We are heartened by the number of black leaders, young and seasoned, who are turning to us as St. Louis seeks to more directly confronts its gun violence epidemic that is leaving young people, including so many children, dead on our streets. Elected officials (St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones, soon-to-be state Rep. Rasheen Aldridge), community leaders and groups (Rev. Starsky D. Wilson, the Close the Workhouse Campaign), and public education officials (Superintendent Kelvin R. Adams of Saint Louis Public Schools, interim-President Dwayne Smith of Harris-Stowe State University) all turned to us to share with the community their cries of anguish and calls to action and change. To share more of these voices, we yield our own editorial space this week, while adding that we strongly affirm the many calls to action and change in these strong community voices. In particular, St. Louis should close the Workhouse as a start to investing in revitalizing our most vulnerable rather than criminalizing poverty and deepening despair.

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