Equity in City/County Reform: Political Representation and Criminal Justice
Date(s) - July 11, 2019
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Missouri History Museum
5700 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63112
Online registration is now closed. Check-in/networking begins at 5:30 p.m. We are expecting a full crowd and encourage you to arrive early to secure your spot. We will open it up to walk-ins as space allows starting at 5:45 p.m. The discussion begins promptly at 6 p.m.
While the Better Together plan has been withdrawn, the need for regional dialogue around the city/county issue remains. With a wide open field, the possibilities range from incremental (expanding collaboration efforts) to radical (unifying governance), and anything in between.
One thing we know is that any successful plan must encompass an open and direct community discussion on issues of racial equity. FOCUS St. Louis seeks to advance this conversation with an initial discussion on equity issues in the areas of political representation and in criminal justice.
The evening will begin with a briefing on the St. Louis City Equity Indicators Baseline Report by its author Cristina Garmendia, and the county version of that Equity Indicators Report, which is currently being assembled by Wray Clay, VP of Diversity & Inclusion at United Way. This will be followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A moderated through Twitter.
- Wesley Bell, Prosecuting Attorney, St. Louis County
- Andrea Benjamin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri-Columbia
- Wray Clay, Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion, United Way of Greater St. Louis
- Hazel Erby, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, St. Louis County
- Cristina Garmendia, Author, City Equity Indicators Baseline Report, & Associate Director of Community Engagement and Applied Learning for the Race and Opportunity Lab, Brown School at Washington University
- Captain Perri Johnson, Commander – Sixth District, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
If the City and County were to pursue joint governmental reform, what are the questions we need to be asking regarding equity in political representation and equity in criminal justice?
- Would City/County political reunification create a more productive sense of common cause among St. Louis residents and local governments? And/or would it dilute African-American voices unfairly? What kind of a plan could insure all voices are represented in a new regional government?
- How would better collaboration (or even combination) among police organizations in the region affect equity in policing? Would professionalization of smaller departments be a win for equity? Or would the removal of local control over policing be a loss for majority African-American communities? How does this relate to the push for more community-oriented policing practices and budgets?
- How would better collaboration (or even combination) among courts in the region affect equity in criminal justice systems? Would it create a more level playing field across the region? Or would it unnecessarily distance judicial proceedings from local control?
This event will be held in Lee Auditorium, located on the lower level of the Missouri History Museum. Limited parking is available in the lots around the museum, with additional parking in the lots adjacent to the nearby tennis courts, on-street in Forest Park or along Lindell. If traveling by Metrolink, the nearest stop is the Forest Park-DeBaliviere station.
5:30 p.m. – Check-in/networking
6:00 p.m. – Setting the Stage with City and County Equity Indicators
6:30 p.m. – Panel Discussion
If tweeting, you can use the hashtag #CityCountyEquity. Tweets with this hashtag will be eligible for display on the moderated tweet wall live during the event. Displayed tweets will be screened for appropriate language.
Presented in partnership with: