Episode 16: Tishaura Jones – The Future Great City podcast by nextSTL

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Just a week ahead of the decisive Democratic primary in the St. Louis City mayoral contest, our guest is city Treasurer and mayoral candidate Tishaura Jones.

We have also spoken to mayoral candidates Lewis Reed, President of the Board of Aldermen (listen to Lewis on the Future Great City podcast) and Lyda Krewson, Alderwoman for the 28th Ward (listen to Lyda on the Future Great City podcast).

From the Tishaura Jones for Mayor website (see her policy statements here):

Building on a background as a public servant, financial services professional, and educator, Tishaura O. Jones was sworn in as Treasurer of St. Louis on January 1, 2013. She is the first woman to hold the office in the history of St. Louis and is running for Mayor of the City of St. Louis.

As Treasurer, Tishaura increased transparency in city government, modernized the parking division, and saved the city millions of dollars through streamlining treasury operations. She has embarked on an ambitious agenda to improve the overall financial health of city residents by opening the Office of Financial Empowerment, offering free financial literacy classes and counseling, and the College Kids Savings Program, which gives every kindergartner in the public schools, district and charter, a $50 savings account for college.

Prior to becoming Treasurer, Tishaura established a track record of leadership in the Missouri House of Representatives. She was a Missouri State Representative from 2008-2012 and was the first African American and First Female Assistant Minority Floor Leader. As a member of the leadership team, she was the second in command of the Democratic members of the Missouri House of Representatives. During her tenure, she was a strong advocate for education, women’s reproductive rights, healthcare, and economic development.


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  • Adam

    Dammit. Just moved back to the region and won’t be a city resident in time to vote in this primary. Otherwise Tishaura would totally have my vote.

  • HighStandards

    This is a very good discussion by Tishaura Jones as mayoral candidate. She is well-qualified, articulate, and ambitious (in a good sense). She has good experience and common sense. She is hard working and very determined. I liked how she stood up for herself against the Post Dispatch writer. It’s unfortunate that she has faced this kind of battle that other candidates may not necessarily face possibly due to race and gender combined. I saw recently in the Post Dispatch that a former city worker is suing her now. This is unfortunate but perhaps a sign of election day approaching. We do not have all the facts as of yet but the timing sure does sound politically motivated as it came up so fast from out of nowhere.

    One quibble is that the thrust of her message “you are not from around here” to the Post Dispatch writer being from Texas came across as divisive and exclusionary. Everybody should have voice, validity, and visibility on any issue, regardless if one is originally from St. Louis or not. It smacks of parochialism to say that someone who is originally from Texas or Indiana can’t have a say about St. Louis. We need a leader who is a uniter, even if the Post Dispatch guy was wrongheaded about the graffiti. The next mayor needs to go beyond division and parochialism and focus on inclusion and problem-solving.

    Another point is that if she knew going into the race that she would face heavy scrutiny as Treasurer, then she should have put forth high effort of better accounting of taxpayer money spent on her many trips, even the Paris one. There is no excuse for not having well written documentation stating the clear purpose of each business trip and the benefit it served to taxpayers. She also demonstrated a lack of foresight that people could very well accuse her of misspending money as Treasurer, wrongly and unfairly trying to associate her to her father’s past illegality. I did not like her response that she spent way less than the Chicago mayor did on his trips. It did not give good justification for her spending money on her business trips. As a fiscal conservative, I want a mayor who takes care with spending money, even if it is perceived as a small amount.

    Voters should have high standards and vote for the best candidate who can meet those standards. Raise the bar and accept no less.