When the weight of systemic opression becomes too much to bear: People rise up.
When justice does not roll down like water or righteousness like a mighty stream: People rise up.
When a shared vision of transformative change is but a vote away: People rise up.
In November voters rose to build a more inclusive democracy and transform municipal elections in the City of St. Louis by approving a ballot initiative to create nonpartisan primary elections and implement approval voting for the offices of Mayor, Comptroller, Aldermen/Alderwomen and President of the Board of Aldermen. Nonpartisan primary elections allow voters to cast votes for candidates irrespective of political party affiliation.
Nationwide, 80% of municipal elections have nonpartisan primary elections. Approval voting allows voters to vote for more than one candidate for any one office. Voters could cast a vote for each candidate they deem acceptable to hold the office. The two candidates with the most votes in the primary election advance to the general election.
The new two-part election system aims to mitigate circumstance that have often led to candidates being elected to serve within the city with less than 40% of votes in the primary election. In those instances three out of five voters often prefer a different candidate.
On March 2, 2021, voters in St. Louis city will participate in the first election in this two-part system to approve candidates for the following offices:
- Comptroller; and
- 16 Alderman/Alderwoman.
Then on April 6, 2021, voters will cast their ballot for one of the top two candidates for each office.
This election season, residents in the City of St. Louis have the opportunity, that they created, to elect candidates who see the People, hear the People and serve the People.
Candidates who will respond to the People – respond to the People rising up at the City Justice Center by abolishing the arrest-and-incarcerate model and unjust pre-trial detention– respond to the People rising up so that the most vulnerable among us have access to healthcare – respond to the People rising up so that they are no longer oppressed by food apartheid.
Candidates who will undergird the community-led movement to transform St. Louis into an equitable and inclusive region for our children.
In service to our children,
Cheryl D.S. Walker, Esq.
Interim President and CEO
To read the rest of our February Newsletter, click here.
For more information on the two-part election system visit www.stlapproves.org.