The Future of St. Louis City and County Governance
Date(s) - December 11, 2018
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Rescheduled for 2019 – stay tuned for more details!
The subject of governing ourselves together, as a community, as a metropolis, and as a region, has been a focus of civic conversations in St. Louis for decades. Our status as one of the last big cities in the U.S. that functions as its own county, separate from the surrounding communities, looms large in any debate about the shared economic, political and social fate of all St. Louisians.
In recent years Better Together, a privately funded nonprofit organization whose goal is to analyze and address this issue, has spent a great deal of time and energy gathering facts and data, collecting community input, and seeking regional buy-in on a new push for change. Better Together, along with the St. Louis City-County Governance Task Force that was formed in 2017, will soon publish a milestone report that leverages this work, along with work done by other organizations on these issues, to craft specific, actionable recommendations aimed at creating a structure that will allow for equitable access to, and delivery of, government services for all.
Such conversations are loaded with high hopes for creating a more vibrant St. Louis. If our shared fate were more accurately reflected in shared governance this may pave the way for growth, prosperity and greater equity for the region. However, the same conversations are also fraught with misgivings and uncertainty. For some, the many possible paths for reconciliation between the City and the County create real fears about the uncertain consequences of fundamental governance change in the region.
In convening this Forum, we seek to provide a neutral space to bring together a diverse set of viewpoints to honestly and productively discuss the possibility of regional political re-alignment. Perhaps dialogue can help distill our hopes and fears into a spirit of civic pride and innovation.