Megan Green

Megan E. Green speaks after she is sworn in as the first woman president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen at the City Hall Rotunda on Mon., November 28, 2022. Seated behind her on the left is her incoming Chief of Staff Jay Nelson and on the right is St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones.

After being sworn in as the first woman president of the city Board of Aldermen and its 22nd in history, Megan Ellyia Green told fellow members of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment Mayor Tishaura Jones and Comptroller Darlene Green, “I promise a good heart and an open mind.” 

“I will not be a rubber stamp, but I will also not be a roadblock bought by lobbyists and special interests. The only agenda I’ll bring to E&A is the people’s agenda. And I know you share it.”

Green was officially sworn in on Monday morning in the City Hall rotunda, although she had presided over a Board of Alderman meeting last week.

To her former aldermen colleagues, she said, “I promise an end to the toxic culture in the chamber of the past few years.”

“Enthusiasm won’t be punished, and experience won’t be ignored.”

Green, who was endorsed by Mayor Jones, won a primary election over Jack Coatar in September, then topped him again in a Nov. 8 contest. She is fulfilling the term of Lewis Reed, who has pleaded guilty to numerous corruption charges and is awaiting sentence by a federal judge.

Green will face another election in just five months. Coatar has announced he is not seeking re-election for his board seat and will not run again against Green. Alderwoman Cara Spencer said last week she will run for the board’s new 8th Ward seat, ending speculation she would challenge Green.

Jones, the first Black woman to serve as mayor, said Green is “breaking the mold and starting a new path.”

“There are some that did not want her or her bold ideas at the table. She will have a powerful leadership role. No dollars will be spent without the approval of three powerful women.”

Jones, who did not endorse Green when she sought the Board of Aldermen presidency in 2019, admitted that they “have not always seen eye-to-eye.”

“Frankly, we did not speak for several months.”

During a five-hour car trip to Iowa during the primary season of 2020 “we talked it out.’

“We found a way to disagree without being disagreeable,” Jones said.

The Board of E&A and Board of Aldermen will face a full agenda during Green’s five months before another election.

“There is no shortage of work to be done. For sure, our city’s legislative body has our jobs cut out for us,” Green said.

According to the BOA president those challenges include:

Beginning the work of reducing the size of the Board of Aldermen from 28 seats to 14.

Appropriating ARPA funds and infrastructure funds and beginning the process of determining the best use of the Rams settlement funds.

Rebuilding the city workforce to provide quality services “in every corner of our city.” This would include providing compensation and benefits, like childcare, home buying assistance, and student loan assistance.

Tax incentive reform “that will ensure that our schools and city coffers benefit from new development from day one.”

“We must increase the availability of affordable housing, pursue efforts to prevent the need for evictions, ensure the right to form unions, and ensure that public benefits are attached to publicly-subsidized projects,” Green said.

“We must make sure that public health is funded and supported, including reproductive healthcare; we must ensure that we are investing in training our students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

“We must pursue public safety strategies that address the root causes of crime, while also enacting police accountability measures that will restore trust in our police.”

She added that the city “must finish the job of decriminalizing marijuana, from updating hiring policies to changing zoning regulations to accommodate recreational marijuana facilities.”

“And we must send a marijuana tax to the ballot to allow the wider community to benefit from the new law. “

Comptroller Green, the first woman to hold that office in St. Louis, said she looked forward to working with the new Board of Aldermen president, “to make transformative changes.”

“We will work to make our city, neighborhoods, and streets safer – to build back a better St. Louis city,” she said.

As the board’s new president, Green promised to city residents “to put your children and your grandparents first.”

“I don’t say that rhetorically. I mean it the same way that [Congresswoman Cori Bush] does. If you want something from me between now and April, your proposal had better include your arguments about how this will benefit our youth and our seniors immediately.

“It is time to get to work. It is time to set aside our differences. It is time to build, together, a city that works for everyone.”

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