Mayor Slay nominates 7 candidates for Civilian Oversight Board -

Mayor Slay nominates 7 candidates for Civilian Oversight Board

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( – Seven candidates have been nominated to serve on the newly-established Civilian Oversight Board in St. Louis.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and his staff selected the candidates after reviewing applications from nearly 50 candidates and hearing recommendations from members of the Board of Aldermen.

The candidate from District One is Ciera Simril. Simril is a 27-year-old woman who currently works at US Bank and formerly interned at the St. Louis American. She is a past member of the Urban League and a current facilitator of the Neighborhood Ownership Model for the North Pointe, Walnut Park East and Walnut Park West Neighborhoods.

Jane Abbott-Morris, 64, is the candidate from District Two. She is a self-employed business owner of Human Resources Select Services and is a certified Equal Employment Investigator. She is a member of numerous organizations, including the Collation of 100 Black Women, NAACP and Top Ladies of Distinction.  

District Three candidate DeBorah Ahmed, 59, has worked for Better Family Life, Inc. since 1991 and is currently serving as an Executive Director of the Cultural, Educational and Business Center. She founded Black Dance USA in 1985 and has also worked as a Program Administrator for the Missouri Touring.

Lawrence C. Johnson, 68, the District Four candidate, is a retired hearing officer for the Illinois Department of Human Services. He and his family moved to St. Louis from Springfield, Illinois in 2007. Johnson is the past president and current board member of the Shaw Neighborhood Improvement Association. According to a press release, Johnson was “instrumental in leading and communicating with his neighborhood during civil unrest.”

The candidate from District Five is Bradley T. Arteaga, 49, owner of Arteaga Photos Ltd. Arteaga, who grew up in the Baden neighborhood, is the past president of the St. Louis Hill Neighborhood Association and the Southtown Business Association.  He is currently a board member of the St. Louis Second District Police Business Association.

Heather Highland, 39, a defense attorney for Fredman & Fredman P.C., is the candidate for District Six. Highland has been featured in ‘CLOUT: Influential Pol, Pals, and Pundits,” is a member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and is a member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri.

District Seven candidate Stephen Rovak, 67, is a former JAG officer and a current partner at Dentons US LLP. He is currently a member of the institutional review board for Washington University School of Medicine and is the co-chair of the Mediation Committee of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.

On November 3, the Public Safety Committee will hold a public hearing on the nominees where the Board of Aldermen will vote on whether to confirm each nominee. 

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