Saint Louis Strong aims to reshape our city - KMOV.com

Saint Louis Strong aims to reshape our city

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

By Brian Feldman, News 4

Jake Hollander always knew he’d end up back in his hometown of St. Louis.  The 23-year old left briefly for Washington D.C. but the pull of helping save the area where he grew up proved too strong.  Thus, the formation of Saint Louis Strong in October 2015.

Hollander formed a non-profit organization aimed at reunifying our region.  He cites the divide between the city and the county as a big issue.  He also cites the 91 different municipalities governing residents in the county.  He believes until things change we won’t be able to fully address issues such as Ferguson, the Rams leaving and flooding.

It starts with government.

“We can’t have 91 horses pulling in different directions,” Hollander said. “If we don’t address it it’s going to continue to haunt us another 140 years.  We’ve been dealing with this issue since 1876 when (St. Louis City and St. Louis County) divorced each other.”

The St. Louis native says you’d be hard pressed to find someone who thinks the current situation is working.  Residents of the region fall into our own negativity and accept the way things are.  That’s the purpose of Saint Louis Strong.  Hollander says we need to change the way we think about the status quo.

“You read all these ‘St. Louis is the best, worst, most, least (lists)’ and they’re all contradictory.  Yes, we need to change the underlying structure to address those lists but a lot of it is we get in our own way and put each other down,” Hollander said.

The 23-year old is close to getting funding for his organization and has received quite a following on social media (@STLStrong is the twitter handle he uses).  The next step is to round out the board and hire a staff.  Then, hopefully, they can begin having community round tables to gain feedback from the citizens of the region.

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