A couple of years later she opened a bookstore called Sankofa, which means "to return to your roots" in Akan, the west African language. It became a hub for local activists. By the late '90s, she was protesting for minority employment rights with Eric Vickers, a popular community activist who would later become her first campaign manager. In 1999, she blocked I-70 alongside Al Sharpton and sat in the back of a paddy wagon with him.

"That was the first time I went to jail for a positive cause," she says with a staccato chuckle. "Oh man, that was fun. I felt good. I went to jail for something positive."

In 2003, to protest the lack of minority workers on a MetroLink project, she and Vickers sat on the train tracks at the Forest Park station. The next day, above the fold on the front page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Metro section, there was Nasheed, stone-faced and dressed in black from head wrap to shoes, getting carried off the tracks by a half-dozen police officers.

State Representative Jamilah Nasheed: I'm 
black before I'm a Democrat.
Jennifer Silverberg
State Representative Jamilah Nasheed: I'm black before I'm a Democrat.
State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal is one of many Democrats who question Nasheed's loyalty to the party.
Jennifer Silverberg
State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal is one of many Democrats who question Nasheed's loyalty to the party.

"MetroLink was the first time that she started getting attention across the board, not just in the black community," says Vickers. "That gave her a larger profile."

Between fighting the power and shifts at the bookstore (which closed in 2006), she got married, adopted her young cousin, earned her GED and worked as a consultant on political campaigns — for names including Claire McCaskill, Irene J. Smith, Charles Troupe and Yaphettt El-Amin.

By 2006, her colleagues were pushing her to run for office, to fix the system from The Inside. The seat for 60th District state representative opened up. Nasheed ran and won. Soon after, she enrolled at a community college.


The most successful push for local control in Missouri history kicked off 80 miles south of St. Louis, in a small town called Perryville, at an old family-owned restaurant called Park-Et. It was 2009, and Mayor Slay had driven all the way down to meet with Tilley, the House majority leader at the time. Tilley had earned a reputation for being open-minded and putting principles over partisanship. Slay knew that if he wanted local control, his best shot was to sway Tilley. He did.

"I'm a conservative Republican that believes that local people should make local decisions," Tilley says. "If I wouldn't advocate for the state to run Perryville's police department, how in good conscience can I advocate that they run St. Louis'?"

When the 2010 legislative session began, Nasheed sponsored the local-control bill and Tilley cosponsored it. The two had developed a friendship over the years, one that extended beyond the capitol (Nasheed attended Tilley's 40th birthday party this past June). So for Tilley, a bill that made sense became a bill worth fighting for.

"When you have a friend who really cares deeply about an issue, it's hard not to want to help them get it done," he says. "There's a lot of issues I agree with where I don't take a personal interest to get it done, because there's just so many issues out there. This is one where a combination of good governance and the fact that Representative Nasheed was pushing it made it more of a priority."

The bill passed out of committee for the first time ever but failed on the floor. This year, Tilley made a point to sit down with every Republican to explain the merits of local control. With the most powerful man in the building lobbying hard for a bill that didn't affect anyone outside St. Louis, the rural votes swung, and local control passed with room to spare.

Once again, the Republicans came through for Nasheed.

"Were it not for the relationship that she developed with the Republicans, no way this would have happened," says Vickers, who has pushed for local control since the '80s. "Local control was seen as something that the legislature would never do. For her to be able to pull it off at this point is really an incredible legislative feat."

When the bill got to the Senate, it faced strong resistance. Chappelle-Nadal led the opposition, proclaiming that the bill would threaten the benefits of police officers. The bill that passed the House was only two pages, and while city hall assured the police union that its benefits under the state statue would carry over, the union wanted to see it in writing.

By this point, though, both sides were motivated to compromise.

"The likelihood was that we weren't gonna be able to get it passed without some kind of compromise," says Slay. "And that was fine with us. We wanted a compromise."

For the union, local control seemed unavoidable. In November, 61 percent of St. Louis voters checked "yes" on Proposition L, a proposal to measure public support for local control. Billionaire Rex Sinquefield was pushing to get a local-control ballot initiative for 2012. Plus, the bill breezed through the House, signifying a paradigm shift in how legislators perceived local control. If this was going to happen, Roorda and the union decided, they might as well help shape it.

In May, the sides reached an agreement. The bill expanded to more than twenty pages and explicitly protected the officers' benefits. The union and the police board, with Slay's support, constructed their first-ever collective-bargaining agreement.

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129 comments
questingknight_2000
questingknight_2000

She seems to condone dismantling the police and entire legal system, all in the name of "equality" . Allow me to use an analogy,,, 

At the moment ( and for quite some time now...) our  Country, is very much like a Pre-meltdown Chernobyl. Yes,tempers and frustrations are running at an all time high. There IS a vendetta and a grudge  about class, race, and privileges of the rich, the poor and the disenfranchised..

Instead of finding a way to cool off the reaction and bring the problem under control in a controlled and orderly manner, she is by her own rhetoric, promising in essence to yank the control rods completely out.  That action, would cause a chain reaction that would become  irreversibly destructive. Thereby, creating an environment that only lawlessness and anarchy could prevail.

The bottom line is this,,,

She is in complete support of groups who have openly declared war or genocide, ( when you declare your going to kill an entire groups due to the color of their skin,  in the same fashion ISIS declares death to the unbeliever, it becomes a either a war, or genocide) If  ANYBODY  will  stand together , support and applaud hate groups of that nature, you have no business to be in politics. 

Before yo go off on my viewpoints lets clear the air for a second.. I'm a homeless disabled Veteran. I AM,,, one of the very poor and disenfranchised. But I still have faith in humanity as a whole. Faith that as a collective, we CAN make a better place for ourselves, ,each other and  our descendants.  

But if we as a people, feel the need to resort to using violence for fun and to make a point,  instead of making the change like HUMANS BEINGS,, in a rational and peaceful manner, then perhaps it's time for the Ebola Virus to wipe out humanity and give the world back to the cockroaches. Perhaps they can be more civilized than us next time around...

rusknative
rusknative

wonderful example of woodpile mentality.  if black were beautiful, she would be absolutely a princess...unfortunately, she has the attitude of a terrorist.

bonniebanks73
bonniebanks73

WOW, I've been reading all of the comments regarding this article and it floors me that today, we can honestly state that there's still racism in this world.  Nigger? Illiterate? Excuses for black communities being the way that they are?  It's really quite SAD!  First off for those of you that know nothing about Jamilah Nasheed, left me give you some facts regarding my friend:  Never were we in a gang, that some of you may think of when you hear such word.  "gang (noun) 3.) a group of people with compatible tastes or mutual interests who gather together for social reasons: I'm throwing a party for the gang I bowl with."  We hung out all the time and did things that all teenagers did or may have wanted to do:  skating, went to parties, went to carnivals, concerts, church, and just had plain old fun.  To state that she's illiterate because you may not like her choice of words are just ignorance on all of your part.  Not everyone are the same, not everyone communicates the same but to think that your choice of verbiage is the right way, is offensive in itself.  We, as people, make excuses for our behaviors because we feel that were justified to do so.  Why would one believe that their way is the Right Way?  Because, we trust our own judgments before others, so you're warranted that belief.  I think all of you that are posting on this site and voicing your opinion, I would hope are smart enough to know the history of "African Americans"?  We may not speak your specific choice of words because earlier in time, we were never given the opportunity to learn or better yet, even be treated the same.  We learned on our own, we overcame all of the obstacles that we were faced with and I'm sorry to be the one to inform you:  but, I honestly don't believe that many of you would be here today had you been faced with those same challenges.  So, I'm sure you're pondering:  "No, I'm not Racist at all"!  But, will I take a stand for someone I truly know, that you only know from articles, Yes!  To summarize blacks as illiterate, violent, and don't want much out of life.... You only have yourselves to Thank for this outcome.  When I speak of you, I'm not addressing the ones specifically making comments because you feel your the only voice that needs to be heard, I'm addressing the "white man" that have oppressed our communities for years and still feel as though they were right for this rhetoric.  Concluding:  I beg to differ with all of your opinions about "black" and its' communities.  We've never had a fair opportunity....this is fact and not an excuse.  Of course, this goes well beyond all of you making your sarcasm remarks but when this type of behavior is constantly practiced, then we as a nation gets NOWHERE.  You may take a look at: 

Sociological Comparisons between African-Americans and Whites and review the statistics for yourself. 

I can only pray for all of you at this time because as I hate to be the one to inform you, and as smart as all of you are; you would think you would know this already, but only God can judge one's character.  When you leave earth, where will you go? 

Peace and Love to all of you,

Sharron Banks

African American Student

Webster University's Dean List

GPA:  3.9

 

Team Jamilah Nasheed:  You have to truly know her, to understand her!

DucatiRider
DucatiRider

A caption to one of the photos reads, "I'm black before I'm a Democrat." -- What the hell? What if someone said, "I'm White before I'm a Republican." Well, that person would be all over the news for being a racist.

Double standard.

NoBigGovDuh
NoBigGovDuh

This paragraph says what is wrong here.

"So she's effective in the sense that she gets stuff done with the Republicans," she says, pulling the phone to her ear. "She'll say, 'Because I'm getting stuff for my people.' Her district is one of the poorest. I'm not too sure how much she's gotten...

I guess without campaign finance limits someone can happily buy her district now.

Mrjr54
Mrjr54

Nasheed's comments sound more like a "campaign" comment ! Cage those votes early, as educated and informed voters don't buy the race card play. Clearly has signed her ticket toback to the hood and unemployment line come the General elections. You just can't fix stupid !

Justice for me.
Justice for me.

Her entire persona is so negro she is actually holding her community back. She would serve her community better being elected to the shampoo girl at alderman Flower's beauty salon.

Mrjr54
Mrjr54

Last time I checked this is the USA ! Hoods, territories, etc as subscribed to by the majority of "minorities" simply promotes "compartmentalization of our society. Until those elements progress out of the jungle culture there will be racism - period ! Playing the "race card" while subscribing to the behaviors that simply promote racism as evident in the majority of black communities and obviously subscribed to by Nasheed is clearly hypocritical, disingenuous and has diminished validity to race issue claims in the general populous ! One is either part of the problem or part of the solution > At the end of the day, Nasheed is clearly a promoter of the problem and ultimately defines her relevance - which is clearly Zero !

Ronb77
Ronb77

leticia olalia morales of 15501 pasadena ave #8 tustin ca 92780 submitted fake documents and paid 5000 dollars to obtain a US tourist visa. she also submitted fake employment records to obtain a work visa. she is now applying for citizenship. her contact at the embassy was man named sandman.

Guest
Guest

I'm white and I have been treated badly by blacks many times in my life. I've been assaulted on the street for walking down the sidewalk. I've been yelled at, called a "cracker", "white bread", and so much more. I do have black friends, I am not a racist, but any idiot can see that black people by and large are the criminals, drug addicts, murderers, and rapists of America.

ex_tenebris_lux
ex_tenebris_lux

Good post. Double standards in the black community need stop.

Guest
Guest

because you think all blacks are on crack and you should know because you're black and on crack??

Guest
Guest

Whites keep blacks out of their businesses, that is untrue, jews keep blacks out of everything.

ex_tenebris_lux
ex_tenebris_lux

Is this what the black is, a killer? Pathetic and predictable.

Guest
Guest

Whites don't want to be around your criminal rapist ass.

Saltyseadog
Saltyseadog

So the black muslim was hanging out at a Lil Wayne concert and she ran into the black baptist and they got catty? This should/could be an SNL skit. I guess when "Nasheed" did the stabbing she didn't get a felony charge/conviction...or can you run for office as a felon in Missouri?

Ass
Ass

N I double G U R ess

warhol
warhol

James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Jamilah Nasheed. All great political intellectuals. Yeah.

Good luck constituents.

guest
guest

She is a lawn jockey or porch monkey first ! This is the RFT - what do you expect???

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

how the hell is chappelle-nadal going to complain about nasheed siding with the democrats?? chappelle-nadal didn't even vote for obama ffs!!!

Caseyr1112
Caseyr1112

People wonder why others are racist. I am white and after reading an article like this I now am one.

Guest
Guest

Yes, who does Jamilah Nasheed think she is? She is a racist. I think the answer to her question to Mayor Slay is to tone down the vitriol of people like her. Whether you are black or white (and I am not going to mention other races just to throw them in to be politically correct, because this is about being black and or white in St.Louis), it is not fair or appropriate to admit as a politician that you put race before all else in making your decisions. Would there not be an uproar if this article were about a white politician who was published in the press as vocally admitting putting being white before being a Democrat in a racially divided city that needs to work on race relations? When we can say as people, when our politicians can say as politicians, I am a St. Louisan before I am a Democrat or a Republican, before I am black or white, that is when our city will be able to become a better, healthier, more respectable and more complete and whole place to live. Shame on you Jamilah Nasheed, and shame on all of you who continue to further this ridiculousness in a city that in so many other ways has become progressive and something to be proud of.

Alberto
Alberto

Really????? The purpose of remembering slavery is so that mistake can never happen again??? in this century?? I gave your arguments some substance until you said that complete nonsense. Its in all of the history books so everyone knows about it and will always know about it. To claim that African Americans are scarred from it today is complete, total bullshit. Its an excuse. Should anyone forget it? Absolutely not. Should you (as a group) use it as an excuse not to achieve greatness? Absolutely not but you are.

Just so you know, I as a white person am reminded of slavery frequently by people such as yourself but carry no guilt or shame for something that happened over a hundred years ago nor do I try to forget it ever happened. I have no reason to apologize to you or any black person for slavery because its a part of history I wasn't involved in and neither were you. If that in your eyes makes me a racist then so be it. I will start celebrating white history month instead of black history month.. oh wait there is no white history month. I'll start watching the Miss White America beauty pageant instead of the Miss Black America pageant... oh wait, there is no miss white america pageant. Maybe I will start reading literature from the NAAWP instead of the NAACP, oh wait, there is no association for the advancement of white people. the next time I will vote for a white president so there is actually a truth that you could possibly call me a racist for.

Also, the last time I checked, the majority of police officers in the city of St. Louis were black so blame yourselves.

Justin O.
Justin O.

I believe that at this point, the hugest problem facing north St. Louis is the black on black crime. They are killing each other every day and it is very sad. There is a famous quote that says before you can love anyone, you have to learn to love yourself. It is very difficult to bridge any relations gap when one side is apparently its own worst enemy and killing each other. If Nasheed could get everyone in north St. Louis to stop the killing, and get along with each other, only then will she have something to bring to the better relations table.

Don't give me the slavery excuse either. My great grandfather had a number tattooed across his arm thanks to his stay at Hitler's concentration camp. Those people weren't taken from their homes and sold into slavery in a different country, they were taken from their homes, put into a concentration camp and brutally murdered, women and children first of course and then their skin was dried and used for lamp shades. Some of them survived. Not one time did my grandparents or my parents or myself say, I am too scarred because of what happened a couple of generations ago and the German people still keep me down because I'm a Jew so I have no motivation or desire to bust out of my current situation and fight like hell to make something of myself.

Every individual is in charge of their own destiny in this country. Some people have it made easy to succeed and others have to overcome difficult challenges whether it is due to race, health issues, or something else. Its time to stop blaming and start doing. Its hard to do if you are down but the reward is priceless. Any people of north St. Louis of any color who are struggling need an inspiring leader who promotes individual self worth, motivation and positivity, not someone with a "what are YOU going to do about that Mr. Mayor" attitude.

Collective Agenda
Collective Agenda

@James. It sounds like you're assuming that I'm Black. FAIL.

It also sounds like you are defining education based upon the status quo of indoctrinating children into being good citizens of the society we live in. EPIC, RACIST FAIL. Education is not how much a person can be trained to be like you, it is the teachings that help them grow to be a responsible member of their community and the world community. But that's a common racist mistake; forcing your culture on another group of people for your own gain. You seem to misunderstand "education," so I shall "educate" you.

The ancestors you speak of did good work on behalf of equal rights in this country. And they must be spinning in their graves to hear their descendant waste time and energy generalizing the very people they sought to help. Undoing you ancestors’ work- FAIL!

That police pull you over because you disobey the law. The police far too many Black people over because they "SUSPECT" they break the law. The suspicion is based on perspective, one that is not in Black people's best interest. But when a Black Man who is tired of being pulled over for the cops poor "suspicion," the cop is trained to accelerate the situation to the point of using force, the situation ends up bad. Cops are here to protect you, but their here to watch and aggress on Black people.

The past is only inconvenient for those who history makes to look bad. Germans want to forget about the Nazi takeover, and how a vast majority of their citizenry assumed a mob mentality and killed over 6 million human beings. They want to forget that, but ask a Jew if they forget it.

The Catholic church wants to forget the Inquisition and the string of child molestations coming to light recently. Ask the parents; did they forget? Should the children just "get over it?" Should the common folk forget that the church can give in to extremity and killed thousands of people on trump up charges of heresy and “Black” magic? Not at all, that knowledge should guide their interactions from then on. And the church should remember; so as not to make such mistakes ever again.

That's the purpose of remembering slavery; so that mistake can never happen again. But mentalities like yours that “just want to forget” run the risk of not learning the lesson. This COULD lead to some serious problems, and not just for you (see all of your FAIL(ures) above). You could come to feel like it’s REALLY ok to treat people like you think; that would be a problem for you.

Now "education" would dictate that you learn something about your racist perspective on the matter. Hopefully, you have received your "education" well.

Typical
Typical

What a dumb article, this Nasheed seems like an idiot, "I am black before a Democrat." If I ever said "I am white before a Republican", it would definitely not be looked upon as positive. She brings race into issues that it should not be brought into. Way to look out for your constituents Nasheed, you moron. You voted on certain things just because you were mad at people that didn't vote for your cause. That is the worst kind of representative!! Why don't you make your decisions based on the actual facts of the issue, not on whether you dislike someone that week or because of the color of your skin. This is one of the reasons St. Louis is the way it is, you vote for representatives because they are black...not because of their education or knowledge. She doesn't know what the hell she is doing.

Chas
Chas

Until there is recognition that blacks can be as racist as whites and the term "race relations" should not mean whites giving stuff to blacks, there will be no movement forward between the races.

Xavier
Xavier

I would be curious to know from this woman what made her join a gang when she was younger and if while in that gang she committed crimes against her own neighborhood, her own neighborhood's economy by stealing retail or other crimes. If she would use her past experiences to help kids avoid falling into the same trap, then more power to her. I just don't think that going on the offensive against the mayor would be the best approach to the issues of her area. In retrospect, she seems to be relying on her old gang methods of trying to get something.

Chas
Chas

Fortunately, for her sake, the people who she is looking to represent are neither educated NOR informed.

Chas
Chas

C'mon. She's fly!

Ihatepoorpeople22
Ihatepoorpeople22

Black people can't be racist......primarily because none of them even know what that word means. It is just something they cry when they want to get their way.

The Black community is annoying......spend some time there and tell me if you do not agree.

Ihatepoorpeople22
Ihatepoorpeople22

When are Blacks going to accept responsibility for anything involving Blacks?

questingknight_2000
questingknight_2000

@Justin O. As a Man of Native American descent, I can relate to much of what you said. The only "the man" that holds you back is yourself...( I wonder if that quote of mine will ever catch on?...)

Ihatepoorpeople22
Ihatepoorpeople22

Hey guy........ask yourself why so many people suspect blacks of crimes as a generalization? Is it because everyone in the world is an evil racist or is it because a lot of Blacks have no problem fully embodying these so called stereotypes?

I work for a charity that primarily benefits blacks from poor areas.......guess how many black volunteers we have?

Exactly one......he is a pretty cool guy.......

Why is it that you can sell out a Little Wayne concert in 20 mins, but you can't get more than 50% of your kids to graduate high school. It isnt like high school is difficult.

Nathan L.
Nathan L.

How can math, spelling or scientific principles such as those that apply to inert material be forcing a culture on someone for their own gain? Without such basic knowledge you will be a failure regardless of your skin tone. So forcing me to learn about slavery and Martin Luther King would be forcing your culture on me. I don't mind because I get a free day off of work for MLK day. Remembering a movement such as slavery is guaranteed in just about every history book. To suggest that it could happen again is outrageous. To use it as an excuse is destroying the black culture. I know black doctors, nurses and department managers who are very successful so obviously it didn't hold them back. Obviously the mentalities of north St. Louis "just want to forget" the mistakes of Vick and still run the risk of not learning a lesson that dog fighting is illegal but it is inconvenient to them, evidenced by all of the abused, tortured and injured dogs brought in to shelters on a regular basis from their areas. How do I know this??? I volunteer at one.

Chas
Chas

@Collective Agenda....When you are edu-ma-cating someone, it is always a good idea to chek yur spelin'. Freaking moron.

Alberto
Alberto

I have never, ever heard any Jewish person say "I get picked on by the police, live in a crime neighborhood, can't finish high school or get a job because I am scarred from Auschwitz" Many now you will understand how ridiculous your claims are.

James Hodges
James Hodges

What utter nonsense. I assumed nothing with regard to your race. Nor did I say or imply that the purpose of education was to make people be more like me. Also, I never so much as inferred that slavery should be forgotten.

My ancestors would not be spinning in their graves because of anything I have said or done. In fact, they would agree with me. They put their lives and finances in jeopardy to do the morally correct thing and help free and educate a people so they could become the best and most responsible people that they could be. They did not do this so that those same people could sit on their butts wallowing in self pity and blaming everyone else for their shortcomings.

You are also wrong about the police. To pull you over they have to have a thing called “probable cause.” This goes beyond the simple suspicion that someone may have committed a crime. Probable cause has nothing to do with being black or white.

You will not educate anyone with your ranting. You are much more transparent than you think. When your arguments fail you try to change what people have said by giving your revisionist interpretation to what they said in an attempt to validate your own drivel. In short, don’t try to put words in my mouth… you’re simply not that good.

I also notice that you respond to me indirectly in a whole new disjointed post rather than back where I responded directly to you. Did you think it would go un-noticed. It wasn’t a very slick move. It didn’t make you come off looking any smarter. And… it didn’t minimize the risk of me coming back with a sound rebuttal to your silly BS.

The only question left to ask of you is: Do you have any independent thoughts of your own or are you only capable of spewing liberal pap?

Your comprehension of what I said – FAILYour knowledge of what my ancestors either thought or would think – FAILYour knowledge of police procedures – FAILYour notion that no one knows real education except yourself – FAILYour attempt at intellectualism – FAILYour thought process—FAIL!!!

Ethan L.
Ethan L.

I work with a large percentage of black people. I have reached out to them and ignored what color their skin was. I have made several black friends and have had them to my home for parties. They were invited to my wedding. However, if we pass in the hallway at work and there is another black person or black people that they don't even know, they will completely blow me off and acknowledge total strangers just because they are black instead. I don't get it, I don't treat friends of any color like that and that kind of behavior is like an ever present underlying racism that black people keep alive within themselves.

Chas
Chas

Is she was in a gang and committed a crime while in the gang, her ass should be in jail.

James Hodges
James Hodges

You don't hear them harping on being slaves in Egypt, or Persia or any other place, or as being an excuse for not having a job either. They have been slaves in many places and yet thrive and excel at what they do...

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

thats probably because they can see the racism in you that you cannot. dont call them friends if your going to say you dont trust them behind their backs on the internet

Ethan L.
Ethan L.

I never said I didn't trust them, YOU did. What does acknowledging a stranger over someone you hang out with on a regular basis because they are the same color as you have anything to do with trust. Quit putting out negativity I never said or implied. To turn it back on me with lies is typical of a person who won't accept responsibility or accept the shortcomings of others or is a moron. That kind of mentality will keep you down to a loser status in some fairytale world where everything is always somebody's fault.

By the way, I did ask my black friends why they do that when we were out to lunch one day, and the response was "I didn't realize I did that".

 
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