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Archive for August 2021

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Speak Their Names

This episode is the first of a two-part tribute to a man whose passion for social justice and cultural memory impacted hundreds of people in the St. Louis region: Dr. Jonathan Cedric Smith, who died this year on Juneteenth. Among many community roles, he served on the board of St. Louis Public Radio. Last year, Lauren and Jia Lian had the opportunity to interview Dr. Smith about his perspective as Co-Chair of the Slavery, History, Memory, and Reconciliation Project. To introduce you to this project and Dr. Smith’s role in it, we speak with Marissanne Lewis-Thompson, afternoon newscaster and general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio. Then, we travel back in time to share Jonathan’s own words about what the Slavery, History, Memory, and Reconciliation Project meant to him. Finally, historian Dr. Kelly Schmidt will explain how Jonathan’s care for descendant communities shaped the project and his youngest brother, Jacques, will share how Jonathan’s passion for cultural memory, ancestry, and history began.

Speak Their Names
https://news.stlpublicradio.org/podcast/we-live-here/2021-08-27/speak-their-names
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State Rep. Donna Baringer On How Congressional Redistricting Could Stack Up In Missouri

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, state Rep. Donna Baringer returns to talk with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about congressional and state legislative redistricting — and some election-related items that could be up for discussion in 2022.

Baringer is a St. Louis Democrat who represents the 82nd District, which takes in a number of southwestern wards of the city.

Here’s what Baringer talked about on the show:

  • The impact of Gov. Mike Parson’s decision not to call a special session for congressional redistricting. Baringer agrees with some Republicans that such a move makes it easier for people to use other legislation as leverage to change the final map.
  • The different ways the 1st Congressional District could expand. That district, which is currently represented by Democratic Congresswoman Cori Bush, will need to grow in area because of population loss.
  • Whether a majority of lawmakers, when considering election legislation next year, would be amenable to creating a period of time when voters could cast a ballot early in person without an excuse.
  • Getting rid of a Missouri law that would allow elections officials to reject an absentee ballot that’s cast before someone dies. “If you get in a car accident the next day, then your vote is not supposed to count,” she said. “Well you didn’t know you were going to die. But you certainly knew that you were going to vote and who you were going to vote for.”

Baringer’s district includes the neighborhoods of South Hampton, Princeton Heights, St. Louis Hills, Villanova and parts of Lindenwood Park, Northampton, Bevo Mill and Boulevard Heights.

Baringer has a master’s degree in corporate communication from Lindenwood University and a bachelor’s degree in business management from Maryville University. Before being elected to the Statehouse in 2016, she served on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen for 14 years.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Donna Baringer on Twitter: @STLDonnaB

State Rep. Donna Baringer On How Congressional Redistricting Could Stack Up In Missouri
https://news.stlpublicradio.org/podcast/politically-speaking/2021-08-24/state-rep-donna-baringer-on-how-congressional-redistricting-could-stack-up-in-missouri
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Mike Jones Takes Pulse Of The New Era Of St. Louis Politics

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, Mike Jones talks with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about the state of St. Louis and St. Louis County politics — and how redistricting may play a role in reshaping both environments.

Jones is a man of many titles, but most recently was a member of the state Board of Education. He’s also served as a St. Louis alderman, a corporate executive, the head of the St. Louis housing authority and an adviser to a St. Louis mayor and a St. Louis County executive. He retired from public life recently but is still a sought-after analyst of regional politics.

Here’s what Jones talked about on the show:

  • How St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones is adjusting to being the chief executive of the city — and what potential pitfalls she needs to avoid in order to be successful.
  • The break in St. Louis County between Black elected officials and white progressives. That coalition helped St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell win in 2018, but it’s been strained amid disputes between St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and the county council.
  • How Congresswoman Cori Bush could be affected if redistricting moves her district farther west into St. Louis County. This could be the first time in decades the 1st District doesn’t have a majority or plurality of Black people — but Jones said that may not mean a white candidate would be favored.
  • Bush’s influence in regional politics, and the prospect of her facing a primary challenge from people outside her political orbit next year.

Jones began his political career more than three decades ago as a St. Louis alderman in the city’s 21st Ward. Since then, he’s become a go-to adviser for state, city and county officials. Jones is also a columnist for the St. Louis American, writing about regional and national politics.

In addition to his political pursuits, Jones is a longtime fan of professional basketball — and often incorporates sports metaphors into his political analysis.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Mike Jones on Twitter: @OGMikeJones

Mike Jones Takes Pulse Of The New Era Of St. Louis Politics
https://news.stlpublicradio.org/podcast/politically-speaking/2021-08-16/mike-jones-takes-pulse-of-the-new-era-of-st-louis-politics
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Missouri Sen. Greg Razer: Vaccination Is The Way Out Of COVID-19 Wilderness

Sen. Greg Razer joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum on the latest episode of Politically Speaking to talk about how state and local governments are reacting to the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus — and the impending special session on congressional redistricting.

The Democrat represents Missouri’s 7th District, which takes in a portion of Kansas City and several other municipalities in Jackson County. He was elected to his seat in 2020 after serving two terms in the Missouri House.

Here’s what Razer talked about during the program:

  • Reaction in Kansas City to increased COVID-19 restrictions, including mask mandates. He said his constituents understand why they’re necessary, but he added that many vaccinated people are frustrated they have to mask up again to protect people who refuse to get vaccination shots.
  • Efforts from some of his GOP colleagues to ban private-sector vaccine mandates. While that proposal has the support of six Republican senators, it’s not been embraced by Gov. Mike Parson or the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.
  • What the legislature would need to do to prevent Medicaid from running out of money as expansion rolls out in the coming weeks.
  • His expectations for the special session on congressional redistricting. One potential storyline is whether Republicans will try to make Democratic U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s district unwinnable for a Democrat.

A native of Cooter, Missouri, Razer moved to Kansas City after attending the University of Missouri-Columbia. While he was at Mizzou, Razer had the honor of being the school’s mascot, Truman the Tiger, during sporting and student activity events.

Razer spent eight years as a deputy regional director for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill. He was responsible for a large part of western Missouri, including rural outposts in the state’s northwest and central counties.

Last year, he easily won a Democratic primary for the 7th Senate District — which was tantamount to a general election win, since that district tilts heavily toward Democrats.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Greg Razer on Twitter: @gregrazer

Missouri Sen. Greg Razer: Vaccination Is The Way Out Of COVID-19 Wilderness
https://news.stlpublicradio.org/podcast/politically-speaking/2021-08-09/missouri-sen-greg-razer-vaccination-is-the-way-out-of-covid-19-wilderness
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