via global heating.  Nuclear power creates the unique problem of radiating humanity for eternity.  Industrial solar and wind power require destruction of wildlife habitat and mined rare earth minerals from other countries. They would need land area which rivals the magnitude of that currently used for all agriculture and human settlement.  Solar power also involves poisoning of workers and communities.  Wind power creates nerve-wracking vibrations and problems with disposing 160-foot non-recyclable blades.  Hydro-power (dams) hurts terrestrial and aquatic life, undermines native cultures, destroys farms and worsen international conflicts.

Several problems run through multiple energy systems:

  • Every type of alternative energy requires large amounts of FFs during its life cycle;
  • All types of energy are intertwined with attacks on civil liberties, land grabs from indigenous communities, and/or murders of Earth defenders;
  • Transmission lines require additional land grabs, squashing of citizen and community rights, and increased species extinctions; and,
  • Since the most available resources are used first, (such as deposits of metal ores critical for solar, wind, and nuclear energy, as well as sunny land, mountain tops for wind turbines, rivers for dams) each level of expansion requires a greater level of resource use than the previous one, which means the harvesting of energy is increasingly harmful as time goes by.

Proposal 1: Nuclear energy must be halted as quickly and as safely as possible; FF extraction should be dramatically reduced immediately (perhaps by 70-90% of 2020 levels); and, rather than being increased, extraction for other forms of energy should be reduced, with all changes guaranteeing employment.

Problem 2: Common “greenwashing” language is exemplified by the nuclear industry’s term “spent fuel rods” which implies that used fuel rods are not radioactive, when, in fact, they are so deadly that they must be secured for eternity.  An accurate term would be “irradiated fuel rods.”

Many discussions use the terms “clean” and “renewable” to describe energy which is neither.  Alternative energy is not “clean” due to the many GHG emissions throughout the life cycle of all types of energy in addition to assaults on ecosystems and human health.  Though the sun, wind and rivers may be eternal, required mined minerals are exhaustible, meaning that no form of energy is “renewable.” 

Proposal 2: The Greener New Deal eliminates greenwashing terms “clean” and “renewable” to describe energy.  It does not use “solar farm” or “wind farm,” both of which are coined by capitalists to conjure a rustic image while describing energy undermining family farms.  Nor does it suggest the use of fossil fuels can be eliminated by a given date as it is not possible to do so.  Every type of energy requires FFs.

Problem 3: Humanity’s needs are not currently being met because of an economy which …

  • ... is destructive, including war materials, militarized police forces and production which destroys farmland and habitat (all of which should be reduced immediately);
  • ... is wasteful, which includes both (a) playthings of the richest 1%, and (b) things which many of us are forced to buy for survival and getting to work, the most notable being cars;
  • ... requires unnecessary processing and transportation, the most notable example being food which is processed to lose nutritional value, packaged to absurd levels, and shipped over 1000 miles; and,
  • … involves planned obsolescence, which is omnipresent and includes design to fall apart or go out of style, the most obvious example being electronic devices. 

Reducing the quantity of production would not hurt the quality of life – eliminating toxins is just one way it would improve our lives.  Replacing production for profit with production for need will be the core focus of an economy which manufactures goods that are useful, reliable and durable. 

Proposal 3: The Greener New Deal advocates a Shorter-Work-Week-for-All as key to using much less energy.  However, a shorter work week will not accomplish environmental goals if it is accompanied by an “intensification of labor” (workers at Amazon handling more packages per hour or increasing class size for teachers).  This requires a livable wage and strong unions which have a central role in determining production as well as working conditions.

The entire workforce should democratically decide how to shrink the economy by shifting from negative to positive employment.  As the work week is reduced, every workgroup should evaluate how labor is organized, and how jobs should be redefined to preserve full employment. 

New guidelines for manufacture would focus on the ability to repair products as well as designing them to endure for decades rather than a few months or years.

Problem 4: The most destructive portion of US production is devoted to a military machine to continue the subjugation of peoples of Africa, Latin America and Asia who have been victims of Western imperialism for over 500 years.  Current plans to massively expand electric vehicles (EVs) undermine the vastly more sustainable approach of urban redesign for walkable/cyclable communities.  Plans would result in manufacturing EVs for the rich world while poor and working class communities would suffer from the extraction of lithium, cobalt and dozens of other materials required for these cars. 

Africa may be the most mineral-rich continent.  In addition to cobalt from the Democratic Republic of the Congo for EVs, Mali is the source of 75% of the uranium for French nukes, Zambia is mined for copper for solar/wind power and hundreds of other minerals are taken from dozens of African countries.

Proposal 4: A Greener New Deal would not only make wars for oil obsolete but also make coups for lithium and child labor for cobalt obsolete.  A socially just Greener New Deal requires the rich world to pay reparations for past horrors, domination and exploitation, as well as necessitates the discontinuation of ongoing atrocities connected to resource extraction, which means:

  • Acknowledging that every community has the unalienable right to self-determination;
  • Reparations sufficient to eliminate poverty must be paid unconditionally prior to entering into any extraction negotiation; and, 
  • Every community must have the right to terminate an extraction agreement at any time.

Problem 5: When people hear “deep green,” they often think of how industrial activity deeply affects ecosystems.  “Deep” can also refer to having a deep respect for poor communities whose lives are most affected by extraction.  Respect is not deep if it is unwilling to accept an answer of “No” to a request for exorbitant, profit-gouging extraction.

Proposal 5: Essential for building a New Green World is the creation of a New Green Culture which asks all of the billions of people on the planet to share their ideas for obtaining the necessities of life while using less energy.  Such a culture would aim for one idea to spark many ideas, all of which strive more toward creating and maintaining viable communities than on inventing energy-guzzling gadgets.

In order to build a New Green Culture which puts the sharing of wealth above personal greed, every country should establish a maximum income which is a multiple of the minimum income, with that multiple being voted on (no less than every five years) by all living in the country.

Conclusion: It is not necessary to increase production to address energy, employment and social and environmental justice.  Instead of a WW II-type mobilization, the Greener New Deal proposes the largest economic demobilization in history.  The survival of Humanity depends on the building of a society that prizes sharing above all else.

Decriminalization of Marijuana Platform

Green Party of St. Louis Program on Decriminalization of Marijuana

The racism that was and is a core part of criminalized marijuana now threatens to reappear during the phase of decriminalization. The burgeoning business of growing marijuana raises the specter of corporate agriculture with its threats to human health and ecosystems. The Green Party of St. Louis proposes to overcome these strongly linked problems by compensating victims and requiring organic production of marijuana.

Since federal law classifies marijuana as a narcotic there are no federal guidelines for growing it. This makes it tempting to demand that it be declassified and brought under the auspices of bodies like the Environmental Protection Agency. The problem is that federal and state bodies are controlled by corporate powers seeking the weakest standards possible. Goals should instead be stated to counter racism and have genuine environmental protection with real researched (not fake) organic standards.

1. Repairs must begin with an apology which acknowledges that criminalization of marijuana was a part of a greater attack which used drug law enforcement as one of many weapons to destroy communities of color, stifle peoples’ political and cultural movements, and cause suffering for an enormous number of individuals.

2. Communities affected by criminalization of marijuana and the larger attack upon them should decide what restitution they should receive to rebuild those communities.

3. All those who remain incarcerated for marijuana-related must be released immediately and their records must be expunged.

4. Individuals harmed by marijuana criminalization should receive financial compensation for any arrest, trial, incarceration and post-incarceration damages such as difficulty finding a job.

5. Those who have been arrested for possession or small scale distribution of marijuana should be offered job training and/or higher education at no cost for entry or management positions related to cultivating, processing, transporting or dispensing marijuana.

6. Those who have been arrested for possession or small scale distribution of marijuana should be offered priority in receiving entry or management positions or ownership related to cultivating, processing, transporting or dispensing marijuana or other career opportunities they may choose.

7. Funds and grants to assist in growing, preparing, transporting and dispensing legalized marijuana should be offered in direct proportion to the harm that individuals have suffered – those who have been harmed the most should receive the greatest compensation. In particular, the greater the harm an individual has suffered, the higher priority that individual should have for being offered a license related to dispensing marijuana. Such licenses must never be based on a lottery or fees of over $100.

8. Organic growing must be a core component of protecting the health of marijuana workers, producers and users. All who grow marijuana must receive education at no cost on how to do so without the use of chemical poisons (“pesticides”). This must include how to intersperse marijuana with other crops so that pests are not as threatening as they are with monocultures. All who grow, process and disperse marijuana must obtain certification that their product is free of chemical contaminants. There should be no limitations on the number of marijuana plants an individual may grow, as long as those plants are grown with genuine organic principles.

[Passed by the April 20, 2022 Green Party of St. Louis meeting with confirmation of wording by the April 25, 2022 Coordinating Committee meeting.]

[For submission to MOGP for adoption at its statewide meeting of Saturday, June 25, 2022.]

Economics and Redevelopment Platform

Economics Platform

Economic conditions in the city of St. Louis and surrounding communities have improved since the trough of the Great Recession but they are far from ideal even when compared to other US urban areas. The St. Louis metro area ranks only at 32 nd place in terms of unemployment rate (5.6%), higher than Kansas City (5.0%), Pittsburgh and Cincinnati (4.3%), Denver (3.9%), and first place Minneapolis-St.Paul (3.0%) among the 50 largest urban areas. But these statistics belie how poorly the city of St. Louis itself is doing. For instance, the average monthly unemployment rate in 2013 was 9.1% in the city compared to 6.5% in St. Louis County. Both city and county unemployment rates have declined in recent years from peaks of 12.8% for the city and 9.1% for the county, but the decline for the city is due almost entirely to an extreme decline in the labor force. During the first decade of this century St. Louis city experienced a modest decline in its labor force, from a peak of 163,490 in 2001 to 159,293 in 2009. but then the labor force fell precipitously to 139,643 in 2013, a decline of 12.3% in just 4 years. Meanwhile a meager 619 net new jobs were created in the city from 2010 to 2013. This was the anemic response to the loss of 14,178 jobs in the city from 2009 to 2010. Surely we can do better; it would be difficult to do worse.

The city of St. Louis also has unacceptable levels of poverty. In 2009 the overall poverty rate was 26.5% for the city compared to less than 10% in St. Louis county, and less than 15% in Missouri and the US. The city poverty rate for those under 18 years of age was 40.7% in 2009 compared to about 12% in the county and 20% in the state and the US. These data do not distinguish between black and white poverty rates, but other sources indicate that black poverty rates, particularly for black youth, are significantly higher than those for whites. Income data simply reinforces the far less than satisfactory picture for St. Louis city residents. Median income for city residents is below that for St. Louis county, about a quarter less than for Misouri, and a third less than in the US overall.

Clearly the economic picture for St. Louis residents is far from satisfactory. Moreover, there is little evidence that programs at the local level or the national level have done much to improve the situation. Therefore the Green Party proposes the following economic programs to create living wage jobs, reduce poverty, and establish economic justice in the city of St. Louis.

1. Raise the wage of all St. Louis workers to at least a living wage of $15 per hour. This can be accomplished by city ordinance, or a city referendum, and, as a start, requiring all city contractors to establish a minimum $15 per hour entry level wage. Together with other programs to create city jobs, the $15 minimum will become the standard for St. Louis.

2. Labor’s right to time and a half for overtime worked needs to be reasserted and adjusted for increases in the cost of living. In 1975, 53.2% of workers in Missouri who earned the current equivalent of $984 per week or less, qualified for overtime pay. Today, due to inflation, anyone earning over $455 per week can be denied overtime pay even if they are required to work 70 or 80 hours per week. Earnings of $455 per week implies a poverty standard of living for families, and if required to work over 62 hours per week, implies an hourly wage below the Federal minimum wage. To address this injustice, city contractors should be required to pay overtime to all workers making under $50,000 per year whatever their job classification, thus restoring the 1975 overtime status for workers.

3. Establish sick leave benefits for low income workers. Unlike every other developed country, in the US paid sick is a benefit reserved almost exclusively for high earners. Among the top 10% of private industry earners, 87% have paid sick leave, whereas just 30% of the bottom 25% of earners have access to paid sick leave, and typically for them it is only 2 sick days per year. This inequity should be addressed by requiring all firms doing business in the city of St. Louis to provide at least 7 days of sick leave per year for all their workers.

4. Promote business and employment for St. Louis’ minority population. Well over half the population of the city of St. Louis are black and Hispanic residents. Yet these people are among the most economically depressed in the area, with, on average, twice the unemployment rates and half the annual incomes of non-minority residents. To promote a more just economic environment, reduce unemployment and raise low incomes, black and Hispanic businesses need to be able to compete for a much larger share of City contract business. A commission should be established to define just and equitable dimensions of this program.

5. Promote economic development in North St. Louis and other depressed areas of the city. Mayor Slay and the St. Louis Board of Aldermen have devoted far too much energy and City resources to the development of the downtown area at the expense of neglecting the rest of the city. To remedy this, the Board of Aldermen, working with regional Universities, public interest groups, and progressive corporations, should establish an area economic development plan, and aggressively seek funding from Federal, state, and profit and non-profit organizations. The plan would be approved by a public referendum and implemented by a publically elected commission.

6. Actively seek to promote an inclusive collective bargaining movement in St. Louis that works for the rights of all. Unions that are demographically inclusive and that actively support and campaign for the rights of workers on the job and for good working conditions should be given preference in city contracts. Contracts below a defined threshold need not be union, but the contractors must respect the rights of their workers as if they were unionized.

Redevelpment Platform

St. Louis’s North Side should be considered an historic landmark, and real effort should go to restoring the many crumbling buildings and infrastructure. The area should be improved and made accessible and lucrative to the people who have lived there since the end of World War II; which is predominantly, St. Louis’s African American community. The residents on the North Side of St. Louis have been exposed to overtly racist policies, that have led to the decline of that portion of the city. Since the 1950s, residents there have been victims of unfair loan and rent practices, eminent domain abuse, and red-lining; a process by which homeowners are denied loans for home improvement. It was revealed in 2014, that the U.S. Government was intentionally poisoning the residents of Pruitt-Igoe, by testing chemical weapons on the people living in the housing project. The story of how the North Side has decayed to its current state is tragic, and frustrating. It is representative of the systemic racism that is still consuming St. Louis.

Recently, our elected officials have decided that this is the path on which they would like St. Louis to stay. In February 2015, developer, Paul McKee was granted a Certificate of Need by the Missouri Department of Health's Facilities Review Committee, which was needed to begin his redevelopment plan by building an Urgent Care Facility. Since 2003, Paul McKee has used several different companies he owns to purchase more than 600 parcels of land, combined for total of 1,500 acres in North City. The properties are not maintained, and all of them are vacant. Against city ordinance, many of the buildings do not have boards over the windows, some are missing windows, and the lawns are maintained by the city, due to neglect. Due to the vacancy, and lack of maintenance on these properties, the value of surrounding properties is decreased, as well. The properties are sold, from one shell company to another, at an inflated rate. This will allow McKee to take advantage of the Distressed Areas Land Assemblage Tax Credit; and this also distorts the property values in North City, to the disadvantage of the homeowners.

McKee has asked the City of St. Louis for $409,917,496 in tax increment financing, (TIF) which was approved in 2013 by the Missouri Supreme Court. This approval came after a Missouri Circuit Court judge determined that McKee’s plans were too vague to qualify for TIF funding. The redevelopment measures being proposed are unethical, do not consider the historic value of the North Side, and will result in the further disenfranchisement of the residents who currently live there. Properties, such as the Clemens House, which has historically been connected with Mark Twain; could be used as a source of revenue for these neighborhoods. Currently though, they are owned by Paul McKee, and are deteriorating. We are losing our city’s history, so Paul McKee can buy cheap land.

Realistic and ethical redevelopment measures on the North Side must acknowledge the sordidness involved in the history of these neighborhoods, and the impact it has had on the people who live there. The Green Party supports redevelopment that incorporates reparative measures for the people who have been so abused by our local and federal government.

A New Vision:

1. Demand a study of the effects the chemicals that were tested by the government on the Pruitt-Igoe housing project in the 1950s, and appropriate reparations awarded to the families who were

2. Propose redevelopment measures that focus on the historic value of the North Side,

3. Propose redevelopment measures that will be inclusive, and beneficial to the current residents of North St. Louis.

4. Properties with historical significance should be preserved, and legislation should be introduced to ensure this is the case on the North Side.

Education Platform

The challenges faced by our public education system are community issues, and must be addressed as such. It is impossible to fix something, if you do not recognize what is actually causing the problem.

It would be so simple if we could point to just one reason for low academic performance and then pick one reform that would turn around student achievement. However, the causes and the solutions are far more complicated. Blaming educators, and reactive measures are counterproductive to improving our educational institutions. There are numerous reasons why some schools and students do better than others, and it takes a variety of reforms to address the issues.

A significant number of students in the St. Louis Public School District live in impoverished households. They bring to school challenges that children from wealthier communities have not experienced. Thousands of St. Louis students live in communities that are prone to violence, many do not have basic needs, such as food, and lack the familial support they need.

Community schools offer programs and services that are designed to help students and families with their most pressing needs. For instance, community schools stay open through the evening hours and provide extra tutoring, a safe environment, and recreational activities for students. Community partners would provide comprehensive services, such as health and dental care, counseling programs, and other social services.

Community schools have seen promising progress across the United States.. Student achievement in those schools has improved, and school officials attribute gains to attention being given to the needs of the "whole child." Establishing community schools that serve our most struggling communities could be very impactful on the performance of our St. Louis Public School students. So rather than board up schools, let's put them to use in a productive way. These vacant properties could be used as community schools that would educate and care for the whole child.

All teachers need ongoing professional development, with relevant training in curriculum and interpersonal skills, such as building trust and relationships as well as detect signs of trauma in their students. Students who misbehave should receive special attention in order to address underlying issues instead of the currently practiced ‘zero tolerance’ since suspensions cause further delays in learning, therefore potentially increase the dropout rate. In addition, all children should have full access to preschool, in order to prepare for school.

Many of St. Louis’s public schools have higher than average dropout, and teen pregnancy rates. Practical incentives for graduation must be outlined for students, as well as creative, fun incentives for teens to stay in school. Comprehensive sex education programs should be offered to students; and we should create discussion groups for teens, so they may have an environment in which they feel secure asking questions.

New Vision:

  1. Transform St. Louis Public Schools in deprived neighborhoods into Community Schools
  2. Educator evaluation and training
  3. Special attention and assistance for students who misbehave and/or show signs of trauma or neglect
  4. Access to quality preschool for all St. Louis City children
  5. Introduce incentives for graduation
  6. Implement comprehensive sex education programs
  7. Provide nutritious food in all schools, as well as education on junk food and lead poisoning to children of all ages

Resolution of the Gateway Greens on Charter Schools

Supporting community schools means having a strong public school system. Greens are concerned that charter schools are taking money away from traditional public schools. Our children's education should be compassionate, address the whole child, be of the highest academic quality, be based on decision-making which is democratic and transparent, include staff who are fully qualified and receive adequate salaries and reflect citizens' freedom of religion. Therefore, the Greens believe that educational policy of Missouri (including St. Louis City and St. Louis County)  regarding private schools should reflect the following principles:

1. All charter schools must have standards at least as high as those of public schools, including:

A. ... a transparent decision-making process, which means that boards or governing bodies of charter schools have meetings which are open to the public (including taxpayers, parents and staff) and which have the same time frame as public schools regarding advanced announcement of agendas and publication of minutes;

B. ... the same standards of student selection as public schools, meaning that charter schools cannot “cream” (admit only students with the highest academic records or the fewest behavioral problems) or “dump” (return students with academic or behavioral problems to public schools);

C. ...provision of resources and supports for students which are of a quality at least as high as those of public schools;

D. … use of the same standardized tests for students and same criteria that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) uses to evaluate public schools;

E. ... provision of salaries and benefits to professional and non-professional staff that are the same as those for staff in public schools;

F. ... requiring that professional and non-professional staff have qualifications and degrees that are at least as high as those for staff in public schools; and,

G. ... have the same number of academic hours for students as do public schools;

2. Greens call for a moratorium on contracts with new charter schools until the conditions above are satisfied for existing charter schools as well as demonstration by charter schools that they have the same ability to keep student records as do St. Louis Public Schools.

3. Since desegregation money was intended for public schools, none of those funds should go to charter schools.

4. In order to respect freedom of religion (or no religion), tax dollars should not finance religious schools.

5. Greens strongly support the right of all staff at charter schools to organize themselves into a union.

Environmental Platform

Slay’s Greenwashing

St. Louis should have an ecological approach to living that addresses the very serious issues that confront our city. Instead, the Slay administration has a record of “greenwashing,” or using language that implies environmental preservation, while maintaining policies that are actually detrimental to our environment.

Though the voters of St. Louis said that they did not want to spend public money on a private sports stadium, Slay advocated tearing down the old baseball stadium, and building a new one with fewer seats. In the process, a ton of CO2 was spewed into the atmosphere for every ton of cement used. Again, he is supporting plans to build a new football stadium, despite our city already having one. This plan would destroy our historic riverfront, further pollute our city, and would not create any permanent new jobs. According to the American Lung Association’s 2013 report, St. Louis has the 12th worst air quality of major metropolises in the U.S. Mayor Slay’s Sustainability Plan, released in 2014, only partially addresses the issue of pollution. It calls for increases in alternative methods of transportation, but does not address the industrial polluters in St. Louis; who are responsible for the majority of our air pollution.

When the West Nile virus scare hit, Slay’s Health Department ignored information from environmentalists that pesticide sprays could not reduce mosquito populations and worsened the City’s asthma problems as it sprayed pesticides across St. Louis. The Slay administration was unable to fund the removal of lead contamination that was found in 27 St. Louis schools, but, at the same time it was revealed that they were spending $2 million to beautify the Grand Avenue bridge. The excessive lights from the Kingshighway and Grand Avenue bridges involves the burning of coal to produce wasteful electricity, and could easily have been solar powered. While professing to be environmentally friendly, Francis Slay has NOT lobbied against plans to build “Small Modular Reactors,” (SMR), and continues to accept contributions from proponents of SMRs; Ameren.. Nuclear power is arguably the worst environmental disaster in human history — it risks a meltdown that could destroy St. Louis and Kansas City; exposes workers to excess radiation during routine operation; creates wastes that poison people for thousands of generations, and drives up utility rates so high that low income people cannot afford to pay them. A truly environmentally conscious mayor would do everything possible to prevent new nuclear facilities from opening, and would prohibit nuclear power from being used in St. Louis.

Though City parks should be green spaces to unify neighborhoods [or: Though neighborhood parks should be green spaces to unify communities...] and larger parks unify the entire City, Francis Slay began the process of privatizing parks by attempting to sell off a portion of Forest Park. Mayor Slay’s program to improve Martin Luther King Blvd. involved paving the entire area with concrete, but
did not involve the addition of trees.

The Green Alternative

In contrast, the Green Party of St. Louis has a record of active environmentalism:

  • Greens have halted the construction of toxic incinerators, and even shut down medical waste incinerators,
  • Greens have proposed alternatives to the spraying of pesticide poisons to control mosquitoes,
  • Greens gathered signatures for an audit of the City when it refused to release information on where childhood lead poisoning prevention funds were being spent, and helped gather signatures to protect Forest Park.
  • Greens have warned St. Louisans of potential dangers of eating genetically engineered food.

Our elected officials should make sure that incineration is not used as a waste disposal method; never spray pesticides as a method of insect control, propose the labeling of food with genetically engineered components, and increase and maintain public parks throughout all parts of St. Louis.

New Vision

1. The Green Party calls for a visionary long range program to dramatically reduce pollution and greenhouse gases that are caused by transportation and industry in the City of St. Louis, within the next five years.

2. The most important step in establishing the use of “alternative energy,” is using less energy. The Greens would begin a wide spread educational program to help people understand the need to use heat efficiently by wearing extra clothes and turning the thermostat down when not at home. The Greens would initiate a program to install free central heating systems in homes currently without central heat for occupants who agree to an external governor that sets the heat to no more than 68 degrees during the days and 55 degrees during sleeping hours.

3. Greens advocate making all homes as weather-proof as possible, with a focus on low income neighborhoods, where utilities are often cut off. Low income people without heat often turn to space heaters, which are dangerous, costly, inefficient, andproduce excessive green house gases. Unfortunately, the Urban League will not help weatherize homes if the heat has been cut off. Weatherizing all homes will help low income residents financially, and reduce the amount of energy used, thereby lowering greenhouse gases.

4.The Greens would install solar panels on all public buildings to generate energy; and require utility companies to purchase excess power produced by solar and wind generators on businesses and homes. In order to obtain an occupancy permit, a home should be required to meet at least IECC-2009 standards of energy efficiency. This would include reflectivity standards for roofing, which reduce cooling costs and result in less coal burning at electric plants.

5. The City should begin a demonstration program to construct at least 100 homes to passivhaus standards by 2012, at least 30% of which must be for low income families. A home with the German passivhaus design is so well insulated that it does not require a furnace. The approximate 10–15% extra cost in construction is far outweighed by the huge savings in heating.

6. The Greens advocate tree planting next to road improvements, in new developments and in treeless parks. Trees help our communities in a variety of ways, and we should not take their importance for granted.. They reduce contaminants from the air, and help in stormwater management by slowing runoff. Trees help to cool us in summer, and break winter’s chilling winds. They are also important to our psychology, and encourage people to spend more time outdoors.

7. The Greens will begin a rooftop garden program in St. Louis, to provide more natural cleaning agents for our air, and provide insulating components to buildings.

8. The Green Party advocates a jobs program to bury power lines underground, (as already done in much of Europe) both to prevent outages during storms, and to reduce the need to cut off tree branches. The jobs program would also include opportunities for youth to work for both pay, and school credit, by participating in urban gardening and city clean-up and maintenance.

9. Missouri law prohibits air pollution rules stricter than federal standards. Francis Slay has done nothing to protect citizens, many who suffer from respiratory problems, by opposing this ridiculous restriction. Federal guidelines for air pollution were designed to be minimum standards that local governments could strengthen as they see fit. A Green mayor would actively lobby to overturn this state law, and would work with US representatives to draft federal legislation to guarantee municipalities the right to strengthen pollution standards.

10. The Greens will continue to lobby against the use of nuclear power, and oppose the building of any new nuclear facilities. This includes the Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) proposed by Ameren.

Global Conflicts Over Energy

The monumental increase in the use of energy is provoking conflicts across the Earth.  The Green Party of St. Louis expresses it solidarity with those struggling against extraction, including these examples.

A. Standing Rock, North Dakota
Greens stand in solidarity with the on-going Native American protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota protesting environmentally irresponsible and culturally damaging pipelines that transport crude oil extracted from tar sand, destroying their ancestral lands. So-called “clean” and “renewable” energies depend on the climate killer oil for their production.

B. Ogoni People vs. Shell
Greens stand in solidarity with the Movement for Survival of Ogoni People against Shell. The Niger-Delta was devastated and traditional culture weakened by soil, surface and groundwater contamination that makes farming and fishing impossible. Local communities still seek to receive denied compensation, clean-up, a share of the profits and a say in decision-making.

C. Coal extraction in India,
Greens stand in solidarity with the Centre for Policy Research in India as it opposes efforts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to to open 41 new coal mines because burning coal is a major factor in climate change, leads to asthma, premature births, and spreads toxins (including mercury) by air, water and land.

D. Fracking in Pennsylvania,
Greens stand in solidarity with the Green Party of Pennsylvania which has opposed fracking since 2008 when it realized that use of volatile chemicals could harm local communities and waterways and contribute to climate instability. Local residents have become ill and major waterways and delicate ecosystems have been damaged.;

E. Nuclear power and Olympic Games,
Greens stand in solidarity with the No Nukes Action Committee of the Bay Area who are demonstrating against the Olympic Games slated for Tokyo in order to raise awareness of the ongoing disaster of Fukushima nuclear power since nuclear power is deadly and intimately connected with the potential for nuclear war.

F. Uranium Mining in Africa,
Greens stand in solidarity with “Solidarity Action for the 21 Villages” in Faléa, Mali against the French multinational COGEMA/Orano. After years of struggle, this NGO defeated a uranium mine through community mobilizing, aware of the detrimental effects on health, environment, agricultural land, water sources and cultural heritage, still fighting to undo already done infrastructural damage.

G. Solar arrays in Washington State,
Greens stand in solidarity with rural Klickitat County, WA residents who are being invaded by industrial solar facilities which would exceed 12,000 acres and undermine wildlife/habitat, ecosystems, ground/water, and food production because solar panels and lithium ion batteries contain carcinogens with no method of disposal or re-cycling and could contribute to wildfires from electrical shortages.   

H. Wind turbines in Broome County NY,
Greens stand in solidarity with the Broome Tioga Green Party’s fight against industrial wind turbine projects that would increase drilling and mining, dynamite 26 pristine mountain tops, and destroy 120,000 trees while requiring precious minerals and lithium for batteries and being dependent on fossil fuels for their manufacture, maintenance and operation.

I. Hydro-power in Honduras,
Greens stand in solidarity with the indigenous Lenca people opposing the Agua Zarca dam on the Gualcarque River in Honduras whose leader Berta Cáceres was murdered for uniting different movements to expose how dams destroy farmland, leave forests bare, disturb ancestral burial sites, and deprive communities of water for crops and livestock.

J. Lithium mining in Thacker Pass,
Greens stand in solidarity with activists aiming to stop Lithium Americas’ Thacker Pass open-pit mine (Nevada).  Essential for electronic devices including electric cars, the mine would destroy rare old-growth big sagebrush, harm wildlife including many endangered species and lower the water table. Its operation would require massive fossil fuel use and toxic waste ponds.

K. Cobalt Extraction in DR Congo,
Greens stand in solidarity with the child laborers slaving and dying in Democratic Republic of Congo cobalt mines. Cobalt is an essential ingredient for some of the world’s fastest-growing industries—electric cars and electronic devices. It co-occurs with copper mining, used in construction, machinery, transportation and war technology worldwide.

L. Most of all, Greens stand in solidarity with thousands upon thousands of communities across the Earth opposing every form of extraction or transmission for energy which seeks to cover up human health and environmental dangers.

Policing and Crime Prevention

While structural changes in the U.S. economy during the past 30 – 40 years of the ‘War on Drugs’ hit the least qualified in segregated neighborhoods the hardest, mass incarceration became the method of choice to get people off the street and reduce the official unemployment rate by incarcerating increasing numbers of nonviolent offenders for longer and longer periods of time. This sets in motion a vicious circle that keeps particularly black and brown young men entrapped for life. Nonviolent offenders should be given alternative sentences, which provide avenues to high school diplomas, job training and/or college. Building strong communities is the best crime prevention.

The Green Party advocates for the discontinuation of current crime ‘prevention’ methods such as hotspot policing and drone surveillance. We should deemphasize current drug laws, and decriminalize marijuana and all illicit drugs, in order to discourage sale by eliminating the profit margin.

Court systems, designed to handle drug and mental health related charges need to receive greater funding.

Alternative sentencing should be implemented more frequently. There must be increased funding for skills training, and rehabilitation. In addition, easily accessible recreational programs for adolescents and teens, in place throughout the city is strongly indicated to decrease crime, and should, therefor receive prioritized and sufficient funding. (GP Youth and Families Platform).

Ending conditions which create crime is the fundamental solution, and should be our overall goal. St. Louis should work in cooperation with the federal government, for full employment, including a livable wage, and adequate housing for all of its residents. Government needs to look inward, as well. Establishing adequate oversight to find, and root out graft and abuse of power, as well as discrimination, racial profiling and covert racism, should be a priority. Penalties for corporate criminals should be considerably harsher; to create disincentive toward those kinds of crimes.

The recent events in Ferguson and around the country have once more revealed that policing in the U.S. is totally out of balance. Neither citizens, or officers who want to protect and serve the community, are served by a police department rocked by scandal. In the fourteen years of his tenure , Mayor Slay has failed to provide for even minimal police accountability. In 2006, he vetoed the bill for a Civilian Review Board with subpoena power, which had passed in the Board of Aldermen. Finally, in 2012, with massive funding through millionaire Rex Sinquefield, Slay launched a campaign which mislead voters, and resulted in the passing of Proposition A, a pseudo review board without civic participation.

Slay’s tenure as Mayor has been unresponsive to research and statistics that reveal flagrant racism, misconduct, and corruption, involving multiple city departments. His plan for Youth Crime Prevention, proposed in 2012, lacked substance, and failed to address the causal elements of youth violence. Mayor Slay sites the “Ferguson Effect” for the increase in crime in 2014. He has proposed a plan to hire 160 new police officers, but opposes a Civilian Review Board. He is a strong proponent of an ever increasing “toughness on crime” without any proof that currently applied policing
practices are effective.

In 2013, Police Chief Dotson applied for approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, and collected the funding for the purchasing of a drone; which is estimated to cost around $30,000 - $60,000. The increased use of ‘HotSpot’ policing, and the proposal to incorporate the use of drones, will waste more tax payer dollars on practices that will further target and disenfranchise the poor and at risk neighborhoods, and will likely prove ineffective. Building a police department that deserves the trust of the people it serves would be a more effective path.

The Green Party requests that the mayor must install an effective Civilian Oversight Board as part of a new climate of accountability. As part of this reform, the Mayor should sign a Memorandum of Understanding with police rank and file, guaranteeing collective bargaining rights with binding arbitration.

The Missouri annual study of racial profiling has shown no improvement year after year. Our police force needs to reflect the racial makeup of the communities they serve. Officers should undergo racial bias testing prior to entering into service, and should live in the communities they are policing. We must ensure that we are strengthening the trust between officers and the communities they police. This can be accomplished through de-escalation training for officers and education of the public on basic laws and rights, and police department policy and procedure.

Given the nature of their job, police officers should be equipped with a point-of-view body camera. In addition, police should maintain the traditional stance in favor of non-enforcement of federal immigration law by municipal authorities. When considering the issue of gang violence in our city, we must understand the causes of this sort of crime, and address the underlying issues. Cameras that invade the privacy of citizens are neither reasonable nor an effective solution to this problem.

The Green Party Vision:

  1. St. Louis needs an effective Civilian Review Board which has subpoena power.
  2. Skills training and recreational programs for youth should be created and existing programs expanded.
  3. Implement measures to end racial profiling and the harassing of immigrants and other minorities.
  4. Implement programming to improve community relations with local law enforcement. This should include deescalation training for officers, and information provided to the public regarding policing policies and procedures.
  5. Nonviolent offenders should be given alternative sentencing.
  6. Instead of camera supervision that further invade people’s privacy, new and effective approaches need to be developed to cope with gang violence, and its causes.
  7. Police officers should be equipped with point-of-view body cameras, and officers who violate the policies regarding use of the camera should be suspended.
  8. Influence and support legislation to decriminalize all illicit drugs.
  9. Culturally sensitive drug rehabilitation, treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and mental health treatment should be provided upon request (or) demand through established community based centers.
  10. Education is the most reliable crime prevention investment any governing body can make. It should be the idiom by which all crime prevention policy is created.

Proposal for Peace in Ukraine and the World

Passed by the June 15, 2022 Green Party of St. Louis meeting

1. Alert people throughout the world to the dangers of racists and fascists in governments, police departments and militias. [See LINKDuring 500+ years of theft of natural resources, European and US colonialism has killed 120 million indigenous people in this hemisphere and over 150 million in Africa. [See LINK] This onslaught against people of color continues and today is even worse than the bloodshed in Ukraine. Bringing peace to the Ukraine requires proposals that are part of plans to challenge global fascism.

2. Cease fire and resume peace talks in accordance with the February 2015 Minsk agreement which guaranteed cultural autonomy to the Donbass, amnesty to combatants, elections in disputed areas, and monitoring by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). [See LINK] Dispatch humanitarian (not military) aide to all people affected by the fighting.

3. There must be safe and unhindered passage for all refugees leaving from and returning to a country. This includes those who change residence due to a change in national borders and governments (who must receive reparations for the loss of their homes). This applies to refugees throughout the world, including Ukraine.

4. While fighting in Ukraine is important for human suffering, it cannot be understood without acknowledging crimes of the last 500+ years. All countries should recognize the brutality of colonial imperialism and all perpetrating countries should apologize for their role.

5. All mines and blockades must be removed from Ukraine (including those documented by the International Maritime Organization) in order to allow food and medical supplies to pass from its internal waters to Odessa and other ports. [See LINK] All countries must close all foreign military bases and remove all weapons from foreign lands. [See LINK]

6. All countries involved in the Ukraine conflict, both overtly and covertly (such as the US), should sign the Treaty of Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and immediately begin their destruction of nuclear weapons. [See LINK] Abolish NATO and end all military aide to Ukraine, Russia and other countries.

7. Cancel all foreign debts of Ukraine and all countries which have been victims of colonialism during the last 500 years.

8. Release all prisoners and return bodies of slain soldiers. All parties must make a Pledge for Peace and join genuine negotiations to guarantee human rights (including the right to speak one’s own language) in Ukraine and the rest of the world. [See LINK]

9. War crime investigations should begin with those of1492 while emphasizing living criminals. The International Criminal Court would be inappropriate due to its role in the cover-up of the massacre at the Odessa House of Trade Unions on May 2, 2014 by Ukrainian fascists. [See LINKInvestigations should be coordinated by those who are victims via designated countries from Asia (perhaps Viet Nam and China), Africa (perhaps Mozambique and Tanzania) and Latin America (perhaps Cuba and Mexico).

10. Financial reparations must be paid by colonial powers for attacks and enslavement. Amounts should be determined by victims of colonialism and not its perpetrators. A council of victimized people should investigate amounts owed but not paid in chronological order beginning in 1492.

Transportation Platform

Cities across America, from Boston to Seattle and Miami to Minneapolis-St. Paul and Philadelphia have developed or are developing creative ways of reducing their dependence on the automobile, a major cause of both air pollution and global warming, while making their communities healthier and more livable. It is past time that St. Louis join them. It is the goal of a Green administration to see that this happens.

The Green Party envisions a new St. Louis where citizens can easily make the vast majority of trips by bus, train, trolley, bicycle and walking. Expanding healthy and more efficient forms of transportation would enormously improve the City’s air quality, reduce traffic injuries and deaths, and lower the incidence of heart disease and diabetes. Reduced automobile dependency will mean less traffic congestion, shorter commute times, and fewer stress-related illnesses. It also offers the prospect of real savings on transportation costs. Research has shown that in communities that are more automobile dependent households spend $4000 more per year on surface transportation than in communities with more diverse modes of transportation. [1].

Unfortunately, mayor Francis Slay’s policy of continuing to focus on the automobile for transportation has produced an ecological and urban planning nightmare for St. Louis. A Green administration would overcome automobile addiction by implementing a comprehensive plan with five key components:

  • Improving and expanding mass transit, including a North-South Metro line and practical trolleys;
  • Increasing the number of riders per car;
  • Increasing bicycle usage and walking;
  • Decreasing excessive parking spaces; and,
  • Creating car-free zones.

Mass transit

A Green administration would purchase only energy efficient vehicles for use by the City. By itself, this would be woefully inadequate to slow the hurricanes and other weather disasters which accompany global warming. The only way to seriously reduce automobile emissions is to reduce automobile dependency.

Though Francis Slay advocated using public money to pay for a private stadium and for tax give-aways he could not find money to increase train and bus routes. Better financial prioritization would allow a Green administration to take steps necessary to provide adequate mass transit in St. Louis, including calling a Conference of US City Mayors to demand Congressional funding throughout the US. A Green administration would:

  • Double the number of buses in operation in order to increase frequency and weekend routes.
  • Introduce double-sized buses on heavily used lines.
  • Create a North/South Metro (train) line.
  • Provide free mass transit for the elderly, disabled and students.
  • Limit mass transit fares to no more than 10% of the minimum hourly wage.
  • Ensure that there is a shelter at every bus stop with a heat lamp.
  • Require every business which sells lottery tickets to sell bus passes.
  • Make the Bi-state management board more democratic by ensuring that at least 20% of its members are elected by users and at least 20% are elected by employees.
  • Create a “traffic light preemption” system (which turns a light green as a bus approaches), such as already exists for some emergency vehicle locations.
  • Install talking crossing signals for the visually diabled.

Create bus and HOV lanes

The Slay administration has stood by while St. Louis’ transportation system has become embarrassingly outdated. Highway 64/40 is being rebuilt with no plans for bus lanes or “high occupancy vehicle” (HOV) lanes reserved for cars with three or more occupants. A Green administration would actively work to ensure that every highway and thoroughfare in the St. Louis area has bus and HOV lanes.

Bicycling and walking

St. Louis needs a comprehensive urban plan that will allow every resident to bicycle or walk to a grocery store and community school. Under Francis Slay’s leadership, the City has wasted tax dollars on “share the road” signs and seemingly random bike lane designations where there is frequently inadequate road space for bicycles. Such a reckless public relations gimmick risks injury or death of cyclists lured into thinking the signs make roads safe.

At a minimum, a Green administration would:

  • Create continuous lanes for bikes, free from vehicle traffic and use for car parking. Build bicycle paths to separate cycling from congested thoroughfares.
  • Build bicycle lanes connected to streets with metro stops.
  • Post better signs to notify car drivers of bicycle lanes.
  • Implement the Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan developed by East-West Gateway (which defines minimum standards for cycling and walking in St. Louis).

Excessive parking spaces

The Slay administration has done nothing to reduce the vast areas dedicated to parking spaces and parking lots. Excessive parking spaces are dangerous for bicycles, interfere with commerce by increasing the walking distance between shops, and degrade the attractiveness of neighborhoods. Current rules require businesses to have 1 parking space for every 3 people in the occupancy permit. The Green Party would change this to 1 parking space for every 5 people immediately and 1 parking space for every 9 people in two years.

Car-free zones

Improved mass transit and traffic light preemption will let St. Louisans get to work faster by public transportation than by driving cars. This will lead to more people using buses and trains. If St. Louisans could also get to neighborhood schools, shopping and recreation areas by foot and bicycle, the City could design car-free zones with no parking spaces for privately owned cars [but with parking for emergency, disabled, construction, delivery and shared vehicles].

The Green Party advocates the development of car-free, high-density, mixed residential/commercial areas. In these areas, citizens could do most of their shopping in their community and use mass transit for most of their remaining trips. This should be promoted by developing neighborhoods which are (1) adjacent to mass transit routes, and (2) require commercial space to be set aside for neighborhood shops such as grocery stores, clothing stores, hardware stores, laundromats and barber shops. An essential part of such communities is that they have a vehicle sharing or renting program for the few trips when a car, truck or mini-van is truly needed. All such developments should dedicate at least 30% of homes for low income families.

A Green administration would work with each St. Louis neighborhood to explore its interest in developing a car-free community shopping district and attempt to create at least one such district in each ward by 2018. The mayor should immediately create a task force to examine car-free business and residential zones that already exist in cities throughout the world and determine how they can be adapted for St. Louis.


  1. B. McCann, Driven to Spend: The Impact of Sprawl on Household Transportation Expenses, 2000.

Youth & Families Platform

The Green Party acknowledges that in many parts of town young people grow up in a war zone. Families are trapped In neighborhoods that have dilapidated over the past fifty years, due to our elected officials’ systematic neglect. A significant number of young people are treated as disposable, and a nuisance. Many of our communities are not provided with adequate schooling or sufficient resources, and the youth are being routed to jail and prison in mass numbers. Our city’s families need community based, comprehensive support.

The current methods used to quell youth violence; intensified policing methods, medicating without proper PTSD treatment, and incarceration, are politically and morally bankrupt. These policies lead to a disillusioned body of young people, who are then barred from finding a productive place in mainstream society. Upon initial review, recognizing youth violence as a public health issue, rather than a criminal justice issue might look like progress, but the approach is in the same idiom of blaming the victims. Mayor Slay’s Regional Youth Violence Prevention (YVP) Task Force Community Plan outlines the initiative to diagnose an increasing number of troubled children and youth as mentally ill as a response to youth crime. As a result, these youth become life-long consumers of psychotropic drugs, they will suffer the stigma attached to mental illness, and in many cases, will not experience an improvement in their quality of life.

This method does not address the underlying societal deprivations from which our youth are suffering, and which are the initial causes of many of the issues in our city. Ending the Drug War and de-criminalizing illicit drugs will curb gang violence over turfs since it eliminates the profit margin. Ending stigmatization and discrimination (such as: ineligibility for mainstream employment, food stamps and other resources), will ‚re-humanize ex-offenders, and provide them with viable legal opportunities. This will help to strengthen families and heal our communities.

The Greens call for the funding and implementation of comprehensive programs and policies that have experienced success in distressed communities, by providing support to at-risk youth and their families:

A New Vision:

1. Revival of the “Caring Communities” approach -- this is school-based, family oriented, community support, in conjunction with:

2. Teen Drop-In Centers in every neighborhood, anchored in community-based organizations,

3. Mobile outreach through ex-gang members/role models and/or social workers; instead of increasing the number of police officers,

4. “Cease Fire,” and mediation initiatives, led by respected, qualified Community Organizers,

5. Programs focused on mentoring, social and cognitive skill development, future orientation, conflict resolution,and trauma-related therapy.

6. Community based initiatives that create advanced employment, trade-learning, and entrepreneurship opportunities for youth and young adults,

7. Increase training opportunities for living wage jobs in sustainable fields such as: urban gardening, weatherization, and housing rehabilitation,

8. Intensive re-entry programs for gang-affiliated, and other ex-offenders, that provide social supports and mentoring in addition to education and employment assistance,

9. Affordable Day Care and Early Childhood Education for every child, including free childcare for low income families,

10. Conflict resolution and trauma recognition training for all teachers, social workers, and volunteers,

11. Strengthen the Public School System by creating Community Schools with highly trained, qualified, and motivated personnel

12. Provide nutritious food in all schools, as well as education on junk food and lead poisoning to children of all ages, as well as their parents.