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InPDUM: "Keep 28" campaign in St. Louis black community wages struggle against ward reduction

Aug 5, 2018
International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, St. Louis, MO

President Kalambayi Andenet of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) speaks at a Black Power Sunday rally in St. Louis, MO.


ST. LOUIS—At one time, the city of St. Louis had a population of almost a million people. White people fled the city by the hundreds of thousands when the hint of African people fighting for power was in the air.

An emerging Black Power movement was the impetus for the white flight—black people fighting for power.

Now after decades have passed and with the deterioration of the city’s neighborhoods and the economy, white investors are invading the African community buying up whole blocks in an effort to gentrify it.

We believe the 2012 initiative to reduce the number aldermanic wards from 28 to 14 (to be implemented in 2020) was an attempt to stop any demand from the African community that would put us in a position of power to demand real economic development and rather dilute black voting power.

We are convinced that real economic development for the future of the African community is represented in part by the fight to keep 28 wards.

The economic development that we are speaking of would require a massive infusion of capital and a transparent process where black people can create commerce for ourselves.

We know that this view of economic development would be opposed by the white economic powers and the government. Therefore, we believe it is also necessary to demand that Black people are represented on the Board of Aldermen in numbers relative to our percentage of the population, which by the census estimate is 47 percent.

White residents represent 43 percent of the population of St. Louis. This lopsided domination by white aldermen does not make good economic sense for the black community.

The black community should have at least 15 people on the board of aldermen to help deconstruct the political domination that currently exists.

We have heard the arguments for district reduction. One such argument says the 28 member board is inefficient. Another says there will be more diversity with fewer districts.

We believe these arguments are only designed to hide the insidious economic and political motives we have already mentioned. There is no reason to believe that with the right people in place, the 28 member board can’t be efficient.

Furthermore, the African community does not suffer from poverty, police shootings, and terrible schools because we lack diversity.

We suffer from all these things because we have no political power or self-determination. We demand power over our lives and all the benefits that come to a self-determined people!

We are supporting bill number 25 which will, if passed, allow for a vote to maintain 28 aldermanic wards.

We believe maintaining the 28 wards sets the stage for candidates that can make demands for economic development to the African community to create commerce for and by us, reparations to African people for the horrors associated with being dominated by white power and for Black community control of the police, stopping the onslaught of gentrification that drives Africans out of our communities to be replaced by white middle class invaders.

We need as many alderpersons who can make these kinds of demands as possible. So the fight for 28 alderperson wards is a fight for the future of the entire African colony.

Fight for Economic Development to the African Community! Stop Gentrification in the Black Community and #Keep28 Aldermanic Wards!


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