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29 March 2010

Tishaura Jones: Facts on Local Control of St. Louis PD, MoDOT Roadwork, Green Sales Tax Holiday


My first bill, HB 1826 was gutted in committee by the usual suspects and a handful of Democrats. The Chairman of the committee used parliamentary procedure to end the executive session once an amendment was added that would grant the authority to close casinos for financial reasons and give them 90-day notice to do so. Unfortunately, the rogue nature of the Missouri Gaming Commission forced Pinnacle to surrender their license earlier this month. If their license was revoked, the rippling effect would have had a horrible rippling effect. However, Pinnacle has assured me that they will do everything they can to help displaced employees.

In other news, HB 1601, that would provide local control of the St. Louis Police Department made a giant step. The bill is currently on it's way to the House floor!!. Senator Joe Keaveny (D-4), is filing companion legislation in the Senate and was granted a hearing on Tuesday, March 2nd. The local news reported that two bus loads of police were in Jefferson City to show support. Which begs the question, who was watching our streets while the police were up here playing politics? For more information about what Local Control is and what it is not, read the article below.

In addition, the St. Louis Police Officers Association (POA) has stooped to an all time low in their attempt to mislead and mischaracterize by accusing me of trying to make you believe that Local Control is a racial issue. I have never mentioned race in my attempts to convince anyone to support Local Control. The only time race has been mentioned in the debate about local control was in a letter by sent to the Missouri House from Joe Steiger, Vice President of the POA. Local Control is not about pensions; it is not about the size of the Board of Aldermen; it’s not about the St. Louis Fire Department; and it is not about race. Local Control is about taxation without representation, it is about the sovereignty of the taxpayers of the City of St. Louis to have the same rights that all of the counties in the State of Missouri currently have. A lot Americans believe that the recently passed federal health care legislation is an intrusion on Missouri’s sovereignty, then state control of the St. Louis Police Department is a violation of St. Louis City’s sovereignty on STERIODS. The POA’s assertion that I inserted race in this issue is a blatant and outright lie.

Keeping up the good fight,


Information About Death Penalty

From Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

Over 125 people, including 3 Missourians, that have been executed have been found innocent. Missouri ranks fourth in the country for executions. There are some notable racial differences; for example, the fact that even though African Americans make up half of the murder victims, 79% of death row inmates have been executed for killing white victims. In death penalty states only 1% of chief district attorneys are black. Socioeconomic situations also appear to make a difference; over 80% of people sentenced in Missouri were unable to afford their own attorney. The death penalty seems to be an inefficient and costly method of dealing with violent crime. The south has the highest murder rate and 80% of all executions, while the northeast has the lowest murder rate and accounts for less than 1% of all executions. It also raises concerns about Constitutional and Human Rights; the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Furman v. Georgia abolished the death penalty citing it as cruel and unusual punishment. Over two-thirds of countries in the world have abolished the death penalty, in fact, in 2008 93% of all executions took place in only five countries (China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the U.S.).

Facts on Local Control of the St. Louis Police Department

  • Local control would not change police pensions in any way, shape or form. Police officers deserve their pension. No one is trying to take it away from them.
  • If the State of Missouri returns the police department to the people of St. Louis, the City will recognize the St. Louis Police Officers Association as the bargaining unit, and will negotiate a contract with the officers. They have never had that.
  • The State of Missouri took the St. Louis Police Department away from the people of St. Louis during the Civil War. The Pro-Confederacy State of Missouri feared the Pro-Union City of St. Louis would use its police department against the State.
  • Every other city, county and state in America has its own police department if it wants one, except St. Louis and Kansas City. Opponents say the people of St. Louis cannot be trusted with their own police department. That is an insult.
  • The governor appoints four of the five board members. If the commissioners do something wrong, there is little recourse for the people of St. Louis. If the mayor or aldermen do something wrong, the people of St. Louis can do something about it---vote them out of office. That is accountability.
  • There already is political influence in the St. Louis Police Department, but there is little accountability to the taxpayers.
  • Including fringe benefits, the taxpayers spend $165 million funding the St. Louis Police Department, but they have almost no say over its operations.
  • The state auditor is auditing city government. The audit of the police department is by far the worst of any city agency.
  • The city’s current budget shortfall is created by shrinking revenue because of the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression and rising employee benefit costs.
  • The city has supported the police department. Funding for the police department has risen by 39% over the last decade. It went up by $13 million last year.
  • The City of St. Louis does not control the Police Retirement System. Active and retired police officers do. If the pension fund is mismanaged, they are the ones managing it. The City of St. Louis has made every single payment required under the law to the Police Retirement System.

2010 Census Jobs

The US Census Bureau needs your assistance, as community leaders, to help us fill crucial positions in order to carry out a fair and accurate count in the 2010 Census. This will help in providing our community with its just share of federal resources. Please help recruit people to fill these jobs in our area. We urgently need local people to apply. Please pass on the information listed below by forwarding it to friends and family.

2010 Census JOBS
Call 1-866-861-2010 to apply for 2010 Census Jobs
or a local office near you – listed below!
Jobs range between $10.00 - $17.00/hr, paid training, paid for mileage ($.50 per mile) Flexible Hours

Work up to 40 hours per week in Field Positions.
Applications Sessions are being scheduled in your area.
1-866-861-2010 or 314-802-9410
Leave a message if calling after business hours
(7:30 am – 4:30 pm M-F) *hourly rate varies by area.

St. Louis City
Goodfellow Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63120
Phone: 314-802-9410
Census takers start at: $17.00/hour

MoDOT Performs Various Lane Closures for Rehabilitation Work on Russell Bridge

Missouri Department of Transportation will temporarily close the on-ramp from Lafayette to southbound Interstate 55 starting at 7 p.m., on Tuesday, March 23. Motorists can detour to Tucker, and then Russell, to get back on southbound Interstate 55. There will also be various lane closures on Interstate 55 while crews perform rehabilitation work on the Russell Bridge. The on-ramp and lane closures on Interstate 55 will take place between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., on weekdays until Wednesday, March 31.

The westbound Interstate 44 Gravois off-ramp will remain closed until mid-April 2010. This ramp closure is necessary while crews perform rehabilitation work on the Gravois Bridge. Motorists can continue to detour to Jefferson Avenue, and then Lafayette, to get back on Gravois.

This work is part of a rehabilitation project on seven bridges along Interstate 55 near Soulard. The project is expected to be fully complete by August 2010.

Motorists should reduce their speed, use caution and pay attention in this work zone. Plan ahead for ways to avoid work zones, call 1-888-ASK-MODOT or visit our website at

Missouri's Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday

The second annual Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday will run from April 19-25. People who buy specific energy efficient appliances from ENERGY STAR during this time will not only save 4.225 percent on their purchase (representing the elimination of Missouri sales tax) but will also reap the benefits of lower utility costs in the future. Several local government entities have also decided to participate in the holiday, which means that some purchases will also be exempt from city, county and special district sales tax.

ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The program allows manufacturers to label certain appliances if they meet certain criteria. The goal is to promote appliances that perform as well or better than similar appliances while using less energy. The sales tax exemption will apply to ENERGY STA R-labeled clothes washers, refrigerators, freezers, dish washers, water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps. The tax exemption will only apply to the first $1500 of each appliance; any amount exceeding $1500 will be taxed.

Frequently asked questions about the Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday are answered at

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