Deaconess is centering the needs of our marginalized neighbors and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, March 13th, we joined 18 local advocacy groups making Public Health Policy Recommendations for Missouri’s COVID-19 Response. We are pleased the calls and petition have gained traction and the attention of local media. Make no mistake. While schools, large convenings and even restaurants are closed, democracy must remain open for business. So, please stay vigilant with elected officials making policy without public contact or input.
On July 17th, our CDF Freedom Schools Scholars joined over 180 Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School sites in 87 cities and 28 states across the country for a National Day of Social Action. Our Scholars went to City Hall to offer solutions to gun violence in their communities to Mayor Lyda Krewson and President of the Board of Aldermen Lewis E. Reed.
A little over a week ago, Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson joined the chorus of more than 160 children and youth who visited City Hall calling our region’s leadership to take action.
In the local epidemic of gun violence that has taken the lives of nearly twenty children this summer, our pain is palpable and must be met with compassion for our children. Perhaps like yours, his family has been touched by this moment and has been moved to action.
In a column in the St. Louis American newspaper, Dr. Wilson detailed specific actions Mayor Lyda Krewson can take to demonstrate moral leadership and provide ongoing, proactive supports for our young people in light of this moment. Unfortunately, much of the public rhetoric has further criminalized youth and their communities.
At Deaconess, we work for safe communities where children and youth thrive. We hope you will join us in urging Mayor Krewson to use the arms of our city to embrace and support our grieving children by taking three simple actions:
Staff and fund the role of
“Commissioner of Youth Services”
as called for in the
St. Louis City Charter;
These actions would shift away from the failed arrest-and-incarcerate approach to public safety and invest in the flourishing of our children and families. People-centered investments are a manifest expression of our city’s commitment to the health and well-being of its citizens and are proven to reduce violence.
More than 20 organizations joined us in calling on our Mayor to take moral action for the children of St. Louis. We were in direct communication with the Mayor on these matters and shared your concern.