New Year's Revolution: If you had the power to make one change that would improve life for St. Louisans in 2012, what would that change be?

Don't know about you, but 2012 sure snuck up on us — if not like a thief in the night then like that crazy uncle (you know, the one with the preposterous comb-over) you only see at family gatherings, where he invariably materializes entirely out of nowhere and pinches you on the ass while you're trying as nonchalantly as possible to mix your third Bacardi-and-Coke that's pretty much all Bacardi and no Coke. It could be this crazy winter, which apparently didn't get the memo till this past Sunday, or it could be that such a huge chunk of 2011 passed with nothing whatsoever to recommend it or remember it by, until all of a sudden the Cardinals were winning the World Series and everything was bathed in a warm and rosy glow you could have basked in forever...

...And then you wake up with a shitty rum hangover and a bruise on your ass and you're late for your shift at the job you're woefully overworked and underpaid for, and the recession still sucks and damn it's cold and Albert Pujols is gone like LeBron.

Fortunately, we St. Louisans are a hardy bunch. Overweight and out of shape, perhaps, but by golly, we're resilient! Just give us a couple of days and we'll be right back in the fray, doing our stoic Midwestern best. (With a side of inferiority complex.) (And keep those rum-and-Cokes coming.)

In the meantime, we thought it might be a good idea to prime the ol' can-do-spirit pump by meditating upon a question. Not just any question, mind you, but one that's easily asked yet not-so-readily answered, and, moreover, one that utterly reeks of positive juju.

If you had the power to make one change that would improve life for St. Louisans in 2012, what would that change be?

While we were at it, we figured we'd pose that same question to a bunch of our fellow citizens. And here's what they had to say...


Justin Johnson, singer and guitarist for Pretty Little Empire
Not to sound all Whitney Houston on you, but let's do something for the kids. The change I would make to improve the lives of St. Louis residents would be an increase in the number of youth centers, specifically geared toward the arts, throughout the city and county. Growing up in St. Louis, I felt a real lack of non-sports-related activities to get involved in. It would have been great to have a place to go and find new interests. In the last ten years or so, technology has made it much easier to make films, record music and create multimedia works of art. If money were no object, it would be great to have a state-of-the-art media center where kids and teens could go after school and on weekends. It would give them a chance to experiment with a variety of mediums and allow the process of starting and completing projects without worrying about how to finance them. Kids and teens in St. Louis would benefit immensely from having a place to paint, sculpt, record, edit, film, write and just be able to create, without worry. I know that growing up, I would have loved it.


Anna Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis
Attract more immigrants. They are outstanding entrepreneurs and, thus, job creators. Since our immigrant population in this region is smaller than the national average, our growth in biotech, IT and other key job sectors is hampered.


Redditt Hudson, candidate for Missouri State Senate
I would work to improve public schools throughout the region and fully invest every resource to do it. Public schools continue to be the most available opportunity for children to be educated here and throughout the country. We would be finished blaming people, whether it be parents, teachers and their unions, or educational administrators, and commit everyone to the priority, educating children, because now you've got everything you need to do it, and there are no more excuses. With those unlimited resources, I would create stable neighborhoods throughout the region that would support quality schools right where they are so that children would not have to be transferred or bused somewhere else to learn.

And I would start that quality education early — early-childhood education is vital to a child going forward, and I would make damn sure all children had access to it. If there were charter school models that showed some promise, I would be willing to engage them with some shared resources, but I don't think there has been a showing anywhere in the country that they are, generally, any better than our public schools. Just look at the Imagine Academy example. And finally, I would challenge those legislators who find a way to take more resources away from public education every year — and then criticize performance and outcomes in public schools — to become part of the solution.


Abesi Manyando, president and creative director of Abesi Public Relations & Marketing LLC
If I could change one thing, I would create a great, thriving economy in St. Louis and ensure that everyone had a great source of income. The basis of our greatest issues, such as poverty, education and crime, stem from our economy. I would give tax credits to business owners first. I would capitalize on the wide range of talent in St. Louis by creating three things as sources of economic growth. A major film-production studio — this would create a wide range of jobs, ranging from acting, technology, music to production. It would also increase the publicity of the city of St. Louis and attract new tourism and commerce. I would also create a major theater and music base in St. Louis. Tapping into our rich artistic talents could change the dynamics of St. Louis as it has for cities such as New York, LA and Atlanta. Creating these three things would give a wide range of talented people different avenues for employment. This would also encourage talented people to not have to leave St. Louis in order to make it, all while making St. Louis' economy greater. I would also use the taxes from our sports teams to go into the Saint Louis Public Schools' budget. If we don't educate our children, we will have no future.


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16 comments
Ed Golterman
Ed Golterman

St. Louis is 'over'. Our last 'window of opportunity' to compete as a city, against any city, closed in 1998, when Civic Progress refused to free Kiel Opera House, and then allowed grand center to 'strangle' MUNY 6 years later. Freeing both and putting those who interfere in jail would have helped St. Louis survive. That was then.That window of opportunity is closed. Honest talk radio? You have to be joking. And city-county merger does nothing. Nada.

TXH 1138
TXH 1138

Simply find out why it is so dangerous for good people to live here......

Wayne L. Youngblood
Wayne L. Youngblood

As a new St. Louis resident, I may not yet have developed a full "city sense," but as a longtime resident of the rural scene, I sure know bullshit when I smell it. That odor came through loud and clear from Redditt Hudson's short advertisement disguised as earnest examination. I know nothing about the man or his politics, but any candidate who simultaneously calls for an end to the educational blame game, then goes on to blame his opponents ("those legislators who find a way to take more resources away from public education every year"), doesn't really want to solve the problem. He simply wants to get elected by appealing to the negative fear factor of parents and educators (a large constituency to be sure). The solution to the educational problem involves both dollars and sense. Unfortunately, Hudson appears to me to be impoverished -- at least in the latter.

Mark Serati
Mark Serati

I for one, do NOT want the city and County to merge. Criminal city politics aren't much worse than the county's anymore, but they are two completely separate cultures.

Guest
Guest

Set up flower and rose stands on all corners and magazine vendor stands and give the city a New York appeal. Promote the historic beauty of this town as much or more as the Cardinals and the beer drinking ball cap crowd to appeal to a wider artistic audience and draw a different type of tourist to this town. Add lighting to the Arch and some of the downtown city skyline and bridges like they have done at Le Cirque Hotel / Lee Circle in New Orleans & New York , Loew's in New York and the bridges in Memphis, Brooklyn Bridge... the kind of lighting that changes colors and lights up the city.

Mark Serati
Mark Serati

Sorry Anna,

We don't need any more immigrants with a probable "real" unemployment rate of about 15-18%. Your comment was quite self-serving. If I could change one thing in St. Louis, it would be to end the epidemiology "experiments" around St. Louis that are ruining our health and quality of life, and sometimes even killling the ones you love.

VivlianWozz
VivlianWozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arella cheese,where it's dishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the "fresh pasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to be frozen.--Agedate. ℃⊙M--a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men,to interact with each other.

VivlianWozz
VivlianWozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arella cheese,where it's dishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the "fresh pasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to be frozen.--Agedate. ℃⊙M--a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men,to interact with each other.

Marley2
Marley2

No brainer - city-county merger. Our city would rank near the top and benefit financially. Lose the "Old Boy Network" philosophy and leap ahead.

Egolterman
Egolterman

I would 'free' both Kiel and MUNY, finally, or other cities completely erase St. Louis as a destination. Whether St. Louis would 'gag' rather than go to either, they are our only 'way back to the convention and travel world'. That's the money the region needs desperately. There are no political solutions, not in time to do any good.

etteann
etteann

I was just wondering if I remember correctly. I believe sometime in 1984 perhaps November. There was an amendment passed in Missouri to legalize gambling. I believe somewhere around 70% of voters said yes. Interesting why they voted this way. The promise was to give a percentage of the monies produced by the lottery to Missouri schools. I can not quote anything. I am just going by what I vaguely remember. I heard recently that power ball ticket pricing was going up to $2.00. The schools I believe get less than a third of the money produced by Missouri gambling. Is that amount going to change with the increased purchase price. What I am saying is, Is the Missouri Lottery, governed by whoever going to give the approximate 1/3 of the new monies produced by the $1.00 increase or rather the 100% increase of ticket costs in addition to the monies already received? I think it would be great if the Missouri schools would receive at least 1/2 of the monies produced. There are too many schools closing in the city of St. Louis. We need these schools to stay open and we need the best teachers to teach a wider variety of subjects with the best equipment/tools necessary provided to educate in Missouri schools. If we had more of that money we should already have our children would have better choices in life and a better future.

Rev. Dr. Charles Lee, Jr.
Rev. Dr. Charles Lee, Jr.

Well, it doesn't take a PhD to see good people become desperately bad when facing poverty, social stigmas and comeptition but especially, educational oppression.

People will flat-out "lose their religion" when the going gets tough but we don't have to...

My New Year's Revolution will the evolution of St. Louis, from the old fearful, apatheic and hateful spirits of the past, tricking the rich and poor into stealing, killing and destroying each other...

To a new idea of who we are and what we can help each other become..Sme will want to keep recycling the insanity of greed, racism and suevival of the fittest but they are the ones that will not survive, according to the latest research on the effect of being trapped in a separation reality.

Businesses really don't want isolationists and neither do religious organization and those who pretend to care, are still really isolated... not to mention we're built and literally designed to need a part to play, in the totality of life so...

Enter The SMILE Ministries to open people to finding their personally designated role in reconnecting others to life....

You can have your doubts, your fears, your faith or your courage but you'd better get ready for the (R)evolution of your mind!!

See you there.

songbird_63366
songbird_63366

I would bring progressive and honest talk radio to St. Louis. All we have now is FOX, and it is not honest, fair, balanced nor correct. We need to have shows like Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, and others who are not lickers of the Murdoch boots! It's time to have the other side of the aisle heard here in the midwest, and St. Louis needs it badly.

JBQ21
JBQ21

The city of St. Louis is a county in and of itself separate from St. Louis County. There are some fifty separate municipalities in St. Louis County. There has to be some way to reform this incongruity seen in only two other areas of the country (Baltimore and somewhere on the West Coast). The city and county have to remerge. This was done with the "Board of Freeholders". There was a suit by renters who stated that property owners did not have exclusive rights. They won and the final solution was no longer final. The courts ruled against property owners and the country continues to deteriorate in the move toward a socialist takeover of property rights. Mayor Slay, in my opinion, is doing a very good job. However, it is obvious that he is "leading like Custer".

Zippster
Zippster

KDHX, 88.1 FM ..... try it.

 
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