Treasurer Tishaura Jones has no opposition in the August 2nd Democratic Primary but faces two candidates in the November 8th General Election.
1) Describe at least one action, current or future, by the Treasurer’s Office to help make Black Lives Matter a reality. (125 words or less)
The Ferguson Commission recommended several things. Two of those recommendations were creating financial empowerment programs and children’s savings accounts for college. My office was already at work on creating both of those programs before the Commission released their report. Our Office of Financial Empowerment assists citizens who want to learn how to increase their financial capabilities, raise their credit scores, get out of debt, or start their own businesses. Our College Kids savings program provides children enrolled in St. Louis Public Schools, district and charter, with a savings account for post-secondary education. Our office provides $50 to open the account. Adults who make good financial decisions are less likely to fall into poverty. Kids who have money for college are more likely to go.
2) Describe at least one state or local change in law/policy that you believe the next Mayor of St. Louis should champion. (125 words or less)
The way the City’s annual budget is created is a secret to most voters. At its best, the current budget process confuses residents. At its worst, it disengages and alienates us. The next mayor, whoever she is, needs to incorporate participatory budgeting into the process. If Lafayette Square wants public safety or recreation spaces to be budget priorities, the neighborhood ought to be able to develop proposals, vote on them, and have them included in the city’s budget.
3) Should the City of St. Louis re-enter St. Louis County as a municipality and give up operating its own county offices and collecting/spending its own county revenue? Explain. If Yes, should this change require approval by St. Louis City and St. Louis County voters? (125 words or less)
Yes. Eventually. And yes, city and county voters should decide. We waste money and time due to the enormous number of separate governmental entities and programs. The City and the County need to work together better – that much is clear. Almost every other city and county in the country has figured this out. So can we. Until we do, there are some things both the city and county can do. We already work together on education and economic development. That cooperation sent me –and now my son — to a better public school in the county and landed the new $2 billion NGA project two miles from here. Public health, public safety, and public parks are other areas where we could work more closely right now.
4) Why should voters re-elect Tishaura Jones? (250 words or less)
I have taken the Treasurer’s Office from the 19th century to the 21st century. By modernizing and updating parking technology, and by creating financial empowerment programs that help our most vulnerable citizens learn how to manage their money and plan for the future, I have taken an office that’s only purpose was to collect parking fees and turned it into an office that addresses systemic issues in our City. I love being an elected official in St. Louis. This is my home, the place I grew up, the place I am raising my son, Aden. The decisions I make and the policy positions I choose reflect my desire to make St. Louis a good home for families like mine, and families like yours. This keeps me going when my job seems hard and time seems short. I am a progressive. I want our City to change. And, because I’m also a progressive who gets things done, I want to continue to be a part of that change. I will work everyday to make our government one that works for the citizens of St. Louis. I will continue to work to address economic disparity, to dedicate my office and myself to causes that matter, like the North/South Metro and getting kids ready for college. There’s much to be done in this City, and I’m ready to keep working. Thank you for your time and your support.