Lewis Reed V. Francis Slay: In Final Stretch of Race, Challenger Tries to Focus Back on Crime

Mar 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm
Francis Slay listens to Lewis Reed at a debate. - Sam Levin
Sam Levin
Francis Slay listens to Lewis Reed at a debate.

In a mayoral race that has gotten increasingly petty in the final stretch, Lewis Reed, Board of Aldermen president, is trying to focus back on his central talking point of crime. And in a shift in tone from the head-on attacks, Reed's team has been sending out "policy statement" press releases in advance of the Tuesday primary.

"We're presenting platform pieces, because we've gotta tell people what we're going to do," Glenn Burleigh, campaign manager for Reed, tells Daily RFT. "We are showing Lewis is a substantive candidate."

Meanwhile, Francis Slay's mayoral office (not the campaign) has rolled out several high-profile plans over the last few weeks that appear to be big-picture policy proposals -- which require another term for implementation.

In one policy statement, Reed discussed the importance of reducing crime by working with the St. Louis Public Schools to identify youth that need mental health services.

He writes:

As mayor of our city, I will create a Youth Mental Health Task Force within the Health & Human Services Department as a full-time operation that will work with the St. Louis Public Schools, social service agencies, and other institutions for children to address the mental health needs of our children and connect any child in need with the proper resources. We must begin to identify, as early on as possible, the indicators of future destructive and criminal activity, and work with urgency to address those issues and hopefully redirect a child from an early path of criminal tendencies.

"We need to make systematic changes to how we deliver services to kids in our schools," Burleigh tells Daily RFT. "We are talking about...problematic behavior of kids in our public schools and crime.... They are related."

Earlier, the Reed camp sent out a policy statement on banking, saying that as mayor, Reed would move the city to a "linked deposit" program that would help make credit and capital more available. This news release also focused on small business loans.

"We are trying to make sure there is some civility left in the race," Burleigh adds of the policy news alerts.

Continue for more on the mayoral race and the latest documents.