Since taking office not quite two years ago, Alderman French has done what many politicians promise to do but often fail at actually achieving: He's making a positive impact on his constituents' quality of life. He began with something simple — he opened the first aldermanic office in the ward in several years, where he keeps regular hours to meet with citizens. He then helped negotiate construction of a new $22 million recreation center, bringing much-needed jobs to the area. He has even spent weekends recruiting and organizing volunteers to help repair seniors' homes in his ward, a first-of-its-kind initiative. That's not to mention the revitalization of O'Fallon Park and the organization of a free weekly summer jazz concert series there or his passionate advocacy at the state capitol for local control of the St. Louis city police department. Public service such as his makes us wonder if we really need bigwig real estate investors to redevelop the long-neglected north side. Maybe we just need a few more aldermen like French.
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