By SHERI GASSAWAY
Candidates and issues endorsed by the St. Louis Labor Council fared well in the April 6 elections.
Labor Council President Pat White combed through the results last week and said he was really pleased with the outcome.
“These municipal elections are as important as the general elections because their decisions affect working men and women and often times, these folks move on to higher offices,” White said.
ST. LOUIS ‘PROP E’
Aside from the St. Louis city mayoral race, won by longtime friend of Labor Tishaura O. Jones, one of the biggest questions on the ballot was whether to keep the one percent St. Louis City earnings tax. Money generated from the tax provides funding for important municipal services, such as fire, EMS, police, parks and recreation and other services.
Fortunately, voters approved Proposition E, which was endorsed by the St. Louis Labor Council, renewing the tax by an overwhelming 79 percent. The tax, which has existed in St. Louis since 1959, comprises 36 percent of the city’s general revenue fund, and without the crucial revenue stream, the city would have been forced to dramatically cut city services or increase property and sales taxes to make up the difference.
Caitlyn Adams, executive director of Missouri Jobs with Justice, thanked voters on Facebook for coming together to renew the tax.
“Without that renewal, jobs would be lost, benefits would be cut, and vital public services would be slashed,” she said. “Renewing the earnings tax protects all of us from privatization, corporate greed and austerity.”
UNION MEMBERS ELECTED AND RE-ELECTED
One especially bright spot in the April 6 contest was the election of three union members to new offices in the area.
Sylvester Taylor II, a member of IBEW Local 1 who previously served in the Missouri House of Representatives representing District 80, won a seat on the Hazelwood School District’s Board of Education with 63 percent of the vote in a three-way race for an unexpired term.
Another Local 1 member, Mike Frisk, was elected to the Jefferson R-VII School District’s board of education in a five-way race for two seats, and Don “Eric” Williams, a member of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562, won a seat on the Orchard Farm School District board in another five-way race for two candidates.
In other races:
- Heat & Frost Insulators Local 1’s Chad Lange, Sr. retained his board seat in the Francis Howell School District in a four-way race for two positions.
- IBEW Local 1’s Tommy George, Jr. was re-elected to his position on the Fort Zumwalt School District’s Board of Education in a five-way race for two seats.
- Insulators Local 1’s William “Bill” Laughlin was re-elected to the board of the O’Fallon Fire Protection District.
- Carpenters Local 97’s Steve Markus will continue as Ward 1 alderman in Pevely. Both Laughlin and Markus ran unopposed in the April 6 election.
OTHER LABOR-FRIENDLY WINS
Additionally, longtime friend-of-Labor Kenny Biermann, a member of the Tri-County Labor Club and the Orchard Farm School board, handily won a seat on the St. Charles County Ambulance Board of Directors. Biermann formerly served as a District 17 representative in the Missouri House from 2008-2010.
Here are the winning St. Louis Labor Council endorsed candidates and propositions in the April 6 election