ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The St. Louis City Board of Aldermen will swear in four new members April 20 along with the newly elected mayor, Tishaura Jones.
Following Tishaura Jones' win in Tuesday's mayoral race, the first African-American female mayor in St. Louis history said some aspects of administration changeover between her and outgoing mayor Lyda Krewson had already been in the works, so Jones would not be caught off guard if she won the election.
Three of the four new aldermen were part of the "flip the board" initiative, which sought to give a progressive majority on the board. The group succeeded, getting three of the four candidates elected.
Anne Schweitzer was one of the candidates backed by the initiative who won, beating incumbent Beth Murphy in the 13th ward. “It’s not a guarantee that every single person who was elected yesterday who is part of this effort is always going to vote the same way on every issue," said Schweitzer.
She believes having more progressives on the board will help move issues forward faster.
"This idea was that here is this group of candidates who are running their own campaigns in their own wards who have a lot of the same ideas about certain issues and if these people were on the board instead of people who are currently on the board in those seats then these issue would have the consistency they needed to either stop them in the case of airport privatization or start them in the case of closing the workhouse and actually following through," said Schweitzer.
Jack Coatar, alderman for the 7th ward, was the only alderman who was targeted and able to retain his seat. He believes the progressives won't have as much power as they think when it comes to which issues are addressed. "It’s gonna depend on what the legislative priorities of the new mayor are. But I mean the flip the board crowd did very well yesterday there’s no denying that," said Coatar.
Both Coatar and Schweitzer agree deciding how the city will spend the $500 million it received as part of the federal government's latest coronavirus relief effort will be one of the first issues to tackle when the new session starts in two weeks.